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It was just last year that IHG devalued their program, and introduced a 60k level. Hotel chains change the price of independent hotels all the time, but what makes the IHG back to back devals extra painful has been the top level prices. At the end of 2016 you could nab one of those premier hotels for 50k points. With points sales often times ringing in at $0.005 per point, that assured, if award avail was there, that you could nab one of those hotels for $250. The new price…70k points. This comes less than a year since we had the introduction of the 60k level. While Point Me to the Plane has noted that the deval isn’t public, so it’s unclear when the new changes will go into effect.
Nearly 500 hotels will be going up in price.
It will either be a 5000 point increase or a 10k point increase. One of those is the Intercontinental Park Lane. A fabulous hotel situated at Hyde Park corner, near Buckingham Palace, Harrods, and obviously Hyde Park. This is a great spot to use your annual IHG credit card night, but just year ago it was 50k points. 3 nights would cost you just 150k points…now 2 nights would be 140k. That’s a tough pill to swallow.
With that said, I don’t think 70k is that crazy for a hotel program that regularly sells its points for $0.007, but why didn’t they just do it a year ago, or give members much more advanced notice. The hotel loyalty landscape is so competitive, and I would give Marriott/SPG the ultimate nod. The guaranteed mid tier benefits are incredible, can be had with an Amex Plat, and you’ll struggle to find a nook or cranny that doesn’t have a Marriott property. What sometimes gave IHG the edge, was the ability to accrue points so quickly, and redeem them at lower rates. That edge has significantly dulled in the last 2 years.