So, we have reached that time of year again where the loyalty programs roll out their scheme changes.
Like last year, IHG seems fairly mild, 400 hotels are changing which is about 10% of IHGs inventory with 200 going up and 200 going down. On the surface simply a readjustment addressing different redemption patterns.
Alas that's not the entire story as IHG has now created 2 new categories at 55,000 and 60,000 points, and although few properties have moved into these, they are IHGs most desirable locations in London, Paris and New York.
You can find the changes here:
You have until 17th February to book at current rates before this comes in.
Thanks for sharing. I too saw this and was bummed to see one of my favorite IC properties (The Clement - Monterey, CA) was one of those going up in points. Now it will be a wait and see game to see what Marriott does this spring. . . particularly if the SPG merger looks like to will go through. Only if erc was around to offer his analysis!
brightlybob and others who may be interested:
an interesting blog post about IHG's loyalty changes: IHG Rewards Club "Enhancement"---Sweet Spots?
Well that blogger certainly has an agenda! There's a lot of hogwash going on there.
He believes Marriott Rewards and IHG are gutted schemes, but I think he has his eyes firmly shut. Looking at my records in 2015 I earned 320,000 Marriott points on $12,000 spending, that's 26 per $ spent. At IHG I earned 190,000 IHG points on $5,000 spending, that's 38 per $ spent.
In the same year I took a monthlong Roadtrip around Canada and Northern USA with 4 teenagers paid almost completely with points, eschewing just a couple of very poor redemption options in favour of especially cheap cash rates that came up. I redeemed 15 room nights with Marriott worth $5,300 for 400,000 MR points, that's 1.3UScents/pt and 29 room nights at IHG worth $4,800 for 550,000 IHG points, that's 0.9UScents/pt
So my return on Marriott spending having earned 26 points per $ spent and redeeming at 1.3c/pt is 34% and my return on IHG spending having earned 38 points per $ spent and redeeming at 0.9c/pt is.... wait for it... 34%! Neither SPG nor Hilton manage this kind of earn and burn ratio, and whilst I can't comment on Hyatt, it's restricted coverage means it's difficult to earn the kind of points necessary for this kind of redemption, and impossible living and earning in Europe where Hyatt coverage is pathetic.
Finally, lest anyone think my Roadtrip redemption is exceptional, our itinerary was places of interest for the kids and I then chose the best value central redemption between the brands but all stays were at central hotels or genuinely convenient stop-offs. I have recently redeemed IHG in Prague at 1.5c/pt and a Marriott Travel Package at 2.2c/pt, giving both schemes a return in excess of 50%, but do accept that these are quite exceptional, requiring either very big balances, (Travel package) or knowledge and speedy action (Pointsbreak) but in defence of this would state that both Marriotts Travel Package and IHGs Pointbreaks can turn up returns of well over 5UScents/$ due to both hotel and airline dynamic pricing. I've never managed these as they don't go where I want at the time I want. I choose my redemptions based on what I want first, and value the redemption against cash rates. If Marriott goes above 1c/pt I consider redeeming, and above 1.5c/pt I always redeem. For IHG the ratio is 0.7c/pt and 1c/pt.
brightlybob - I agree with your point on point earning per $ spent. I do not think the write takes into account the bonus offers that are run throughout the year, of which IHG's were pretty generous over the past year or so. I do think there are some IHG properties (just like Marriott) that are poor value for the number of points required, but I typically do not choose to redeem at those particular properties. I agree with your points about Marriott Travel Packages and IHG's Pointbreaks - they offer great value.