Last updated on April 27th, 2021
IHG is devaluing points in its IHG Rewards program – that’s the story from industry experts. How badly is IHG lowering points values, and does the program still offer value for money? Find out more here:
IHG “Variable Point Pricing” Resulting In Point Devaluations
Many loyalty programs feature a fixed pricing format. This pricing strategy allows members to plan their travel and calculate the value of redeeming miles or points before booking. Unfortunately, the system does not allow for price variations based on demand and market rates.
IHG Rewards (the InterContinental Hotels Group’s loyalty program) unveiled “Variable Point Pricing” in January of 2020. This process provides higher IHG Rewards points value based on lower demand at specific properties, but it makes calculating point valuations more challenging.
According to multiple reports from IHG Rewards members, the Variable Point Pricing is now leading to a significant devaluation of points. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, booking nights at properties now carries significantly more costs – and that is being reflected in points valuations.
William Charles, a rewards industry expert, is seeing evidence of IHG Rewards points being “worth less than 0.4¢ of the list price,” with other frequent travelers noting similar discrepancies elsewhere. Some European hotels, for example, have a 100% markup. Charles also notes that this was a concern he anticipated at some point during the pandemic and that more devaluations with other programs are likely to follow.
Value Still There to Be Found
Despite the devaluations of points, the IHG Rewards Variable Point Pricing is still offering significant value for money in many instances. There appears to be a solid mix of overpriced properties with hidden bargains. The key, however, is to do your homework before booking to ensure you get the best value.
About IHG Rewards
IHG Rewards is the loyalty program of the IHG Hotels & Resorts portfolio of properties. There are over 5,600 properties within the program, including prominent names like Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza Hotels, Kimpton, and more.
IHG currently offers a co-branded hotel rewards credit card through Chase, the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card. The Traveler Card earns with IHG stays and 2X points at grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants.
Related Article: The Ultimate Guide to Hotel Credit Cards