Beginning on May 1, award prices at 450 InterContinental Hotels Group properties will change, with 300 hotels shifting into higher-priced award categories and 150 hotels shifting into lower-priced categories.
With around 4,500 hotels in the network, the changes affect 10 percent of IHG’s hotels, with a 2-to-1 split between increases and decreases. That doesn’t capture the full extent of the downgrade, however. Of the price increases, most are rising 10,000 points, while the price decreases tend to be by 5,000 points.
Making the bad news even worse is the timing of the announcement. IHG waited until the week before the new prices take effect to publish a list of the affected hotels, making it unnecessarily difficult for members to work around the changes.
As with all award-price changes, the standard advice applies: Book award nights at current prices before any increases take effect. And if your travel plans are flexible, wait until the new prices take effect to book award stays at hotels that will decrease in price.
In this case, because of IHG’s failure to give program members adequate advance notice of the changes, there’s extra urgency to reviewing the list of hotels and booking award stays accordingly.
Reader Reality Check
How far in advance should programs alert members to upcoming price changes?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.