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IHG Promises No Award-Price Increases for 2014

SmarterTravel

Yesterday’s email from InterContinental Hotels Group’s corporate communications department featured the subject line “IHG Rewards Club News: Reward Night Pricing Changes… For the Better.”

Naturally skeptical, I immediately began looking for the bad news lurking behind the rah-rah headline. But the gist of the message delivered on the promise: “More than 100 IHG hotels will require 5,000 less IHG Rewards Club points per Reward Night. We will not be making any increases to our Reward Night pricing during 2014.”

Among the affected hotels and their current and new award prices:

  • InterContinental Hotel Shanghai-Puxi, China – 35,000 to 30,000 points
  • Crowne Plaza Geneva, Switzerland – 35,000 to 30,000 points
  • Hotel Indigo Fort Myers Downtown River District, Florida, U.S. – 30,000 to 25,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Resort PhuketMai Khao Beach Resort, Phuket, Thailand – 20,000 to 15,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Ciudad De Mexico – Trade Center, Mexico – 15,000 to 10,000 points
  • Holiday Inn Express Frankfurt-Messe, Germany – 25,000 to 20,000 points
  • Staybridge Suites – San Antonio-Stone Oak, Texas, U.S. – 20,000 to 15,000 points
  • Candlewood Suites Virginia Beach-Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. – 25,000 to 20,000 points

The changes take effect on April 15.

Last year’s IHG award-price adjustments were a mixed bag, with 30 percent of the changes resulting in higher award prices and the same percentage resulting in decreases. This year’s are overwhelmingly positive.

With more than 4,500 hotels in the IHG network, changes affecting just 100 of them amounts to the most minor of tweaks. Which is heartening in and of itself — it certainly beats some of the wrenching devaluations of recent years. Even better is the fact that all of the changes are in the direction of lower rather than higher award prices.

At least for the remainder of 2014, IHG Rewards members can rest assured that award nights at more than 70 percent of IHG’s hotels can still be booked for 20,000 or fewer points.

Next year’s adjustments are anybody’s guess. The first clue will be the nature of the announcement. If it’s a heads-up email from IHG’s corporate offices, chances are it will be another round of good news. If it’s a mass email, sent on Friday evening before a long weekend, the news is likely to be a buzz-killer, or worse.

Reader Reality Check

Nice, huh?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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