IHG Rewards Points Pricing Really Is All Over The Place (Some Hotels More Than DOUBLED Again!)

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The IHG Rewards ‘dynamic pricing’ saga continues, with the points pricing at at least some hotels once again doubling overnight!

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the points required for a stay in York this Summer. I took the opportunity to book a great deal last week, but noticed that the points required (at some of the hotels) has shot up again today:

The Indigo was available for 22,000 points yesterday, and the Principal for 25,000 points. There has therefore been an overnight increase of 91% and 136% respectively! To be clear, the cash rates for all the hotels have stayed broadly static, so that isn’t causing the change.

Take a look below at how the value per point has stayed roughly the same for some hotels, but has swung wildly for others.

Value per point when I looked on 8th April:

  • Holiday Inn York City Centre: 0.357p per point
  • Hotel Indigo York: 0.245p per point
  • Principal York 0.232p per point
  • Holiday Inn York: 0.576p per point

Value per point when I looked 9th April:

  • Holiday Inn York City Centre: 0.286p per point
  • Hotel Indigo York: 0.477p per point
  • Principal York 0.584p per point
  • Holiday Inn York: 0.573p per point

Value per point when I looked today (14th April):

  • Holiday Inn York City Centre: 0.286p per point
  • Hotel Indigo York: 0.25p per point
  • Principal York 0.247p per point
  • Holiday Inn York: 0.573p per point

Another oddity…

The above reward price changes are weird enough, but if you want to see something really odd, check out the rates at the Hotel Indigo London below.

21st July – points required 66,000; Cash rate £383:

22nd July – points required 90,000; cash rate £363

Yep – the cash rate is £20 cheaper on the second night, so obviously the points required for that night…goes up by 36%???

The new points rates are certainly ‘dynamic’ I suppose 😉

What can be done?

For now, I think the only sensible advice is to regularly check the points rates of hotels you want to book and lock in anything that looks like decent value. You can always cancel and rebook (or switch to a different hotel) if a better rate crops up.

I’m going to continue attempting to get an interview with the people at IHG who have designed the new system, to try and get a clearer explanation of how it really works. On the face of it, there is very little sense (for the hotels, IHG, or guests) in running a loyalty programme this way.

Bottom line

I really can’t understand what IHG is thinking here. Normal dynamic pricing (where the points required corresponds to the cash rate) isn’t something ‘travel hackers’ ever like to see, but at least it makes sense. IHG has come up with something that, from the outside at least, seems to be almost entirely random.

What’s the strangest points pricing you’ve noticed so far?

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