Redemption points inflation!

Old Aug 6, 18, 8:23 am
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Redemption points inflation!

IHG has been my favourite hotel loyalty programme over the last couple of decades (from the Priority Club days). I've used my points for well over a hundred free nights and have been very happy with IHG. However, even fairly average and mundane hotels now require upwards of 25,000 points per night. There was a time when you could book reasonably nice hotels for 10,000 or 15,000 points. Now some those hotels require 30,000+ points. This relentless redemption points inflation is happening quite regularly now. Some of the more expensive hotels now require 50,000 IHG points per night.

Given that the cash prices for some of these hotels are so low now, the value of IHG points has diminished greatly.

Is anyone else finding that IHG points are not buying many free nights these days?

Putting my conspiracy theory hat on for a moment, I think that some of the more upmarket chains are pricing 'ordinary' people out of their posh hotels, thereby gentrifying their properties. It's as if they simply don't want cheapskate riff-raff like me staying with them on IHG points.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 8:51 am
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I could copy and paste this in the Hilton forum and you'd probably see similar sentiments. I would say your feelings are valid, but irrelevant for these huge hotel chains.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 9:52 am
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This is common across all of the brands. That is what happens when the economy is doing well
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Old Aug 6, 18, 2:49 pm
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This is what happens when a hotel chain throws ton of points at their customers.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by rumbataz View Post
IHG has been my favourite hotel loyalty programme over the last couple of decades (from the Priority Club days). I've used my points for well over a hundred free nights and have been very happy with IHG. However, even fairly average and mundane hotels now require upwards of 25,000 points per night. There was a time when you could book reasonably nice hotels for 10,000 or 15,000 points. Now some those hotels require 30,000+ points. This relentless redemption points inflation is happening quite regularly now. Some of the more expensive hotels now require 50,000 IHG points per night.

Given that the cash prices for some of these hotels are so low now, the value of IHG points has diminished greatly.

Is anyone else finding that IHG points are not buying many free nights these days?

Putting my conspiracy theory hat on for a moment, I think that some of the more upmarket chains are pricing 'ordinary' people out of their posh hotels, thereby gentrifying their properties. It's as if they simply don't want cheapskate riff-raff like me staying with them on IHG points.
Wrong comparison , you should be looking instead at how many paid nights are needed per an award night at each 10-60k cat hotel. As Spire earning 33% more pts per night an hotel change is not so bad, eg 15-20k just cancels out the extra Spire points.

as a Spire you now earn 100% bonus not 50%, in effect 33% more per each stay , eg 4000+2000 = 6000 before but now 8000

plus since apr2014 recession ended, hotel occupancy increased back up with higher room rates then being charged. It was then hotel loyalty programs could start deminishing/diluting benefits, eg redemption increases, not just inflation but more in many cases.

However minimum 5k increase on 10k award is a 50% change, on 15k 33% and 20k 25%, so lower rate award hotels ihg'ers get hit harder. Going forwards Spire extra 33% pts/stay means despite more award pts needed to redeem free night, the number of paid nights needed is same.......and actually less nights at a 50-60k 20% increase hotel. Of course pts earned without Spire stay bonus (or save pre Spire) do not benefit
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Old Aug 6, 18, 8:24 pm
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IMHO the comparison of two big players is this:

IHG top is 20 pts per $1 ( or add another 10 for cc ) with at least 20k needed to get free hotel, probably 25k for place worth staying. So that is about $800 spent for decent free night or $667 for lower.

New marriwood top is 15 pts per $1 ( or add another 6 for cc ) with at least 12,500 needed to get free hotel, probably 17,500 for place worth staying. So that is about $833 spent for decent free night or $595 for lower.

pretty much the same... and I do feel these values have gone down since the economy has improved but of course that is to be expected and across the board! It is what it is, but I feel IHG has devalued more as of late?? Used to be valuation for IHG earn/burn was much better than others as that was their focus while others were more on status- upgrades guaranteed 4pm checkout- but now with valuation about equal IMHO makes other programs more attractive! Unless, of course, if IHG goes the way of more status recognition & benefits? Maybe they'll expand ambassador type program perhaps bring to kimpton & indigo??

Last edited by somedudefromFLa; Aug 9, 18 at 7:24 pm
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Old Aug 7, 18, 3:35 am
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There seems to be one of these threads every few months.

Regarding inflation, the number of points doesn't really mean that much. Who cares if its 10 points or 10000? What is important is how much you pay and what that gets you.

I find that when I average out the money spent across paid and redeemed nights, my average is still around GBP 50 a night and this hasn't increased for the past few years, so for me there is no effective inflation.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 4:57 am
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Originally Posted by rumbataz View Post
... I've used my points for well over a hundred free nights...
You said it yourself. If you multiply your 100 free nights by several million active members, you end up with a lot of free nights for IHG corporate to pay for. Of course they are going to charge more points where they can... And since many people (usually not FTers) will pay whatever points are necessary because they perceive it as "free", then IHG can get away with their Zimbabwe / Venezuela money printing by throwing around billions of Accelerate promo points...
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Old Aug 7, 18, 9:23 am
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All true. All I can say is spend your points wisely. Recently there was a points break London HIE inside Zone 2 for 15,000 points a night.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 10:04 am
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Varies wildly but what I do know is that when I stayed at the CP Times Square Manhattan just under 8 years ago it was 25,000 Points per night and it's now 60,000
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Old Aug 9, 18, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
There seems to be one of these threads every few months.

Regarding inflation, the number of points doesn't really mean that much. Who cares if its 10 points or 10000? What is important is how much you pay and what that gets you.

I find that when I average out the money spent across paid and redeemed nights, my average is still around GBP 50 a night and this hasn't increased for the past few years, so for me there is no effective inflation.
The issue is this for me. Staying at a particular hotel used to cost around 100GBP per night on average many, many years ago. At that time redemption nights cost 15,000 IHG points. These days, I've been able to get the hotel for around 50GBP per night. It costs 30,000 IHG points per night. So the cash cost has pretty much halved, whereas the redemption points cost has doubled.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 5:26 am
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Originally Posted by rumbataz View Post
The issue is this for me. Staying at a particular hotel used to cost around 100GBP per night on average many, many years ago. At that time redemption nights cost 15,000 IHG points. These days, I've been able to get the hotel for around 50GBP per night. It costs 30,000 IHG points per night. So the cash cost has pretty much halved, whereas the redemption points cost has doubled.
Picking any one hotel in isolation nn years ago can wither prove or disprove inflation using above comparison of cash+points at that time versus now

You chose to select the much rarer occurrence case of an hotel whose nightly rate halved 2010-2018. Usually a result of competition when hotel in location with no other hotels can charge aggressively high, but needs adjusts downwards when other local competitor hotels get built. I'd suggest very few hotels nightly rate has halved in last 8years, unless becomes non-maintained dump in which case usually gets booted out (or rebranded to lower hotel naming) as no longer meeting brand standards
(Of course even if award points stayed same, you'd need 2x the paid nights for a free night, and much worse 4x the paid nights if room rate hakved and ihg doubled award night rate poinrs needed )

Correspondingly if hotel doubles in price but award pts stayed same you'd need half the stayed nights, so it is probably fair IHG double the needed award pts, no real devaluation, as rtio of needed paid to free night stays the sameusual

IHGs real problem is probably that the award night normal pittance paid to their hotels, goes through the roof to ADR at 95% occupancy, and IHG get stung for 6x or so the normal restitution at i)inspirational sold out hotels eg IC Bali, or ii)a high demand date eg news years eve, iii) some isolated local event eg sport/concert etc.

Occasionally we do get invoice or see online IHGs redemption restitution to the hortel,...... I have seen a HI I use in UK get usd230 instead of usual usd35 when sold out and IC Parklane get gbp600 instead of usual gbp175, and of course it is always in the super expensive nightly rate hotel selling out scenarios us aware FTers redeem award nights for that cost IHG corporate ADR rates v usual pittance.

Plus seems IHG redemption pts needed don't really correspond to nightly rate of any hotel, but popularity of any one hotel for award nights. Look at IC Da Nang, started at 25k when opening and went to 50k in just 3years.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 6:01 am
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Originally Posted by scubaccr View Post
Plus seems IHG redemption pts needed don't really correspond to nightly rate of any hotel, but popularity of any one hotel for award nights. Look at IC Da Nang, started at 25k when opening and went to 50k in just 3years.
Sorry to say but IC DaNang is now 70k...
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Old Aug 10, 18, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by denkigroove View Post
Sorry to say but IC DaNang is now 70k...
Agreed, but now the doubling 25k (2014)-35k-50k(APR2016) - 70k (2018) was quick, in fact on opening Da Nang was also on 5k Pointsbreak too, as soon as the IC got established both cash and points per night went up quickly.

Rate inc taxes typically starts for base room usd510 adr or usd620 flex, as such 70,000pts worth $385 buyable at 10k/$55 still has points value. Even at the old p+c 10k/$70 ratio you are aok for value

..... but my stays IC Da Nang are always going to paid so as to get full RA benefits, these days I burn my points at non-IC brands due to stupid mew RA requal metric that only counts IC brand spend and ignores spend at CP, HI etc
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Old Aug 10, 18, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by denkigroove View Post
Sorry to say but IC DaNang is now 70k...
The Kimpton Seafire in Grand Cayman is now 70K. So 70K seems to be the new ceiling. And I'd just been adjusting to 60K. Ah well, such is the way of points. Loyalty currency inflation, while unpleasant to many, is to be expected. What's more bothersome to me is the switch from unrestricted Chase Free Night stays to a cap of 40K per night for those stays. In the past I've gotten tremendous value redeeming Chase Free Nights at various InterContinental properties around the world. Knew it was too good to last forever. As much as I might dislike it, that's the Way of All Points.
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