They have now also published a web page that explains (at least tries to) these changes. IHG Rewards Club, however, still hasn’t email members that have their accounts outside of Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan).
You can access IHG’s page for these changes here.
I believe that what they are trying to say here is that the IHG Rewards Club benefits don’t apply for bookings made on third party platforms (these have never been eligible for earning points). Seems that elite members can now “confirm” 2PM late check outs (while Hyatt, Marriott and SPG all confirm 4PM).
This award night change that only applies for stays in Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan) requires all members that intend to gift an award night to contact IHG Rewards Club minimum seven nights before of the stay.
Not sure why IHG Rewards Club is trying to sell this change “for our account security”. If IHG would care about account security, they would have gone away with four number PINs long time ago and wouldn’t include your email address, IHG Rewards Club number + actual PIN number on some emails sent to program members.
Not sure how IHG affiliated hotels in Greater China will implement this. Is IHG Rewards Club going to inform hotels that they are not allowed to check in guests who are not the account owners in the region or is IHG somehow trying to manage these reservation prior to the stay?
This is the email combined with the website page that is now finally up that IHG Rewards Club should have sent out to all members in the first place. They still haven’t informed members outside of the Greater China about these changes.
IHG has done a terrible job in communicating these changes to the membership. Shouldn’t have been too difficult to get it right in the first place.