IHG Rewards Club made an announcement just before the New Year (read more here) about award category changes that will take effect on January 15, 2017.
IHG Rewards Club has 488 properties moving a minimum of one award category (5,000 points) up while some move up to three (15,000 points). There are 161 hotels moving down in the number of points required for a free night.
You can access the IHG Rewards Club website here.
Here’s the PDF released by IHG:
Number of Properties Moving Up:
Number of Properties Moving Down:
Previously, IHG Rewards Club was promoting the fact that they had the same number of properties moving both up and down in the number of points required for awards. This time, however, the change (negative) is more lopsided. I would say in general that the properties that moved down are those that people rarely redeem for while those moving up tend to be one of the better deals using points.
Remember that while IHG Rewards Club makes significant changes to award categories only once a year, they do tend to move a few properties (those popular ones!) unannounced a few times a year as well.
There are now quite a few InterContinental hotels requiring 60,000 points per night (maximum currently). I wouldn’t be surprised if IHG Rewards Club announced new higher categories in 2018.
If you are planning to stay at any of the properties requiring more points come January 15, 2017, you should get the award nights in using the old point requirements.