IHG made some remarks last year (read more here) that they intended to move variable award pricing in 2019 (apparently delayed), and this already applied to two InterContinental Alliance Resorts in Macao where the points price fluctuates.
IHG Rewards Club, however, has now rolled out this pricing method that some could call dynamic to a broader number of hotels in Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macao & Taiwan). The goal must be to price all awards globally using this method.
You can access the IHG Rewards Club here.
IHG has communicated in China that the dynamic pricing varies based on market, brand, hotel location, and check-in date.
Here are a couple of examples from Taipei:
The price for Friday using points is double, even when there is hardly any difference in the underlying rate.
New Years Eve
New Years Day
The price for the New Years Even is more than double that of January 1.
Based on the few searches I made, not just the ones above, it appears that IHG Rewards Club may try to increase the price of the nights where they potentially need to pay higher award reimbursement to the property.
There were no much rhyme between the base level point price and the room rate (Regent and Kimpton often had the same while the former costs were at least 50% more than the latter).
IHG’s award pricing has been out of whack already for a while. There are numerous examples where the PAID RATE is lower than the CASH portion of the Points & Cash, which makes very little sense.
If, and this is a big IF, IHG Rewards Club reasonably implements this trying to get people to redeem on lower demand days, it could be win-win for all of us. There is always a chance that they try to devalue the points that we have (remember when the highest point coast was 30K per night – not that long time ago).
I have requested clarification from IHG spokesperson and will do an update next week