As you’ve probably heard by now, IHG has introduced two new categories that will cost 55,000 and 60,000 points. This isn’t at all surprising since similar Hilton HHonors hotels can run as much as 95,000 points per night.
Many people in the hobby are saying that the program is now totally gutted. I respectfully disagree. To me, IHG still delivers the best bang for your buck when you factor in lucrative promotions and outstanding coverage. Honestly, I’m not that concerned about these two new categories because I won’t be going to Bora Bora any time soon. I doubt most of my readers will be either.
Of course, IHG also announced that a number of properties will be changing categories. Some will cost less, some more. Much more. You can see the full list here Overall, I don’t think it’s anything drastic and simply has to do with the law of supply vs. demand. Most of the changes make a lot of sense. I say “most” because for the life of me I can not figure out why a Holiday Inn Express by the airport would cost 40,000 points.
Anyway, let me highlight the changes in my home state of Florida. I know many of my readers like to vacation here whether it’s visiting Disney or staying at the beach.
Here are a few properties you might be interested in. As you can see, the price hike isn’t huge, but still. If you’ve been thinking about reserving a stay at one of these places, you have till February 17th to make an award booking. I wouldn’t say that paying 35,000 per night is a steal, but if you are planning to visit during holidays or high season, it could definitely make sense.
I wrote about my recent stay in Hotel Indigo in Sarasota and mentioned that it was a very good deal on points. Well, someone at IHG must have read my post, y’all! It’s going up from 25,000 to 35,000 points per night. Not surprising since rates here hover around $200 or more per night. I thought about booking one last getaway at this property but decided to pass. While it’s nice, I wouldn’t say it’s anything extraordinary or unique.
My reader Erik said this about his recent stay at Indigo property: “I’m not sure what market they are targeting with this brand, my impression of the property was something like “Holiday Inn Express made over in a trendy spa theme” (without the free breakfast!)” This is spot on, and exactly how I felt about this particular hotel in Sarasota. I do think they mostly target hipster crowd (with no kids), but can’t quite get it right.
Essentially, aside from hardwood floors which I loved, everything in the room was a slightly upgraded version of a mid-scale hotel, but for twice the price. I can’t imagine anyone paying $200 to stay here, but to each his own. Still, for 25,000 IHG points per night it is a good deal for posh Sarasota area. I will say that Hotel Indigo in St.Petersburg definitely has more character, but it occupies an old building with lots of unique history.
Thankfully, the rate on all the other beachfront hotels in Florida is not changing. Most will still cost 35,000 points per night, which is a decent deal during high season. If you factor in 10% rebate from IHG credit card, potential upgrade, plus ease of accumulating points, all of it adds up to an affordable beachfront family vacation. See my review of Holiday Inn Sanibel and Holiday Inn Sarasota Lido
Let’s say you can acquire IHG points for 0.3 cents each via various promos (see the end of this post for more). After rebate, it will cost you 31,500 points per night. You will end up paying $94.50 all-in and might even get a suite. While it’s obviously not free, those same hotels run at $300 per night or more during spring months or Christmas break. You can read about IHG credit card in this page. Note that I have added a non-affiliate link that gives an extra $50 credit.
Some IHG hotels will be changing categories on February 17th. Make sure to book your desired property now since you can always cancel and get your points back if your plans change.
Readers, are you affected by these changes?
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