IHG Crashes Their Program All The Way To The Bottom Of The Value Pile
IHG, oh IHG, why do you do this to us? You have found a way to weed out every small ounce of value in your program over the last few years. First you took a jackhammer to the beloved Pointsbreak program, and then killed it altogether. Then you nerfed the uncapped credit card free night, which was somewhat understandable, but still a dagger to the heart. Lastly, you went to variable pricing. That wasn’t the complete end of the world until you made that change nuclear this month as reported by Loyalty Lobby.
People complain about the value of Hilton points and you just went, hey Hilton…hold my 🍺🍺 buddy. Don’t worry, we got this! The real kicker is, you can rack up Hilton points in bunches fairly easily. No one wants your junk points at 1 point per dollar earning. Who are you kidding? And all to stay at Holiday Inn Expresses? I’ll give that a hard pass. As Bethany of Bougie Miles said to me, at least Marriott has nice hotels when they treat their program like trash. You don’t even have that, do you?
Details Of This Implosion
I am not going to go to great depths here since Loyalty Lobby did a great job breaking it down and they deserve the click for that. It essentially boils down to the fact that someone went drunk with power on the points pricing across the board. It amounts to a 30% increase in points cost for many hotels. We are seeing hotel prices in the 120K a night range when the cap for IHG hotels was 50K a night not that long ago. The value of the points has dropped from around $0.007 per point 2-3 years ago to around $0.004 now. That is less than what I value Hilton at ($0.0045). And like I said above, I can rack those up at 6X with the Surpass vs 2X, at most, with the IHG cards. Something is amiss here.
Loyalty Lobby breaks down a whole bunch of reservations and their cents per point valuations. Many fall below the $0.004 range bottoming out at as low as $0.0034.
I am now upset that I had my wife grab the IHG Premier card with the increased offer last year. I thought we should be good from a mass devaluation for a little bit after the one that hit just last year. Boy was I wrong there.
Depending on how this shakes out I am not sure if the cards are even worth the annual fees for the free nights now. It seems like finding a room for under 40K a night, even in B.F.E., can be a crapshoot these days. I will let it ride this year and see what it looks like after I have some time to poke around and will make a firm decision then.
Needless to say, this program was always a 3rd or 4th option for me since earning was never an easy proposition outside of paid stays. It is now off the table for consideration moving forward for my family. Massive no notice devaluations on an already poor program is not my cup of tea. IHG, you make Wyndham look competent these days.