UPDATE: I screwed up earlier and forgot about PointsBreaks. Sorry. That’s actually what I was calling Category 1 before. I’ve updated the text here to reflect reality. PointsBreaks are a tremendous value and not tied to a specific category; but the other numbers are still showing the similar trend, just not quite as pronounced.
What are IHG Reward Club points worth? Turns out it varies dramatically based on the hotel you redeem for. Of course it does, given that there are fixed rates for the redemptions, but looking at some 70,000 award night prices (as aggregated via Hotel Hustle searches over the past 2+ months) there are clear trends in the overall numbers, and they are probably counter to what most members would like to see. The cheaper hotel categories represent a better value for redemption.
Post updated to reflect better data in image above; original image shown below.
These numbers are rather similar to those for the SPG program which I published last week.
Read More: Book cheap to maximize hotel points value
Of course, these are average numbers and there are still outliers where higher values can be found. There are some examples in the data set suggesting that category 7 hotels can redeem over 2 cents/point. But not many. In just under 9000 data points only 66 are above 1.5cpp for the IHG Category 7 hotels and only 336 are above 1cpp. Compare that to 6500 search results in Category 1 where 133 are above 1.5cpp and 2060 above 1cpp or 17k results in Category 2 with 1275 over 1cpp and only 77 over 1.5cpp. With just over 1600 data points in the 50k/night selections only 7 are over 1.5cpp and 158 over 1cpp. Yes, there are some good redemption options at the top-end hotels, but not many of them.
For the top and bottom rates – PointsBreak and 50k/night hotels – the data may be biased as a result of fewer data points. But even if the top and bottom categories are removed the trend seems to hold strong towards the center of the chart.
So, does this change your approach to hotel loyalty? Should it??
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Aren’t most, if not all, Category 1 IHG hotels Pointbreaks deals anyway?
Point Breaks can be any category. Best deals are when they are ICs and CPs. However, some regular award prices are curious. For example, at the moment in Hong Kong, the very expensive IC goes for 40K a night while the moderately priced IC Grand Stamford goes for 50K a night! Go figure?
No love for Points Break? At 5K per redemption, there are usually some outstanding values.
Your calculation is wrong; for example, category 1 you have an average night equals to $86.89 that is 0.87 (not 1.738) point/$ as it requires 10k not 5k points.
Turns out my labels were wrong, not my calculations. I’ve updated the page and the image to show what is really going on. I misread my data initially so what I was calling Cat 1 was really PointsBreak nights. And those are a spectacular value.
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