Priority Club Rewards has adjusted its award schedule and 25 percent of its properties have increased in the number of points required, 20 percent have decreased in cost and 55 percent are the same. There is no published list of hotels that will be going up or down a tier, but when you book an award stay, you may notice that the hotel has changed an award category. The changes were effective Jan. 18, 2012, and members will have a 60-day window to book awards at the lower cost or rebook hotels that have decreased in points and require fewer points. Award reservations at the lower points level can be made up to 360 days in advance.
The program is adding new award categories at some IHG brands. Crowne Plaza hotels that used to be 25,000 points across the board will now be either 25,000 points or 35,000 points per night. Hotel Indigo properties will have two tiers at 25,000 points or 35,000 points, from 25,000 points. InterContinental properties will now be classified by three tiers: 30,000 points, 40,000 points and a new, highest level 50,000 points. Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express have a new 20,000-point tier, in addition to the 10,000, 15,000 and 25,000-point levels. A few examples of properties that are changing include the Crowne Plaza Melbourne that is now 35,000 points from 25,000 points. The Holiday Inn San Francisco Civic Center dropped from 25,000 points to 20,000 points and the InterContinental Bangkok is 30,000 points from 40,000 points.
Bottom line: Hotel award prices fluctuate more often than flight awards so its not unusual to see properties move up or down in category. And it’s been five years since the program last made changes to the program. We applaud the program for giving over two weeks advance notice of the changes and an additional 60 days where members can change their award bookings to take advantage of lower rates or book at the old rates if their plans included a hotel that was increasing in points. To book at the old rates, you can call IHG’s service center until mid-March and request a hotel stay at the previously lower rates. And if you have a stay currently booked at a hotel that dropped in price, you can cancel your reservation and re-book it at the cheaper rate.