IHG Priority Club Rewards has silently changed the number of points required to redeem for Priority Club Any Hotels Anywhere prepaid cards, which can be used to pay for hotel stays at any hotel where American Express cards are accepted, including competitor brands.
The program did not notify members in advance about the rate increase and members will now need to redeem 35,000 points (from 33,000 points) for a $100 card, 44,000 points (from 39,000 points) for a $125 card, 52,000 points (from 45,000 points) for a $150 card, 70,000 points (from 60,000 points) for a $200 card and 85,000 points (from 72,000 points) for a $250 card. Note that these prepaid cards expire one year from the date of issue.
Bottom line: In general, points are most valuable when you redeem them for stays. But having the option to redeem for a hotel stay at any brand anywhere in the world makes them incredibly flexible. We don’t like that the program raised the rates without notifying members, but this award option can still come in handy and the increases could have been worse.