Feb022016

IHG introduces Points and Cash copay variability

IHG Rewards Club has changed copay amounts at certain hotels from the long-standing 5,000 points for $40 or 10,000 points for $70. Most hotels still have these two options, but there is a new feature of Points and Cash reward nights with copay amount variability depending on day of the week and peak rates for certain hotels.

There are now hotels where purchasing 10,000 points for a Points & Cash reward stay ranges in price from $60 to $80 per night. The price to buy 5,000 points for a Points and Cash reward night ranges from $30 to $50 per night. There are also hotels where IHG Points & Cash reward stays can be booked paying $90 for 15,000 points.

Here are a few examples:

Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre

  • 45,000 points
  • 40,000 points + $40
  • 35,000 points + $70
  • 30,000 points + $90  (new lower cost per 1,000 points)

IHG P-C 15K for $90 AMS CP

Holiday Inn Express Miami Airport Doral Area

  • 35,000 points
  • 30,000 points + $45 (new higher cost per 1,000 points)
  • 25,000 points + $75 (new higher cost per 1,000 points)

IHG P-C 5K $45 HIX-MIA

Holiday Inn Miami Airport

  • 25,000 points
  • 20,000 points + $35 (new lower cost per 1,000 points)
  • 15,000 points + $65 (new lower cost per 1,000 points)

IHG P-C 5K $35 HI-MIA

The changes are not at hotels in every city. I search London, UK and only see the copay amounts of $40 for 5,000 points or $70 for 10,000 points. The same standard copay amounts appear for San Jose, California.

The $90 copay is not limited to hotels at 45,000 and 50,000 points or brands like Crowne Plaza and InterContinental.

Holiday Inn Express Monterey Cannery Row

My home town Holiday Inn Express has a $90 copay on a 35,000 points per night hotel.

IHG P-C 15 K $90 HIX MRY

  • 35,000 points
  • 30,000 points + $40
  • 25,000 points + $70
  • 20,000 points + $90  (new lower cost per 1,000 points)

Variability in IHG Points and Cash Award Copay Amounts

Hotel Indigo Anaheim has four different Points and Cash award copay amounts over a 7-day period in March and illustrates the new variability in IHG Points and Cash award copay amounts.

Hotel Indigo Anaheim (Thursday March 3)

Hotel Indigo Anaheim shows that the intent of these variable Points and Cash copay amounts may  be tied to seasonal peak rate dates. For example, Holiday Inn Anaheim- Resort Area the weekend following Easter, a school holiday week for many California schools has much higher copay rates than other dates.

  • 30,000 points
  • 25,000 points + $30  (new lower cost per 1,000 points)
  • 20,000 points + $60  (new lower cost per 1,000 points)

IHG P-C Hotel Indigo 5K $30

Hotel Indigo Anaheim (Friday March 4)

  • 30,000 points
  • 25,000 points + $35  (new lower cost per 1,000 points)
  • 20,000 points + $65  (new lower cost per 1,000 points)

IHG P-C 5k $65 Hotel Indigo Anaheim

Hotel Indigo Anaheim (Tuesday March 8)

  • 30,000 points
  • 25,000 points + $40  (standard cost per 1,000 points since 2011)
  • 20,000 points + $70  (standard cost per 1,000 points)

IHG P-C $40 5K Hotel Indigo Anaheim

Hotel Indigo Anaheim (Wednesday March 9)

  • 30,000 points
  • 25,000 points + $50  (new higher cost per 1,000 points)
  • 20,000 points + $80  (new higher cost per 1,000 points)

Hotel Indigo variability leads to the question of what is the copay amount when your stay includes dates with two different amounts?

I checked hotel stay dates combining Thursday and Friday March 3-5 and the lower March 3 Points and Cash copay amounts of $30 for 5,000 points or $60 for 10,000 points applies.

This might indicate the copay rate on the first night prevails, however my rate check for Tuesday March 8-10 splits the copay difference.

Hotel Indigo Anaheim (Tuesday March 9 and Wednesday March 10)

  • 30,000 points
  • 25,000 points + $45
  • (copay for 5,000 points is average of $40 Mar 9 rate and $50 March 10 rate)
  • 20,000 points + $75 
  • (copay for 10,000 points is average of $70 Mar 9 rate and $80 March 10 rate)

For hotel dates where the average can be taken, then the copay is averaged for the stays.

A 3 night stay March 6-8 at Hotel Indigo Anaheim where every date increases in copay rate, the copay is the average of the three nights since it falls neatly at the middle night rate.

IHG P-C Hotel Indigo March 6-9

Averaging the copay for a 4-night Points and Cash March 6-10 stay does not fall on one of the preset copay amounts.

Hotel Indigo Copay Amount for Points and Cash 5,000 points

  • March 6 = $30
  • March 7 = $35
  • March 8 = $40
  • March 9 = $50
  • Total Copay = $155.00
  • Average = $38.75

Hotel Indigo Copay Amount for Points and Cash 10,000 points

  • March 6 = $60
  • March 7 = $65
  • March 8 = $70
  • March 9 = $80
  • Total Copay = $275.00
  • Average = $68.75

IHG Points and Cash copay Hotel Indigo Anameim March 6-10             (4 night stay)

IHG P-C Hotel Indigo 4 night copay

IHG Rewards Club Cash and Points stay March 6-10 is $40 per night for 5,000 points ($160) or $70 per night for 10,000 points ($280).

You save $5.00 on this hotel stay by booking each Points and Cash reward night separately compared to the copay amount paid on a 4-night Points and Cash reward stay.

This is a big change for IHG Rewards Club with opportunities to buy points for $6 per 1,000 points. This also means there is a need to check different dates and see if you can find lower copay amounts at an IHG hotel by shifting dates of your hotel reward stay a day or two.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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