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That sound you may have just heard wasn’t the Chinese space station crashing into the Pacific Ocean, it was the other shoe dropping on the IHG credit card. I shared some rumors about coming changes to the IHG card line-up last week, but frankly, today’s announcement is even worse than what I thought would happen.
Big devaluation of the IHG credit card anniversary award night
Existing IHG cardholders have been sent communications that IHG credit card anniversary award nights issued after May 1, 2018, will be redeemable at eligible IHG hotels with a redemption value up to 40,000 points per night. The IHG award chart currently goes up to 70,000 points per night, so say goodbye to the Kimpton Seafire in Grand Cayman, the Intercontinental Times Square, and Intercontinental Bora Bora with that anniversary award night as all are way more than the new 40,000 point per night limit.
Fear not though as the Intercontinental Kansas City rings in at ‘just’ 40,000 points per night, so you should still be okay there.
Seriously though, this is a breathtakingly bad devaluation not only in terms of the devaluation itself, but also the 30-day notice on the change of benefits for existing cardholders. Historically, major credit card benefit changes are given with up to a year’s worth of advance notice for existing cardholders, so this is a stark left turn from that standard.
The communication to existing cardholders also stated that they should be on the lookout for an ‘exciting’ opportunity to upgrade to the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, so maybe there will be something to get excited about in that arena.
I’ve reached out to IHG to ask if there is a list of hotels 40,000 points per night and under that are not ‘eligible’ for the new version of the anniversary award night and will update when I hear back. I think the $49 per year version of the IHG credit card is still probably worth it to many since most hotels that are 40,000 points per night will cost more than $49 when paid for with cash, often by at least double. However, this new version of the anniversary award night is a very far cry from when you could use it to stay at any IHG (or Kimpton) property around the globe.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.