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IHG made changes to its terms and conditions on Wednesday, completely changing its Best Rate Guaranteed policy. According to the new policy, guests who successfully submit a Best Rate Guarantee claim will now get a varying number of IHG points in return rather than a free first night.

The hotel chain quietly made the change to its terms and conditions. Here’s how the page on IHG’s site now defines the reward for a Best Rate Guaranteed claim:

“Under the Program (as further described below), if you book a hotel room at an IHG branded hotel using any IHG direct channel (such as branded website, call center or the mobile app), and within 24 hours of making your reservation you find a lower rate online for the same hotel room, number of guests, and reservation dates, and submit a qualified guarantee claim form, we’ll match the lower rate and give you 5X the IHG Rewards Club points, up to a 40,000-point maximum, for the room rate for that hotel stay.”

Previously, IHG’s Best Rate Guarantee policy rewarded members who successfully submitted a claim the first night of your stay for free. Therefore, if you were only staying one night, you’d get your entire stay for free. Now, however, the chain will reward you in the form of IHG points to be used on future redemptions. So, if you earn 10 points per dollar spent on and IHG gives you 5x points on the new rate, you’d earn an extra 40 points per dollar spent — for a maximum of $1,000 spent. TPG values IHG points at 0.7 cents apiece in our most recent valuations, so you’re getting about a 28% rebate back in the form of points.

This isn’t a huge devaluation, as most Best Rate Guaranteed claims end up not being approved. The process to submit a claim and have it be approved is tedious — check out IHG’s full terms and conditions on the policy for exact details on what you’ll need.

Featured image of InterContinental Hong Kong.

H/T: YHBU

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