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2019 Category Changes Means These 145 Properties Are Now Cheaper Using IHG Points

Jan. 26, 2019
16 min read
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IHG's 2019 category changes were rough on IHG Rewards members. Overall, 693 properties changed categories, with most (548) of these being increases. Unfortunately, it's too late to get the prior rate at these properties as the changes went into effect January 25.

The good news is that there's 145 IHG properties where the award cost just dropped. If you have an upcoming points stay at one of these properties, you can cancel and re-book at a lower rate. Or, perhaps this list will spark an idea for an upcoming trip. Either way, let's try to make some lemonade out of this category change lemon.

InterContinental Hotels

In a hotel loyalty group that's better known for Holiday Inn Express hotels, IHG's InterContinental brand is one of the group's few luxury brands. And eight of these properties just decreased in price.

Unfortunately for US-based travelers, all of them are outside the US, including five in China. Of the non-Chinese hotels, there's one that we've seen on a few PointBreaks lists over the last year: InterContinental Mendoza dropped from 25,000 points per night to 20,000 points per night. While Venezuela likely isn't on many traveler's 2019 list of places to go, the InterContinental Tamanaco Caracas dropped to 25,000 points per night.

Hotel NameCityCountryNew Point
(per night)
of Points
(per night)
TangshanTangshanMainland China20,000$120
Lhasa ParadiseLhasaMainland China20,000$120
Shanghai ExpoShanghaiMainland China25,000$150
Heilong LakeMeishanMainland China25,000$150
Tamanaco CaracasCaracasVenezuela25,000$150
Hanoi Landmark72HanoiVietnam30,000$180
OneThousand Island Lake ResortHangzhouMainland China40,000$240

Kimpton Hotels

Kimpton properties fared surprisingly well in the 2019 category changes, with only two properties increasing and eight properties decreasing categories. That left Kimpton with the biggest net drop of any IHG brand. With that said, the cheapest of these properties is still 35,000 points per night — which is $210 per night based on TPG's valuation of IHG points. Make sure to check cash prices to make sure you're getting good value from your IHG points.

Hotel NameCityStateNew Point
(per night)
of Points
(per night)
Hotel Monaco BaltimoreBaltimoreMD35,000$210
Sawyer HotelSacramentoCA45,000$270
Tryon Park HotelCharlotteNC45,000$270
Lorien Hotel and SpaAlexandriaVA45,000$270
Taconic HotelManchesterVT45,000$270
Angler's Hotel South BeachMiami BeachFL55,000$330
Vero Beach Hotel and SpaVero BeachFL60,000$360

European Hotels

Of the 145 properties that dropped, only 10 are located in Europe: three in the United Kingdom, two in France, two in Germany, two in Istanbul (Turkey) and one in Serbia.

Hotel NameChainCityCountryNew Point
(per night)
of Points
(per night)
Montpellier - CorumCrowne PlazaMontpellierFrance25,000$150
Paris - Charles de GaulleCrowne PlazaRoissy-en-FranceFrance25,000$150
SiegenHoliday Inn ExpressSiegenGermany15,000$90
SingenHoliday Inn ExpressSingenGermany15,000$90
Belgrade - CityHoliday Inn ExpressBelgradeSerbia10,000$60
Istanbul - AltunizadeHoliday Inn ExpressIstanbulTurkey10,000$60
Istanbul - Tuzla BayHoliday InnIstanbulTurkey15,000$90
CardiffHotel IndigoCardiffUnited Kingdom45,000$270
NorwichHoliday Inn ExpressNorwichUnited Kingdom15,000$90
WiganHoliday Inn ExpressWiganUnited Kingdom15,000$90

New Category 1 Hotels

Among the changes are 28 hotels that decreased to just 10,000 points per night. At current TPG valuations, that's just $60 all-in for a hotel night. And during frequent 100% buy-point bonuses, you can buy these points for just $50 per night.

Unfortunately these hotel brands aren't too exciting. There's 16 Holiday Inn, seven Holiday Inn Express, four Candlewood Suites and one Holiday Inn. Geographically, 12 of the 28 are in Mexico, three are in Brazil and five are located in the US — with four of those located in Texas.

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Hotel NameChainCityCountry
FortalezaHoliday InnFortalezaBrazil
NatalHoliday InnNatalBrazil
Sao Paulo Parque AnhembiHoliday InnSao PauloBrazil
CucutaHoliday InnCucutaColombia
Putian XiuyuHoliday InnPutianMainland China
Shanghai VistaHoliday InnShanghaiMainland China
MonclovaHoliday InnMonclovaMexico
Cd. del CarmenHoliday Inn ExpressCiudad del CarmenMexico
Mexico Zona RosaHoliday Inn & SuitesCiudad de MexicoMexico
Toluca Zona AeropuertoHoliday Inn Express & SuitesTolucaMexico
LeonHoliday InnLeonMexico
MoreliaHoliday InnMoreliaMexico
Puebla FinsaHoliday InnPueblaMexico
San Luis Potosi-QuijoteHoliday InnSan Luis PotosiMexico
HermosilloHoliday InnHermosilloMexico
MatamorosHoliday InnMatamorosMexico
CoatzacoalcosHoliday InnCoatzacoalcosMexico
XalapaHoliday Inn ExpressXalapaMexico
UfaHoliday InnUfaRussia
Belgrade - CityHoliday Inn ExpressBelgradeSerbia
Pretoria - SunnyparkHoliday Inn ExpressPretoriaSouth Africa
Ankara - KavaklidereHoliday InnAnkaraTurkey
Istanbul - AltunizadeHoliday Inn ExpressIstanbulTurkey
MerrillvilleCandlewood SuitesMerrillville, INUnited States
CotullaCandlewood SuitesCotulla, TXUnited States
FloresvilleHoliday Inn Express & SuitesFloresville, TXUnited States
HarlingenCandlewood SuitesHarlingen, TXUnited States
Houston CityCentre I-10 WestCandlewood SuitesHouston, TXUnited States

Getting IHG Points

If you need more points, IHG just launched a 75% buy points bonus promotion. This drops the price of IHG points to 0.57 cents each — less than TPG's valuation at 0.6 cents each — when you buy at least 26,000 points. This could be a good deal if you find a good value redemption at these or other IHG properties. However, if you don't have an immediate need for IHG points, it's best to wait until another 100% buy points promotion pops up.

Another way of getting IHG points is through the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card — which is currently offering 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening plus an additional 40,000 bonus points after spending a total of $5,000 on purchases within 6 months of account opening . In addition to a solid sign-up bonus, this card helps you get more value out of your points by granting IHG Platinum Elite status — which has gotten me suite upgrades at many properties — and fourth-night free on awards stays.

Bottom Line

While the 2019 IHG category changes were rough overall, there were 145 properties that dropped in value. If you have existing points reservations at any of these properties, now is a good time to cancel your more-expensive reservation and re-book at the lower rate. Or, maybe this list prompts some ideas for an upcoming trip.

Just remember that there's a reason that these properties decreased in category. Check the cash price to make sure you're getting a good use out of your IHG points.

Full List

I promised you 145 properties decreasing in value, and we haven't covered all of them quite yet. So, here's the full chart of all IHG properties that just decreased in award price:

Hotel NameChain DescriptionCity, StateCountryNew Point
(per night)
Hawkesbury ValleyCrowne PlazaWindsor, NWAustralia25,000
FortalezaHoliday InnFortalezaBrazil10,000
NatalHoliday InnNatal - RnBrazil10,000
Sao Paulo Parque AnhembiHoliday InnSao PauloBrazil10,000
Medicine Hat Transcanada Hwy 1Holiday Inn Express & SuitesMedicine Hat, ABCanada20,000
Red DeerHoliday Inn ExpressRed Deer, ABCanada15,000
West EdmontonHoliday Inn & SuitesWest Edmonton, ABCanada20,000
TerraceHoliday Inn Express & SuitesTerrace, BCCanada15,000
Fredericton-Lord BeaverbrookCrowne PlazaFredericton, NBCanada20,000
CucutaHoliday InnCucutaColombia10,000
Montpellier - CorumCrowne PlazaMontpellierFrance25,000
Paris - Charles de GaulleCrowne PlazaRoissy-En-FranceFrance25,000
SiegenHoliday Inn ExpressSiegenGermany15,000
SingenHoliday Inn ExpressSingenGermany15,000
Bengaluru RacecourseHoliday Inn Express & SuitesBangaloreIndia15,000
Resort MiyazakiHoliday Inn - ANAMiyazaki-ShiJapan15,000
Suwon IngyeHoliday Inn ExpressSuwon SiRepublic of Korea15,000
VientianeCrowne PlazaVientianeLaos20,000
Changbaishan SuitesHoliday InnJilin ProvinceChina25,000
Beijing Temple Of HeavenHoliday InnBeijing, BJChina15,000
Putian XiuyuHoliday InnPutian, FJChina10,000
Yangjiang City CenterHUALUXEYangjiang, GDChina30,000
Haikou SeaviewHUALUXEHaikou, HAChina30,000
Hainan Clear Water BayHoliday Inn ResortSanya, HAChina15,000
TangshanInterContinentalTangshan, HEChina20,000
ZhangjiakouHUALUXEZhangjiakou, HEChina30,000
Nanchang High-tech ZoneHUALUXENanchang, JXChina15,000
Shanghai VistaHoliday InnShanghai, SHChina10,000
Shanghai ExpoInterContinentalShanghai, SHChina25,000
Heilong LakeInterContinentalMeishan, SNChina25,000
Tianjin HaiheHotel IndigoTianjin, TJChina15,000
Lhasa ParadiseInterContinentalLhasa, XZChina20,000
OneThousand Island Lake ResortInterContinentalHangzhou, ZJChina40,000
HangzhouOneThousandIslandLakeCrowne PlazaHangzhou, ZJChina25,000
MexicaliHoliday Inn Express & SuitesMexicali, BNMexico15,000
ChihuahuaStaybridge SuitesChihuahua, CHMexico15,000
MonclovaHoliday InnMonclova, CIMexico10,000
TorreonHoliday Inn ExpressTorreon, CIMexico15,000
ManzanilloHoliday Inn ExpressManzanillo, CLMexico15,000
Cd. del CarmenHoliday Inn ExpressCiudad Del Carmen, CMMexico10,000
Mexico City-Plaza UniversidadHoliday InnCiudad De Mexico, DFMexico15,000
Ciudad de Mexico-Trade CenterHoliday InnCiudad De Mexico, DFMexico20,000
Mexico Zona RosaHoliday Inn & SuitesCiudad De Mexico, DFMexico10,000
Mexico Santa FeHoliday Inn ExpressCiudad De Mexico, DFMexico15,000
Mexico Santa FeHoliday InnCiudad De Mexico, DFMexico15,000
Mexico - ToreoHoliday Inn ExpressNaucalpan, EMMexico15,000
Toluca Zona AeropuertoHoliday Inn Express & SuitesToluca, EMMexico10,000
ChilpancingoHoliday InnChilpancingo, GRMexico15,000
Leon Plaza MayorHoliday Inn & SuitesLeon, GTMexico15,000
LeonHoliday InnLeon, GTMexico10,000
Silao Aeropuerto - TerminalHoliday Inn Express & SuitesSilao, GTMexico15,000
Guadalajara Centro HistoricoHoliday Inn & SuitesGuadalajara, JAMexico15,000
Guadalajara ExpoHoliday InnZapopan, JAMexico15,000
MoreliaHoliday InnMorelia, MCMexico10,000
HuatulcoHoliday InnSanta Maria Huatulco, OAMexico15,000
PueblaStaybridge SuitesPuebla, PUMexico15,000
Puebla FinsaHoliday InnPuebla, PUMexico10,000
San Luis Potosi-QuijoteHoliday InnSan Luis Potosi, SLMexico10,000
San Luis PotosiStaybridge SuitesSan Luis Potosi, SLMexico15,000
HermosilloHoliday InnHermosillo, SOMexico10,000
VillahermosaCrowne PlazaVillahermosa, TBMexico20,000
MatamorosHoliday InnMatamoros, TMMexico10,000
CoatzacoalcosHoliday InnCoatzacoalcos, VEMexico10,000
XalapaHoliday Inn ExpressXalapa, VEMexico10,000
Muscat OCECCrowne PlazaMuscatOman25,000
Moscow - TaganskyHoliday InnMoscowRussia15,000
Moscow - SeligerskayaHoliday InnMoscowRussia15,000
St. Petersburg - TchaikovskogoHotel IndigoSt. PetersburgRussia25,000
UfaHoliday InnUfaRussia10,000
Riyadh RDC Hotel &
Crowne PlazaRiyadhSaudi Arabia25,000
Belgrade - CityHoliday Inn ExpressBelgradeSerbia10,000
Cape TownHoliday InnCape TownSouth Africa15,000
Pretoria - SunnyparkHoliday Inn ExpressPretoriaSouth Africa10,000
Ankara - KavaklidereHoliday InnAnkaraTurkey10,000
Bursa - City CentreHoliday InnBursaTurkey15,000
Istanbul - AltunizadeHoliday Inn ExpressIstanbulTurkey10,000
Istanbul - Tuzla BayHoliday InnIstanbulTurkey15,000
CardiffHotel IndigoCardiffUnited Kingdom45,000
NorwichHoliday Inn ExpressNorwichUnited Kingdom15,000
WiganHoliday Inn ExpressWiganUnited Kingdom15,000
Birmingham Five Points S - UABHotel IndigoBirmingham, ALUnited States25,000
MorriltonHoliday Inn Express & SuitesMorrilton, ARUnited States15,000
GoodlandKimptonGoleta, CAUnited States45,000
Sawyer HotelKimptonSacramento, CAUnited States45,000
Sunnyvale - Silicon ValleyHoliday Inn ExpressSunnyvale, CAUnited States30,000
Angler's Hotel South BeachKimptonMiami Beach, FLUnited States55,000
Vero Beach Hotel and SpaKimptonVero Beach, FLUnited States60,000
CrestwoodHoliday Inn ExpressCrestwood, ILUnited States15,000
MerrillvilleCandlewood SuitesMerrillville, INUnited States10,000
Tell CityHoliday Inn Express & SuitesTell City, INUnited States15,000
VincennesHoliday Inn ExpressVincennes, INUnited States15,000
AtchisonHoliday Inn Express & SuitesAtchison, KSUnited States15,000
AlexandriaCandlewood SuitesAlexandria, LAUnited States15,000
Morgan City - Tiger IslandHoliday Inn Express & SuitesMorgan City, LAUnited States15,000
Hotel Monaco BaltimoreKimptonBaltimore, MDUnited States35,000
Belcamp - Aberdeen AreaHoliday InnBelcamp, MDUnited States15,000
Pocomoke CityHoliday Inn ExpressPocomoke City, MDUnited States20,000
Benton HarborHoliday Inn Express & SuitesBenton Harbor, MIUnited States25,000
BemidjiCandlewood SuitesBemidji, MNUnited States15,000
Tryon Park HotelKimptonCharlotte, NCUnited States45,000
MinotStaybridge SuitesMinot, NDUnited States15,000
WillistonCandlewood SuitesWilliston, NDUnited States20,000
Omaha WestStaybridge SuitesOmaha, NEUnited States20,000
Omaha - 120th and MapleHoliday Inn Express & SuitesOmaha, NEUnited States15,000
Salem (I-93 At Exit 2)Holiday InnSalem, NHUnited States20,000
Jersey City - HarborsideCandlewood SuitesJersey City, NJUnited States30,000
Totowa WayneHoliday InnTotowa, NJUnited States20,000
RoswellHoliday InnRoswell, NMUnited States15,000
MaloneHoliday Inn Express & SuitesMalone, NYUnited States20,000
Toledo-Maumee (I-80/90)Holiday InnMaumee, OHUnited States20,000
MedinaHoliday Inn Express & SuitesMedina, OHUnited States15,000
Columbus South - ObetzHoliday Inn ExpressObetz, OHUnited States15,000
Toledo - Rossford - PerrysburgStaybridge SuitesRossford, OHUnited States20,000
Sunbury-Columbus AreaHoliday Inn Express & SuitesSunbury, OHUnited States15,000
AlvaHoliday Inn Express & SuitesAlva, OKUnited States15,000
Midwest CityCandlewood SuitesDel City, OKUnited States15,000
GuymonHoliday Inn Express & SuitesGuymon, OKUnited States15,000
PerryHoliday Inn Express & SuitesPerry, OKUnited States15,000
Belle VernonCandlewood SuitesBelle Vernon, PAUnited States15,000
Pittsburgh-Cranberry TownshipStaybridge SuitesWarrendale, PAUnited States20,000
Bay CityHoliday Inn Express & SuitesBay City, TXUnited States15,000
Brookshire - Katy FreewayHoliday Inn Express & SuitesBrookshire, TXUnited States15,000
BrownsvilleHoliday InnBrownsville, TXUnited States15,000
CotullaCandlewood SuitesCotulla, TXUnited States10,000
CueroHoliday Inn Express & SuitesCuero, TXUnited States15,000
FloresvilleHoliday Inn Express & SuitesFloresville, TXUnited States10,000
HarlingenCandlewood SuitesHarlingen, TXUnited States10,000
HOU I-10 West Energy CorridorHoliday Inn Express & SuitesHouston, TXUnited States15,000
Houston CityCentre I-10 WestCandlewood SuitesHouston, TXUnited States10,000
Houston NW Beltway 8-West RoadHoliday Inn Express & SuitesHouston, TXUnited States15,000
Houston SW - Galleria AreaHoliday Inn Express & SuitesHouston, TXUnited States15,000
Houston W - Westchase AreaStaybridge SuitesHouston, TXUnited States20,000
KenedyHoliday Inn ExpressKenedy, TXUnited States15,000
PerrytonHoliday Inn Express & SuitesPerryton, TXUnited States15,000
Plano - The ColonyStaybridge SuitesThe Colony, TXUnited States20,000
Lorien Hotel and SpaKimptonAlexandria, VAUnited States45,000
South HillHoliday Inn Express & SuitesSouth Hill, VAUnited States15,000
Taconic HotelKimptonManchester, VTUnited States45,000
PlattevilleHoliday Inn Express & SuitesPlatteville, WIUnited States15,000
FairmontHoliday Inn Express & SuitesFairmont, WVUnited States20,000
WestonHoliday Inn Express & SuitesWeston, WVUnited States20,000
Tamanaco CaracasInterContinentalCaracasVenezuela25,000
Hanoi Landmark72InterContinentalHanoiVietnam30,000
MutareHoliday InnMutareZimbabwe15,000
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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