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Yesterday I posted the list of all of the IHG hotels that are changing categories, starting May 1st.  While other sites just linked to the PDF of the changes, to me it is easier to see things if it’s a bit more organized – so I put it in 2 sortable tables, to help you be able to find more easily which hotels were going up and down.

But just like my map of all the IHG Point Break hotels, I thought a map of these changes might be helpful as well, so here you go!

Here’s the link to the full map if you want to see it bigger or with the full legend.

I tried to color code: Red is bad, going up 2 categories.  Yellow is caution, meaning going up 1 category, and Green is good, the hotels that are going down 1 category.

There are 452 hotels that are changing category:

  • 153 are going down 1 category
  • 128 are going up 1 category
  • 171 are going up 2 categories

While it is true as IHG has said that this is only about 10% of their total number of hotels, the distribution across brands is not uniform, as I have tried to indicate on the map.

I broke things down into “Basic Brands”, which I counted as Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Candlewood Suites, and then “Premium Brands”, which were Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Resorts and Staybridge Suites.

Premium Brands – mostly going up

Of the 46 “Premium brands” that are changing category, only 3 are going down:

  1. Holiday Inn Amsterdam – going from Category 5 to Category 4
  2. Crowne Plaza in Englewood, New Jersey – also going from Category 5 to Category 4
  3. Crowne Plaza ANA Wakkanai in Japan – going from Category 2 to Category 1

The other 43 hotels are going up in value:

Here's the Intercontinental Bora Bora - not changing value, but many other Intercontinentals are!

Here’s the Intercontinental Bora Bora – not changing value, but many other Intercontinentals are!

There are 23 going up 2 categories (10,000 points more per night after May 1st)

  • 2 from Category 7 to Category 9 (the maximum value – 50,000 points / night): Intercontinentals in Melbourne and Amsterdam
  • 5 from Category 6 to Category 8
  • 3 from Category 5 to Category 7
  • 6 from Category 4 to Category 6
  • 6 from Category 3 to Category 5
  • 1 from Category 2 to Category 4 – Staybridge Suites San Diego

There are 20 premium brands going up just 1 category (5,000 points more per night)

  • 6 hotels from Category 8 to Category 9 – these are all Intercontinentals, in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston
  • 2 from Category 7 to Category 8 – Crowne Plaza in Melbourne and Amsterdam
  • 1 from Category 5 to Category 6
  • 4 from Category 4 to Category 5
  • 1 from Category 3 to Category 4
  • 1 from Category 2 to Category 3
  • 5 from Category 1 to Category 2 – these are all Staybridge Suites which probably aren’t super “premium”

Basic Brands analysis

There are 148 of the “Basic” brands that are going up 2 levels.  Again, these are Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Candlewood Suites.

  • 14 hotels going from Category 4 to Category 6
  • 39 hotels going from Category 3 to Category 5
  • 48 hotels going from Category 2 to Category 4
  • 47 hotels going from Category 1 to Category 3 – this is a DOUBLING in points needed, from 10,000 points to 20,000 points

There are 108 hotels going up 1 category

  • 10 hotels going from Category 5 to Category 6
  • 7 hotels going from Category 4 to Category 5
  • 19 hotels going from Category 3 to Category 4
  • 43 hotels going from Category 2 to Category 3
  • 29 hotels going from Category 1 to Category 2

There are 150 hotels in the “Basic” brands that are going down a category

  • The Holiday Inn Amsterdam is going from Category 5 to Category 4
  • 129 hotels going down from Category 3 to Category 2
  • 20 hotels going down from Category 2 to Category 1

So………….

It stinks for sure.  Any time a hotel changes the number of points required to book some of their hotels, it’s generally not a positive.  I appreciate the advance notice (even if it’s only a week), but you know they did this “balance” to even out the number of hotels that were getting award bookings (and make more money)

I mean no offense to the good people of Cleveland (I’m from there!) but I’d imagine people were not beating down the door to redeem points at the formerly Category 2 (now Category 1) Holiday Inn Express and Suites.  At least not compared to the Intercontinentals in Koh Samui or Amsterdam or Hong Kong!

I looked through the hotels that we had targeted for our upcoming trips, and none of them seem to be changing (either up or down).  These category changes are probably less likely to affect me than most, as I tend to focus on more lower-end hotels when doing family travel

(SEE ALSO: 3 reasons “budget” hotels DESTROY nice ones)

And for Carolyn and my trip to Europe sans kids later this year, we are using 2 of our free night certificates as our only 2 IHG stays.  Remember why I told you it is a good idea to get 2 of the IHG credit cards at the same time?!?

What about you?  Any of the hotels you were looking at going up (or down?)  Let me know in the comments!

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