Update: Date has been pushed back to 1/25/19.
At the beginning of the year IHG announces changes to categories for its hotels. Some properties move down, but usually more move up a category or two. The changes that will go into effect on February 14, 2019, can all be found here. There’s a total of 696 IHG properties in total will be changing category this year, about the same number as last year. About 82% off hotels that are changing categories, are… you guessed it… moving up.
Most changes are increases. There’s 570 properties are increasing in price and only 126 properties that are decreasing in price. Here’s a sortable spreadsheet that was posted on reddit.
As you might be aware of, last year free night certificates were capped at 40,000 points per night. So looking at that threshold, we find that 38 properties will no longer be eligible, as they went up a category. That includes some good InterContinentals that will no longer be possible to book with a free night. Just 1 hotel is newly available to book at 40K.
These look mainly like negative changes, just like last year. Most of hotels now requiring more points per night and there’s lots of properties that will no longer be possible to book with a free night certificate. At least they didn’t introduce a new higher category.