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IHG folded Kimpton and its Karma Rewards program into IHG Rewards Club. In the process they sanitized the benefits offered to elites, although they’re maintaining Kimpton’s top ‘Inner Circle’ level as an invitation-only program similar to Intercontinental properties and Royal Ambassador, with no public criteria for how members will earn it.
The upside to all of this is supposed to be for IHG Rewards Club members generally, more nice and interesting properties to use there points at. And that is now live on the IHG website.
The Kimptons in Washington DC range from 50,000 (Topaz, Rouge) to 65,000 (Monaco) points per night. (Overall it appears that Kimptons range in price from 40,000 to 70,000 points per night.)
Let’s take a look at the first hotel that comes up, Hotel Monaco. Several room types come up when searching for an award all priced at 65,000 points: Standard, Queen Deluxe, Premier Queen, King Deluxe, and Premier King.
Click through and right next to 65,000 points they’re advertising a $236 rate (the prepaid rate is $230). Not a lot of value for points (half the usual 6/10ths of a cent I value IHG points at). That Premier King they’re advertising a $256 rate for, marginally better value for points but not much.
Of course there are more expensive nights as well, a random night in March prices at $455 and in late April $588 — at 9/10ths of a cent per point closer to what you’d expect out of an IHG Rewards Club redemption. So as always you want to compare paid and points rates before deciding when to deploy your points.
Since these properties are now bookable with points, IHG credit card free nights work as well. You’re getting good value for those, for instance, at Hotel Monaco in peak season and also at the Muse in New York (70,000 points per night) and Kimpton Seafire Resort on Grand Cayman (also 70,000 per night).
You can transfer points instantly from Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card though since I value 1 Chase point at 1.9 cents and 1 IHG point at 0.6 cents I don’t like doing that. I’d far prefer buying IHG Rewards Club points when they’re on a sale with a 100% bonus or buying them through cash and points.