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IHG just released its latest list of PointBreaks hotels for summer 2014. PointBreaks are reduced award redemptions at IHG hotels (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Indigo, Holiday Inn, etc.) that require just 5,000 Rewards Club points for a free night and change every two months. While some of the participating properties won’t move the needle on the excitement meter, many are worth checking out.
Depending on where you redeem them, 5,000 points per night can be a pretty great value, especially for Intercontinental properties, which normally require between 30,000-50,000 points, and Hotel Indigos and Crowne Plazas, which usually require 20,000-50,000 points depending on the category. Here are some of the more intriguing PointBreaks properties being offered from May 27 to July 31, 2014:
- Crowne Plaza Hotel Bangkok- Lumpini Park, Thailand
- Crowne Plaza Johannesburg-The Rosebank, South Africa
- Crowne Plaza Bucharest
- Hotel Indigo San Jose Forum, Costa Rica
- Holiday Inn Cairo – Citystars
- Holiday Inn Toulon – City Centre
- Holiday Inn Resort Goa
- Holiday Inn Express Montreal Centre-Ville
- Holiday Inn Suva Fiji
If you’re light on IHG Rewards points, you have several opportunities to stock up. The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card from Chase offers 60,000 Rewards points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. The card has a $49 anual fee that’s waived the first year, and is offset by an annual free night certificate at the account anniversary. Alternately, since Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to IHG Rewards, you could sign up for the current 60,000 point bonus on the Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus cards (after $5,000 spend in 3 months).
You can also take advantage yesterday’s Daily Getaway from Amex, which offers steeply discounted packages of IHG Rewards points. One deal, for example, offers 15,000 Rewards Club points for $100 (or $90 with a special Amex discount). You could use those points on PointBreaks hotels and effectively stay for just $30 per night.
IHG recently added a new rule that Rewards Club members may only book two PointBreaks reservations at each hotel offered in a given period. There is no limit to how many nights can be booked at the discounted rate for each of those two reservations. IHG instituted this policy to free up award space and thwart attempts to book and resell hotel rooms for a profit. Previously, travelers with uncertain itineraries could book speculatively at the PointBreaks rate by reserving a series of individual nights (each as a separate reservation) and then cancelling the unneeded ones once their plans firmed up. Since IHG immediately refunds points from cancelled reservations, this practice was virtually risk free.
The new policy makes it harder for people to sit on speculative reservations, which should make PointBreaks more accessible. That said, award space is limited at IHG hotels, and the best PointBreaks properties tend to go very quickly. If your plans are in flux, better to take a stab at dates that might work (and then cancel or modify reservations) than to miss out entirely.