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IHG Rewards, the points program of chains including Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo and more, has released its latest list of PointBreaks hotels for July 28 – September 30 and they are now bookable. Simply search for eligible properties and 5,000 point award nights will show if they are still available. Book quickly because they don’t last long! PointBreaks awards are some of the best hotel points values out there, since they require just 5,000 points per award night at participating properties.
Depending on where you redeem them, 5,000 points per night can be a pretty great deal, especially for Intercontinental properties, which normally require between 30,000-50,000 points, and Hotel Indigos and Crowne Plazas, which typically require 20,000-50,000 points depending on the category.
Before you get too excited, the list of participating properties usually tends to be a pretty mixed bag, and this time around is no exception. However, there are often a few hidden gems. Here are a couple of the more interesting hotels on the new list:
- Intercontinental Bucharest, Romania
- Crowne Plaza Bratislava, Slovakia
- Holiday Inn Tampere, Finland
- Holiday Inn Express Frankfurt-Messe
- Crowne Plaza Istanbul Harbiye, Turkey
- Intercontinental Real Guatemala
- Intercontinental Miramar Panama
- Holiday Inn Johannesburg-Rosebank, South Africa
Stocking up on IHG Rewards Points
If you’re interested in booking any of the participating properties, but need to top up your IHG Rewards account, you have several options.
Firstk, the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card from Chase is currently offering 60,000 Rewards points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening, and the $49 annual fee is waived the first year. The card also comes with an annual free night certificate that can far outweigh the annual fee each year when it does come due.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is also a 1:1 transfer partner of IHG Rewards if you have the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus cards. The Sapphire Preferred currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months, and the Ink Bold comes with 50,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months. Meanwhile, the Ink Plus card is offering a historically high bonus of 70,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months. 70,000 points is equivalent to two weeks worth of PointBreaks award stays!
At the same time, IHG Rewards is running a 60% bonus on purchased points now through August 18.
Here are the normal rates for purchasing IHG Rewards points:
- 1,000-10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
- 11,000 – 25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000 points
- 26,000 – 60,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points
Depending on how many points you buy, the per-point cost is normally 1.15-1.35 cents, but with the 60% purchase bonus, you can buy points for as low as 0.719 cents each if you buy 26,000 points or more, which is just about in line with the 0.7 cents from my most recent monthly valuations.
While buying points is rarely a very good value proposition, if you’re getting them for 0.719 cents apiece and each PointBreaks award night requires 5,000 points, that’s like paying $35.95 per night. So if you know you can redeem points for the PointBreaks properties you’re interested in, and the room rate is well above $35.95, like it is at the Intercontinental Miramar in Panama in September (lowest rate is $167), buying points could be worthwhile.
Keep in Mind
IHG recently added a new rule that IHG Rewards Club members may only book two PointBreaks reservations at each hotel offered in a given period. However, 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 discourage making and canceling speculative award bookings and reselling of rooms. So on one hand, it’s harder for travelers with uncertain plans to make risk-free bookings and simply cancel the ones they don’t want to use. On the other hand, the new policy should free up some PointBreaks award nights for other travelers who might have otherwise been blocked out, especially since PointBreaks awards tend to disappear quickly at the most popular properties. Award space is still bound to go quickly, so if you have even a vague idea of your travel dates and want to book a PointBreaks award, better to do so quickly before the space is gone.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|N/A||16.24%-23.24% Variable||Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95||0%||Excellent Credit|