IHG Revamps PointBreaks Program, Creating Three Discounted Price Levels
For years, IHG points collectors have had the chance to book hotels at just 5,000 points per night through the PointBreaks program. While past lists have included top-notch InterContinental hotels, recent lists have been quite underwhelming.
Sure, you could still save up to 80% off the standard points price of a Staybridge Suites in Fort Worth, but the offerings generally haven't been very exciting.
The good news: It seems that IHG Rewards has listened to our complaints and is revamping the program. Starting with the new PointBreaks list dropping this Monday, January 29, PointBreaks properties will be offered at three different point values: 5,000; 10,000 and 15,000 points.
To give us an idea of how this will work, IHG has provided sampling of the "more than 200 properties that will be featured" on the new list:
- Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie (Malaysia): 5,000 points
- InterContinental Nairobi (Kenya): 10,000 points
- Holiday Inn San Antonio Northwest (US): 10,000 points
- InterContinental Cali (Colombia): 10,000 points
- Holiday Inn Express London – Newbury Park (UK): 10,000 points
- InterContinental Sao Paolo (Brazil): 15,000 points
- Holiday Inn Helsinki City Centre (Finland): 15,000 points
- Crowne Plaza Berlin – Potsdamer Platz (Germany): 15,000 points
The new list will be fully unveiled on Friday with bookings starting at 12 noon Eastern on Monday, January 29. The discounted stays will be available for nights from January 29 through April 30, 2018.
At first, this might seem like a devaluation. In the past, all of the properties have been at 5,000. Now, some will be up to 3x that price. However, it all depends on the implementation when deciding whether this is better or worse for IHG Rewards members.
The first encouraging sign: more discounted properties. The last PointBreaks list of 2017 only had 100 properties. The list before that had 106 properties. On the first list for 2018, we're told that there will be at least 200 properties. We will have to wait to see the full list on Monday in order to see how many of these will be at 5,000 vs. 10,000 vs. 15,000. Perhaps there will be less than 100 hotels discounted all the way down to 5,000 points. But, across the whole list, there's double the number of properties being discounted.
The other potential improvement unveiled by IHG is that "members can book participating PointBreaks hotels using a combination of points and cash." Depending on the cash co-pay vs. points price, this could potentially be a good way to get a cheap rate on an IHG hotel — or a poor use of points.