Jan282018

IHG PointBreaks restructured to 5, 10 and 15,000 points

One of the main hotel loyalty developments of the past week is IHG Rewards Club restructured PointBreaks reward nights from all hotels on the list at 5,000 points per night to a system of three reward categories with hotels at 5,000 points; 10,000 points and 15,000 points per reward night.

Another change is PointBreaks hotels at the 10,000 points and 15,000 points reward rates will apparently be available as Points + Cash reward nights too.

Enhancement or Devaluation?

IHG Rewards Club says it is “changing the popular PointBreaks promotion to offer more variety and more locations” and “The new PointBreaks will include some of the best IHG hotels around the world, including upscale brands InterContinental, Hotel Indigo and Crowne Plaza.”

Rather than calling this another basic loyalty program devaluation, the rationale from IHG Rewards Club is the PointBreaks list for Jan 30-April 30, 2018 will be expanded to over 200 hotels worldwide.

For historical comparison, last year’s IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks list Jan 30-April 30, 2017 had 130 hotels. There were 2 InterContinental Hotels in Dominican Republic and Venezuela; 9 Crowne Plaza hotels and 1 Hotel Indigo. Every hotel was 5,000 points. 

Jan 29-April 30, 2018 PointBreaks Preview

Hotel Indigo Newark Downtown at 15,000 points might be an enhancement for some members as a limited time reduced reward price from its standard 25,000 points per night.

For me, a hotel like Hotel Indigo Krakow – Old Town at 5,000 points in February 2017 as a PointBreaks reward night for a hotel with standard reward rates at 30,000 points is the kind of deal I loved to find on PointBreaks. Based on the preview list, Hotel Indigo Krakow Old Town is more likely to be 15,000 points, if it appears on the winter 2018 PointBreaks list.

Wishful thinking has me hoping there will be some hotels with 30,000 points reward nights at 10,000 points, but based on the preview list, I don’t think there will be any 30,000 points hotels at 5,000 points on tomorrow’s PointBreaks. We will soon know if there are even any 30,000 points hotels at 10,000 points with the new PointBreaks.

Perhaps there will be a couple of hotels normally at 40,000 points available for 15,000 points. That might be an enhancement for the few people who can secure reward nights in the first hours of the PointBreaks booking window before the hotel drops off the list.

Wait and see how rewarding IHG Pointbreaks are on January 29.

We have to wait until January 29, 2018 to see if this revamp of PointBreaks is actually any kind of enhancement offering more desirable hotels.

The preview list of 30 hotels released this weekend reveals 10 properties in each category level at 5,000; 10,000 and 15,000 points.

My initial assessment based on these 30 hotels is the new Pointbreaks looks more like a 50% off reward night offer at the 10,000 and 15,000 points reward rates rather than the traditional deep discount PointBreaks offers we have become familiar with each quarter.

InterContinental Sao Paulo with a standard reward rate at 35,000 points is the only one of the preview hotels at 15,000 points normally priced more than 30,000 points.

IHG PointBreaks Hotels preview list of 30 properties

(Current Standard Reward price per night for each of these hotels is listed below.)

IHG PointBreaks Hotels at 5,000 Points

IHG PointBreaks Hotels at 10,000 Points

IHG PointBreaks Hotels at 15,000 Points

IC Kiev rates

IHG PointBreaks in my travel plans

I plan to be in Europe for two trips during this IHG PointBreaks winter-spring season. My destination and hotel plans are already in place for February and I doubt there will be anything on tomorrow’s PointBreaks list motivating me to alter my February plans.

My other trip to Europe is totally an open itinerary at this time. Romania is my plan, but Ukraine is another location I have wanted to visit.

I will likely book InterContinental Kiev for a few nights with this PointBreaks offer, even though I have not booked a flight yet. Over the past year I have studied hotel rates in Kiev and the extraordinarily high room rates at chain hotels astounds me. There are many local hotels available in Kiev for under $100 per night, but since I have a cache of IHG Rewards Club points, this could be a good opportunity to get a free room in Kiev city center.

Kiev to Bucharest flights are as low as $91, so I can potentially visit two new countries for me in my travels through Europe.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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