For years, PointBreaks has been one of the signature promotions of InterContinental Hotels Group’s IHG Rewards program: a roster of hotels available for award booking for just 5,000 points per night. The list of discounted properties changed quarterly, and at times featured more than 200 participating hotels.
Over time, however, the list dwindled in size, most recently featuring fewer than 100 discounted properties, just 64 of which were in the U.S. And the quality of the participating hotels has eroded as well—fewer (if any) InterContinentals, more Holiday Inn Expresses.
InterContinental must have been aware that the once-popular promotion was slipping into irrelevance because, for the first time, the new PointBreaks will offer three discounted rates: 5,000, 10,000, and 15,000 points per night.
Effective immediately, IHG Rewards members can book PointBreaks award nights at around 200 hotels, for stays through April 30.
Unlike past PointBreaks, discounted stays are offered at three levels: 5,000, 10,000, and 15,000 points per night.
Also unlike past PointBreaks, the latest discounted stays may be booked using either points or a combination of points and cash.
Deal or No Deal
The new list includes just over 200 discounted hotels, at the following price points:
- 5,000 points per night – 33 hotels (11 in the U.S.)
- 10,000 points per night – 133 hotels (76 in the U.S.)
- 15,000 points per night – 39 hotels (20 in the U.S.)
Here’s how IHG Rewards loyalists reacted to the changes on FlyerTalk, a discussion site for frequent travelers:
Doesn’t seem like a good change. PB were the only attractive thing left with IHG.
I don’t really think anyone can deny that the PB lists have become progressively poorer in the last few years. This has led to many people (myself included) moaning and honking about it. IHG has now responded in exactly the same way as British Airways did when people complained about the diminishing quality and quantity of their free catering on short-haul flights. Did they improve it? No. They brought in Buy-on-Board. Don’t like the free stuff? Here’s something (slighty) better (holding out the credit card swiper).
Not much useful for me on this one at any of the price points. Some of the 15k options are, quite frankly, a joke. That should be a normal price for some of them…
That’s one crappy list.
A whopping eleven properties in the U.S. at the old standard rate. Smh
Well, after the recent “enhancement” we can safely say that IHG has effectively killed PointBreaks.
You get the idea.
As always, the question with PointBreaks is whether any of the discounted hotels work for you. And whether it’s long or short, the PointBreaks list remains worth perusing. There just might be a hotel that fits into your existing travel plans, or that could be the centerpiece of an opportunistic trip.
No dawdling, though: Room nights available at the PointBreaks rates are limited, so act quickly to lock in a deal that works for you.
Reader Reality Check
Is this the beginning of the end of PointBreaks, or a welcome new beginning.
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.