That’s the new feature of the program, last minute award bookings for the coming weekend at a discounted points price.
It’s only hotels in the US which are included at this point, and the current list which includes Intercontinental properties at O’Hare and in Dallas is for bookings the nights of the 6th, 7th, and 8th.
It’s a throwback to the days of last minute e-savers which the airlines used to send out mid-week for upcoming weekend travel. To me, it’s of pretty limited use, a discounted redemption isn’t likely to get me on a plane and into a room that I hadn’t otherwise wanted unless it’s a monster discount at an amazing property and probably for an upgraded room category. Fat chance, huh?
But 127 properties isn’t a bad start, though if this spells the death knell of PointBreaks it’ll be a big disappointment — first because PointBreaks were bigger discounts (all participating hotels were 5000 points, here the Intercontinental properties are half off at 15,000) and second because there was a longer booking window than just the weekend ahead. A real program devaluation if, as expected, it’s trading PointBreaks for Last Minute Reward Nights. And PointBreaks were once the bone we were thrown for changes to the Priority Club reward chart, to soften the blow…