IHG PointBreaks Changing, Some ‘Discounted’ Hotels Will Cost 3x As Much

IHG Rewards Club has been offering discounted hotel night redemptions for just 5000 points per night for more than a decade.

At the beginning there were some high value hotels included in the discount properties list. Over time there have been fewer and fewer premium hotels. The ‘good ones’ are almost always swept up and disappear from the list within a couple of days. These deals have been so good that in China people were automating PointBreaks bookings and reselling them.

IHG is revamping the PointBreaks program, and there’s likely some upside and some downside here.

  • Instead of charging 5000 points per night, there will be three price points: 5000, 10,000, and 15,000.

  • They’ll allow cash and points bookings of PointBreaks redemptions.


    Intercontinental Nha Trang

The price on many discount redemption properties will go up, but IHG says this allows them to offer more hotels at a discount. The new list will be double the size of the last one.

My guess is that right now IHG will ensure that on net this is a positive for members. More discounted hotels is a good thing. However the question is what happens once this isn’t the new shiny thing. If PointBreaks doesn’t get the program’s priority the number of participating hotels may fall and we’ll be left with few participating hotels and more expensive redemptions. The program just increased the price of standard hotel nights after all.

The next round of PointBreaks will be valid for bookings January 29 through April 30 as a preview of participating hotels can be found on the IHG blog today.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Look, anything’s better than their status quo. Hell even if the Pointsbreak list eventually became solely 15,000 points, I’d rather pay that for the Intercontinental Kiev than 5,000 for the Staybridge Suites Montgomery East

  2. Many of the new list hotels appeared regularly on the old PB.

    The HI Helsinki was often on the 5K PB list. Now it’s 15000.

  3. I guess the question becomes what the incentive is for hotels to participate. I recall that the payments IHG makes to the hotel is pretty modest. If the difference in what they get for 10,000 or 15,000 points instead of 5000 points is “material,” the list will get better and the program more useful. Of course, I don’t know what there is to stop a 5000 point hotel from now asking for 10000 or 15000 points. It seems like all the even-remotely-useful Pointbreaks hotel sell out their allocated rooms pretty quickly, so why wouldn’t they ask 10,000 and sell out a bit more slowly? It seems like IHG isn’t allowing them to charge more than half their existing redemption price, so maybe that’s the limitation. Even if this results in fewer 5000 point redemptions, most folks will probably be better off with more choices. I mean. how many folks are really looking to book HIX Chadron, Nebraska (a current offering)?

  4. The old discount program eventually became a joke as most of the properties ended up in flyover country or perhaps China and thus were of no value to most of us. So anything that will add useful properties is a net plus, even if the cost is 2-3x higher. Because everyone would rather pay 15K than 30-60k.

  5. The new partial list is still kind of a joke but includes Intercon Kiev and Intercon Sao Paolo so that’s a welcome trend.

  6. The ANA in Hiroshima for 15,000 is a good value in a great location near the Peace Park. I had to use 60,000 points for 2 nights in Nov. 2017.

  7. The new list is still the same old Holiday Inn roach coaches they usually have. Now they just cost more. This doesn’t matter to me much, as I will never stoop as low as to staying at one of those. Nice job, IHG, you pulled a fast one and made it sound like a miracle just happened.

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