This series will serve as a complete guide to getting the most from IHG’s Rewards Club loyalty program. Each part will cover an in-depth topic on how to maximize its benefits and help you get more free hotel stays and rewards. In this post I will go over IHG’s PointBreaks promotion that lets you book award nights for only 5,000 points. The rest of the series will be soon to come.
Every couple of months, IHG hotels releases a list of hotels that can be booked for only 5,000 points per night. The promo is called IHG PointBreaks and included various IHG properties around the world and there are usually a handful of top tier InterContinental hotels, Crowne Plazas, and always a good mix of Holiday Inns. For anyone that has a flexible travel schedule or plans on visiting a destination on the list, this can be the ultimate hotel promotion.
During the IHG PointBreaks promotion, the nightly rates are reduced down to 5,000 points per night regardless of the category, until the hotel runs out of eligible rooms. This means you can get a room at an InterContinental hotel that normally runs 30,000 to 50,000 points per night for only 5,000 points. This is a huge discount if the property is right for you.
The caveat is that unless you're an international vagabond and have an infinitely flexible travel schedule or the timing is aligned just right, you can strike out. Likely this will happen more often than not, but it’s still worth paying attention to the new lists that come out. If I find a property on the list that I can use, then I like to book for up to two weeks in reservations, all as individual one night reservations. This way if I decide not to stay the whole time, I can easily cancel the extra days without losing my entire stay.
The bottom line is that you can book hotels that have nightly rates between 20,000 to 50,000 points for as little as 5,000 points per night. Remember to book your stay as soon as possible because there are only a handful of PointBreaks availabilities per location, and they often go quickly.
You can always buy IHG points for 0.7 cents each using the Cash & Points trick. I wouldn’t necessarily stock up on extra points in hopes that you can burn them on a hotel on the PointBreaks list, but I always like to have an option for buying cheap IHG points if I see a hotel I can use. If you purchase IHG points for 0.7 cents and redeem them for 5,000 per night at a PointBreaks hotel, you’re paying ~$35 per night. This can mean heavily discounted nights at InterContinental or Crowne Plaza hotels.
If you haven’t had the IHG Rewards Club Select MasterCard you can earn 80,000 points after spending $1,000 within 3 months. The 80,000 points could stretch a long way if used on PointBreaks stays and get you 16 free nights.
IHG releases a new PointBreaks list every couple of months, and in the past it has been every two months. A preview list of the properties is released here a week before the hotels are bookable. The current list is bookable through May 31st, 2014 and the next list should come out during the last week of May. I would guess the new list would be bookable on June 1st.
As soon as the list is live to book hotel reservations you can find a complete list on the PointBreaks page. You can click through any of the hotels and book PointBreaks nights for 5,000 per night.
Remember to act quickly on any hotels that you might want to book stays at. There are limited discounted award nights and they often go quickly at the more desirable locations. If you’re unsure of how long your stay will be, you can always book separate one night stays and cancel the ones you don’t one after your plans are finalized.
Here are the rules for booking PointBreaks stays:
Booking PointBreaks nights is simple and can be a huge point saver, just remember these tips to make things go smoothly once the list goes live: