Whilst most hotels are Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express properties, you do get the odd InterContinental on the list – at what would be a 95% discount to the usual 50,000 points.
(Don’t get too carried away by how wonderful the deal is. There has never ever been a Central London hotel on the list in all the years it has been running, for example.)
IHG now seems to be clamping down on some elements of ‘abuse’. I put ‘abuse’ in commas because you are not necessarily ‘abusing’ a scheme if you act fully within the rules.
This wording has appeared on the PointBreaks website:
Due to the limited availability, each member may only book two PointBreaks® Reward Nights reservations per hotel during the special offer time period. Offer and participating hotels are subject to change at any time, valid for booking through May 31, 2014. All other Reward Night terms and conditions apply. To view participating properties, simply click one of the regions below.
Please note that Reward Nights booked through PointBreaks® may not be sold or used for commercial gains. Doing so is a program violation and may result in the freezing of your account, the forfeiture of all point transfers, rewards, vouchers, or merchandise issued pursuant to point redemptions and any accrued points or miles in your account, as well as cancellation of the account and your future participation in the Program.
It is not entirely clear what they mean by this.
Are they restricting you to two NIGHTS per hotel?
…. or to two STAYS per hotel?
One of the common problems with PointBreaks is that the offer automatically falls away when x nights have been booked at a hotel. However, because you need to book quickly at the best hotels – literally within 2-3 hours of the deal opening up – people were booking 5, 10 or 20 nights as separate one-night bookings.
They would then try to find flights to fit around the bookings, cancelling the rooms they ended up not needing. However, the cancelled rooms do NOT go back into PointBreaks availability.
This kind of activity would be blocked under the new rules.
The other kind of ‘abuse’ is people who literally move in to a cheap property for one or two months. After all, 5000 points per night is cheaper than paying rent.
This is probably still OK, assuming that the stay is booked as one stay and not as lots of individual nights.
I am fine with these changes, to be honest – especially if the alternative would have been to make PointBreaks redemptions non-refundable ….
(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)