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Has IHG Rewards Club killed PointBreaks, the 5,000 points hotel room redemptions?

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Monday should have been the day that IHG Rewards Club unveiled its latest list of PointBreaks redemptions.

PointBreaks – website here – is a quarterly promotion which offers around 100 to 150 IHG hotels at just 5,000 to 15,000 points each.  Standard rates can be as high as 50,000 points.  Whilst you will never find a Central London or Manhattan hotel on the list, there were good deals in suburban locations (Heathrow hotels appeared a lot recently, and there was a Candlewood Suites in New Jersey recently) and in Central Europe and Asia.

The list normally appears on the Monday before the current list ends, which in this case is 31st January.  However, Monday came and went.

Six Senses Istanbul bookable on IHG Rewards Club points

The Loyalty Lobby blog contacted IHG in the US and was told:

We do not have a new IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks promotion planned currently. However, our guests can take advantage of our current offers, City Lights (advisory attached) and the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card promotion. We look forward to sharing more details on other promotions in the coming weeks.

It isn’t clear that PointBreaks is gone for good, but it could be.

In truth, PointBreaks was IHG’s little gift for the miles and points community.  I doubt that anyone who doesn’t read frequent traveller websites even knew it existed.  They certainly wouldn’t have been waiting like a coiled spring for the new list to appear, ready to book a cheap holiday.  The best hotels tended to disappear from the list within 24-48 hours so the general public was just fighting over the scraps.

Interestingly, I have been told numerous times – including by hotel staff – that individual hotels did not control whether or not they appeared on PointBreaks.  They got paid the same by IHG regardless.  It seems to have been a lever used by IHG to bump up business at hotels which, for one reason or another, were not achieving the occupanies they were expecting.

It would be a shame to see PointBreaks go, but at the moment it does look like this is the case.

PS.  If you missed it, take a look at our recent article on 10 reasons to think about getting the FREE IHG Rewards Club Mastercard credit card.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (67)

  • BJ says:

    In the distant past I got great use out of PointBreaks but in recent years I got none, either because properties or dates were unsuitable. Despite this, the mere prospect of getting a PointBreaks gem, combined with generous accelerate offers, sustained my interest in IHG as my secondary hotel scheme. With one or both gone, I will need to reevaluate my choices. Poor status recognition and and overpriced redemptions at the lower end will drive me out of IHG unless they are offset by the likes of accelerate and PointBreaks.

    • Lady London says:

      +1. Lower and lower-mid tier IHG properties are really overpriced in points now.

      The value seems to be nearer, but not at, their top end.

      I’m really unclear from the raft of recent unappealing promotions from IHG, combined with the severe damage to Accelerate, out of proportion increases in points cost of low end IHG hotels in London, and now finally the removal of Point Breaks, who does IHG want to be their customer.

  • Nick G says:

    I liked the look of the other six senses I. Turkey. However it’s not open until
    April and secondly for my 6 year old they want 60 euros for breakfast!!! 60… piss takers how much do you think a 6 year old eats….why some hotels don’t charge a small nominal fee for what will be a small amount of food is beyond me

  • guesswho2000 says:

    Standard rates go to 70k I’m pretty sure. I’ve definitely paid 60k in Hong Kong

  • SydneySwan says:

    I managed to find several PB redemptions over the years, the last one was 3 nights in the HI Montevideo in June 2019. Back in 2007 I had redeemed HI Penang at the normal points when it appeared on PB – cancelled and rebooked as a PB redemption within 5 mins of the list being published! Crowne Plaza Terrigal and Canberra were also great redemptions at 5k points. Always enjoyed the challenge of trying to include at least one PB hotel stay in every trip but that had become increasingly difficult. Sad to see PB go though.

  • Simon says:

    The end of points break combined with some of the paltry Accelerate opportunities last quarter of 2019 (and has there even been an accelerate promotion for this quarter) suggest a change in marketing strategy at IHG.

    • Riccatti says:

      As said, hotels already counting in the profits of a very busy, economy-expanding 2020…

      • Shoestring says:

        …and then there was the pussycat virus 🙂

        • Riccatti says:

          Can’t share the cheerfulness though.

          Coronavirus is a serious affair, and I am at odds that more quarantine measures are not being taken, such the cut in international travel.

          Yes it means lost business but compared to what likely to unravel (not abstract and 10,000-year consequences like climate change but Spanish flu, Hong Kong flu, bird flu, SARS). What business is so, so important in Shanghai/other city that can’t be done via a video link.

          • Shoestring says:

            it’s spreading faster than SARS but nothing like as deadly, surely that last point is important

          • Riccatti says:

            It is very deadly if you count Npeople died / ( Npeople died + Npeople healed).

            Died 107, Healed 63 (officially as of two days ago)

            Mortality rate = 107/(107+63) = 63%

            The rest outcome is uncertain. Neither of us has any first-hand information or better facts. Given the virus exists (no one questions that) and its nature — it has to be quarantined against. It is not a flu virus,
            1. The symptoms are harsh, and one can die from symptoms alone.
            2. It opens way for various lung infections which you can’t care for at home (like the flu) — people will suffer/die from “pneumonia”.

          • marcw says:

            You can’t make that assumption yet. Healthy individuals may just have cold symptoms, and don’t necessarily will go to the hospital/GP/clinic.

        • Paul Pogba says:

          SARS had a fatility rate of 10%, nConV has one that currently stands at 54% (was 62% yesterday) – its 5x as deadly AND has a higher R0.

          • Shoestring says:

            it’s too early to make that calculation

            plus it seems to be a virus that is easily borne by the fit & healthy, who may (unfortunately) be carriers/ spreaders but not suffer more than a sniffle themselves – ie the number of healed/ recovered could turn out to be enormous but uncounted

    • Crafty says:

      I understand they’ve paid for some very expensive strategy consulting on how to lose less/make more money from their loyalty scheme.

      Point Breaks served me well for a couple of recent cheap Intercontinental stays in SE Asia, so I’m satisfied that I achieved value from it while it was around.

      • Simon says:

        Some of the Accelerate promotions were ridiculously generous. I recall relatively easily accruing around 90,000 points during one promotion. Not surprised it was proving expensive for them. Good while it lasted, but yet another good points collecting opportunity now gone perhaps.

      • Riccatti says:

        It’s not the case with IHG, but Marriott adverts are tripping all over Facebook newsweed.

        This correlates with meagre promotions, the money are being spend on Facebook ad.

        We would really appreciate a strong rewards scheme, such as old SPG, instead of constant inundation on Facebook. But that’s millennials’ ideas on how to do business, plus gives them work.

        • ChrisBCN says:

          Being all over YOUR Facebook newsfeed does not indicate it’s over everyone’s newsfeed. Don’t confuse the two.

  • 2002ad says:

    When are we expecting the next accelerate promotion or is that gone as well?

  • David Coldridge says:

    The saving grace with IHG was it’s generous accelerate programme. Very little in terms of guarantees for status holders. If points break evaporates as well; then like others, my business will go elsewhere.

    • mvcvz says:

      Can’t say I will particularly miss the option of a points discounted Tuesday night in Barnsley or Doncaster.

      • Rob says:

        15k for Candlewood New Jersey (10 mins walk from the PATH train which is a 90 second trip across to Manhattan) was not a bad result last time. As always, it depends on where you are going. I never booked one but my schedule is very fixed due to family commitments. I know other people who were happy to book entire holidays around whatever PB availability came up. A friend of mine once spent 30 days at a 5k Crowne Plaza beach resort on PB!

  • Adam says:

    Got a 250 gbp room at HI Festival City for 15k on the New Year’s night because of pointbreaks. Found them to be very valuable over the years.