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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)

  • Alex Sm says:

    What are City Lights and will IHG do Accelerate this spring? I need a hotel near Gatwick for a few nights in May and waiting passionately

  • Alison says:

    I often used Points Breaks, I like a staycation, used those obscure holiday inn expresses off the motorway from time to time because I live in Scotland and they broke a journey south up. I was able to stay near family a few times across the country too. I also took advantage of a few out of the way London hotels, didn’t mind a 15-20 minute tube journey to the centre and got to know areas of London I was less familiar with. The odd city break including a great Edinburgh stay at the Crowne Plaza once. RIP Points Breaks, you were good to me!

  • Benilyn says:

    Re 6 Sense Istanbul, it seems soo far away from all the tourist action? So unless you want to go for pure relaxation, I would struggle to stay there?

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      It would be a fairly slow, if pleasant, ferry trip to the main sights or a relatively cheap taxi. I think it would work if you wanted one or two day trips into the city, but not if you wanted to be seeing the sights every day.

  • Alan says:

    Can’t say I’m that fussed. Had a couple of pointsbreak stays – both were existing bookings that I rebooked at a significant saving so it didn’t drive any extra business and TBH the list has got less and less inspiring! Recent Accelerate was very poor. Ambassador is still proving worthwhile, esp the 10% discount on redemptions. Also found a new HIX in Melbourne at the Southbank which is superb value for money compared to the other chains so I still feeling I’m getting good value from IHG.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Inclined to agree tbh, the one and only time I’ve had a Pointbreaks hotel available where and when I’ve wanted/needed was actually at LHR. That said, it did drive additional business in that instance as, if it hadn’t been reduced, I would have driven to LHR the next morning.

      It actually cost me extra in one sense, as I had to pay to park a rental car at the hotel overnight until I was due to return it the next day.

    • Andrew says:

      How does the Ambassador redemption discount work? Is that only at IC hotels or all IHG?

      • Adam says:

        You get 10% in points back in all the IHG portfolio hotels. Should post automatically after 2 months, but I always had to chase them with customer services.

      • Rob says:

        When you RENEW Ambassador (but not the first year) you get 10% back on ALL IHG redemptions, at all brands. Sometimes including ones you end up cancelling 🙂

    • Harry T says:

      @Alan
      I’m staying at that HIX in March. Looks good. Booked it using points for the Grand Prix weekend when cash prices were very toppy.

  • Will says:

    Given that status is basically meaningless at IHG it makes their brand much easier to pick and choose than Hilton or Marriott.

    Personally I’ve found immense value in regular points redemptions year after year with them without points break or paying too much attention to accelerate. Location and time specific of course.

  • Nick says:

    OT: How do I transfer Vuelling Avios out into BA / Iberia or Aerclub

    When I log into Avios.com – I can see my Iberia and Aerclub and BA details – but not my Vuelling account?

    Also – best way to stop Iberia avios expiring? I believe transfers don’t work

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Not sure you can txfer Vueling Avios? Might be wrong.

      Easiest way to reset the clock on IB is to transfer some in from Amex, if you have any.

      • Rob says:

        There is no such thing as ‘Vueling Avios’. They are standard Avios in a 3081xxxxxxxxx numbered account which works perfectly well at avios.com, just like a 3081xxxxxxxxx AerClub account. From avios.com you can move them to BA or Iberia as usual via ‘Combine My Avios’.

      • Cat says:

        Harry, bless your cotton socks! I’ve only just spotted this – you are a sweetie! X

        • Shoestring says:

          can you see if you got any? 🙂

          unfortunately, apparently they’ll only help you get status once somebody buys something in DF using the QR code/ app – ie a ‘naked’ referral doesn’t do anything

        • Cat says:

          I have got a few referrals, but my account is currently offering me 100 points per referral, not the Platinum if you refer 3 people deal that it was showing before. It might be because I used the HAPPYBIRTHDAY2020 code – maybe when you are Platinum, you can’t work towards keeping Platinum through referrals. Maybe if 3 of those I’ve referred spend some money, I’ll keep the status. Who knows? Thanks for trying though Harry!

    • marcw says:

      There are no 100 Avios for joining Red By Dufry. You get, I believe, RED Points, but they hace nothing to do with Avios (those points are useful to achieve higher tiers in RED by Dufry).

      • Shoestring says:

        really? he must have done something wrong, then – good job he shared his RBD birthday code with a couple of thousand people, he’s generous like that 🙂

        I’ll ask RBD to take them back as they were obvs awarded in error
        12/08/2019 AVIOS EARNED WITH DUTYFREE Shopping 250
        12/19/2019 IBERIA PLUS CAMPAIGN Other services 100

        • marcw says:

          Nope. There was a time when RED by Dufry had a promo rewarding 250 Avios for new sign-ups insideflyer.co.uk/2019/06/250-free-avios/ (they’ve had that a few times I believe, the last time in december).
          Your 100 Avios points are from that promo promoting IbPlus Infinita headforpoints.com/2019/11/10/get-100-free-avios-in-iberia-plus-for-30-seconds-work/

      • Shoestring says:

        probably right 🙂

  • Ming the Merciless says:

    OT – given the 1.5% charge curve are now implementing, at HMRC, I’m considering starting to collect M&M via the card card. I put around £20-30k per year to them in Self assessment, plus VAT and corporation tax – the latter two I understand they frown on.

    Is it worth the £70 fee for the card? what are redemptions options like/ realistically I’ll only be redeeming premium cabins long haul to asia or africa.

    I’m also sitting on 0.5m avios, 1m Virgin, 0.6m Bonvoy have no status (i don’t fly for work) and usually redeem as a group apart from around once a year.

    My normal day to day spend goes to IHG and Virgin with the occasional amex use if im chasing a sign up bonus.

    Views on this change of strategy appreciated – I hate to see some good spend at HMRC go to waste, probably circa £70k if you take into account VAT, NI and CT

    • Rob says:

      As with all these things, it depends where you want to go. Middle East, for example, is 35k one-way in Business with Miles & More vs 50-60k Avios. Even better with kids as Lufty gives a 25% discount.

      However (as another example) there are no day flights back from the Middle East to Europe on Star Alliance. Lufthansa and SWISS fly at 2am which, at least for me, stinks. We therefore use M&M outbound and come back a different way.

      If you redeem to the US you may find diverting via Frankfurt a waste of time. For Asia, less so. And so on. Pull out the redemption chart and look at your favourite destinations.

  • Simonbr says:

    OT but IHG related: does anyone know roughly when Mr&Mrs Smith properties will be bookable via the IHG website?