Every three or four months, IHG Rewards Club (the loyalty program for InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels etc), releases a new PointBreaks list.
This is a collection of participating hotels worldwide that can all be booked for just 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night – a fraction of their usual cost.
It used to be a given that PointBreaks was one of the best-value hotel promotions in the business. But is that still the case?
Changes to Pointbreaks
While paying just 5,000 points per night sounds great on paper, in recent years, the list of participating PointBreaks hotels had become decidedly uninspiring, with the occasional exception.
In January this year, IHG tweaked the traditional PointBreaks format slightly.
They introduced three tiers of pricing, with hotels available at 5,000/10,000/15,000 IHG points per night. Even at 15,000 points per night, this is still a great deal and it has seemingly IHG to improve the calibre of PointBreaks hotels once again.
For perspective, the regular cost of booking these same properties using points is between 10,000 and 35,000 points per night.
Which hotels are participating?
There are 135 hotels participating in PointBreaks this time around.
You can view the full list at the bottom of this article.
Alternatively, the full list is also available on this page on the IHG website.
How to book
You can make two bookings per hotel per person. Each booking can be for as many nights as you wish.
Book by 30th September 2018
Rooms available at PointBreaks rates generally sell out quickly, especially at more popular hotels so I would move fast to see what you can lock in.
How to earn IHG points
Here are a number of options for building or boosting your IHG points balance:
There are 2 IHG credit card options in the UK.
- IHG Rewards Club Credit Card – This card offers 10,000 IHG Points when you spend £200 in the first 3 months of holding the card. There is no annual fee for holding this card.10,000 points would be enough for 2 free nights using PointBreaks.
- IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card – This card offers a welcome bonus of 20,000 IHG points when you spend £200 in the first 3 months of holding the card. The card carries a £99 annual fee and also offers a free night voucher after spending £10,000 in a calendar year. My in-depth review of this card is here.That would be enough for 4 free nights using this PointBreaks promo!
‘Accelerate’ and other promotions
IHG run regular promotions that offer easy ways to pick up large numbers of points at low cost. For the last few years, these have come in the form of a quarterly deal known as Accelerate. This is a series of personalised challenges which, when completed, triggers generous bonuses.
(Indirect) Transfers from Amex Membership Rewards / Tesco Clubcard points
Many people aren’t aware that you can convert Virgin Flying Club miles into IHG Rewards Club points (or Hilton points if you prefer).
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles transfer at a 1:1 ratio to IHG Rewards Club points.
This leaves you with three options:
- Direct – 10,000 Virgin miles = 10,000 IHG points
- Indirect (1) – 4,000 Tesco Clubcard points → 10,000 Virgin miles (You get 2.5 Virgin miles per Clubcard point) = 10,000 IHG points
- Indirect (2) – 10,000 Amex Membership Rewards points → 10,000 Virgin miles → 10,000 IHG points.
If you can find a hotel that works for you on the PointBreaks list, you could book it using just £20 of Clubcard vouchers per night using the above method.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Virgin → IHG transfers are not instantenous and can take a couple of weeks to complete.
Buying points – including a ‘up to’ 100% mystery bonus
I’ve given this option a section of its own – largely because I wanted to flag another promotion that’s running at the moment.
IHG is currently offering one of their regular ‘buy/gift’ points sales. This time there’s a mystery bonus available, with accounts being offered a bonus of between 50-100% when purchasing or gifting points.
My account has a 50% bonus available. Here a few pricing examples:
- 5,000 + 2,500 points for $67.50
- 7,000 + 3,500 points for $94.50
- 47,000 + 23,500 points for $470
- 100,000 + 50,000 points for $1,000
IHG allows you to purchase a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year (excluding any bonus points).
Should you buy points?
Not if you have just a 50% bonus like me. You’d be paying roughly 0.5p per IHG point – which in my book is too much.
You can better that by using this trick to buy unlimited amounts of points at 0.43p per point.
If your account shows a 75% or 100% bonus, the maths will look different. Indeed when IHG offered a 100% bonus on purchased points just last month, I noted that the price (0.37p per IHG point) was very cheap!
IHG PointBreaks remains a great promotion – if you can make it work for you.
I’m definitely a fan of the new 5,000-15,000 tiered approach. It’s no use making rooms available for 5,000 points per night at hotels that few people want to book. I’d rather pay a slightly higher cost per night if it means having a better range of hotels to choose from.
At 5,000 IHG points per night:
Candlewood Suites Aurora-Naperville
Candlewood Suites Bordentown-Trenton
Candlewood Suites Sayre
Holiday Inn Express Pachuca
FUJIAN, MAINLAND CHINA
Crowne Plaza Zhangzhou
HENAN, MAINLAND CHINA
Holiday Inn Zhengzhou Zhongzhou
JIANGSU, MAINLAND CHINA
Holiday Inn Taizhou CMC
YUNNAN, MAINLAND CHINA
Crowne Plaza Resort Xishuangbanna Parkview
At 10,000 points per night:
Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area
Holiday Inn Express Defuniak Springs
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville – Blount Island
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Milton East I-10
Holiday Inn Orlando-International Airport
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Palatka Northwest
Holiday Inn Express Tallahassee – I-10 E
Holiday Inn Express Tampa N I-75 – University Area
Hotel Indigo Raleigh Durham Airport At Rtp
Holiday Inn Hillsboro
Staybridge Suites Greenville I-85 Woodruff Road
Holiday Inn & Suites Sioux Falls – Airport
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Terrace
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mexicali
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chihuahua Juventud
Staybridge Suites Irapuato
Holiday Inn Guayaquil Airport
Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea
Crowne Plaza Johannesburg – The Rosebank
KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Holiday Inn Resort Alpensia Pyeongchang
Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs Lasseters
At 15,000 points per night:
Crowne Plaza Annapolis
Holiday Inn Express Myrtle Beach-Broadway@The Bch
Holiday Inn & Suites Montreal Centre-ville Ouest
CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, MEXICO
Holiday Inn Mexico Buenavista
InterContinental Buenos Aires
Crowne Plaza Nairobi
InterContinental Al Khobar
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha
Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley