R.I.P. Or Just Farewell? IHG Not Releasing New PointBreaks List (Yet?)

Well, that stinks. We were expecting IHG to release its first PointBreaks list of 2020 yesterday, but they’ve now confirmed that they won’t be publishing a new list.

InterContinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort

InterContinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort – bookable for 15,000 points per night during a PointBreaks promotion last year

IHG’s PointBreaks program had been running for more than 10 years and used to be excellent. For most of its lifetime, 100+ IHG properties worldwide would be reduced to only 5,000 points per night for 2-3 months at a time, with many providing excellent value. If I remember correctly, an IHG property in the Maldives was available on one list and we took advantage of the list countless times, often to have a great value weekend away at a city within an hour or two of where we lived at the time.

IHG significantly devalued PointBreaks almost two years ago to the day by introducing two new levels – 10,000 points and 15,000 points. (See: The New IHG PointBreaks Promotion: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly) The list still offered good value at times, with several InterContinental properties appearing on each subsequent list, but it was never quite the same.

I have lots of hotel stays to book for the next few months, so I repeatedly refreshed the PointBreaks page yesterday so that I could make reservations as quickly as possible in case any properties I wanted to book proved to be popular with other people. When a new list didn’t appear by the afternoon, I figured it might not appear until later in the week seeing as the current list isn’t due to expire until January 31. I would’ve been waiting a long time as when Loyalty Lobby reached out to IHG, they advised that they wouldn’t be releasing a new list. Here’s IHG’s reply:

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.

Maybe I’m just naive or overly optimistic, but the wording of IHG’s reply leaves the door open for PointBreaks to return in the future. The fact that they “do not have a new IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks promotion planned currently” (my emphasis) certainly sounds like they might plan one at some point. When that would be is anyone’s guess though.

This is therefore another (temporary?) devaluation of IHG Rewards Club, although it’s still possible to get value from the program when redeeming your points for award nights. To do that though, you need at least one – or ideally both – IHG credit cards. Their latest IHG Premier credit card offers every fourth night free on award stays, while the old IHG Select credit card (closed to new applications) offers a 10% rebate on any points you redeem on up to 1 million redeemed points each year.

These two card features stack with each other, so you can save up to 32.5% on award stays. For example, let’s say you book four nights at an IHG property that costs 30,000 points per night.

  • If you don’t have either credit card, you’d have to redeem 120,000 points.
  • If you only have the IHG Premier card, you’d redeem 90,000 points due to the fourth night being free.
  • If you only have the IHG Select card, you’d redeem 120,000 points but would get back 12,000 points for a net cost of 108,000 points.
  • If you have both cards, you’d redeem 90,000 points and would then get 9,000 points rebated for a net cost of 81,000 points – savings of 32.5% versus the 120,000 points needed otherwise.

The ending of PointBreaks sucks for me personally as my wife and I are sitting on ~600,000 IHG Rewards Club points between us and we’d hoped to redeem them at PointBreaks properties on our road trip. Thankfully we both have the two IHG credit cards mentioned above, so we can both take advantage of the 32.5% savings on award stays. It’s just a shame that we can’t do that on 5,000 point-per-night PointBreaks as those had a 3,375 net cost when booking in four night increments which was incredible value.

Is PointBreaks on vacation or should we be holding a wake? We’ll have to wait to find out for sure, but the prognosis isn’t looking too positive.

About Stephen Pepper

Stephen Pepper is on a 5 year, 50 state road trip with his wife Shae and their dog Truffles. Finding opportunities to earn miles and points is one of the ways they can afford to do this, so he'll try to help you do the same for your own travels.

More articles by Stephen Pepper »

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YoniPDX
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YoniPDX

Two thoughts:

Any DP on PC’ng to the IHG Select card? (curious mostly) IIRC it was Nick talking about the only path to a Ritz card post 8.2018 was PC.

2nd kinda of feels like a bigger devaluation maybe in the works with the ramping up the signup bonuses late 125K with 40X and now 140K SUB.

I’ve been on the fence as I’ve not found tremendous value for redemptions for points on planned future travel or no reward space even 8-10 months out in a few markets. Yet its an easy SUB with Plastiq

Dan
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Dan

I have the old IHG rewards club card that is (I believe) no longer available. Is that the one that gets 10 percent points back on reward stays?

John
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John

Too bad no Points Break list. But I can’t blame IHG in a sense. Posters complained about so many hotels not on the 5000 list when that was the only list. Then posters complained about the three tiers. Whatever IHG tried so many seemed unpleased and ungrateful unfortunately.

Ryan del mundo
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Ryan del mundo

Surprised they didn’t keep it around in its current fashion. Due to 5/10/15 split I rarely found them to be a good deal anymore. Yeah they might have been discounted from their regular point rate, but so often I check the points rate now and it’s just stupid expensive. I paid $40/night for a holiday inn In Colombia, and the only points rate available was 20000+$35. Even 5000 point break would have been a tad overpriced.