For a long time, one of (if not the) best hotel promos ongoing had been the IHG PointBreaks lists. These came out every couple of months and selected various properties around the world to be discounted to 5,000 points per night. This was very popular and quite consistently a favorite way to use IHG points.
IHG Halts the PointBreaks Promotion and Offers Their Best Ever Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus
Goodbye, IHG PointBreaks?
After a while, IHG devalued that promo by introducing tiers to the PointBreaks list – 5,000 points, 10,000 points, and 15,000 points per night. Some, in fact, may even argue that the list was devalued before that as it had been quite a long time since there had been a high end hotel available on the PointBreaks list.
Last year, I even wrote wondering if IHG should just end the PointBreaks in this post here. I also wrote this: “The truth is that the IHG PointBreaks, as we knew and loved them, is essentially gone. What we have now is like an airline award sale – useful for some but not something to get excited about for most.”
Many had wondered when IHG would end this program and it appears that this day could be on the horizon. According to official word received by Loyalty Lobby, IHG will not be releasing a PointBreaks list this time around. Here is the statement they gave to Loyalty Lobby:
“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.”
While there were not a ton of interesting hotels on the 100+ hotel list that came out each time, these lists always did help with various events in the areas of hotels or for things like airport hotels. They also worked out nicely with airline deals that allowed travelers to hit a new city/country. They definitely had still offered value to those who knew what to look for and if their plans worked with the dates/locations (see this old post about how to take advantage of uninteresting PointBreaks hotel lists).
IHG Launches Their Best Ever Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus
Late last week, IHG launched their best ever credit card offer on the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card. This card now comes with a whopping 140,000 IHG points as a sign-up bonus. This is enough for 2 free nights at the highest level of reward hotels within the IHG brands. Or, it can be used for up 14 nights at the lowest level reward hotel – and a mixture of everything in between!
The sign-up bonus requires $3,000 in spending in the first 3 months and has an annual fee of $89. Plus, if you use this card for stays at IHG brands, you will earn 15 IHG points per dollar! That means for a $300 hotel stay, you would earn 4,500 points – almost half way to a free Level 1 award stay!
In addition, it also earns 2 points per dollar at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores. While there are other cards that will offer better earn rates in each of those categories, it may be nice for some to have them wrapped up in one card – but you still may be better off using a card that earns cash back than doing this. You can often buy IHG points on sale at a fairly good rate so it is better to earn the cash back than points for those categories.
The IHG Premier card also comes with the following perks:
- IHG Platinum Status
- An annual anniversary free night (subject to a points limit on what you can redeem for)
- The fourth reward night free whenever you redeem for 4 or more nights.
- Earn 10,000 bonus points when you spend $20,000 plus one additional purchase each card year.No foreign transaction fee.
- 20% off purchased IHG points when you pay with this card.
- Get up to $800 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage (see issuer site for details and deductibles).
Remember, this is a Chase card so you will not be able to get it if you have opened 5 or more new accounts with any bank in the last 24 months.
So, is there a correlation with these two events – the disappearance of the PointBreaks hotels right when a huge offer comes out? I would say yes, there is. IHG knows that the PointBreaks have been an incredible value for travelers for a long time and they would not be able to just wipe them away without offering something substantial in return. Unfortunately for those unable to get a Chase card, it was a better offer on their credit card.
If you like staying at IHG brands (and there is definitely something for everyone!), this card can be a no-brainer. Not only do you get the monster bonus but you also get a free anniversary night, the 4th night free on award stays of 4 nights in a row, and and 20% off purchased IHG points when you use the card to buy them. And, while Platinum isn’t what it used to be, having elite status when you walk into any hotel is always better than not having it!