We are used to hotel devaluations of points. In fact, we just had one from IHG last month. Because of this, we always look at these changes (or enhancements as the hotels and airlines like to refer to them) with a skeptical air. This is the case with the newly announced changes for the popular IHG PointBreaks.
New IHG PointBreaks Levels Coming
For years now, IHG has released what they call “PointBreaks” every quarter. These are “randomly” selected hotels within the IHG portfolio that are offered for just 5,000 points per night within that 3 month period. Some of these hotels have cost 35,000 or even 50,000 points per night normally but they can be had during their PointBreaks session for just 5,000 points per night.
This is easily the best deal with points for hotels and everyone has been afraid that IHG was going to get rid of it because it was just that good. However, instead of getting rid of it, they simply started releasing more mediocre properties than the ones that people really wanted. Still, they provided great value for many as the nights would typically book up pretty fast!
The New Levels
Starting for the new hotels on the list for booking this Monday, there will be 3 levels for PointBreaks – 5,000 points, 10,000 points, and 15,000 points per night. IHG has also said they will be releasing 200 hotels instead of the usual 100-ish hotels.
Also, they will allow you to use the Cash and Points option for these hotels as well but no word yet on how that will work or the amount to throw in.
Of course, many people are worried that there will just be cheapo hotels at the 5,000 point levels. And, they may be right! Here is a look at the preview of the hotels that IHG will be releasing tomorrow for booking on Monday:
- Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur Glenmarie (Malaysia) – 5,000 points
- InterContinental Nairobi (Kenya) – 10,000 points
- Holiday Inn San Antonio Northwest (US) – 10,000 points
- InterContinental Cali (Colombia) – 10,000 points
- Holiday Inn Express London – Newbury Park (UK) – 10,000 points
- InterContinental Sao Paolo (Brazil) – 15,000 points
- Holiday Inn Helsinki City Centre (Finland) – 15,000 points
- Crowne Plaza Berlin – Potsdamer Platz (Germany) – 15,000 points
Is This Good News?
I will mention one thing right off the bat – the InterContinental Cali in Columbia has been on the PointBreaks list often and at the regular 5,000 points per night. So, this one will apparently now cost 10,000 points per night going forward.
However, I do not remember ever seeing the InterContinental Sao Paulo appearing on a PointBreaks list before! That is normally a 35,000 points per night hotel so you could save 20,000 points on that hotel.
We will have to see the whole list to know for sure, but I would go out on a limb and say that this change could actually be a good thing (though, just leave it to hotels to make a good thing become very bad quickly!). We could really never expect IHG to put their Bora Bora properties on the PointBreaks list again – at least not for 5,000 points per night. With the top tier now being 15,000 points per night, I think we could start seeing some more upscale properties making their appearances on the PointBreaks list – especially during those hotels’ off-seasons.
I think that, at the end of the day, PointBreaks customers will not mind the new tiers as long as it means they can start getting deals on hotels that aren’t just side of the highway motels/hotels. I know I will look forward to a list that has more depth to it!
What do you think? Good news or bad?