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The IHG Point Breaks program has long been one of the best deals out there. For only 5000 points per night, you could get a hotel at one of a rotating list of 100-150 different hotels. The PointBreaks list had definitely been lowering in quality for quite some time, and that had culminated in the announcement that starting with the January 2018 list, hotels would cost up to 15,000 points per night.
The full IHG Point Breaks list for February 2018, March 2018 and April 2018 is out now and response has been mixed. There are 10 InterContinental hotels on the list (good!) but most of them cost 15,000 points per night (not so good) For every nice hotel in a nice area, there are 8 hotels in North and South Dakota in the middle of winter (no, really)
Your comments about the Point Breaks list
I shared with my contacts at IHG some of the things that you guys have said about the new Point Breaks list either as comments on the blog or on the miles and points Facebook group: (comments verbatim but bolding mine)
“this is yet another serious blow to the once vaunted IHG rewards program….”
“However I suspect the 5k level will vanish in 2019 and the ICs will start to drop off the list again to leave us with the same dregs which few people want to stay at.”
“IHG points devaluated. Before there were good options for 5000 points. The maximum points per night were 50,000 in the best hotels. Now I see hotels with 60,000. So we are getting less for our points. I am Spire member so usually get room upgrade and late checkout up to 4pm. That’s the only reason I keep going with IHG. But since last year I started diverting to other loyalty programs. I’ll do the same this year but start earlier to be able to reach higher level in them too. Loyalty should be from both sides and apparently IHG does not understand that. As a result I cancelled all my upcoming reservations with them and opened my eyes for other loyalty programs (Thank you IHG customer service).”
“There’s a cat1 Marriott in Vernal all year round (7.5k). Funny that [PointBreaks] is worse than competitor’s regular price now.”
“Appears to be a ripoff. Vernal Utah should be about 5000 points per night or less. There is nothing in Vernal. And Fargo, ND? 15K? Let’s get real – it’s FARGO NORTH DAKOTA.”
“My guess: It will end up being a bloodbath, with far fewer 5k properties than before.”
“The problem is that they will have some popular locations and nice hotels like London and Nairobi which are both a steal at 10k, but a few years down the road, we’ll still be looking at the same sad lists we’ve been looking at recently but only at 10/15k instead of 5k.”
“I’m sure eventually it’ll be holiday inns for 15K though.”
I reached out twice to my contacts at IHG, asking for more information about how the hotels were chosen or any other comments that they wanted to share with their readers. They responded with
We appreciate you sharing your readers’ feedback and will be sure to pass this along to our team, but we have heard from our members that they wanted more options available as part of the PointBreaks promotion and we hope they will be pleased with the new list.
I was fairly disappointed – I had hoped for something more substantive but I guess I’m not surprised. Very similar non-speak from when I talked to American Express about their change to the Centurion Lounge access policy
So what now?
At this point, it looks like IHG has decided their plans and prefer to keep things close to the vest. If you have comments, you can leave them directly with IHG or of course, vote with your wallet / points
What do you think about the new IHG PointBreaks list? Finding anything good?