PointBreaks is Dead. I Do Not Necessarily Agree…

A list of hotel and resort properties are released from IHG Rewards Club every three months or so which participate in what are known as PointBreaks — through which you will only need to redeem as few as 5,000 points per reward night — and the latest list of 203 hotel and resort properties became effective as of today, Monday, January 29, 2018 through Monday, April 30, 2018…

PointBreaks is Dead. I Do Not Necessarily Agree…

…but the difference this year is that only 33 of those hotel properties — eleven in the United States and 22 elsewhere around the world — are eligible for redeeming 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points. Compare that to this list of 108 hotel properties in Autumn 2017 through which you could redeem only 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points, and the number of hotel properties available for the redemption of 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points was reduced by almost a whopping 70 percent. Based on that statistic alone, the PointBreaks program suffered from a significant devaluation.

The remaining 170 hotel properties are eligible for two new — and more expensive — levels of PointBreaks which have been introduced this year. You can now redeem 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points at 116 hotel properties worldwide — 76 of them in the United States; and you can also redeem 15,000 IHG Rewards Club points at 54 hotel properties worldwide — 20 of them in the United States. Is this considered a devaluation?

That depends on your point of view. “Holiday Inn that were previously going for 25000 points are 15000 in the low season? Give me a break, not a Point Break”, according to FlyerTalk member iggyray, who was the person who declared that PointBreaks is dead. “A NJ Crowne Plaza Saddle Brook that was on Point Breaks 1.5 years ago for 5000 in October is twice as much now for February?” In that case, then the new PointBreaks program may be considered a devaluation

…and the redemption of 15,000 IHG Rewards Club points as a “sale price” may seem ludicrous in order to stay one night at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Watertown-Thousand Islands hotel property in northern New York state — which I chose randomly from the aforementioned list — until you consider that you typically need to redeem at least 30,000 IHG Rewards Club points for staying one night most other times of the year, which includes the brutally cold winter with plenty of lake-effect snow. In this case, you save 50 percent on your redemption and therefore may not be considered a devaluation.

Also, consider that only one InterContinental hotel property appeared on aforementioned list of hotel properties from Autumn 2017. This quarter, no fewer than nine InterContinental hotel properties appear on the list — which may not be considered a devaluation — although none of them are available at a redemption rate of only 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points, which may be considered a devaluation.

Select Terms and Conditions of PointBreaks

Due to limited availability, you may only book two PointBreaks reward nights reservations per hotel property for the duration of this promotion — resulting in the more desirable hotel properties tending to “sell out” quickly.

You must be a member of the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program in order to be eligible to participate in this offer.

Please note that reward nights booked through PointBreaks may not be sold or used for commercial gains. Doing so is a program violation and may result in the freezing of your account; the forfeiture of all point transfers, rewards, vouchers, or merchandise issued pursuant to point redemptions; and any accrued points or miles in your account, as well as cancellation of the account and your future participation in the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program.

Other terms and conditions — including the terms and conditions for membership in the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program — apply.

Summary

I am not sure that anyone would definitively agree that the list of hotel properties for the latest PointBreaks is stellar. The good news is that the number of hotel properties almost doubled from last year with the inclusion of some arguably better hotel properties; but the bad news is that almost 84 percent of those hotel properties require at least 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points.

Even if this list were considered exceptional, companies have a tendency to introduce changes to a program which are initially beneficial to — and therefore applauded by — their customers…

…and like a frog in water which eventually boils, the program is slowly devalued until it became almost worthless to most people, which almost always eventually erodes the trust in which customers place in the company. This is why frequent fliers are hesitant to embrace any “enhancements” in frequent travel loyalty programs — and many times, rightfully so.

That the PointBreaks program of IHG Rewards Club could potentially improve with the new increased redemption levels is indeed possible — but with the many other changes to the IHG Rewards Club frequent guest loyalty program which have been perceived as negative in recent years, I personally would not hold my breath waiting for that day to happen…

…and although I am not exactly jumping up and down in a joyful jig full of glee, I would not necessarily call PointBreaks dead, either — if only for the aforementioned reasons in green type.

If you do decide to participate in this PointBreaks offer, book your reservations as soon as possible — lest you be out of luck with exhausted availability at the hotel property of your choice…

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.


 

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4 thoughts on “PointBreaks is Dead. I Do Not Necessarily Agree…”

  1. EJ says:

    What good is a benefit that you can’t use? I’m willing to pay more points for better availability. A vast majority of PointsBreaks lists in the past were not very useful, despite the low point costs. I would say this is an overall improvement.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I agree with you when you say “what good is a benefit that you can’t use”, EJ

      …but I would not be surprised at all if some people disagree if they believe that even the expanded list is not very useful, either…

  2. Mike L says:

    Seems dead to me. I’d much rather see them cut some of the higher end properties in half than this jumbled mess of a list. There are so many hotels in the 10k and 15k categories that have made an appearance on the 5k list before. Now that they’ve divided up the list, it’s only a matter of time until the categories become 10k, 15k and 20k, then 15k, 20k, 25k – before they just end the program.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I was thinking similar thoughts to you when I used the frog in boiling water cliché, Mike L — but I guess I am trying to be optimistic on this one…

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