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IHG Rewards released its latest PointBreaks list yesterday afternoon (for reservations through February 2019) but, although I posted details of the full list at the time, I’ve only now had the time to take a proper look at what’s on offer this time around.
IHG PointBreaks Through 2.28.19 – The Headline Numbers
108 properties appear on the latest PointBreaks list which, per IHG, is approximately just 2% of the hotelier’s portfolio.
Of those properties….
- 13 properties cost 5,000 points/night (12%)
- 74 properties cost 10,000 points/night (69%)
- 21 properties cost 15,000 points per night (19%)
The current PointBreaks list looks like this when you break it down by hotel brand:
- Holiday Inn & Holiday Inn Express – 74 properties (68%)
- Crowne Plaza – 13 properties (12%)
- Staybridge & Candlewood – 11 properties (10%)
- Hotel Indigo – 3 properties (3%)
- ANA Hotels – 3 properties (3%)
- InterContiental – 4 properties (4%)
Thoughts & What These Numbers Mean
With just 2% of IHG properties participating in the latest PointBreaks sale it was never going to be a particularly exciting one….but the overwhelming number of lower end properties on offer makes the sale worse than it needed to be. IHG could do a lot better.
When 78% of all the properties on offer are either Holiday Inn brands or long-stay brands you can be sure that you’re not going to find too many gems in the sale….and the fact that only 4 InterContinental properties are available doesn’t make the sale any more attractive.
With just 13 properties on offer at 5,000 points and with 7 of those properties located in mainland China I’m not sure there was all that much point in having a “5,000 point category” this time around.
It’s not like IHG has been particularly inventive this time either.
Of the 4 InterContinental properties on offer I recognise 3 from recent PointBreaks sales and that tells me how low the demand is at these locations – this isn’t so much IHG offering us good deals as IHG disposing of inventory it probably has no other way of disposing.
There are a few airport hotels in this list that may be of use to those of us who have overnight layovers or early flights to catch but, by and large, there isn’t that much to see here….except for a few outliers.
Finding Value In This PointBreaks Sale
I had to look hard but (amazingly) there are at least 2-3 good deals to be had in this sale and they’re even good deals if you buy points in the current IHG Rewards points sale (on through 30 November).
The First deal I’d like to highlight is for the one InterContinental property I don’t recall seeing in recent PointBreaks sales – the InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach resort in Vietnam
I’ve had a look at this property’s webpage and checked out the reviews on TripAdvisor and it looks like a great place to stay. More importantly, the PointBreaks deal for this property is a good one.
Ordinarily this InterContinental property costs 35,000 points per night….
…but it’s available for less than half that (15,000 points/night) in this sale.
A random night in December costs $121.13 (+ taxes) in the current Cyber Sale (so it will be more expensive once the sale is over)……
or it can be booked for 15,000 points:
Once the taxes are factored in the cash cost for the room comes to $139.91….
…which means that you would be getting over 0.9 cents/point of value out of your IHG Rewards balance if you were to use points to reserve this night – not bad considering you can buy IHG points for 0.5 cents each right now.
You can get a little more value if you’re looking to book in 2019.
A random night in February 2019 costs 15,000 points or $141.79 + tax….
…..so, once you’ve add in the tax on the cash rate…..
…you’re actually getting over 1.0 cents of value out of each IHG Rewards points and that’s double what IHG will sell you points for right now.
That’s a very good deal indeed for a property which looks very nice indeed:
The other good deal I’d like to highlight is a good one if you’re looking to escape the winter cold and get a bit of sun….and I’m actually surprised to see this deal on offer in such a poor PointBreaks list.
There are two properties on the latest PointBreaks list which are located in the UAE and the UAE is a hugely popular destination during the winter months (so I’m more than a little surprised to see these properties on offer).
Ok, so we’re not dealing with high-end properties here but if you’re looking for a good-value break to the sun these are well worth considering.
Let’s take the Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi as an example.
The property is available to be booked over new Year and the choice facing you is either 15,000 points or 585.05 AED (+ taxes) per night.
6 nights this property (spanning New Year) would cost a total of 4,307.43 AED once all the taxes are included….
….and that works out to approximately $1,173:
Using IHG Rewards points to book this room would cost you 90,000 points….
…and would see you get 1.3 cents of value out of each IHG Reward point (which, in case you had forgotten, can currently be bought for just 0.5 cents each)…and this is for a stay over New Year!
If you hold the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card the deal gets even better.
This credit card gives you a 4th night free on all awards booking so, in the case of this 6 night booking, you would only have to spend 75,000 which would see you get almost 1.6 cents/point of value out of your IHG Rewards balance.
If you’re a fan of visiting the UAE you’ll struggle to get better value out of your IHG points.
On a positive note, there are one or two excellent deals to be had here but they’re very specific and not all that much use to travelers who have little interest in visiting the countries where the deals are to be had.
Overall the lack of good deals across multiple destinations means that this is a particularly poor Point Breaks list and, considering that IHG was meant to be breathing new life into these quarterly sales by introducing 10,000 and 15,000 points/night properties, that’s very disappointing.
If you happen to be visiting a location where a deal has suddenly sprung up you’re in luck….but the rest of us will just have to hope for a better sale next time around.