As many of you know, I am a big fan of the Intercontinental Hotel Group Rewards program (IHG). This program includes properties from Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Candlewood Suites. I scored over 132,000 points with them last quarter during the Big Win promotion and plan on getting at least 74,000 more this quarter with another Big Win promotion. You can also get 80,000 IHG points after spending just $1 by signing up for the IHG Rewards Visa card. You can also transfer some of the 40,000 point bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred to IHG as well.
By far the best use of your IHG points is their Pointbreaks program. Every few months IHG has a rotating list of properties that can be booked for just 5,000 points per night. This includes properties from all members of the IHG family, even the top of the line Intercontinental brand. The Pointbreaks list just went live for the period of January 27, 2014-March 31, 2014 and there are a few nice properties if you want to plan a spring break getaway somewhere fun.
The Intercontinental Phnom Penh looks like an interesting choice and has a usual rate of $171 a night, giving the points a value of 3.4 cents per point. I didn’t get to see Phnom Penh when I was in Cambodia, but lounging by this pool would certainly be a good way to relax during sightseeing trips.
The Intercontinental Beijing is also on the list and has a spectacular lobby and has a normal rate of $141 a night giving a value of 2.8 center per point.This would be a great spot for relaxing after the hustle and bustle of the city life.
The Intercontinental Mendoza in Argentina is also on the list if wineries are more your speed. The normal rate of $187 a night gives you a value of 3.7 cents per point.I know a few of you could put those casks to good use!
There is also a very interesting Holiday Inn on the list that Survivor fans might like with the Holiday Inn Vanuatu. The normal rate of $218 a night yields a massive value of 4.3 cents per point which is awesome!These over the water bungalows are probably not the ones given for the 5000 point rooms, but you can usually request an upgrade for an additional fee.
Booking the Promotional Rate
IHG makes booking this promotional rate quite easy. Just go to the page of the property you are interested in and go to the Room and Rates page. Enter your dates you want to go (make sure to enter dates before March 31 to see the promotional rates) and make sure that Reward Nights is checked in the Rate Preference options.Hit Apply and the cash rates as well as the points rates will show. If the Pointbreaks rate is available, it will show like this:Choose Book this Room and after you log in it will take you to a summary page where you can see the total cost.But wait! Here is a pro tip: The Pointbreaks rates frequently sell out for the more desirable properties and you won’t be able to change your booking once it sells out and keep the pointbreaks rate. So you should make multiple one night bookings for each night of your stay and then if your dates or needs change, you can remove one or more nights without invalidating the entire reservation and losing this awesome deal. Also since there is no penalty for canceling a points break reservation (they just put the points back into your rewards account), it is better to go ahead and book now if you are interested in a property and then cancel the reservation if you don’t need it.
You can access the full points breaks list here.