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New PointBreaks List, aka Don’t Look a Gift Horse in a Mouth

Right now, the blogosphere is probably filled with complaints about the new PointBreaks list. It happens almost every time. Why are IC Tokyo and IC London properties not on the list? I don’t know. Why are my kids not making their own dinner? Why is my yard not mowing itself? PointBreaks program is a gift horse.

gift horse

Image courtesy of Boians Cho Joo Young at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When someone gives you  a horse,  you don’t inspect it for flaws. OK, to be honest, if someone offered me a horse, I would say: “Thanks, but no thanks!”  But you get what I’m trying to say.

Don’t get me wrong, most of the time, the list is “meh” when it comes to our vacation plans. We are not jetsetters living out of hotels, and can’t just book 4 airline tickets to visit Malaysia next month. But I still get excited about this list. It’s like  a little gift, and I’m always flush with anticipation as to what the new offering will be. It brings out a kid in me, as corny as it sounds!

PointBreaks   program is the most generous type of promotion when it comes to hotel points. No other scheme comes close. Say you got Chase IHG credit card by signing up for the official offer of 60,000 points. BTW, I’m not saying you should do that. Some have gotten a targeted offer of 80,000 points+$50 by going through IHG website and trying to make a dummy reservation. You can also message Chase and ask them to match it (my cousin-in-law did and was successful), but it’s not a guarantee.

But even 60,000 points would be enough for 12 hotel nights, assuming IHG keeps this program around. That’s incredible! Sure, new Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature card currently comes with 75,000 points bonus, the best ever. And there are a  few properties in US that cost only 5,000 points per night. In fact, I’ve written about one of them before. But unless you are heading to one of those 4 places, you are out of luck.

In contrast, PointBreaks list changes every few months, so chances are, eventually, there will be a hotel near you or in a location you are interested in. No, in all likelihood, you won’t see a beachfront resort in Florida on March PointBreaks  list. But there may be one in August during hurricane season. In fact, a few years ago, we stayed in  Crowne Plaza Melbourne for only 5,000 IHG points per night.

Before you get too excited, in my opinion, there aren’t any gems on the current list. But it could still provide an affordable getaway. PointBreaks program is an amazing bargain for a large family since you can splurge points on two rooms, and not feel bad about it. The list should go live Monday, so don’t delay booking a hotel you are interested in. You are allowed 2 PointBreaks reservations per IHG account, but they can be for as long as you like.

As always, you have a few options to get the points:

1) Transfer the points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to IHG  1:1 if you have Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus or Ink Bold cards. Per reports, the points don’t always transfer instantly.

2) Buy them directly from IHG at a cost of 13.50 per one thousand points. LINK

3) You can also buy them via “cash+points” trick, where you make a reservation at a random IHG hotel, then cancel it and get the points refunded. That way, they end up costing 0.7 cents each. You have to have 5,000 points  to begin with. I don’t endorse this method and IHG may suspend your account if you do it too many times, but it’s there if you are willing to risk it.

Here is a post on LoyaltyLobby listing all the properties.

You can also find a map of hotels here, scroll all the way down.

There are a few Crowne Plaza and Indigo hotels, which are usually a bit nicer than your “run of the mill” Holiday Inn. They are:

Crowne Plaza Little Rock

Hotel Indigo Atlanta Airport – College Park

Crowne Plaza Auburn Hills

Crowne Plaza Bloomington MSP Airport / MOA

Crowne Plaza Suffern-Mahwah

There are a few Staybridge Suites properties as well, so check the list. We can’t fly anywhere since my husband’s 2015 vacation days are used up, so I was mostly interested in Florida properties close by.  I don’t think we will be going to any of them, but I suspect they will be in demand. Here is the list:

Florida

Holiday Inn Express Bonifay
Candlewood Suites Melbourne/Viera
Holiday Inn Express Niceville-Eglin AFB
Holiday Inn Express Tampa-I-75 @ Bruce B. Downs

Note that properties in Tampa and Melbourne will only accommodate 2 people in the room when using points. Holiday Inn Express in Niceville looks interesting. It’s located in Florida Panhandle, not far from the nice beach,  so many of you could probably drive there from your home state.

Readers, are you planning to take advantage of this list? I would love to hear about your plans.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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