Maybe. But before you get too excited, let me say that none of the US hotels on the new list are beachfront. So if that’s a deal breaker, you might as well stop reading now. Still here?
So, seeing a new IHG PointBreaks list is always an exciting time for me. Sure, usually I end up disappointed. But I’m an eternal optimist (yes, really), and there is always another list to look forward to, at least till IHG kills this promo off. Current booking period runs from January 25th-April 30th. The list should go live sometime tomorrow morning.
So, let’s get down to business. There is a hotel in Florida that could provide a decent base for your Spring Break vacation. It’s Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Airport/I-95N What? An airport hotel? Yes, but hear me out. It’s located within a relatively short driving distance to Amelia Island that has very nice beaches. You can visit Jacksonville zoo, various museums and my favorite: Make a day trip to St. Augustine (see my post). Check out hotel’s location on the map:
The area has a lot to offer, and will definitely keep your family busy and entertained. This particular Crowne Plaza has two pools, one indoor and one outdoor, so that’s another plus. Normal award rate runs at 20,000 IHG points, so to be able to score this hotel for only 5,000 points per night is a steal.
Be aware, rooms come with two double beds but at this price, why not splurge on two rooms? This is particularly useful to large families who live in the Northeast, since you can reach Jacksonville by car within 13 hours, so no need to buy airplane tickets. I suspect this hotel will be popular and drop off the list within few days, if not sooner.
There are two more hotels listed for Florida, but neither of them seems particularly exciting unless you need an overnight stay. The one in Perry might appeal to outdoorsy types. See full list of hotels on Loyalty Lobby. There are a few decent properties in California, Arizona and Louisiana and a Holiday Inn in Staten Island, New York.
As always, whether a list is a stud or a dud will depend on your plans and a size of your savings account. The biggest appeal of PointBreaks program is that a regular family can travel for next to nothing. The hotel’s location might not be ideal (who wants to vacation near an airport?), but it will be good enough. And good enough ain’t bad.
You have a few options to get the points right now if you don’t already have them in your IHG account:
1) Transfer the points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to IHG 1:1 if you have Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus 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.
How you can prepare for a future PointBreaks list:
1)Participate in Priceless Surprises promotion. Dirt cheap points in exchange for some work. I finally got all of my confirmation emails. Hooray!
2) Consider switching some of your hotel stays to IHG chain in order to complete tasks in 2016 Accelerate promotion (see links to further posts on this subject). Might be worth a mattress run.
3) At some point consider signing up for Chase IHG MasterCard, my favorite card of all time (it was even before it started paying me referral). There are so many reasons to get it: possible upgrades, 10% rebate on points’ redemptions and annual certificate for only $49 renewal fee. It really is a no-brainer, and a card to hang on to indefinitely. An update: Runningwithmiles blog reports that there is a non-affiliate offer that gives 60K points+$50
New PointBreaks list will go live tomorrow January 25th. If you are interested in a specific property, I recommend you book it right away. Reserve now, ask questions later since you can always cancel and get your points back. You are allowed 2 reservations per IHG account, but they can be for as long as you like. You’ll be able to access updated PointBreaks list here
P.S. Check out this trip report written by my friend. She was a PointBreaks “virgin,” but not anymore: Knoxville on points, our first experience with IHG You see, Floridans go north for vacations. Beaches, we don’t need no stinking beaches!
Leana is the 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.