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The brand new PointBreaks list allows us to book hotel rooms through May 31, 2015 for $35 per night.

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Crowne Plaza Bucharest (Romania), $35

Even if you’ve read other posts on the list, read this. I’ve honed my strategy for getting $35 per night rooms quite a bit, and I want to share it, so everyone can have access to the best practices.

Plus I’ve stayed in PointBreaks hotels several times in the last few years, so I want to say a word on their quality.

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Holiday Inn Fortaleza (Brazil), $35

 

This post will tell you how to book any hotel on the list of IHG Reward Club’s PointBreaks hotels for at most $35 per night, even the ones that ordinarily cost $200 or more per night like InterContinental hotels.

  • What’s my strategy to make the most of PointBreaks?
  • What are the top properties on the newest PointBreaks list?
  • What change to PointBreaks rules has changed my booking strategy?

IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks

IHG Rewards Club is the loyalty program for InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites.

As we covered here, IHG Rewards Club normally charges 10,000 to 50,000 points for a free night depending on the property. But every few months, IHG Rewards Club releases a list of a select few hotels where you can stay for 5,000 points per night. That’s a 90% discount on some hotels!

The new list of PointBreaks hotels is good for stays now through 5/31/15.

We can stay at any hotel on the PointBreaks list for $35 just by using one loophole!

The basic premise is that IHG Rewards Club lets you buy 10,000 points for $70, which is 0.7 cents per point.

Problem #1: Not every hotel is on the PointBreaks list.

Solution: There is no solution for this problem.

When a new list comes out, I check its end date then consult my travel schedule to figure out where I’ll be between now and then that I might want a hotel. I also consider trips I haven’t planned, but have been mulling. And finally I look for the incredible properties that normally cost 50,000 miles to see if I want to take an impromptu trip.

I note all the hotels that I might want to stay at.

Problem #2: Not every night is available at hotels that are on the list–and what availability there is can disappear quickly.

Solution: Book award space now.

This leads to Problem #3.

Problem #3: I may want to change my plans later, but I may have to cancel the entire award to do that, costing me the chance at 5,000 point ($35) nights.

Solution: Book awards as a series of one-night stays.

The solution used to be to book awards as a series of one-night stays then later cancel the ones you didn’t need. That is now prohibited by the terms and conditions, which say:

“Due to the limited availability, each member may only book two PointBreaks® Reward Nights reservations per hotel during the special offer time period.”

Now you have to make your best guess for when you’ll want to stay at a hotel. Or you can always make two reservations each from multiple accounts.

If you book more nights than you need, I also think it’s possible that by calling IHG or the hotel, you can trim some dates off a previous booking, but I can’t say for sure that would work.

Problem #4: I don’t have any IHG Rewards Club points.

Solution: We can transfer in 5,000 Ultimate Rewards to have 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points. Or we can buy 5,000 points for $67.50. Once we have 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points, we can buy unlimited quantities for 0.7 cents each.

The first step if you don’t have any IHG Rewards Club points is to get to 5,000. From there you can buy more points cheaply.

The best way to get 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points is to buy 5,000 for $67.50.

If your cash poor, you can also transfer Ultimate Rewards points transfer to IHG Rewards Club points at 1:1 ratio in about 14 hours in my experience. You can make the transfer at ultimaterewards.com by clicking the IHG Rewards Club link under the transfer points tab.

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Then give your IHG Rewards Club account info and select the points to transfer in increments on 1,000.

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You want to have 5,000 points after making the transfer. I feel bad moving Ultimate Rewards to IHG Rewards Club because Ultimate Rewards are worth almost three times as much as IHG Rewards Club points, but to be able to buy more IHG Rewards Club points for 0.7 cents, we need to have at least 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points.

Purchasing Points for 0.7 Cents

Once you have 5,000 or more points in your account, you can buy the rest of the points you need for 0.7 cents each.

The way to buy IHG Rewards Club points for 0.7 cents is to make a cash and points award booking then cancel it. Once you have an IHG Rewards Club account with 5,000 points, the next step is to book a 15,000 point award. Why? When booking a 15,000 point award, you are given the option to purchase the 10,000 point shortfall for $70, which is 0.7 cents per point. Here is such an award:

As you can see, this award costs 15,000 points or 5,000 and $70. Select 5,000 points and $70 and pay for the award. The confirmation screen makes it very clear that the $70 is going towards buying 10,000 points that would be immediately used to book the award.

After booking, immediately cancel the reservation online by following a link from the booking confirmation page. That brings you to this screen:

As you can see, my reservation has been cancelled. As you can also see in the top right, the points immediately credit back to my account. My account now has 15,000 points, 5,000 that I transferred from Ultimate Rewards or bought for $67.50 and 10,000 that I just bought for $70 while making a dummy booking.

If you need more points, then you repeat this step. For instance, I recently increased my account balance from 5,000 to 45,000 in two dummy bookings. I just showed the first. In the second, I selected the same hotel on a three-night cash and points booking. That booking cost 15,000 points (my new balance) plus $210 to buy the other 30,000 points needed. Then I cancelled that booking, and I had 45,000 points from a 5,000 Ultimate Rewards transfer and $280 in cash.

If $280 sounds like a lot of cash, don’t forget that my 45,000 points is enough for nine nights in a hotel.

Caveats

Not all hotels are on the PointBreaks list. Not all nights are available as 5,000 point award nights at the hotels that are on the list. Check availability before buying points.

Make sure your account has 5,000 more points than you need for your speculative bookings. You always want a balance of 5,000 points at the end for your next round of buying points. It would be a shame to have to make another Ultimate Rewards transfer next PointBreaks list.

Best Hotels on this PointBreaks List

As usual, the list is mostly Holiday Inns and Holiday Inn Expresses abroad plus Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites in the United States.

At $35, even those are steals, but if you want something more upmarket, check out:

NEW HAMPSHIRE
CROWNE PLAZA NASHUA

LITHUANIA
CROWNE PLAZA VILNIUS

ROMANIA
CROWNE PLAZA BUCHAREST

CAMBODIA
INTERCONTINENTAL PHNOM PENH ($177 per night in April)

JAPAN
CROWNE PLAZA ANA UBE

TIBET (CHINA)
INTERCONTINENTAL LHASA PARADISE ($270 per night in April)

 

BRAZIL
HOLIDAY INN FORTALEZA ($108 per night in April)

COSTA RICA
HOTEL INDIGO SAN JOSE FORUM COSTA RICA

I’ve got my eye on the CROWNE PLAZA SUITES SUITES TEQUENDAMA BOGOTA. I think I’ll head back to the city for a few days in April, but honestly I prefer to stay farther north, so I probably will just get an Airbnb aprartment.

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Crowne Plaza Bogota (Colombia)

Examples of My PointBreaks Stays

Example from Summer 2013

I scoured that summer’s PointBreaks list to see if any of my travel plans coincided with any of the hotels, and they did in one case: I was in South Africa in August and there was a Holiday Inn Express in Pretoria and a Holiday Inn in Sandton (Johannesburg) on the list.

I booked three consecutive one night stays at the Holiday Inn in Sandton and three consecutive one night stays at the Holiday Inn Express in Pretoria.

The Sandton Holiday Inn goes for $117 per night, but I got the rooms for $35.

I used three of the six nights, and I canceled the ones I didn’t need within a few days of check in when I finally knew my plans. (Check the cancellation policy when you book as it varies by hotel, but you always have until the last few days at a minimum.)

Neither hotel was luxurious, but both had free internet and the Holiday Inn Express had a free hot breakfast buffet that saved me the cost of a meal.

Both hotels were clean and comfortable, so I was very happy with my stays as I reported in my post about saving 88% on my hotel bill in Stockholm.

Example from Summer 2012

I checked that summer’s PointBreaks list to see if any of my travel plans coincided with any of the hotels, and they did in one case: I would be in Krakow, Poland and the Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre was on the list.

I was in Krakow June 6 – 9, and I didn’t have a hotel booked. While the Krakow Holiday Inn was hardly the nicest property on the PointBreaks list, its cheapest room June 6 was 531 Polish Zloty, which was $153.

The first thing I did was search availability, and I found space June 6 and 8, but not June 7. I decided to book June 6 and 8, so I needed 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points.

I had zero IHG Rewards Club points in my account, so I transferred in 5,000 points from Ultimate Rewards. I bought 10,000 more points for $70 exactly how I outlined above leaving me with 15,000 points after I cancelled my dummy booking.

With my new points, I made two one-night bookings on June 6 and 8.

I noted the cancellation policy, which varies by hotel, in case I had to cancel. At the Holiday Inn Krakow, I just had to cancel by 4 PM the day of arrival.

I ended up very much enjoying the stay at the Holiday Inn Krakow, and I wrote about it in my Krakow, Poland Hotel Guide.

Recap

The new PointBreaks list is out from IHG Rewards Club. This is a list of hotels you can book for 5,000 points or $35 per night. The best way to take advantage of the list is to be active right now.

I have booked a $153 hotel room for $35 using the techniques in this post.

Which hotel will you stay at for $35?

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Pay your award taxes and fees with the Arrival Plus then redeem Arrival miles to remove the charge.

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Hyatt, SPG, Marriott, IHG, and Fairmont offer (or will offer by next month) free internet in their hotels worldwide.

Hyatt announced free wifi in lobbies and guest rooms worldwide, starting February 1, 2015. This applies no matter how you book your room–yes even if you use Priceline–and even if you are not a member of the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program. Hyatt operates the Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Andaz, GrandHyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Residences, and Hyatt Residence Club brands.

SPG announced free internet access, starting February 2, 2015. The free internet is only available to SPG members who book their stay through SPG.com or other SPG owned channels (ie the SPG app or sheraton.com.) Join SPG for free here. SPG operates the following brands.

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Marriott announced free internet access, starting January 15, 2015. The free internet is only available to Marriott Rewards members who book their stay through marriott.com or other Marriott owned channels (ie by phone or directly with the hotel.) Join Marriott Rewards for free here. Marriott operates the following brands.

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IHG already offers free internet to IHG Rewards club members no matter how their stay is booked. Join IHG Rewards for free here. IHG operates the following brands.

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Fairmont already offers free internet to Fairmont President’s Club members no matter how their stay is booked. Join Fairmont President’s Club for free here. Fairmont operates the following brands.

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Finally the great hotels of the world are catching up with a standard benefit of hostels for the last decade. ;)

Seriously though, this is great news for travelers. In the United States, I never bought internet from hotels anymore, opting to tether my laptop to my phone, but abroad I was often stuck paying 10 to 15 euros per day at hotels. I look forward to free internet at hotels worldwide for the rest of my life.

The one noticeable absence from this post is Hilton. Hilton has not announced free internet to match its rivals. (I expect it will.) In the meantime, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card comes with Two Free Nights worldwide at top tier Hiltons after spending $2,500 in four months on the card.

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card also comes with Hilton Gold Status as long as you hold the card, which means free internet on your Hilton stays.

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Through Monday September 22, 2014, you can buy 100,000+ IHG Rewards points for 0.575 cents each.

Buying IHG points for under 0.6 cents each means you can book certain IHG hotel rooms for less than $30 per night.

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This sale virtually ties the cheapest I’ve ever seen the points for sale. In May, during Daily Getaways, 100k points were sold for $567 (0.008 cents cheaper per point), and that package sold out quickly.

  • How does the sale work?
  • How can you get $30 hotel nights?
  • Is this a good deal?

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IHG Rewards has a fantastic promotion called Into the Nights in which you can turn a few cheap stays into free stays at top tier hotels worldwide.

Everyone is given several tasks to complete that vary in difficulty. Each task has an associated amount of bonus points. Complete a set number, and you also earn another set of bonus points or the two Free Nights.

This promotion began two weeks ago, but I avoided writing about it until I knew what “Free Nights” meant.

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The word has come back to Gary Leff that these Free Nights are identical to the Free Nights earned by the credit card and can be used at any IHG Rewards property whenever there is award night availability with points.

  • What is my targeted offer?
  • What is yours?
  • Am I participating?
  • How should you calculate whether participating is a good deal for you?

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There are several posts on the new PointBreaks list, which allows us to book hotel rooms through July 31, 2014 for $30 or less per night. Even if you’ve read those, read this.

I’ve honed my strategy for getting $30 per night rooms quite a bit, and I want to share it, so everyone can have access to the best practices. Plus I’ve stayed in PointBreaks hotels several times in the last two years, so I want to say a word on their quality.

And there has been a big change to my booking strategy since the last PointBreaks list, forced by a change in the PointBreaks terms and conditions.

This post will tell you how to book any hotel on the list of IHG Reward Club’s PointBreaks hotels for at most $30 per night, even the ones that ordinarily cost $200 or more per night.

And there is an overlap with a Daily Getaways sale that means you can get a PointBreaks hotel this summer for $30.

This or better for $30 instead of $100+ stretches your travel dollar
  • What’s my strategy to make the most of PointBreaks?
  • What are the top properties on the newest PointBreaks list?
  • What change to PointBreaks rules has changed my booking strategy?
  • How can but IHG Rewards points 16% cheaper for a limited time?

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Update 5/28/14: The 100k package sold out, but the 50k, 25k, and 15k packages are still available.

Today is the first day of the second week of five weeks of discounted travel packages sponsored by the US Travel Association and American Express called Daily Getaways. Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will usually sell out in a few minutes. Some of the offers will be awesome; some will be duds.

Today’s deal is discounted IHG Rewards points:

  • 15,000 IHG points | $90 | 2,500 available | 0.6 cpp
  • 25,000 IHG points | $150.30 | 2,000 available | 0.6 cpp
  • 50,000 IHG points | $292.50 | 1,250 available | 0.59 cpp
  • 100,000 IHG points | $567 | 1,000 available | 0.57 cpp

IHG Rewards points can be used for free hotel nights starting at 5,000 points per night.

  • Is 0.57 cents per IHG point a good deal?
  • How can you use this deal to get $29 hotel rooms?

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There are several posts on the new PointBreaks list, which allows us to book hotel rooms through May 31, 2014 for as low as $28.75 per night. Even if you’ve read those, read this. I’ve honed my strategy for getting $35 or less per night rooms quite a bit, and I want to share it, so everyone can have access to the best practices. Plus I’ve stayed in PointBreaks hotels several times in the last two years, so I want to say a word on their quality.

This post will tell you how to book any hotel on the list of IHG Reward Club’s PointBreaks hotels for at most $35 per night, even the ones that ordinarily cost $200 or more per night like InterContinental hotels.

And I’ll explain how to give yourself maximum flexibility to pick the exact dates you want as the trip approaches.

This or better for $35 instead of $100+ stretches your travel dollar

What’s my strategy to make the most of PointBreaks? What are the top properties on the newest PointBreaks list?

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IHG Rewards Club, the loyalty program of Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, and more is selling points with targeted 25% to 100% bonuses.

Check your email for the subject line “Reveal your mystery bonus” or click this link.

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After typing in my account information, I was offered a 100% bonus on points purchases through April 21, 2014.

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At what levels of this promotion would I consider it a good deal to buy IHG points?

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There are several posts on the new PointBreaks list, which allows us to book hotel rooms through March 31, 2014 for only $35 per night. Even if you’ve read those, read this. I’ve honed my strategy for getting $35 per night rooms quite a bit, and I want to share it, so everyone can have access to the best practices. Plus I’ve stayed in PointBreaks hotels several times in the last two years, so I want to say a word on their quality.

This post will tell you how to book any hotel on the list of IHG Reward Club’s PointBreaks hotels for only $35 per night, even the ones that ordinarily cost $200 or more per night like the InterContinental Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

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Phnom Penh is on my to-visit list!

 

And I’ll explain how to give yourself maximum flexibility to pick the exact dates you want as the trip approaches.

This or better for $35 instead of $100+ stretches your travel dollar

What’s my strategy to make the most of PointBreaks? What are the top properties on the newest PointBreaks list?

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

2013 was a year of several major devaluation announcements including:

  • United (kicks in February 1, 2014)
  • Southwest (kicks in March 31, 2014)
  • Delta (already kicked in on current award bookings for travel that starts February 1, 2014 or later)
  • Hyatt (kicks in January 7, 2014)
  • Ultimate Rewards (with three major transfer partners devaluing–United, Southwest, and Hyatt–the program took a major hit through no fault of its own)

But the more things change, the more they stay the same. We’re still getting outsized value from our miles and points and traveling the world in style for next to nothing.

What’s my outlook for 2014 and what’s my strategy for earning and burning the major points’ currencies?

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I almost never write about hotel promotions because they are constant and usually underwhelming except as a few extra points for business travelers who have their rooms paid for. The IHG Big Win is an exception.

IHG Rewards has announced a repeat of its current Big Win promotion for January 1 to April 30, 2014. The current Big Win has been running since September 1, 2013, and I’ve already earned 153,700 bonus IHG Rewards points for participating in it.

You can register for The New Big Win today to see your offers, which vary by person. Here is a FlyerTalk thread discussing various offers people have gotten.

I got a decent offer–not nearly as good as this year’s. I have to make five stays at four different hotels to earn 81,800 bonus IHG Rewards points.

What was my offer? How will I take advantage? What are IHG Rewards Club points worth? Should you go all in with The Big Win?

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I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

There are several posts on the new PointBreaks list, which allows us to book hotel rooms through January 31, 2014 for only $35 per night. Even if you’ve read those, read this. I’ve honed my strategy for getting $35 per night rooms quite a bit, and I want to share it, so everyone can have access to the best practices. Plus I’ve stayed in PointBreaks hotels several times in the last two years, so I want to say a word on their quality.

This post will tell you how to book any hotel on the list of IHG Reward Club’s PointBreaks hotels for only $35 per night, even the ones that ordinarily cost $350 or more per night like the InterContinental Maracaibo in Venezuela.

Maracaibo is on my to-visit list

And I’ll explain how to give yourself maximum flexibility to pick the exact dates you want as the trip approaches.

This or better for $35 instead of $100+ stretches your travel dollar

What’s my strategy to make the most of PointBreaks? What are the top properties on the newest PointBreaks list?

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In August, I excitedly wrote about the biggest hotel promotion of the year: IHG Rewards Announces “Big Win” Promotion.

This promotion is still running for the next 62 days. There is still plenty of time to max out the best promotion of the year like I just did, collecting 153,700 bonus IHG Rewards points for myself that I value at nearly $800.

What is the Big Win? What did I have to do to get 153,700 bonus IHG Rewards points? What is that worth? Should you participate? How can you sign up?

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IHG Rewards announced its new promotion that will run from September 1 to December 31 called “The Big Win.” You can register for The Big Win today to see your offers, which vary by person. Here is a FlyerTalk thread discussing various offers people have gotten.

Somehow I hit the jackpot, and I can earn 153,700 IHG Rewards Club points for as little as $300 and four nights in hotels.

What was my offer? How will I take advantage? What are IHG Rewards Club points worth? Should you go all in with The Big Win?

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I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

There are several posts on yesterday’s new PointBreaks list. Even if you’ve read those, read this. I’ve honed my strategy for getting $35 per night rooms quite a bit, and I want to share it, so everyone can have access to the best practices. Plus I’ve stayed in PointBreaks hotels twice this month, so I want to say a word on their quality.

This post will tell you how to book any hotel on the list of IHG Reward Club’s PointBreaks hotels for only $35 per night, even the ones that ordinarily cost $400 or more per night. And I’ll explain how to give yourself maximum flexibility to pick the exact dates you want as the trip approaches.

This or better for $35 instead of $100+ stretches your travel dollar

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