Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is the company behind property names like Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Indigo, etc. Unlike all the other major hotel contenders, IHG releases “Point Breaks” every quarter where IHG members can book select hotels for only 5,000 IHG points per night (if you have points) or $35 (plus a bit of work and cash if you don’t have points). A discount…on already free rooms?! Personally, I look forward to checking out which hotels are on the list every quarter, particularly when it works out nicely with our travel plans.
IHG has recently released their Point Breaks list for August to October 2016. You can look at the list of hotels on discount currently by following this link:
Their new list covering the months of November to January should be released for preview at the end of October.
Once each hotel on the Point Breaks list sells a certain amount, the hotel is removed from the list. That’s why I like to book early…I’m talking the second these properties become live if there is one I’m interested in.
Rules are that you can make two reservations at a single hotel for as long as you want, so long as they are 2 separate reservations. So, when I’m interested in a place like the Holiday Inn Budapest-Budaörs, I can’t book every weekend from now until October, and cancel the ones I don’t use. But I could book 2 separate reservations for 2 weeks each, for example, though.
Do you have IHG points?
You may have IHG points if you already have the IHG credit card through Chase. You could also transfer 5,000 Ultimate Reward points to your IHG account. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you probably do not have IHG points, so follow along to the next step.
I do not have an IHG account, any IHG points, or Ultimate Reward points OR my credit stinks and I can’t apply for any credit cards….How can I get in on this deal now?
You can start building up your points by paying for them to start. But, if you follow the steps below, you will be paying $35 for every 5,000 IHG points versus paying $67.50 for every 5,000 IHG points or outright paying for a hotel. That’s close to 50% off the cost of points with this trick! AND with the IHG Point Breaks, you’ll be getting hotels for only $35 a night.
Basically, you will book a hotel room with cash and points. You’ll use your 5,000 points that you purchased, plus $70. But check out IHG’s own terms and conditions with this booking:
What I’m interested in is that line that says “I authorize a charge of $70.00 per night for a total of $70.00 charged to my specified payment method for the immediate purchase of 10000 total IHG Rewards Club points to be applied towards this Reward Night booking.” Wait a second…I could pay $70.00 for 10k points instead of paying $67.50 for 5k points when purchasing them directly?! Yes, 100%. That’s the hack.
To do this, follow the steps below:
Go to http://www.ihg.com. You’ll see this screen:
Go to the upper right corner, and click on “Join.”
Enter in your details to become a member.
Next, you’ll need to purchase 5,000 IHG points. These points cost $67.50 the first time, then if you follow the steps below, they will cost $35 for as long as the IHG terms and conditions still apply. Follow this link: https://storefront.points.com/IHG-rewards-club/en-US/buy?product=buy&language=en&CAMPAIGNCODE=IHGEstatTransApr13
Under the “Point Purchase” screen, click that you want to buy “5,000 Points: $67.50.”
The 5,000 points will automatically post to your account. Now you’re ready to make your first “Reservation” using Cash and Points!
Click on “Reservations,” then “Make a reservation.” In my example, I’m making my destination Malvern, PA for September 3-4, 2016. It doesn’t matter what city or dates you put in there, you just want to find a hotel that has a cash and points redemption option for 5,000 points and $70. Also, make sure you don’t make the booking for, like, tonight when it’s after 6 pm because I don’t think you’ll be able to cancel it!
When you look at the prices, you want to book the cash and points route, so I selected 5,000 points + $70.00. Note that this is a cancelable rate, and that I have until 6:00 pm September 3rd to cancel it.
After I book it, I go back to “Reservations” tab, then “Manage Reservations.” I enter in my Confirmation number and last name, and cancel the reservation.
Now, when you look at your point balance, you should have 15,000 points (5,000 points which cost 67.50 plus 10,000 points which cost $70.00 (or $35 for 5,000 points)). With the minimal 5,000 point balance ($67.50 investment) you are now free to book any Point Break hotel for only $35 per night.
To sweeten the deal, what if I told you that sometimes PAYING for points then booking certain hotels with your points was actually CHEAPER than booking the room without points? Bear with me….
Look at this Intercontinental Hotel in New York Time Square. To book a cancelable rate, it is $499.00 and a non-cancelable rate is $450.00. But look at the point redemption – 60k points per night. If you are buying your points in the method outlined above, you’ll be paying $420 (60,000 ÷ 5,000 = 12; 12 x $35 = $420) for the points, so $420 total for the room plus your time investment of a couple of minutes. So, basically, you can earn $30 to $79 in just a couple of minutes!
I would never take advantage of this; if I absolutely had to pay for a hotel, I would stay at a much cheaper place. But even though I would never do this, it’s awesome knowing that this hack exists.