Reader Question: Issue With IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks Reservation & Availability

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email yesterday regarding an issue with PointBreaks reservation at a Holiday Inn hotel and availability ($100 hotel not available while $200 one is).

Reader Question PointBreaks

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You can access IHG’s web page for PointBreaks here.

Here’s the email from the reader:

I found out that Holiday Inn Songdo was list, and first booked the hotel from July 31 for one night on the early morning of July 26 (Korea Time) because I can’t book rewards night on July 25 (Korea). And, I think my reservation went through without problem. I tried to make some more reservation but already most of Aug. and Sept. as well as some of Oct. sold out again. However, I can book the hotel under USD 100 when the hotel is sold out for rewards night.

I made some more registration at Intercontinental in Cambodia without problem, and regular rate was hovering of USD 200 but still rewards night were available.

Then, I got a call from Holiday Inn Songdo on July 26, and was asked whether I booked a night from July 25, 2016, which is weird. I checked email confirmation and it said July 25 for one night which is booked at 07:44AM on July 26, 2016. I also got call from central reservation of IHG about 30 minutes later. I tried to check my online status via mobile, and I got a message that there is a problem and visit later. Hmm…

It seemed like there is a big problem at IHG reservation system.

How can I book a hotel a day after.

Please see attached email confirmation from IHG.

Is this can happen?

Seems that there must have been an issue with your browser or with IHG’s reservation system. The confirmation you sent me clearly is for July 25.

Sometimes if you have several windows open and search for various dates you may end up booking for a wrong night that is likely the case here.

You have to understand the award availability with IHG hotels. Unlike with Hilton, Hyatt and Starwood, IHG hotels only must make at minimum 5% of their rooms at any given night available as awards while others have tied the award availability for their standard rooms.

Many IHG hotels do offer greater availability but they don’t have to. Hotels tend to get reimbursed very little for award nights unless their occupancy rate is high. Then the reimbursement rate from IHG to the hotel can be close to the Average Daily Rate (ADR).

The regular point requirements follow roughly the price of the hotel. PointBreaks hotels are charged flat 5,000 points per night regardless of their award category.

Conclusion

The beauty of the rewards programs where the number of miles or points used for free flights or nights is not dynamically tied to the price is that there is arbitrage opportunity. You use the miles when the fares or hotel night prices are throughout the roof.

There appears to have been some sort of a glitch with the Holiday Inn reservation where the reader through to have booked a different date than what the actual confirmation shows. It pays always to check email confirmations carefully.

IHG Rewards Club should require hotels to have award rooms available for booking as long as they have standard rooms for sale. This is now how most of the other hotel chains operate.

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