Can You Redeem IHG Free Night Certificate At Kimptons?

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IHG recently completed their takeover of Kimpton, which is both good and bad news, depending on how you look at it. It’s bad news because Kimpton has historically been such a unique brand, and no doubt it will lose some of its charm now that it has been taken over by a hotel giant. At the same time, the good news is that this makes Kimptons more accessible for those who are otherwise IHG Rewards Club loyalists.

The IHG Rewards Club Credit Card and Kimpton

As far as I’m concerned, one of the single most well rounded hotel credit cards is the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. The card has a $89 annual fee (waived the first year), and in addition to the welcome bonus it offers several long term perks that more than justify the annual fee, the most valuable of which are:

  • An anniversary free night certificate every year, which is valid at any IHG property worldwide, pending availability; given IHG’s global footprint, that should justify the card for just about anyone
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card, which gets you bonus points, room upgrades, etc.
  • A 10% rebate on points redemptions, for up to 100,000 points back each year

While all of those benefits are valuable, I think the single best perk is the anniversary free night certificate. The past three years I’ve used these certificates at InterContinental hotels in London, Hong Kong, and Geneva, and in each case a paid night would have cost $300+. Essentially paying just $49 for those stays by having the  IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is an outrageously good deal.


InterContinental Hong Kong, where I redeemed my certificate last year

With IHG having taken over Kimpton, one question I’ve frequently been asked if whether these certificates are valid at Kimpton properties as well.

The answer is yes, they are. You can redeem the IHG Rewards Club anniversary free night certificate at any Kimpton property, pending availability. Kimpton currently has 66 hotels in 35 cities (almost all in the US). What I love about Kimpton hotels is that they feel “local” and all have charm, generally have excellent service, and if you care, it’s probably also the most pet friendly hotel group out there (they don’t charge for pets, offer them all kinds of extras, and as long as you can fit the pet through the door, they can stay there).


Kimpton La Peer Hotel West Hollywood, California

Why does it matter that you can now redeem IHG free night certificates at Kimptons? In general I think that the anniversary free night certificate offered with the IHG Card is worth it for just about anyone, given that IHG has thousands of hotels around the world. Even if you don’t often travel internationally, you’ll get outsized value even at a roadside Holiday Inn Express.

However, in general IHG has a shortage of nice hotels in the US. There are some InterContinentals, but not that many. Now being able to redeem the IHG free night certificate at 60+ Kimpton hotels in the US is a fantastic addition, since it gives you so many more nice hotels you can redeem at. Not only does Kimpton have many hotels in major cities, but they also have several hotels not far from major cities, making them a great option for a weekend getaway.

For more on how to actually redeem the anniversary free night certificate, see this post.

Getting approved for the IHG Rewards Club Credit Card

As far as applying for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card goes, the card isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, meaning that you can be approved even if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. The welcome bonus on the card isn’t available to those who currently have the card, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months. You also want to open this card as soon as possible, because the longer you wait, the longer until you get your first anniversary night certificate.


Kimpton Rowan, Palm Springs

Bottom line

The anniversary free night certificate on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is already one of the most valuable hotel credit card perks out there. However, I’d argue that the value for the average US consumer has recently increased even more, given the ability to redeem at Kimpton’s excellent portfolio of hotels. Getting a night at a Kimpton every year just for paying a $89 annual fee is a heck of a deal.

Has anyone redeemed an IHG free night certificate or points at a Kimpton yet? Which one?

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Comments

  1. How quickly after approval do you get the status? I have a stay coming up and want to make sure I have status for it to maximize the points I earn.

  2. You can also redeem it at the Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam, which was their first international location (well, it’s a renovated Crowne Plaza). I did, saving me about 200 euros. Not a lot of availability though. Not sure if you can use the free night at their new Cayman Islands resort.

  3. @lucky just a question i ve achieved my spending for certificate but since its my first year got no clue how tge certificate is retrieved??do they send it??electronic??does it appear on my IHG account.

  4. Good post, and good news. But, I just looked on ihg.com at DC for some dates in April when I’m going to be there and want to redeem my free nights, and while there are paid rooms at DC’s several Kimptons, reward nights are unavailable. Vs. the several Holiday Inns and IC’s and the like, which are almost all available for points, cash, or points & cash. Glitch, bad luck, or are Kimptons allowed to black out reward nights?

  5. @asdf, unfortunately, IHG reward nights are actually subject to capacity controls, unlike most of the other big programs (though some properties at the other programs will play games with award availability). Not sure what the minimum availability requirements set by IHG for their properties is.

  6. @asdf – the Kimpton’s showing reward availability has looked glitchy on the IHG site for a week or two. If you search for a reward night, it’ll say the hotel is not available. But if you keep clicking through on the cash price, the reward night availability will often show up as an option. Very annoying and it’s only been on Kimpton’s that I’ve seen this happening as I’ve been looking at options for a few upcoming trips.

  7. I currently have this card. Is it possible to get a second card, for a second annual bonus. Maybe a second application, or thru a product conversion?

  8. I’m staying at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Pittsburgh this coming weekend on my free night reward certificate. I had no troubles booking it and am looking forward to my first experience with the Kimpton brand.

  9. @asdf, DWT – I think it’s something other than capacity controls. I too have been trying to book a Kimpton on points, and not a single Kimpton in DC is available on points. I put in other dates, other cities ,and haven’t been able to find a single Kimpton for any date in the coming year that’s available on points. There’s a flyertalk thread where others report having the same problem. I haven’t been successful in clicking through to the page with all the rates and finding a points rate – am I doing it wrong? I tweeted IHG and Kimpton and DM’d my info, but they haven’t gotten back to me.

    Lucky – what do you think? Is it an IT glitch, or are they deliberately blocking points redemptions at Kimptons? Or is it possibly Kimptons are popular enough that they literally all got booked up?

  10. Glad I’m not the only one having a problem. The thing that makes me think it’s either a glitch or intentional, vs. just demand, is that while the Kimptons in DC are nice, they are not _so much_ nicer or more well located than the several Holiday Inns that they would all be booked solid when none of the HI’s are.

    The Willard IC is also sold out for one of my nights – which I can understand – but, again, it’s only one night of three while all the Kimptons for all my nights show unavailable. The new IC in the weird SW location is fully available.

  11. @asdf – I think the new IHG booking interface is partly to blame. You used to be able to see the days free nights/a certain rate were available on a calendar (blue if available, gray if not, or something like that), but that calendar doesn’t seem to be working. Griping evident on this Flyertalk thread: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/intercontinental-hotels-ihg-rewards-club-intercontinental-ambassador/1879224-new-ihg-web-booking-interface-pissing-me-off-10.html

  12. Just stayed at the Kimpton Everly in Hollywood, CA. Used it as a stay-cation. I just stayed there in the Fall when they first opened with my pup–and we both loved it. Can’t beat the location!
    I was upgraded at checkin so the night had a value of about $375.
    Certainly worth my $49 “investment.”

  13. Kimptons are great, but the annoying thing is the daily facility fee that I’ve been charged at every Kimpton I’ve stayed at. $15-$21 a day for free coffee/tea and digital access to newspapers is lame (though sometimes there is a happy hour drink included as well).

  14. Very disappointing of capacity controlled as Kimpton free night certificates could be used as long as there was availability.

  15. used free night at Hotel Monaco Portland, and have another res coming up at Kimpton Riverplace in Portland with points. So far so good…

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