IHG Makes Positive Free Night Certificate Change

Filed Under: Credit Cards, IHG Rewards
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In early April, IHG made some major changes to the anniversary free night certificate offered on their co-branded credit card. Previously the anniversary free night certificate had no cap, meaning you could redeem at any IHG hotel with award availability. IHG hotels retail for up to 70,000 points per night nowadays, so that’s quite a value.

However, with this change, IHG only lets you redeem at properties that retail for up to 40,000 points per night. That’s potentially still an excellent deal, given that this covers a vast majority of properties. Obviously this benefit was a major reason that a lot of people got the card.

To ease the pain of that adjustment, they said they’d honor the uncapped anniversary free night certificate for the first year for those who got the card between January 1 and April 5, 2018.

While that was better than nothing, that didn’t particularly make sense. That essentially meant that those who got the card last April through last December wouldn’t ever get an uncapped free night certificate, while those who applied this January through April would. I suspect this was just an oversight and that they weren’t fully thinking it through.

It appears that’s exactly what happened — IHG has confirmed on Twitter that all IHG Rewards Club Select Card free night certificates issued before May 1, 2019, will be unrestricted.

For reference, here’s the question IHG was asked:

heard rumor that all Chase free night certificates issued before May 1, 2019 will be unrestricted. Can you confirm this info?

And heres the answer:

That’s right! IHG with Chase recently made the decision to award one more uncapped Anniversary Free Night to every IHG Rewards Club Select Cardholders. This means that their recently awarded or upcoming free night CAN be used at any IHG hotel worldwide. – Tracy

As far as I’m concerned, this was the right thing to do, and I’m thrilled to see they made that change. It looks like everyone will get at least one more uncapped anniversary free night certificate after that announcement was made.

The old IHG Select Card is no longer being issued to new cardmembers, but rather the new IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has been introduced and is open to applications. This card is quite compelling as well, as it has an $89 annual fee and offers a fourth night free on award bookings, an anniversary free night certificate valid at properties retailing for up to 40,000 points, IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card, a TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit every four years, and more.

Will you benefit from this change to the IHG free night certificate?

(Tip of the hat to @IadisGr8)

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  1. Hmm. My annual fee hit in January and I got a free night certificate then. I had assumed this would be my last ever unlimited certificate. Tracy’s tweet seems to suggest that I’ll get yet another unlimited certificate next January.

  2. I noticed that last night, I have certificate with today expiration and I was able to use it without cap which was not a surprise, but the new one which was deposited on 4/30 was uncapped too, I could select any hotel without any issue. Hopefully they will deposit another one on 4/30/2019.

  3. I thought I was on to something sneaky when my just-acquired night was still usable anywhere. This is good, almost great, news since I’ll get another just before the 2019 deadline. Yay.

  4. It Doesn’t make sense though. I’ve had the card since August 2017 and I have not received anything yet, not fair. also, I don’t see why I just got a gold card saying I was downgraded since I haven’t canceled the card yet. App still shows me as Plat

  5. This is outstanding news. I moved my loyalty to IHG, Hilton and Hyatt at the expense of SPG-Marriott. The decision demonstrates class and sensitivity to loyal members.

  6. This is great news. Was on the fence whether or not to cancel my old IHG card before the annual fee came due and instead I let it renew for one more year so that I could wait and see what happens. Paid off! Just got my uncapped night on April 1st of this year and looks like I’ll get one more on April 1st of next year 🙂

  7. You made my day! And yes, the lead picture looks like the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort. 😉 Thanks to IHG and Chase for listening to customers and bloggers and making a change that’s fair and reasonable. It gave me no joy to be upset with IHG because they have some great properties in Asia and Europe that my family can’t wait to check out. This development helps with current plans, and we’ll get one of the new IHG cards to take advantage of 4th night free on award stays in the future.

  8. @Lucky, if you have the old and new card, can you get both 4th night award free and the 10% points rebate? Or will it default to seeing just the new card, so you won’t get 10% back for award stays less than 4nights? Thanks!

  9. Excellent! That’s exactly what I suggested to them in an email. Everyone should get at least one under the terms they signed up for.

  10. Damn. My wife and I both canceled our IHG cards after the last announcement. Regret!!

  11. I think it is great that IHG reconsidered and gave us one final uncapped annual certificate. In short, IHG agreed that the abrupt notice of a downgrade was not good public relations.

    If Hyatt would also do a one-time uncapped annual certificate (because of their abrupt downgrade of their sponsor credit card), wouldn’t that be nice!

  12. They most probably see a lot of card cancelation and trying to extend their deadline. I was planning to cancel it on the anniversary date of the card; but I may keep it for another year till they place the cap restriction. I am sure there are many like me who will cancel if they put back their ridiculous restrictions.

  13. OK now. I closed and reopened my IHG card a few months ago for another sign up bonus. Wife would not do that (sigh!), so I thought we only had one “anywhere” certificate. Now it turns out we have 2 (Yay IHG). We are not about to fly to Vietnam for 2 nights though. So where in Europe would folks recommend we use our 2 nights, (or more if we add points), since this is a one time only proposition?

  14. Intercontinental DaNang is probably the nicest intercontinental .. ever
    you can see they always use it in advertisements, standard rooms are quite expensive there never-mind suites…

  15. While it’s great that IHG/Chase did this, I don’t know that they really had much choice. Since they advertised this as a first-year benefit, I would imagine they would be required to honor it for anyone in the first year of card membership. It would be quite complicated both from a PR perspective and an IT perspective to limit this to only new customers, so I can understand the decision to let everyone have one last year of an uncapped certificate.

  16. It’s difficult to get all excited about this because it’s what IHG should have done in the first place.

    When there is an Accelerate offer for a certain number of stays in the challenge period, could they decide halfway through to double the required nights? Sure, they could, but they’d run off every Rewards Club member!

    The unrestricted Night is the same thing: they made an offer, you’re honoring your part, but then IHG changed the terms part-way through.

    IHG lost a heck of a lot of goodwill and you know what? They probably think that they fixed it. Too bad.

  17. Has anyone upgraded their card from the old one to the Premier, do you have to apply for a new card or can they convert your existing account?

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