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One of the best perks of the IHG Rewards Club Select Visa is that you receive a free night annually. This free night gets deposited to your account on your cardmembers first anniversary year and every year thereafter. The free night expires on year from when it was earned.
While there are other credit cards that give you a free night annually (i.e., Marriott and Hyatt), the free night earned from the IHG card is the only one where there is no restriction on the hotel it can be redeemed at. I still like and appreciate the free night given from the Marriott and Hyatt card, but Marriott is capped at a category 5 and Hyatt is capped at a category 4. The IHG free night night can be used at ANY InterContinental Hotels Group hotel (which includes: InterContinental Hotel, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel indigo, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites). This includes anything from a $79/night Holiday Inn Express in Ohio to a $600/night InterContinental Hotel in Bora Bora!
In theory though, you really are paying $49 for this free night – this is the annual fee of the credit card. This is not a card I would use for every day spend, but a card I’d keep in my draw solely for the free night annually. As always though, it is only worth it if you will be able to utilize the free night on an annual basis.
I made my mom get this card a little over a year ago when it was offering an 80,000 point sign up offer. At that time she was planning a trip where we thought she would stay at a Crowne Plaza hotel, but those plans changed. Now with a trip to Italy coming up, it was the perfect time to use both the 80,000 points and the annual free night. There is what looks to be a very nice InterContinental hotel in Rome that goes for about $250 USD a night in March. During the Summer months this same hotel can be as high as $375/night + taxes.
They are staying in Rome for two nights, so used the free night from the credit card one night and points for the other night (which required 50,000 points). Not a bad way to spend 2 nights in Rome – at a super nice hotel, in a great location, for FREE! And the credit card comes with instant Platinum status which gives complimentary room upgrades, if available. Since it is low season there is a good chance that they might be upgraded!
This is a card that is not talked about often, but in my opinion has huge value. Especially with the current sign up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $1,000 within the first three months.
If you have this card, where have you used your free night?
- IHG Rewards Club Select Visa: Receive 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. Earn a free night annually starting with your first anniversary. Receive a 10% rebate on all point redemptions. No foreign transaction fees; First year annual fee waived, then $49/year. Card application link.
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