Massive Devaluation of IHG’s Credit Card Free Night

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The IHG Rewards Club Select credit card has been one of my favorite travel credit cards year after year. While it is not a card I use for every day card, it has had an amazing perk tied to it – at every anniversary year you receive a free night certificate that can be used at ANY IHG property (assuming availability). The card comes with a $49 annual fee, so it was a no brainer. You spend $49 a year on the card and you receive a free night certificate that can be used in extremely expensive destinations.

Unfortunately though, that free night certificate is about to change – for the worse. For any certificates issued on May 1, 2018 or later, the free night certificate will only be able to be used at properties that cost 40,000 points or less. They actually have a published list of 330 excluded properties, although there are actually many properties that only require 40,000 points, so they are completely contradicting themselves. Of course there are still many properties that will take that free night certificate, you can say goodbye to using them at their top tier places and most likely your most desirable places.

What We Do Not Know

Of course there are many things that we still do not know and hopefully both Chase and IHG will shed some light on these uncertainties within the next few days. For those that have applied for the card within the past year, signing up solely for the free night certificate benefit, will those folks still be eligible to use their certificate at any property as promised when they applied? Is there any hope for those that currently have the card to be grandfathered into current card benefits with the free night certificate? Will they cap it at 40,000 points or adhere to the list which includes many 40,000 point properties?

Is the IHG Credit Card Still Worth It!

Similar to the Marriott and Hyatt credit card benefit which you receive a free night at a capped hotel – yes, I do think the IHG credit card is still worth it. The card will still only cost you $49 (as of today) and you’ll still get a free night to use every single year. Of course you might not get the same value that you used to, but if you travel often, I have to believe you can always redeem it at a property that would have otherwise cost you $100 or more. I’ll gladly take the opportunity to save money at a hotel year after year. Of course there will be those that will just cancel the card out of despite, but if you really look into the value, I still think it is there. Especially since the card does come with other nice to have benefits as well, including 10% back on all point stays, Platinum status, etc.

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Comments

  1. Why doesn’t the Platinum Status offer a free breakfast ? Other hotel chains offer breakfast with Gold status, what gives ?

  2. I noticed that the rates seem to be higher than they have in the past, too. We stay in Daytona annually when we go to a large car show at the race track. Last year’s rate was $180, which was already higher than the previous year. The same room in 2018 will be $265. I found a Marriott within a short drive to the track for about $180. I don’t yet have a Marriott card, but if these kinds of rate increases and devaluations continue to take place, I may have to choose another chain. I hate to see that as I’ve been very happy with the consistency of the rooms no matter where we travel, and we travel a lot every year.

    I suppose that is what happens when the perks are this good.

  3. 330 Properties? Why not just list the 5 run down holiday inns that do accept it? Every property that I have used this perk at in the past is on this list. Time to go back to HIlton and Marriot ! The last few times we have stayed their version of an “upgrade” is nothing. Views have been at best “crap” I am tied of seeing other buildings and backyards of buildings with NO real views. The perks do not justify staying loyal, rather then getting the best rate ! The REAL QUESTION is Is this Chase or IHG doing this?

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