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UPDATE: There is some conflicting information out there so I am trying to work on getting the accurate information. Chase is giving many different answers.
As I wrote about yesterday, IHG is devaluing their free night certificate big time. This is a certificate that credit card members receive every single anniversary year. As of today, this free night certificate can be used at ANY IHG or Kimpton property with no category exclusions. But that is about to change! All certificates issued on or after May 1, 2018 will be capped at properties that cost 40,000 points or less (and there are even some exclusions to those properties that should be included).
IHG is Making an Exception for Some
Many people opened up the IHG credit card solely for the benefits, including the free night certificate. Folks that have opened up the card in the past year are pretty upset since their first certificate they receive will be issued after May 1st and thus will have that category cap. According to Doctor of Credit IHG is making an exception for some though – if you opened an IHG credit card account between January 1, 2018 and April 5, 2018, your first free night certificate will not be capped and instead grandfathered into the old rules. That means you’ll have one opportunity to use that free night at ANY IHG property and will not be limited. Unfortunately it looks like those that opened an account My 2017 through the end of 2017 are currently out of luck, which is absolutely not right in my opinion. If you fall into this group, I highly suggest reaching out to a supervisor at IHG. I’ve also reached out to my contact to see what they are going to do about this.
Since the grandfathered date goes till tomorrow, that means if you open an IHG account TODAY, you still should be able to use your free night certificate at any IHG property you desire (pending availability). Learn more. The card costs $49/year (waived the first year), so getting the card is still worth it, even if you only keep it for a year. Although I still think the free night certificate has value even when the cap is put into place.