I just got back from a quick weekend trip to Las Vegas where hotel rates were pretty high. I stayed at The Palazzo on a busy Saturday night, entirely for free in a suite, when a standard room was pricing at over $300 – all thanks to the IHG credit card.
Free Annual Night
The single, most-compelling feature of IHG Credit Card that keeps this card permanently in my wallet is that the $49 annual fee after the first year that grants you a free-night certificate valid at any IHG property worldwide (yes, even Bora Bora). There are absolutely no property or date restrictions in place. As long as there’s award availability, you can use your free-night certificate.
To sweeten the deal, the free night certificate will become even more valuable in 2018 when the merger with Kimpton is finalized and the wonderful properties in the Kimpton portolfio will become open for redemption. I’d love to use my free night certificate to check out Kimpton’s Seafire Resort on Grand Cayman Island!
The Sign Up Bonus
The sign-up bonus on the IHG card continuously fluctuates. Right now, the card comes with a 60,000-point sign up bonus, which can technically be “worth” 12 free nights, if booked from the IHG PointBreaks list that comes out several times a year, where select properties can be booked for just 5,000 points a night. Normal reward nights start at just 10,000 points – up to 60,000.
10% Back on Redeemed Points
Another cool feature of the IHG Credit Card is that you’ll receive a 10% rebate in points every time you redeem your points at an IHG hotel, up to 100,000 rebate points back per year. For example, if you book a night that requires 60,000 points, after your stay you’ll receive 6,000 points of those back into your account in just a few weeks.
IHG Platinum Status
Simply being an IHG card member grants you Platinum Status, which is valid for as long as your card is open. Platinum Status comes with a lot of cool perks such as a room upgrade, late checkout, and welcome amenity during your stay (which can be free drink vouchers, a bottle of wine, etc.). Another valuable perk of having IHG Platinum Status is that your IHG points won’t ever expire.
Not Subject to Chase 5/24
The credit card rewards market has rapidly changed over the last few years. I’ve previously written about the strict Chase “5/24” rule on many occasions. For those not familiar, Chase limits approvals on most of their consumer credit card products to those who’ve applied for 5 or less personal cards in the past 24 months (regardless of the bank). The great news about the IHG card is that NOT subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, which means that opening this card won’t hurt your future card approvals.
While I don’t use this card for any of my regular spend , it’s a no-brainer for me to hang on to my IHG credit card and continue paying the $49 annual fee. I receive hundreds of dollars in value just from the annual free night certificate alone each year. Hey, even if you opted to use your free night certificate at a low-level property, you’re still coming out ahead.
What are your thoughts? What IHG properties would you use your free night certificate at?
Learn about all the hotel credit card offers here.