Chase Changes IHG Free Annual Night Policy


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On Monday, April 2nd many Chase IHG Rewards Club Select credit cardholders (Learn More Here) received a letter in the mail informing them that on May 1st, 2018 the anniversary free night benefit is being changed. All free night certificates issued after May 1st, 2018 will only be valid for redemptions at IHG properties that cost up to 40,000 points per night. This is a major devaluation of an amazing benefit that the card provided and will likely make many cardholders reconsider renewing when the annual fee is due.

This announcement comes less than one month before the change is to be implemented and certainly impacts many people who have signed up for the card in the last few months and will not be eligible to redeem a free night at any IHG property.

What this means for all cardholders is that any free night certificate issued before May 1st, 2018 can be redeemed at any IGH property worldwide (even if the date of the stay is after May 1st, 2018) including many InterContinental Hotels in Europe, North America, and the coveted Bora Bora where an award night cost 70,000 points a night. Any new certificates issued after May 1st, 2018 regardless of when the account was opened will only be allowed to redeem at properties with a point redemption amount of 40,000 points or less per night.

The Chase IHG Rewards Club Select card (Learn More Here) has a $49 annual fee and if the cardholder redeemed the free night certificate at a top tier hotel with an average room night of $300+, this card was quite valuable to hold on to. Even with the devaluation, there are still some notable opportunities including the Intercontinental Marseille and Intercontinental Madrid. Chase has announced a new IHG Premier card with an $89 fee that will most likely carry the same free night redemption restrictions. Additionally, IHG adjusted the award rates of many properties in January of 2018 and will probably continue the trend again in 2019 further devaluing properties that the free annual night certificate can be used at.

IHG has kindly compiled a list of properties that have a redemption amount over the 40,000 points per night where the certificate can not be used.

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Comments

  1. The IC Marseille & Madrid are both on the forbidden list provided by IHG, so no exceptions there!

    When I called Chase, they referred me back to IHG. When I called IHG, they put it off on Chase, so it was a pretty lousy experience but a clear-cut message: I’m not valued as a customer.

    Too bad; I’ve been happy with my 1/2 year as a card-holder — up until today!

  2. Getting a certificate that has 40k property max is worse than just getting 40k in points. At least those wouldn’t expire so easily. Sad. Now it’s the Radisson card with worse benefits.

  3. I asked IHG if this is for current Chase cardholders only. They replied, yes, that it only affects people who are already in the program. I asked if I did not have a Chase card and got one now, would I be getting a free anniversary night? Correct! So I can only surmise that loyalty doesn’t really matter to Chase. Not at all surprised. Now they will offer a more expensive card and start reducing the rewards value practically as soon as you get it? No thanks. I’ll use up my points and take my money somewhere else. I’m looking for a new hotel credit card. Possibly Marriott? As long as it’s not a Chase card.

  4. Really seems crummy to change it so quickly. I just got my certificate and it’s good anywhere. Actually, 40K points meets my needs pretty well, but this leave a sour taste in my mouth. No consideration for the fact that I am Spire Elite, which Chase doesn’t probably care about – but IHG should! These devaluations make the programs themselves worth less. Have to rethink IHG as well as this card – but 40K points for $49? Still not awful. Just done in a very poor manner.

  5. I will be using my award night that is grandfathered in and canceling my IHG account next day. VERY bad move by Chase to make this change!

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