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The IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card is presently offering a sign-up bonus where you can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The card’s annual fee is a low $49, and is waived the first year. You can also earn 5 points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG hotels.
The card has three benefits which make it especially compelling, in my opinion:
- You get an anniversary free night certificate every year, which is valid at any IHG property worldwide, pending availability; given IHG’s global footprint, that should justify the card for just about anyone, given the annual fee is only $49
- You get IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card, which gets you bonus points, room upgrades, etc.
- You get a 10% rebate on points redemptions, for up to 100,000 points back each year
With that in mind, a few days ago I wrote a post about how to redeem your IHG anniversary free night certificate, which is issued upon your account anniversary every year with the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card. Reader Lantean asked if I could write a post about the best properties at which you can redeem this free night certificate.
With that in mind, I figured I’d share the general approach I take towards this free night certificate.
Don’t let the free night certificate change your travel plans
Understandably, we have a tendency to want to maximize this hobby. “How do I get the most value out of _____?”
So when you get a free night certificate valid anywhere, it’s only natural to look at the most aspirational properties you can redeem it at.
So should you redeem your annual free night certificate at an InterContinental in Bora Bora?
I’ll take the (perhaps unpopular) stance that I don’t think you should change your travel patterns due to a free night certificate. While you might be drawn to a destination thanks to being able to redeem a free night certificate there, keep in mind that if it’s remote it probably doesn’t make sense to spend just one night there.
And I don’t think it’s sound logic to pick a week-long travel destination around somewhere you can justify “maximizing” your annual free night certificate.
Cities are the best place to redeem the free night certificate
With the above in mind, I’d argue that the best and most practical place to redeem your IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card free night certificate is at an easily accessible property in a city.
Given that the card’s annual fee is just $49, it really is tough to go wrong with how you redeem it. That being said, I’d probably try to redeem it at an InterContinental property in a city, as much as possible.
There are over 180 InterContinental hotels around the world, so it’s not too tough to find a property where you’ll get great value out of the certificate.
As a general rule of thumb, here are some of my favorite properties for redeeming the free night certificate (these are also some of the most iconic InterContinental properties):
InterContinental Amsterdam Amstel
This property has an incredible location one of Amsterdam’s canals, and is one of the most iconic properties in Amsterdam.
InterContinental Paris Le Grand
This is one of the first InterContinental properties I’ve ever stayed at, and remains one of my favorites.
InterContinental London Park Lane
London is one of the most expensive cities in the world for hotels, so staying at one of InterContinental’s flagship properties on a free night certificate is a value that’s tough to beat.
InterContinental Hong Kong
Hong Kong is my favorite city in the world, and the InterContinental arguably has the best view of the entire city. This is the best hotel from which to view Hong Kong’s nightly Symphony of Lights.
InterContinental Washington DC The Willard
This is the most iconic InterContinental property in the US, and given paid rates, is an incredible value using an annual free night certificate.
While the anniversary free night certificates offered by other cards can be tougher to maximize (the cards often have higher annual fees and the free night certificates are capped at certain categories), the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card free night certificate is one you really can’t go wrong with.
Virtually any stay at an IHG property would cost you more than $49 per night. And I think the best option is to approach this rationally, and use the free night certificate at an InterContinental in a major city where you’d stay anyway. It’s tough to beat using this certificate for an overnight in a city like London, Paris, or Amsterdam, where even lower quality hotels are quite expensive.
Where do you plan on redeeming your IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card free night certificate?