10 Great City Hotels Where You Can Redeem Your IHG Annual Free Night Certificate

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For a while there has been an increased sign-up bonus on the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card. The card is offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $1,000 within the first three months. On top of that, you can earn a further 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make their first purchase within the same timeframe.

The card has a $49 annual fee, though it’s waived for the first year. There are lots of reasons to get this card, and I shared many of them in a recent post.

Not only does the IHG Card have a great sign-up bonus, but it’s worth holding onto long term. The following three perks make this card a keeper long term, in my opinion:

  • 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
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card, which gets you bonus points, room upgrades, etc.
  • A 10% rebate on points redemptions, for up to 100,000 points back each year

The annual free night certificate

The single best perk on the IHG Card is the annual free night certificate that the card offers, which more than justifies the $49 annual fee. While I’ve written a post with everything you need to know about this annual free night certificate, I figured I’d summarize the basics here:

  • You get the first certificate on your first account anniversary
  • The certificate needs to be redeemed for a booking that’s made within a year of when it’s issued, though you can stay on a subsequent date
  • The certificate gets you access to the same availability as points redemptions, so you shouldn’t have issues redeeming this
  • There are no caps on which hotels you can redeem at; this is valid even at the top InterContinental properties

10 great city hotels where you can redeem your IHG free night

A lot of people say “well I’m not loyal to IHG, so it doesn’t seem worth it.” Personally I’m not loyal to IHG either, but even so, I think it’s incredibly easy to get outsized value on the annual free night certificate offered with the IHG Card. Being able to pay $49 for the equivalent of a free hotel night in a major city is incredible, not even taking into account that you can redeem for some great hotels.

In this post I wanted to look at 10 great city hotels where you can redeem the annual free night certificate offered by the IHG Card:

InterContinental Paris Le Grand

This is one of the first InterContinental hotels I ever stayed at, and while it’s arguably a bit outdated at this point, it’s also charming and has a great location. Given how expensive hotels in Paris can be, this is a great use of a free night certificate.

InterContinental London Park Lane

I find myself in London several times per year with a quick overnight, and I try to decide whether to stay near Heathrow or go into the city. Given how beautiful London is, I do what I can to go into the city. The InterContinental Park Lane has a great location, and I enjoyed my stay here several years ago.

InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam

While I haven’t stayed here, the InterContinental Amstel is one of the most well known hotels in Amsterdam. This is near the top of my list of InterContinental hotels to stay at.

InterContinental Hong Kong

I’ve stayed at this hotel a couple of times, as it has an unbeatable location in Hong Kong, right on Victoria Harbour. This is where I used my annual free night certificate this year, and I thought it was a great use.

InterContinental ANA Tokyo

Tokyo is another expensive hotel market, and I enjoyed my stay at the InterContinental ANA several years ago.

InterContinental Sydney

I stayed at the InterContinental Sydney about a decade ago, and enjoyed the breathtaking views of Darling Harbour and the Opera House. Sydney is quite a seasonal hotel market, so using your free night certificate during the southern summer is an especially good deal.

InterContinental Willard Washington DC

The InterContinental Washington DC is probably the most iconic InterContinental property in the US, and has quite a history. While I usually stay at the modern Park Hyatt DC, I’d love to stay at the Willard sometime.

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown

Downtown LA is getting significantly more interesting than it used to be, and recently the InterContinental opened here, making it the newest InterContinental property in the world. It looks like they did an amazing job with the hotel, especially given that many InterContinental properties are outdated.

InterContinental San Francisco

Years ago when I was an InterContinental loyalist, this was one of my favorite InterContinental properties. Over the years I’ve spent dozens of nights here, and I really love the hotel.

InterContinental New York Barclay

New York is one of the most expensive hotel markets in the world, and InterContinental has two properties there. Personally I prefer the Barclay, so redeeming a free night certificate for a room that would cost $400+ per night is a good deal.

Bottom line

This is a fantastic time to get the IHG Card. Not only does the card have an increased sign-up bonus, but it also is a card that’s worth holding onto long term. In addition to the 10% refund on points redemptions and Platinum status, getting an annual free night certificate for just $49 per year is a phenomenal value. Lastly, keep in mind that this card isn’t subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so you can be approved even if you’ve opened more than five new accounts in the past 24 months.

What’s your favorite IHG hotel for redeeming the IHG annual free night certificate?

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Comments

  1. Used my certificate last year in Paris. Using this years at London Park Lane. (Last night of a 2 week trip I’m starting right now).

  2. Has The Barclay finished their renovations? The Willard was a great place to stay.
    On fight nights, the free night is excellent at the The Venetian/Palazzo when they open up space late.

  3. Used one free night at the Willard, last October and using two free nights (spouse and mine), at the InterContinental Sydney in two weeks. Great value.

  4. The last 3 years I used the certificate for the IC Hong Kong (Spire, upgraded to harbor view and free welcome drinks at the bar) and twice at the IC Johannesburg which is great value and use if you need a night at the airport (It is a 1 minute walk from the terminal).

  5. @Lucky – Too bad your family
    isn’t in the hotel business as the IHG Owners Rate (affords you 2 nights free at any IHG hotel worldwide) or at least the employee rate. Last stay at the Barclay and Paris hotels was 99 on your list. You should get into the hotel business.

  6. Some insights into some of these properties –

    Intercontinental Sydney will generally refuse to give you a Harbour-View room on a free night voucher. If you pay for a higher category room (such as Harbour View) for the other nights of your stay, they will insist to downgrade you to their basic room (which faces the building across the street) for the free night, or, ask you to pay a surcharge to keep the room category you are booked in for the rest of your stay. I was comped this fee last time as a “regular” guest, which was nice, but not on the previous times I stayed. Mind you, with the $AUD where it is, and 5* hotels being expensive in Sydney, its a good value use of a free night if you have the opportunity.

    Intercontinental HK is closing at the end of next year for a refurb so make the most of it – the harbour view rooms are fantastic. Not sure if they let you use a voucher for those, I didnt try.

    At the London Park Lane property, i have been upgraded to a suite, and to a deluxe suite, on two occasions of using a free night voucher – nice !! I am an Ambassador program member, which may have swung it (but rather a contrast to Sydney, eh?). Depending on your timing, this can be a top value redemption.

    Barclay in NYC was a dump prior to refurbishment. As it stands now, the rooms are much nicer but not that big, the restaurant is more like tables at a small bar than a proper restaurant, and the breakfast buffet is pretty modest. If you stay in Times Square, the rooms there are bigger and you are more likely to have a better view out your window than simply the building opposite.

  7. Certainly do not use the free night at the IC Cali which you can book for $100/night, but it was great for a 5K Points Break hotel.

  8. +1 with Osaka IC. Stayed there in June for 3 nights (2 reward nights, 1 anniversary night from the card). We did paid upgrade with very reasonable charge (less than 7500 yen for the whole stay) to a large suite. Location is terrific, and staff is outstanding, outshining Conrad Tokyo where we stayed the week before.

  9. Things are different for those in the UK when taking out the IHG Rewards Club Select card. The benefits are meagre due to the new EU rules on interchange fees limiting the charge to 0.2%. The annual fee is £99 ($130) and you have to spend £10,000 ($13,000) to get the free night. The sign-up bonus is 20,000 points after spending £200. All the other benefits are the same. The benefits are not too bad compared to other UK cards. The flip-side is that UK retailers will not be able to add any charges for those paying by any credit card starting in January 2018.

  10. The La Concha in Key West is very nice, perfect location, old historic hotel very modernized. Usually $300 on weekends.

  11. I want to get this card but I can’t seem to find an awards chart. Can anyone help with this? How many points are necessary for a stay at any of the hotels listed above? Thanks.

  12. Yes it is quite a nice bonus. Used in conjunction with family to get two adjoining rooms over two nights for daughters birthday at the Venetian and using it again again with family for two rooms at Venetian on way to California. Also have the Willard booked for two nights over this coming Labor Day. Looking forward to that. The OS options look good maybe next year London and Paris

  13. @gsd101 – IHG’s highest room category, which most of the intercontinentals fall into, requires 60,000 points to stay at (including the Paris Le Grand and the IC Barclay), though as Ben mentions, you get 10%, or 6000, points back if you have the credit card so it basically costs 54,000.

    I stayed at Le Grand Paris and I thought it was phenomenal – well kept up, very clean, the staff were fantastic, the bed very comfortable, excellent amenities, and of course you have a great amount of history – Russian czars and writers such as Hugo, Zola, and Wilde stayed here or hosted parties here!

    I stayed at the IC Barclay in November 2016, so after the renovations, and it too was in great condition. We had a corner room, which was quite spacious, and everything was very comfortable. I loved the toiletries especially.

  14. Lucky, I just had my 1 year anniversary and paid the $49

    I looked online and do not see a certificate. Where is it and how do u use it? online or by phone?

  15. David, you need to sign into IHG, go to your Account page and look on the left side for “Free Night Status”. You can book your free night by clicking on the link and doing a regular search.

  16. I used my free night at the Intercontinental Grand Bordeaux …OMG
    was escorted to a suite! Absolutely AMAZING!
    BTW. Celine Dion was also a guest!

  17. The La Concha in Key West I believe is only 40,000 points, which can sometimes be bought for $200 when there’s a sale. Hemingway lived there and Truman stayed there a lot. Even though it’s technically a Crowne Plaza I’d rate it 4.5 stars. The lobby, common areas and location are 5 star while the rooms are 4 star owing to how old it is. It’s rates are sky high on weekends which is when points or even a free night are valuable.

  18. I believe that in Tokyo, Tokyo Bay or ANA Intercontinental Strings would be much better choice. Or as Alvin said below, Intercontinental Osaka deserves much better compared to those 3 properties in Tokyo.

  19. Would be nice to see more regular reviews of IHG hotels, especially given the highly ranked IGH Rewards Club Select Credit Card.

  20. I enjoyed our April 4night stay at the Intercontinental Century City on points (I had booked it in advance for only 50,000 point a night). I’m looking at stacking my still availible free night and my upcoming free night for a stay at the Intercontinental Monterey Bay. If you’re booking with cash it’s pretty expensive, but that alone doesn’t prove it anything. Has anyone been there? How was your stay?

  21. I’ve twice used the certificate at the Crowne Plaza TiSq NYC and was quite pleased. One time was during the annual Christmas Tree lighting at Rockerfeller Center…would have been $400. I paid one night (a bit less costly) and used the cert the other. The two times I have been there they treated us very nicely….we got a voucher and paid $10 pp for the normally $32 breakfast buffet, got a free drink voucher value up to $15, and osme welcome goodies like chocolates and water. Very nice manager said to look her up the next time we stay, and we will!

  22. Intercon HK no longer has the roof top swimming pool for regular guests. They have converted into a Presidential Suite or something, so they told me. I used the free night there early this year, and got a pool view room. Not complaining. With the card, we got 2 free drinks at the lobby, which is one of the best lobbies in the world, with superb view of the harbour.

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