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