IHG Rewards

Review: InterContinental Hong Kong

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As I mentioned in the first installment, I won’t be covering every aspect of this trip with this report. After flying to Bali we stayed at the St. Regis Nusa Dua and W Seminyak, and then we flew Cathay Pacific business class from Bali to Hong Kong. So that’s where we’ll pick up.

We had an overnight layover in Hong Kong, as we were arriving from Bali at around 8PM, and continuing the following day to London at around 3PM. So we needed a hotel for one night.

In looking at the options, it occurred to me that I had an IHG free night certificate expiring in a couple of months. Just for having the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card (which has a $49 annual fee) you receive an annual free night certificate valid at just about any IHG hotel. That most than justifies the card’s annual fee, given that a vast majority of IHG hotels retail for over $49 per night.

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IHG Rewards Club Members Can Now Save Money On Gas Purchases

IHG-Savings

I’m always happy to see airline and hotel loyalty programs form partnerships with other companies to offer more rewards for members. For example, the partnership between Marriott and United is great, as is the partnership between Starwood and Uber, just to give a couple of examples. Both partnerships make sense, since typically people who fly a lot also stay in hotels, and people who stay in hotels often use ridesharing apps.

While not quite the same, IHG Rewards Club has formed a new partnership with Fuel Rewards, which is the rewards program for Shell gas stations.

Through this partnership, IHG Rewards Club members who link their account will receive at least the following savings for fuel purchases:

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Creative Ways To Get More Than One “Free” IHG Night Per Year

InterContinental-Hong-Kong

The single best perk of the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card is that it offers an annual free night certificate valid at any IHG property. The card has a $49 annual fee (which is waived the first year), so even when you remove all the other benefits from the card, I think a vast majority of people would come out way ahead on the annual fee with the free night certificate alone.

One comment I’ve gotten from some readers is “well, that’s great, but it’s only useful if you’re staying in one night increments.” Fair enough. Personally that works great for me, as I have plenty of one night stays. For others, you can of course pay for an extra night (either in cash or points), or switch hotels. But I realize that’s not for everyone.

So in this post I wanted to look at two other ways to stretch the stays you can get out of the annual free night certificate on the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card:

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How Much Did IHG Pay For My “Free” Hotel Night?

InterContinental-Hong-Kong

As I explained yesterday, I just redeemed my IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card annual free night certificate for a stay at the InterContinental Hong Kong. The card has just a $49 annual fee and offers an annual free night certificate valid at any IHG property, with no category restrictions.

So in my case I had an overnight in Hong Kong, and it’s tough to beat the InterContinental Hong Kong for that purpose, given its location. Since I was redeeming my annual certificate, the stay was completely “free” — there were no taxes and fees, or anything.

However, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has wondered how much this free night is really costing IHG. Yesterday I checked my reservation through IHG’s mobile website, and it listed a price. Specifically, it said that the stay cost 504HKD, or a total of ~555HKD including tax and service charge. That comes out to ~$72. That’s the internal reimbursement rate that IHG is paying the hotel.

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I Scored A 5-Star Hotel In Hong Kong For $49 (Thanks To A Credit Card)

InterContinental-Hong-Kong

The IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card is one of the all around most rewarding cards out there in terms of the perks it offers. As far as I’m concerned, this card should be a “no brainer” for a vast majority of consumers. The card has just a $49 annual fee (which is waived the first year), and offers three huge perks:

— 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
— 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

The single biggest perk of the card is the annual free night certificate. While some other cards offer an annual free night certificate with category caps and lots of restrictions, the annual free night certificate on the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card can be redeemed at any IHG property.

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Great Deal: IHG Offering A 100% Bonus On Purchased Points

intercontinental-sydney

IHG Rewards Club is offering their first non-targeted 100% bonus on purchased points for 2017. The bonus is valid for points purchases through February 17, 2017. Through this offer, IHG Rewards Club is offering a 100% bonus on purchased points when you buy at least 5,000 points in one transaction. This is as good as their bonuses on purchased points get.

If you max out this promotion and purchase 60,000 points you’d end up paying $690 and would get a total of 120,000 IHG Rewards Club points.

That’s a rate of 0.575 cents per IHG Rewards Club point.

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Now Bookable: 125+ IHG Hotels For Just 5,000 Points Per Night!

Hotel-Indigo-Krakow

IHG Rewards Club’s PointBreaks is traditionally one of the best promotions in the hotel industry. Through this promotion, select hotels are available for just 5,000 points per night. I value IHG points at ~0.5 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of booking a hotel stay for ~$25 per night.

Also keep in mind that if you have the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card you get a 10% refund on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points back each year. That means for the first million points you redeem each year you get a 10% discount, so you’d be paying an effective 4,500 points for each PointBreaks night.

IHG’s newest round of PointBreaks hotels is now bookable at the below links (we shared the list on Friday before it became bookable), valid for bookings and stays between January 30 and April 30, 2017. There are 125+ hotels participating in this round of PointBreaks, and as of now they’re actually bookable.

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Here Are The 100+ IHG Hotels That Will Be Bookable For 5K Points On Monday

InterContinental-Maracaibo

As I posted about yesterday, IHG Rewards Club’s next PointBreaks list will be bookable starting on Monday. PointBreaks is one of IHG’s best promotions, where you can book select hotels for only 5,000 points per night. I value those points at ~0.5 cents each, so to me that’s like booking select hotels for just ~$25 per night.

As you’d expect, for the most part they’re not putting their best hotels on the list, so don’t expect to score the InterContinental Sydney or Paris through this offer. However, they do often have some decent properties on the list, with the best hotels selling out quickest.

Therefore it’s always worth taking a look at the PointBreaks list before it actually becomes bookable, so that you can potentially plan your travels and book the second the list goes live in Monday.

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Preview Of IHG’s Next PointBreaks List, Which Will Go Live On January 30

InterContinental-Santa-Domingo

IHG Rewards Club’s PointBreaks is traditionally one of the best promotions in the hotel industry. Through this promotion, select hotels are available for just 5,000 points per night. Since IHG Rewards Club points can be purchased for as little as 0.575 cents per point, that’s like booking stays at certain hotels for an incredible ~$29 per night.

I’ve just been informed that IHG Rewards Club will be releasing the full list of new PointBreaks hotels tomorrow (Friday, January 27) at 12PM EST. At that point the new PointBreaks list can be found here, which will be valid for bookings and stays between January 30 and April 30, 2017 (though the better hotels tend to sell out pretty quickly).

They’ve provided a sampling of some of the 100+ hotels that will be on the list, including the following:

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The 7 Best Hotel Perks Offered By Credit Cards

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There are many reasons to pick up a credit card — some are worth picking up for the sign-up bonus, some are worth picking up for the return they offer on everyday spend, and some are worth picking up for the long-term perks they offer.

While there are all kinds of perks offered on cards, in this post I figured I’d look at the best hotel perks you can get with credit cards. Here are my favorites, roughly in order:

The Citi Prestige® Card has my single favorite perk offered by any credit card. While a lot of credit cards offer some type of “free night” hotel benefit, there are usually major strings attached. Citi Prestige’s fourth night free benefit is the most straightforward out there. To sum up the basics:

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How Long Is The IHG Annual Free Night Certificate Valid For?

InterContinental-The-O2

A couple of days ago I wrote about the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which I consider to be a “no brainer” for a vast majority of consumers. The card has just a $49 annual fee (which is waived the first year), and offers three huge perks:

— 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
— 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

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In Light Of IHG’s Latest Devaluation…

InterContinental-London

As I wrote about earlier, today is the last day to book IHG free nights before the cost of reward nights at over 650 hotels changes tomorrow. There’s no denying that the value of IHG points has decreased over the past year.

Early last year IHG increased the number of points required for stays at their most expensive properties, and also increased the cost of stays at many other properties. Now they’re raising the cost for award stays at roughly 500 of their hotels.

So while my valuation of IHG points is going down, in my opinion there’s more value than ever before with the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which I consider to be one of the most lucrative hotel credit cards out there. As a matter of fact, for the “average consumer,” I tend to think it’s the single best hotel credit card out there.

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Last Chance: Book IHG Award Nights Before Prices Increase Tomorrow

intercontinental-sydney

As I first wrote about a couple of weeks ago, IHG Rewards Club is making some significant hotel award category changes as of January 15, 2017. That means if you want to lock in hotel stays at the old rates, you’ll want to book today.

Since IHG doesn’t have traditional categories that all hotels fall into (but rather pricing varies by brand and then specific property within each brand), there’s not one place where you can easily see the cost of all properties. However, here’s a chart of all the hotels that are changing categories as of tomorrow, January 15.

We’re seeing the cost of free nights at over 650 hotels change, and at roughly 500 of those hotels, the price of an award night is increasing. A majority of the changes are for properties in the United States, though there are many non-U.S. properties changing price as well. We’re seeing the cost of free nights change anywhere between 5,000 and 15,000 points per night, which is pretty substantial.

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IHG Is Raising Award Prices At Hundreds Of Hotels As Of January 15, 2017

InterContinental-DC

IHG Rewards Club doesn’t have a traditional category-based award chart. While hotels have year-round award prices, they don’t belong to a specific category. Instead the cost of an award night is typically tied to which brand a hotel belongs to, and then there’s some variance within each brand.

On the low end, IHG Rewards Club free night awards cost 10,000 points, while on the high end they cost 60,000 points. Then IHG has PointBreaks hotels, which are available for a limited time for 5,000 points per night.

Well, it looks like IHG Rewards Club has just announced some significant hotel award price changes, valid for bookings as of January 15, 2017.

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