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

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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.

Best of all, you don’t even have to stay by the expiration date, but rather just have to make the booking by the expiration date.

Last year I redeemed my free night certificate for a stay at the InterContinental London The O2, which would have cost over $400 for the one-night stay.


I’m not usually loyal to InterContinental, and had another certificate expiring in a couple of months.


I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do with it, though I got a great last minute use out of it. I needed a hotel in Hong Kong last minute for just one night, and almost everything was sold out.

Fortunately the InterContinental Hong Kong had availability using the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card free night certificate.


The paid rate would have been ~$326 including tax.


For a card with a $49 annual fee that’s an incredible deal. I actually could have gotten even more value out of the perk and booked a hotel that’s $500+ per night, but given that I’m not otherwise loyal to IHG and the certificate expired in a couple of months, this seemed like a great option. My “out of pocket” for this stay was essentially $49. For that price you can’t even get a night at a dumpy hotel in Hong Kong.

Seriously, if you don’t have the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, it’s hard not to get at least $49 of value out of this.

If you also have the IHG Card, where did you redeem your most recent annual free night certificate?

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  1. Thank you, Ben! This card looks awesome. I recently received the Chase Reserve card, and that afforded me 100,000 points, but it also comes with a $495 annual fee that I am not too excited about. I will have to look into this one, partly because I am in the process of identifying a card that specifically generates points that can be directed at hotels. Thanks for the share again!

  2. I used my free night certificate last month, and was upgraded to a $650 suite in the Intercontinental Singapore. One of the nicest rooms I’ve stayed in, in a long time.

  3. I redeemed last years certificate at the IC Paris LeGrand. And plan on redeeming this years at the IC London Park Lane. Amazing value.

  4. Is it easy to get approved for this card? Any potential issues like with Chase’s 5/24 rule? I clicked on the link you provided and it said first year is free (no $49 fee). Thanks.

  5. I’m curious what you do to keep this card active. Love the annual certificate but don’t want to put much spend on it!

  6. My wife and I just redeemed ours for a recent stay at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in Vietnam. Such a fantastic spot with great service & brilliant architecture surrounded by a tremendous natural setting. Would def recommend. @David T – you don’t have to do anything to keep it active except pay the $49 AF.

  7. “My “out of pocket” for this stay was essentially $49. For that price you can’t even get a night at a dumpy hotel in Hong Kong.”

    No opportunity cost in the 5/24 era?

  8. Click Bait. Why not just say here is an affiliate link to apply to a card that is impacted by Chase 5/24 but lets not talk about that. Why would your headline make it sound like it is a deal or something when this has been around for ages…..Sad little blogger

  9. Just used it at Venetian in Las Vegas. Regular rate was $299. The site initially said my choice of night didn’t qualify for the free night but when l clicked through it allowed the booking to go through.

  10. Definitely a great card to get to exploit this annual benefit… IF you want to pay $49 to stay at an IHG property for 1 night only. In general, the IHG program and hotels are some of the worst out there (save a few properties) vs. their main competition. You generally would not want to put any spend on these cards or earn points with IHG unless you are exclusively using them at their exceptional properties.

  11. I have to agree with Sad that this is pure click bait. Come on now Lucky, you are soooo much better than this. This free night benefit has been around for ages and not something to write about by itself.

    Along this line, why not write about the CITI Hilton that charges NO annual fee and gets you enough points for a free night at a 5 Star hotel. That’s even better than the IHG deal. Free vs paying $49.

    By the way I have both cards and use the IHG free night every year!

  12. I’m all for making your money but this is just pure clickbait. Usually, you would always caution torwards 5/24 and the impact a credit has (opportunity cost) – against Chase credit cards particularly since you’ve suggested a lot of credit to sign-up for in the last 2 years that would easily have us go over 5/24.

    Heck, if i apply to 20% of the credit cards you recommended, I can’t even qualify for this card. Where’s the independent review?

  13. Oh, come on people. This particular card is one of the few Chase cards not affected by 5/24, and the IC Hong Kong is wonderful. And it’s “just one night” only if you are single. My wife and I both have the card, and have used the certs for 2 night stays in Hong Kong at the IC the last two years, and will be doing so again Summer 2017. We discovered, like many folks, we just love HK, even though we can’t explain why. And after flying T-P we like to spend a couple of nights there before continuing on.

    No, you don’t get a free breakfast (a la HH) and without top level status they won’t upgrade you to a harbor view room. But it’s really very nice, with wonderful CSRs at the desk who knock themselves out to take care of you. Plus a great location near both the metro and the Ferry.

    At $49 a year, we’d each get 6 more of these cards if Chase would give them to us. But no, they limit you to one at a time. ;(

  14. A great use of the certificate / US$49 fee and something that many who live in Hong Kong would appreciate but are unable to because IHG does not offer a card here. Enjoy your stay in the Fragrant Harbour.

  15. Can you use this certificate to
    Book a room for someone else not traveling?

    I don’t have this card just yet, and I would like my girlfriend to get it as well if I can use her one night certificate.


  16. I have used my free night at the IC Hong Kong the last two years, and I agree this is a great use of the benefit. The location of this hotel is excellent, and last year (with IHG platinum status through the credit card), they gave me a complimentary upgrade to a harbour view room, so I watched the light show from the comfort of my room. They also provided certificates for free drinks at the lobby bar (great view from there too) on both stays.

  17. Obviously Jason didn’t read the post about the no AF Hilton card that came out on 2/14/17. As my grandpa always said think before you talk or in this case read before u blog and naked an ass out of yourself.

  18. The blog posts about this free night thing imply that you just login and redeem. No one mentions that availability for free night redemption is actually pretty limited. I’ve never had any luck using mine for rewards at popular domestic locations (SF, NYC, etc.) and I’ve had the card for years. I end up using it at more pedestrian locations. It saves me $100 or so a year, so I’m not complaining. But it’s not quote as fabulous as the bloggers would have you believe.

  19. The noted example is a very good example of the value of the free night; but a free day one and a not so free day two @ $500 reduces the value of the free night. And let us not forget the cost of the plane ride to the noted location.

  20. I love my card and love the free nights I’ve gotten out of it. I don’t use it for much of anything else besides that. But that’s enough. My God though, so much complaining! Yes, it’s only one night. I guess the others wouldn’t like one night free on a 3 or 5 day stay. I do. And obviously not EVERYONE knows about this as one of the first comments was Daniel’s asking about approval for the card. Not everyone has been following points & travel blogs for years and years.

    Congrats on scoring the night. Free always feels really good.

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