A couple of days ago we learned about some major changes being made to the IHG Rewards Club Credit Card. The best benefit of this card has been that it offers an anniversary free night certificate just for paying the $49 annual fee on the card, which is a heck of a deal. You could redeem this at virtually any IHG hotel in the world, including InterContinentals that would otherwise cost up to 70,000 points per night.
This benefit is changing, unfortunately. As we learned at the time, for IHG anniversary free night certificates issued on May 1, 2018, or later, you can only redeem at properties that cost up to 40,000 points per night. IHG free night awards cost anywhere from 5,000 to 70,000 points per night, so this excludes about 330 of IHG’s 5,300 hotels.
While there are still plenty of properties at which you can redeem, there’s no denying that this is a big sting to the value of the certificate, and the card overall, for that matter. A lot of people only recently signed up for the card largely because of this benefit, and were disappointed by this change. There’s some good news on that front.
Chase is confirming that those who applied for the IHG Rewards Club Card between January 1 and April 5, 2018, will receive an unrestricted anniversary free night certificate for the first year. This is great news for those who are eligible, and frankly only seems fair, given the number of people who applied largely because of this benefit.
We certainly apologize for the news. Accounts opened between 1/1/18 and 4/5/18, will not see this change for the first year. ^JD
— Chase Support (@ChaseSupport) April 3, 2018
Not only is this great news for those who have already applied for the card, but this also means that you can apply for the IHG Rewards Club Card through tomorrow (Thursday, April 5, 2018), and still receive an uncapped free night certificate on your first account anniversary (in subsequent years it would be subjected to the new cap). This is a compelling reason to still pick up the card, since you can redeem the certificate at a property that would cost up to 70,000 points per night, which is 30,000 points higher than the new cap.
On top of that, as before you’d receive IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card, as well as a 10% refund on redeemed points, for up to 100,000 refunded points per year.
This is at least a welcome change for those who recently applied for the card. What I don’t get is why this applies to those who applied between January 1 and April 5, 2018, but not those who applied between May 1 and December 31, 2017, who will be drawing the short end of the stick here. That doesn’t seem fair.
(Tip of the hat to Joel)