IHG Hobbles Its Free Night Award

It was good while it lasted. Intercontinental Group (IHG) appears to be significantly devaluing the free night that comes with its $49 credit card.

70,000 to 40,000

Chase, IHG

And now, you’ll actually need the points

Starting with free nights issued after May 1, Chase and IHG are modifying what I called the best credit deal in the industry: A free night at any IHG property, regardless of category, to cardholders.* As of next month, the free night will only be valid at hotels that cost between 10,000 and 40,000 points, as opposed to the 70,000 point hotels that had previously been included. So long, big-city hotels.

So is the card still worth having? We move from “absolutely” to “it depends.” There are very few real benefits for actually using the card; by far, the biggest perk was the free night at any property. If IHG and Holiday Inns are your primary hotel company, then you should definitely have the card. And $49 isn’t bad for a free night at a mid-tier property. But that doesn’t get you much more than equivalent cards at IHG competitors, and the competitors have a lot more hotels to choose from. And it doesn’t do you any good to get the card now to beat the May 1 deadline, since you only get the free night on your anniversary.

For now, I’m holding onto my card but will reconsider after using the free night which is currently in my account.

 


*I first saw this news at OMAAT

 

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