10 Great Places to Use the Annual IHG Credit Card Award Night!

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Some rewards credit cards have annual fees that can make it hard to justify keeping the card in your wallet year after year.  However, some have built-in anniversary perks that more than make up for the annual fees.  One of those such cards is the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card.  The sign-up bonus for this card is attractive at 70,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months, but the perks don’t stop there.

The card has a couple built-in perks that make it will worth the $49 annual fee in my mind ($0 introductory fee the first year).

First, the card awards 10% of your redeemed points back, up to 100,000 points per year.  Plus it gives you automatic Platinum elite IHG Rewards status.  Those are both very useful benefits, but the benefit I love and want to primarily focus on today is the annual free night that is awarded at each anniversary.

You can use this annual award night at over 4,700 IHG hotels around the world, and it is possible to get way more value out of that “free” night than the $49 you have to spend each year on the annual fee.  In no particular order, here are ten fun ways to spend your annual IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card anniversary night.

1. Stay at InterContinental Paris – Le Grand or the InterContinental Paris – Avenue Marceau in Paris!  Both hotels often go for more than 400 per night, and thus are excellent uses of the free night award.  Both properties are normally 50,000 points per night, and if you have trouble finding availability, know that the Le Grand is a much larger property than the Avenue Marceau (which is very close to the Champs Elysees).

2.  Enjoy the Intercontinental Park Lane in London.  Continuing with the European theme, where hotels can be very expensive in major cities, the Intercontinental Park Lane is a great use of the annual free night since rates are often over £300 per night, and rooms go for 50,000 points per night.  Do note that just like in Paris, the base room bookable with points/award night is rated for just two people.

3.  Take the family of four to London via a at Crowne Plaza London – The City or Holiday Inn London – Mayfair.  It is rare to find base award rooms in London rated for two adults and two children, but IHG offers these two options in London.  They may not be as “fancy” as the Intercontinental, but they are a great way to get two double beds in the same room for one award.  The normal points price at these properties is 45,000 and 35,000 points per night respectively and rates are usually north of £250 per night.

4.  Stay in New York City at the InterContinental New York Times Square There are lots of IHG hotels in NYC that are rated for two adults and two children in the standard rooms, so you have lots of options.  One NYC hotel I very much enjoyed was the Intercontinental Times Square.  I don’t love the Times Square location normally since there are other areas of NYC that I enjoy much more, but the hotel itself was very solid, the bathroom was quite good for New York City, and the bed was incredible.  Rates are often $300 or more per night, or awards are typically 50,000 points per night.

5.  Get really exotic at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa where you can even use your annual credit card award night (or 50k points per night) for an over water villa!  These villas can accommodate two adults and two children, so believe it or not, this is a family friendly option!  I will say that availability here can be tough, but with flexible dates it is an insane option for a villa you can get just because of an annual night you get with your credit card!

IHG Bora Bora

6.  Experience alpine luxury at the Intercontinental Davos in Switzerland.  This hotel is set in the Graubünden Alps and has base rooms rated for three people (some with balconies and alps views!).  Believe it or not, this property even has a Globini Kids Club that is free for kids 4-12 years old!  The hotel also has a free shuttle service to the city centre or to the various skiing resorts located around the hotel.  I officially have this hotel on my own “wish list”!  Rooms are regularly 50,000 IHG points per night.

Intercontinental Davos

7.  Ski in the US at the Holiday Inn Vail You don’t have to go to Switzerland to use your annual IHG card award night near a ski slope.  You can use it at the Holiday Inn Vail and be just 1.5 miles from the slopes!  The hotel even has a free shuttle that runs every 30 minutes to the slopes.  Base rooms here usually go for 35,000 points per night or more than $250 USD per night during ski season.  Rooms with two queen beds are rated for four people.

8.  Explore San Francisco from the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco or InterContinental San Francisco.  Both of these properties are in desirable areas of San Francisco, and both offer base rooms rated for four people.  The historic Mark Hopkins property has actually been around since 1926!  If you want to stay some nights on points, the properties will cost 50,000 and 45,000 points per night respectively.

9.  Enjoy the view at the InterContinental Hong Kong.  This hotel consistently gets good reviews from frequently travelers and looks to have some insane views of Hong Kong.  Rooms typically go for 45,000 points per night, but you can get it with the annual night via the IHG credit card.  Base rooms have a stated max of three people per room.

Intercontinental Hong Kong

10.  Virtually anywhere your family wants to go!  I can show you the IHG hotels that cost the most or look the coolest, but the reality is the best place to use your IHG annual award night is anywhere your family wants to go.  IHG has properties in Aruba, Jamaica, Hawaii, Whistler, Alaska, Orlando, Australia, and Small Town USA that may not always be the fanciest spot on the block, but that hardly matters if it keeps dollars in your pocket and gets you where you want to be.  IHG’s huge footprint around the world means there are literally thousands of redemption options.

I don’t yet have the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, but I have no doubt we will get it at some point both because of the sign-up bonus, but also because the ongoing perks are really good given the annual fee to keep the card.  If you have the card, where do you like to use the annual award night?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Disclaimer: The comments below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Funny how it looks like you just discovered how great the card is. The cynic in me thinks that it has to do with the new affiliate link.

    • Thanks for your cynicism Mr. john. Of course affiliate links matter to every blogger. Is there something wrong with that? This is not a charity work. I would be concerned if someone deliberately misleads and gives wrong info otherwise just chill.

  2. I second the vote for IC San Francisco…..even tho the Mark Hopkins one is supposedly even fancier the IC San Fran with a Bay View? Please I would do anything to go back….

  3. One of the biggest useful perks of family travel is free breakfast where you can potentially save a lot besides convenience and unfortunately you don’t get that in Intercontinental hotels but still I agree with the overall value that you get.

  4. MP – I have to disagree with CP London City. We stayed there last summer with a few nights on points, and a few nights paid. We left quite disappointed with the stay.

    Room condition and general upkeep are not not very good, as in not very clean. The room that we’re in has a desk with recessed shelf for power outlet connectors, and the shelf was never cleaned throughout our stay. The lights in the closet was out and maintenance had to come in and fix. There is another light fixture near the bed that had to be fixed and replaced as well.

    The room that face interior courtyard also has zero views, because the window panes were smoked/frosted glass, so the rooms felt like caverns.

    The service were also hit-or-miss. The concierge on day 1 was good. He got us booked to a hop-on/hop-off bus and very helpful pointing out different attractions. Another concierge on a different day whiffed, and also managed to loan us power adapters that were really non-functional.

    We pointed all this to the front office managers when we checked out and we were offered 5000 points for compensation. We were kinda disappointed with that, because the property points rate was 45000 points.

    Location-wise though, CP London City is good. Blackfriar Tube station is just across the street, and Thames river just a 1 min walk from the front door. If you’re looking for a London property, and don’t mind being a bit out of the way, HI Commercial Road is tops. The rooms are bigger, and cleaner than CP. The staff is much more consistent with their service, and the redemption rate is only 20000 points per night. The catch is that it is in residential area, and you have to take a bus or walk a bit (10-15 min) through areas that may not look very appealing to get to either DLR or Tube station.

    As a comparison, we stayed at a category 1 Hyatt House, and we were comped for the whole stay because of a couple of issues (dirty towels and rickety bed).

    • Bob, that property makes my list because it holds four people, which is quite rare for London and very helpful for families. I totally believe it not to be totally amazing, but appreciate you sharing your first-hand experience!

      • OK I get it.

        The HI Commercial Road also has rooms with 2 doubles I believe. But with small kids, may not be the most convenient location. I have no financial relationship with the property in case you’re wondering, but the contrast between them is so glaring that I can’t help but pay it compliments!

  5. Can you combine the free night award with additional free nights using points? Or just make two separate reservations back to back? Thanks!

    • Steveo, I haven’t tried, but I’m sure at the very least you can make them back to back and then either call or at check-in let the hotel know it is all one stay so you don’t have to change rooms or any of that.

      • That is exactly what I did at IC Cancun–annual free night followed by a point night. Messaged the hotel, and they were very accommodating. They really do have the best beach in Cancun–a great property!

    • Free night and points for additional night worked for Intercontinental Park Lane for me just tonight. In fact I used my wife’s free night for an additional night for us on this trip.

      Will call or email in a day or two to make sure they keep us in same room for all three nights – I’m sure it won’t be an issue.

  6. Anyone going to Las Vegas should try The Venetian & The Palazzo (both IHG) We got our 2 free nights when rates were near $300. Free nights included waiver of resort fees.

    • That’s where we go. Close to San Diego. Flights are cheap especially with SW miles. Can’t go to far or away for two long because of our young kids. Usually have the aunt watch them for 3 days. Otherwise yea of course, internationally would be a lot of fun.

  7. I’ll second the IC in Hong Kong. We were there 4 months ago staying at the Hyatt Regency (no complaints about that hotel)…but we took a walk to the water. There IC is right on the water. Great location. May have to stay there next time. 😉

  8. Agree with NYC Times Square, very good stay. Will be trying Crown Plaza on South Beach Miami this weekend, rates near $600 for the weekend.

    • We stayed several days last year at the Intercontinental Times Square as well. We used our free night plus reward points for the extra days, and we were upgraded to a corner room that was outstanding! You’re right about the beds–they were the most comfortable hotel beds ever! I was a bit leary about the Times Square location, but it was just a few blocks from the hustle and bustle, so it was not a problem.

  9. Used my two free nights from the into the nights promotion at the Holiday Inn AI Resort in Cabo. Great property on the beach and the free food/drinks are definitely a perk!

  10. Just got back from 3 reward nights at the IC in Honk Kong. It is a great hotel but don’t count on the waterfront rooms for reward night stays. They would not give it to me even though I have been Platinum for many years. They will charge you a premium for those great view rooms if you book with reward nights. Still a great value as you likely will get a partial view. And the location of the hotel is fantastic. Just a short walk to the ferry.

  11. How long are the free night anniversary awards valid? With Marriott’s, you have six months to use them, which is kind of inconvenient sometimes.

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