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Update: IHG has issued a reprieve. Certificates issued through May 1, 2019, are valid at any property!
IHG has reduced the value of its annual free night certificate earned by being an IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card cardmember. Certificates issued as of May 1, 2018, can only be redeemed at properties that have standard award nights priced at 40,000 points or less. Category 8 or higher properties will no longer be eligible for redemption with the free night certificate.
We expect that there may an update on this as there seems to be significant backlash from the community, and IHG / Chase may be back peddling or slightly modifying the policy of the certificate validity for newer cardmembers.
There are rumors that the IHG Rewards Card is going to be discontinued and replaced with a mass market card, and a premium card, but we don't know if this is actually the case or what will become of any new cards. Will the premium card retain the unrestricted free night certificate, or will it be capped? We should find out soon enough! One thing to note is that this restriction does not apply across the globe.
UK holders of the IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card can still redeem their annual certificate at any IHG property worldwide; although the card has an annual fee of $141 and to earn the certificate you need to spend $14,000 on the card per year.
Ultimately, the IHG Rewards Card retains decent value after the devaluation; a night at a 40,000 point hotel for an annual fee of $49 still represents great value for money and it still comes with a decent host of perks and benefits.
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