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Are IHG Free Night Certs More Valuable Than Points?

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IHG Free Night Certificates Unlock Extra Award Space

IHG Free Night Certificates Unlock Extra Award Space

I don’t think this is something I have seen before but I could be living under a rock. One of our Facebook group moderators, Kevin, noticed something interesting when recently searching for award space with IHG. He was looking for a “staycation” of sorts in Chicago to burn his soon to be expiring certificate. He was looking for last minute space around New Years, not an easy feat.

At first he was searching for points availability to see if he could tack on an extra night to his booking. That is if he could find space to add onto the free night. When he initially searched the Intercontinental Chicago nothing appeared for points bookings. Whether he looked for one night, or two.

But, when he searched under the Chase free night award rate it was somehow showing space available so he snatched it up. I am not sure if anyone else has run into this but it appears that maybe IHG free night certificates unlock extra award space. I guess it is plausible he found the space just as it became available but that timing seems unlucky.

If anyone else has noticed this happening let us know down in the comments. I would love to know if it was a one time glitch or actually a boost of the free night certs value. It would be pretty cool if they unlock extra award space.

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Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I’ve definitely book free award nights that don’t show point availability but do show free award availability

  2. I’ve booked a couple of times the past 3 years in which the certificate was able to grab an award night that was not available while searching using points.

  3. It’s true, in some cases (just tested it). On the flip side, sometimes rooms listed at 40K or fewer points are not bookable, at least on-line, with a free-night certificate.

  4. I was able to book the Kimpton Rowan in Palm Springs, CA for New Years Eve. That’s when my free night would otherwise expire. I was surprised that it was available. The points redemption would have been 67,000 for the same night.

  5. I was able to book about 10 days ago 2 free nite certificates at international miracle mile chicago for New Year’s eve and day. I to was very surprised it was available.

  6. That would be good if it does.

    However, several years ago when there was some promotion where you got free night certificates if you completed X number of stays, the glitchy Manila IT decided to award me one additional certificate that I wasn’t entitled to – and shockingly it was never clawed back. That was very helpful because I managed to get a free extra night at the Hotel Indigo London Kensington – and in the highly desirable room 219 to boot.


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