IHG Free Night Plus Points
IHG recently made an excellent improvement to the anniversary free night offered by the IHG Rewards Premier Card. Rather than capping the free night at 40,000 points, which has been the case since launch (and also the case for the old $49 IHG card for a while), you can now use the IHG free night plus points to book any hotel that costs more than 40,000 points.
This essentially makes your certificate worth 40,000 points, increasing the value. Well, as long as you now always book places that cost over 40,000 points. I see it as letting you get the full value out of your free night.
As someone who has been aced out of potential free night redemptions by just a few thousand points at a particular property, I’m hopeful to find a great use for my IHG Premier Card anniversary free night. Even better, IHG has made it super easy to book your IHG free night plus points.
Booking Using a Premier Certificate Plus Points
To book using your IHG free night plus points, log into your account at ihg.com and navigate to the account page. You’ll see a small link with your available free nights.
Note that the ability to book the IHG free night plus points only applies to IHG Premier Card. There are two distinct types of free nights in my account, as I have both the $89 and $49 card. Note that only the IHG Premier free night says “flex” on it.
Clicking “Book Free Night” will take you back to the search page. You’ll clearly see that you’re using your IHG Rewards Premier Card Annual Flex Night. Select a destination and dates (must be a one-night stay) and you’re off and running.
The search results aren’t as organized as I’d like them to be, but that’s okay. I had to scroll past properties that were completely free (i.e. required fewer than 40,000 points), then past a bunch of properties that either weren’t available or had cash-only rates and no award nights. Then I was presented what I was looking for.
I’m impressed how seamless IHG made this. You can clearly see the number of additional points that are required. Select the hotel and click through to complete the booking process.
Adding Points To Certificate Booking: Final Thoughts
I am quite happy with this change from IHG. This essentially converts the certificate to 40,000 points that you can use during your anniversary year. I’ve often struggled to use the free nights, opting for airport hotels over half the time. It ticks the box of necessity and saves money. But it has been ages since I’ve booked an aspirational property with IHG. This’ll likely change that.