Great News: Chase & IHG Temporarily Backpedal From Their Credit Card Free Night Devaluation!

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Chase IHG Free Night Policy Changed
I have used free night certificates at the Intercontinental Times Square a couple of times for rooms going for $500+ a night.

Chase IHG Free Night Policy Changed

Back in Late March Chase & IHG renewed their credit card relationship with the launch of the new IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. They also discontinued their IHG Rewards Mastercard and announced a huge change for existing cardholders of that card. They decided to heavily restrict the annual free night certificate.

Here is the notice they sent out to cardholders:

Update: We’re changing the Anniversary Free Night on your IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

Thank you for being a Chase customer. On May 1, 2018, we’re changing the Anniversary Free Night benefit associated with your IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card.

Here’s what’s changing
Currently, we award this Anniversary Free Night each year after your anniversary date, and it is redeemable at any IHG property. Going forward, Anniversary Free Nights issued after May 1, 2018, will be redeemable at eligible IHG hotels with a redemption value up to and including 40,000 points.

As you might be able to tell, a lot of customers were upset since this change means the annual free night won’t be valid at A LOT of the nicer IHG Rewards Club properties. That didn’t sit well with a lot of cardholders.

Chase & IHG Backtrack

I’m not sure if a lot of people cancelled or if Chase & IHG felt generous, but it seems they are temporarily backtracking on these changes. Existing cardholders will all get one more free night under the old rules. Essentially they pushed back this change one year.

Conclusion

My wife and I both have the old IHG Rewards Mastercard and our free nights are issued in October. This change means we will now have two more free nights to spend at any IHG Rewards Club property. While I hate negative changes, I’m really glad Chase decided to do this. It certainly makes me happy as someone who has had this card for over five years.

What do you think? Was Chase losing too many customers or did they just re-think how much notice is required for such a big change?

HT: @IADisGr8 on Twitter

6 COMMENTS

  1. This is great news, but not the way that IHG intended: their response was so bad when I called after the restriction was announced that I contacted Marriott and got a status match!

    I hadn’t realized how much I had locked myself in with IHG, but their total customer service fail was the push that nudged me to the competition and I couldn’t be happier to have been shown the door, so it’s good news indeed — for the Marriott Group!

  2. Since I began this whole credit card travel hacking strategy just four years ago, I haven’t canceled a card yet … but I literally was planning to cancel this card before the next annual fee was charged, which is next month in June. Guess I’ll keep it one more year.

  3. This is great news! Yeah I wonder what made them change…I bet it was just enough negative feedback and/or cancellations. Or who knows maybe the common sense lightbulb just went off on its own. I’d bet on the former though.

  4. We were among those who have cancelled it already. I wish they would have backtracked earlier, but it would have only delayed the inevitable.

  5. I already got mine in February. I’m still going to cancel though. The announcement to cancel came after. Do I get another unrestricted free night come February 2019?

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