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Last fall, my husband and I received our first free night anniversary certificates from our Chase IHG credit cards. We immediately used them to reserve two nights in Boston for the now-cancelled tennis Laver Cup.
Since the pandemic, we’ve been struggling with how and where to use these free nights because we are traveling less until we get a vaccine. While IHG extended the deadline of the certs through December 2020, that doesn’t really help us much.
Earlier this summer, I used one of the free nights for a staycation pool getaway. This wasn’t a great value for the certificate, but we basically broke even after factoring the credit card’s annual fee of $89. We have similar plans for our second free night certificate.
Local-ish Overnight for Cert #2
My son has a tennis tournament coming up that is located about an hour away. It’ a 2-day tournament, with early start times on Sunday.
My husband pondered out loud if they should get a hotel on Saturday night to forgo a very early wake-up and drive on Sunday morning. I said, “Of course! We have free night certificates!”
Sure enough, we found 3 IHG hotels located close to the tournament site. We booked a Holiday Inn Express and Suites with our certificate.
Again, this is not a great value for our free night nor an inspirational property. It’s an ordinary road-side hotel, just a place to spend the night. But, I hate to see a free night go unused. This is a very practical use of that certificate.
Time to Cancel?
I’m strongly considering canceling this card. We had an awesome IHG redemption in Australia, so I’m very glad we got this card. But, I’m not sure the ongoing benefits are worth it for my family.
Outside of the free nights, we rarely stay in IHG hotels. I prefer Hyatt, and we love the Hyatt Place brand for its practicality. I figured that in 2021-2022 we would use our free nights for college visits. But, in the college towns we plan to visit, the cash prices are fairly low.
We still have a few months to decide if we want to cancel. Regardless, I’m glad we found a use for our second free night certificate.
How are you using your hotel credit card free night certificates this year?
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.