IHG Free Night Benefit Grandfathered for New Cardholders

IHG Rewards Club PRemier

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Last week, we reported that Chase and IHG would be discontinuing their co-branded IHG Credit Card and replacing it with a new card product. The current card product offers what I think is one of the best benefits from any travel rewards credit card; the free anniversary night good at ANY property in their portfolio.

Earlier this week, cardholders of the Chase IHG Credit Card received notice in the mail that the uncapped free night benefit available at any IHG property was going away. Starting with free night certificates issued after May 1st, 2018, you are now only able to redeem them at properties costing up to 40,000 IHG points per night.


What About Recent Applicants to the IHG Credit Card?

One thing that wasn’t clear from the announcement of capping the annual free night was how they were going to handle recent applicants of the IHG card. This seemed to be poor management on Chase’s part as people who recently applied, did so with the knowledge that they would be getting a free night at any IHG hotel in the world.

It appears Chase is changing their tune on this a bit after receiving a lot of negative feedback on the decision. Per recent conversations with users on Twitter from their Chase Support account, they are confirming that accounts opened between 1/1/18 and 4/5/18 will receive the uncapped free anniversary night benefit for the first year. 


IHG Free Night GrandfatheredIHG Free Night Grandfathered


Our Analysis

This is a great development, and one that I think is the right thing to do on Chase’s side. Taking away benefits from consumers they think they are getting when applying for a card before they even receive the card is a questionable decision.

As of this morning (4/4/18), our affiliate link to the application for the Chase IHG Credit Card is still working! If you don’t yet have this card, you should get it ASAP, as it appears they will honor the uncapped anniversary night benefit for the first year! This will only be honored for accounts opened through tomorrow (4/5/18), so don’t wait on this.


Bottom Line

This is unfortunate news as this benefit was incredible for a card with an annual fee of $49. However, it is good to see Chase backtracking on removing this benefit for new cardholders. This will be honored for all new accounts through tomorrow (4/5/18).


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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

9 Responses

  1. Michael Sousa says:

    Does that mean cardholders signing up between 1/1-4/5/2018 will be charged $49 or $89 on their first anniversary, since there was no annual fee for the first year. If one signed up under the promise of a $49 annual fee after the first year, with a free night at any IHG property upon their anniversary, does that mean in order to be able to get the unrestricted property free night, one will have to pay $89 instead of $49, since I understand that in order to get the free night, the annual fee must first be paid ?

    • Nick Serati says:

      They would be charged the $49 annual fee as this was the application for the existing card product (not the new card which will be a completely separate product). However, it appears Chase has pulled the application for the old card and it is no longer available.

  2. Vivian Ortiz says:

    What about accounts that were opened last year and have not yet gotten their first year’s certificate?? It sounds like they will not be grandfathered, which makes no sense. I opened my account in July 2017 and I got my letter saying it was now capped at 40K. Any advice?

    • Nick Serati says:

      I agree that this makes no sense. It appears Chase handled the management of this transition poorly. My best advice is to call the number on the back of you card.

  3. Aunna says:

    It looks as if the application is still open for the $49 renewal card. At least, it works when I try it. Any thoughts?

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