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.
Per One Mile at a Time, it looks like this benefit will be changing going forward. Starting with free night certificates issued after May 1st, 2018, you can only redeem them at properties costing up to 40,000 IHG points per night. This will now, unfortunately, exclude many of IHG's top tier properties such as their InterContinental brand.
Ouch. This stings a little bit as this is obviously a huge devaluation to the credit card. It doesn't appear that any of the other card perks are changing, so at the very least, the free night should still absolutely be worth the $49 annual fee.
The new card product that will be replacing it will have a higher annual fee ($89) while offering what now appears to be the same anniversary night restrictions. At the very least, getting this card now could lock in an annual fee of $49 which makes the free night more lucrative. There hasn't been confirmation yet as to how Chase will handle this.
This is unfortunate news as this benefit was incredible for a card with an annual fee of $49. We will need to see how Chase handles existing cardholders once the new product launches. I hope they grandfather the current annual fee of $49, but we will have to wait and see.
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H/T: One Mile at a Time
Whose responsibility it is the handle the Chase free Night should be a little more clear. I have Guests every day that cannot get a straight answer. If they reserve a Chase Free Night and then cancel what happens to that night.