IHG credit card, “time share” for $49 a year
I usually do not keep credit cards with annual fees. The few exceptions I have made are for cards that reward me for keeping them.
One of the cards I have kept is the IHG credit card offered by Chase. It charges $49 annual fees and currently has a public sign up offer of 70k.
Every year, upon the anniversary of the card, you will receive a free reward night to any IHG chain hotels such as Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza, Staybridge Suites, InterContinental etc. The reward night will appear in your account under “Free Night Status”
From the screen below, it shows that I have a free night from last year’s anniversary and it “expires” on May 22, 2015. Another free night also showed up for “May 11, 2015 to May 20, 2016″ because my card anniversary is coming up soon.
Although the free night “expires” on May 22, 2015, it can still be used to book for any stay after May 22nd as long as the booking is done before May 22nd. So, I could combine the free night I earned last year and the free night earned this year for two free nights. Both my husband and I carry the IHG card. So, we can have a total of four free nights with two years of annual fees.
Booking can be done online. Click on “Book Free Night” will bring you to the next screen of “your destination”. Keying in “Singapore” brings me to the next screen of free night in place of $490 a night!
Next, click on “Check Rates” will bring you to the next screen to redeem for free night. Best of all, it can be cancelled without penalty as long as it is cancelled two days before the stay. Cancellation is usually instantaneous and the free night certificate will appear back in your account.
So, hypothetically, redeeming 4 free nights at InterContinental, Singapore , would have cost me $49 x 4 (annual fees) instead of paying $490 a night. So, paying a total of $196 annual fees would have saved me $1960, not including taxes and fees!