Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Keri Stooksbury
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One of the best perks of many hotel credit cards is the free night certificate that you’ll earn after paying your annual fee each year. Depending on how you redeem this certificate, this benefit alone can easily “pay” for the card, as there are dozens of hotels worldwide that allow you to get an outsized value redemption due to the high cash rates of select properties.
In this post, we’re going to showcase some of our favorite IHG Hotels & Resorts properties throughout the world at which you can get fantastic value for your free night certificates.
There are just 3 credit cards that offer free night certificates: the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card (no longer available to new applicants), the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card, and the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.
The perfect card for IHG fans, offering a free night every year, automatic Platinum Elite status, and your fourth night free on award stays.
If you regularly visit IHG hotels throughout the year, then the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is probably a perfect card to have in your wallet.
The IHG Premier card offers a great bundle of perks and benefits, including automatic Platinum elite status, an annual free night certificate, and travel protections.
In addition to your annual free night certificate with the IHG Premier card, you’ll also receive perks like IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status, a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/Nexus credit, baggage delay insurance, purchase protection, and a 20% discount when you purchase IHG One Rewards points using your card.
There are a few rules you’ll want to be aware of when it comes to redeeming your IHG One Rewards free night certificate:
One key thing to be mindful of is that IHG One Rewards uses a dynamic pricing model for its hotels, as opposed to a standard award chart with pre-determined rates. This means that the number of points you’ll need for a free night will vary based on the current cash rate for the property.
While this means that it is technically possible for any property to be listed below 40,000 points in order to use your free night certificate, the reality is that many of the very best IHG hotels will never be priced that low because the cash rates remain high year-round.
Of course, this lack of transparency can make it difficult to plan ahead, or to locate the best hotels that will provide big-time value for your free night certificate — but that is what you have Upgraded Points for!
For this post, we scoured the IHG portfolio for the very best hotels that stay within that 40,000-point maximum so you can use the free night certificate without having to dip into your points balance to increase the value of the certificate — let’s take a look at our favorites!
Let’s begin with the best hotels you’ll find outside the U.S. that are relatively easy to book using your free night certificate. Keep in mind that these hotels are in alphabetical order, not ranked based on quality, though all of them would make for an excellent stay!
The InterContinental Bali is a 5-star luxury property that was the first of its kind to be built on the shores of the beautiful Jimbaran Bay, offering beautiful a white sand beach and stunning sunsets.
In addition to the beautiful sights the hotel offers, you’ll also have access to 5 restaurants, 6 outdoor pools, a day spa, a salon, a water sports center, a gym, and even an on-site shopping center.
Award nights at the InterContinental Bali are virtually always below the 40,000 points per night needed to use your free night certificate, even in high season!
One of Bangkok’s largest hotels, the InterContinental Bangkok is close to many major highlights and the Chitlom Skytrain station that will keep you connected to the rest of the city.
The hotel offers 3 on-site restaurants, a cafe, and a deli, along with a balcony lounge and humidor cigar bar. The rooms are plush, spacious, and come with daily replenishment of fresh fruits.
You can usually find award nights at the InterContinental Bangkok ranging between 20,000 to 40,000 points per night.
Situated near Tiergarten Park, and the iconic Brandenburg Gate, the InterContinental Berlin is a great option when visiting Berlin.
The hotel offers 2 on-site restaurants, a cafe, an indoor, pool, and a fitness center. Standard rooms offer a separate sitting area with views that overlook Tiergarten Park.
You’ll regularly find award nights at the InterContinental ranging between 25,000 to 40,000 points per night.
A fan favorite for IHG Rewards free night certificates, the InterContinental Budapest is located at a UNESCO World Heritage Site, right on the most stunning riverbank walkway in the city called the Danube Promenade, offering striking cityscape views of the “Buda” side of Budapest.
The hotel’s amenities include a club lounge, bar, 2 restaurants, gym, spa, and, swimming pool.
Award nights at the InterContinental Budapest are regularly bookable between 25,000 to 35,000 points per night.
The InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa boasts a beautiful setting of 35 acres of tropical gardens across Natadola Beach, which was voted one of the best beaches in the world.
Rooms are spacious, include soaking tubs, and all have views of the pristine beach. Amenities at the resort include 3 on-site restaurants, a spa, an 18-hole golf course, a fitness center, and a kids’ club.
Award nights at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa are regularly bookable between 30,000 to 40,000 points per night.
Nestled in the heart of Jakarta’s shopping and business district, visitors will find they’re in a great spot to enjoy all that South Jakarta has to offer.
Each room offers views of Jakarta and a rainfall shower, with hotel amenities like an outdoor pool, 2 on-site restaurants, and a fitness center.
Booking an award stay at the InterContinental Jakarta will usually cost anywhere from 35,000 to 45,000 points per night.
Located in Lisbon’s historic old town, the beautiful InterContinental Lisbon offers rooms with views overlooking Eduardo VII Park and is just a short walk away from the upmarket Avenida da Liberdade Boulevard.
You’ll also enjoy amenities like a stylish cocktail bar, a 24-hour fitness center, and the hotels’ restaurant, Akla, which was selected as the best Portuguese luxury restaurant.
Award nights at the InterContinental Lisbon usually range between 40,000 to 60,000 points per night, so you’ll likely need to visit in the off-season in order to redeem your free night certificate at this hotel.
Right in the heart of the city, the InterContinental Madrid is steps away from high-end fashion boutiques, along with Madrid’s world-class museums.
Rooms feature beautiful marble bathrooms and are pet-friendly for those traveling with their furry friends. The hotel features a fitness center, an on-site restaurant, and an award-winning business center.
Award nights at the InterContinental Madrid cost anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 points per night, so this is another hotel you’ll want to visit outside of peak season if you’re looking to redeem your free night certificate.
Hot Tip: We dive into the best ways to fly to Spain with points and miles, with step-by-step instructions!
If you’re looking for an island getaway in the Mediterranean, the InterContinental Malta is a fantastic option.
Amenities at the hotel include 3 pools, a kids’ club, a fitness center, a day spa, a beach club, and a variety of restaurants and bars offering varied cuisine at all times of the day.
Award nights at the hotel usually run between 30,000 to 40,000 points per night, making it a great option for an IHG One Rewards free night certificate.
This stunning resort is a perfect vacation destination, located right on the exclusive Balaclava Bay, on the island’s northern coast.
Guests can enjoy the beautiful beach, participate in water sports, relax at the spa or outdoor pool, and dine at one of the hotel’s 5 on-site restaurants.
The cost for an award night at the InterContinental Mauritius is usually between 35,000 to 50,000 points per night.
Dating back to 1891, the InterContinental Melbourne combines an old-world Venetian Gothic façade with modern interiors to bring a luxury experience that is true to the property’s roots. The hotel is located in the central business district of Melbourne and offers an indoor pool, 2 on-site restaurants, a fitness center, and business centers.
Award nights at the hotel can range anywhere from 30,000 to 45,000 points per night, depending on the season.
The InterContinental Porto – Palácio ds Cardosas is a luxurious 5-start hotel that offers views of Avenida dos Aliados, and is steps away from the city’s major tourist attractions.
All guestrooms are plush and offer marble bathrooms with tubs and showers. The hotel amenities include a business center, a fitness center, and an on-site restaurant.
Award nights at the InterContinental Porto – Palácio ds Cardosas can cost anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 points per night.
Those staying at the InterContinental Presidente Cancun Resort will find a beautiful beach resort property that offers access to 2 pools, 3 on-site restaurants, a club lounge for elite members, a spa, and a fitness center. Rooms at the hotel are well lit, with marble floors, and some even offer outdoor showers.
Award nights at the InterContinental Presidente Cancun can cost anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 points per night.
Located in the city center, the InterContinental Saigon is just a few minutes from famous landmarks like Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Opera House, and Reunification Palace.
Rooms offer panoramic views of the city and guests can enjoy amenities like an outdoor pool, 5 on-site restaurants, and a fitness center.
Award nights at the InterContinental Saigon can cost anywhere from 20,000 to 35,000 points per night.
The InterContinental Singapore was rated as one of the top hotels in Singapore by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2017, and is well located near Arab Street, Kampong Glam, Marina Bay, and the Central Business District.
Amenities at the hotel include 3 on-site restaurants, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center.
Award nights at the InterContinental Singapore can cost anywhere from 45,000 to 50,000 points per night.
Hot Tip: Learn more about the best InterContinental hotels and resorts to book with points for maximum value.
Guests who visit the Regent Porto Montenegro will find the hotel situation perfectly directly on the Mediterranean Sea, with sweeping views of Lovćen Mountain in full view.
The 175 rooms, spread out across 3 wings, each evoking the feeling of being on board a luxury ship. Amenities at the hotel include 2 on-site restaurants, 3 bars, a fitness center, a spa, indoor and outdoor pools, a yacht club, and signature yacht service.
Award nights at the Regent Porto Montenegro usually will set you back anywhere between 27,000 to 50,000 points per night.
Rooms feature views of downtown Taipei and include marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. The hotel offers a whopping 11 on-site restaurants, a spa, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.
Award nights at the Regent Taipei consistently range between 30,000 to 40,000 points per night.
Oftentimes hotel certificates can be perfect for short weekend trips within the U.S., or even for staycations. With that, here are our favorite hotels to redeem IHG One Rewards certificates at within the U.S. Again, the below hotels are in alphabetical order by the state they are located in, and not ranked based on quality.
The sleek and boutique Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix in downtown Phoenix would make for a great choice for your free night certificate.
Rooms at the hotel are swanky and styling, with amenities that include an outdoor rooftop pool and bar, a pop-up art studio, complimentary bike rentals, a fitness center, and an on-site restaurant.
Award nights at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix can cost anywhere from 35,000 to 55,000 points per night, depending on season and demand.
Hot Tip: Check out our complete guide to Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (including locations, amenities, and loyalty benefits), as well as the best Kimpton hotels to book with points for max value.
The waterfront location of the InterContinental San Diego is perfectly situated right downtown, and just minutes from Petco Park, the San Diego Convention Center, and the San Diego International Airport (SAN).
Each guestroom features floor-to-ceiling windows with views of either the Pacific Ocean or the San Diego skyline. Amenities at the hotel include an outdoor pool, 3 on-site restaurants, a fitness center, and the hotel is pet-friendly.
Award nights at the InterContinental San Diego usually range anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 points per night, so you’ll want to book during low-demand times if you’re hoping to use your free night certificate.
Located in San Diego’s Gaslamp District, this area offers theaters, restaurants, nightlife, and shopping all right outside the hotel’s doors.
Rooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies, and luxe bath products. During your stay, you can relax at the pool deck and lounge, work out in the fitness center, and nosh at the hotel’s restaurant, Cuadero, serving up Mexican street food. IHG One Rewards Platinum and Diamond elite members receive a “Raid the Bar” welcome amenity of a $10 bar credit.
You’ll find that award nights at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego usually can be booked for 35,000 to 45,000 points per night.
Located in Sacramento’s Golden Commons neighborhood, the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel is steps away from Sacramento Kings home basketball games, concerts, rodeos, and other sporting events that take place at the Golden 1 Center.
Guests can kick back and sip cocktails at the rooftop pool, book a spa treatment, break a sweat at the fitness center, or grab a bite at the hotel’s on-site steakhouse.
In our searches, we found that the award nights at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel usually range between 38,000 to 50,000 points per night.
Guests of the hotel will enjoy an open-air design, cozy firepits, and beach amenities like chairs, towels, and umbrellas. Of course, the hotel also offers an on-site restaurant, a 24-hour fitness center, a 15% discount on in-room spa services, and a daily wine social hour.
An award night at the Kimpton Shorebreak Resort is likely to set you back anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 points per night, so you’re most likely to be able to use your free night certificate on off-peak dates or for nights in the middle of the week.
The Hotel Indigo Denver Downtown-Union Station is perfectly located in Denver’s Union Station neighborhood, making it close to top Denver attractions, including Union Station, the Ball Arena, and Coors Field.
The hotel’s 180 guest rooms feature Colorado-inspired décor, local artwork, and Aveda toiletries. Hotel amenities include a restaurant and bar, 24-hour business center, and fitness center.
Award nights at the Hotel Indigo Denver Downtown consistently range between 30,000 to 40,000 points per night, so you’d be able to redeem your free night certificate here virtually year-round.
Guests staying at Kimpton Hotel Born in Denver are welcomed to an upscale experience, with each room offering floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the Rocky Mountains, Union Station, or city skyline. Plus, if you’re upgraded to a suite thanks to your IHG Rewards status, your bathroom will include a deep-soaking tub to relax in as well. Guests also have access to an on-site restaurant, fitness center, a $10 bar credit, and complimentary access to the Museum of Contemporary Art and Colorado Athletic Club Union Station.
At the Kimpton Hotel Born, award nights usually run from 40,000 to 50,000 points per night, so you’ll want to look for non-peak times when redeeming your free night certificate here.
Each guestroom comes with its own private balcony, and amenities include a Mediterranean-style courtyard with an adults-only private pool, cabanas, a rooftop pool, a ground-floor pool, a fitness center, and a hotel spa.
Award nights at the Kimpton Angler’s Hotel South Beach are likely to cost from 39,000 to 55,000 points per night, so you’ll likely need to redeem in the off-season to use your free night certificate.
Located away from the hustle and bustle of Miami Beach, the Kimpton EPIC Hotel is a high-rise in downtown Miami that combines sophistication and spirit.
Guests can splash into 2 rooftop pools, enjoy locally-sourced cuisine at 2 restaurants or craft cocktails at the outdoor pool bar.
Those looking to book an award night at the Kimpton EPIC Hotel will usually need to pay anywhere between 40,000 to 60,000 points per night.
Originally built in 1894, the Kimpton Gray Hotel takes its name from the Georgia Gray marble that the building it resides in was built from.
All guestrooms offer luxury linens, downtown Chicago views, and luxury Atelier Bloem toiletries. Amenities at the hotel include a fitness center, an on-site restaurant, a cocktail bar, and a $10 bar credit for IHG Rewards elite members.
Award nights at the Kimpton Gray Hotel often range between 25,000 to 50,000 points per night.
Hot Tip: Check out our guide to the best things to do in Chicago, including free attractions, kid-friendly activities, and museums.
Situated in the heart of Chicago in the Loop, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago is newly-renovated and rated as a 4-Diamond hotel by AAA.
Rooms at the hotel feature large bay windows, high ceilings, and city views. In terms of amenities, you have a 24-hour fitness center, an on-site restaurant, and in-room spa services, and the hotel is also pet-friendly.
Award night at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago have quite a large spread, ranging anywhere from 25,000 to 60,000 points per night, so you’ll need to play around with the dates a bit to find some that work for your free night certificate.
Rooms at the hotel naturally aren’t very large, which is the norm for NYC, but they are quite comfortable. Plus, you’ll have access to a fitness center, both an on-site bar and restaurant, and a business center.
Booking an award night at the Crowne Plaza HY36 Midtown Manhattan can cost anywhere from 25,000 to upwards of 70,000 points per night. Given that, you’ll want to be as flexible as possible when trying to use your free night certificate here.
Located in the hip Lower East Side neighborhood, the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York is a great option for travelers looking for a New York City hotel that is a bit away from the hustle and bustle of Midtown.
Rooms feature hardwood floors, artistic touches, and city views of the Manhattan skyline. The hotel offers great amenities, too, like the popular 15th-floor rooftop bar Mr. Purple, the lobby cafe, and the fitness center.
Award nights at the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side usually range between 30,000 to 50,000 points per night. Since cash rates in New York City can be quite high, this can be a great option for your free night certificate.
The Kimpton Hotel Eventi is located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, giving you access to art galleries, boutiques, nightclubs, the Chelsea Market, and the High Line promenade, all just a few minutes away from you.
The hotel has some fantastic amenities, like its Big Screen Plaza (a 15,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor multi-level public plaza with a 30-foot multimedia art screen) or its rooftop veranda offering views of the Empire State Building and Freedom Tower. The hotel also has 3 on-site restaurants, a spa, and a fitness center.
At the Kimpton Hotel Eventi, award nights are likely to set you back anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 points per night, so steer clear of the weekends during high-season if you’re hoping to use a free night certificate.
Visitors will find Winston-Salem’s Downtown Arts District, Krispy Kreme headquarters, and the massively popular Old Salem Museum & Gardens just steps away from the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel.
The hotel is also loaded with amenities like a bowling alley, basketball court, ping-pong and more in the lower-level recreation center, as well as a 24-hour fitness center, in-room spa services, and an on-site restaurant. The hotel is also pet-friendly with no additional fees.
Award nights at the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel often range from 30,000 to 40,000 points per night, making it easy to use your free night certificate essentially whenever you’d like.
While Cleveland might not be the highest on your list of places to visit, the city actually has quite a lot to offer, like multiple professional sports teams, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the city’s Gateway District, featuring great boutiques and restaurants.
The Kimpton Schofield Hotel puts you right at the heart of all of this action. Of course, it offers all the standard amenities as well, like an on-site restaurant, 24-hour fitness center, and spa treatments. But 2 unique amenities are complimentary Micro Kickboard scooters for the kids traveling with you, and even complimentary guitar rentals for those who want to jam out during their stay.
Booking an award night at the Kimpton Schofield Hotel is likely to cost anywhere from 30,000 to 45,000 points per night.
History buffs will love the location of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, as it is just steps away from Independence Park, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross House, Elfreth’s Alley, and multiple national parks.
When you’re done exploring the city, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the hotel’s 2 on-site restaurants, gets some self-care via the fitness center or spa treatments, or rent one of the complimentary hotel bikes or Micro Kickboard scooters.
Award nights at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia are often anywhere from 35,000 to 50,000 points per night, so you’ll need to have some flexibility with your dates if you’re looking to redeem a free night certificate here.
Hot Tip: Our in-depth review of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia gives you a complete tour of the property!
Located in the Rittenhouse Square district of Philly, you’ll be in an urban hub of delicious restaurants and coveted high-end stores.
Dating back to 1929, and recently renovated in 2009, each of the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadephia‘s guestrooms offers fantastic views of the Philadelphia skyline. During your stay, you can have a meal at the on-site restaurant serving up New American flavors and utilize the 24-hour fitness center, complimentary bike rentals, spa services, and $10 bar credit.
Booking award nights at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia is likely to cost you anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 points per night.
The rooms at the hotel are quite stylish, with features like Cararra marble and industrial-era concrete ceilings. The hotel’s on-site restaurant serves up modern American food, and other amenities include a rooftop pool, a spa, and a fitness center. Pets are welcome.
Award nights at the Kimpton Aertson Hotel can vary pretty dramatically, costing anywhere from 30,000 to 55,000 points per night.
Right in downtown Seattle, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle is within walking distance of Seattle attractions like Pike Place Market, great shopping, the waterfront, Pioneer Square, and top restaurants.
When guests are done exploring, they can enjoy amenities like the on-site restaurant and bar, fitness center, in-room spa services, and $10 bar credit, and since the hotel is pet-friendly, they can bring their furry friends along, too.
Booking award nights at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle will usually range from 35,000 to 50,000 points per night.
It can be easy to get caught up in trying to maximize your free night certificate by redeeming it at an excellent hotel in an expensive city that otherwise would have cost you hundreds of dollars if you were paying cash. But as we know, perfect is the enemy of good and sometimes it is not always feasible to maximize your free night certificate to its fullest potential each year.
Given that, anytime you are able to use a free night certificate that both still saves you some cash and makes your life easier, well, that is a win in our book!
As you can see, there are dozens of great hotels, both internationally and within the U.S., where you can get great value out of your IHG One Rewards free night certificate each year. Since IHG One Rewards has a dynamic pricing model, the number of points required for a free night at any of these hotels can vary pretty dramatically based on the cash cost of the stay, so it is best to be as flexible as possible when trying to use your free night certificate at these properties.
Of course, as we stated in our honorable mention, you don’t always have to get massive value out of your free night certificate. After all, when you consider that you receive the certificate after paying your card’s $89 annual fee, redeeming it at any hotel that costs more than $99 a night (which is virtually every hotel) means you came out ahead!
The information regarding the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
You’ll earn 1 IHG One Rewards free night certificate each year that you hold and pay the annual fee on the $49 per year IHG Select card (this card is no longer available to new applicants), the $99 per year IHG Premier card, or the $99 IHG Premier Business card.
Yes, your IHG One Rewards free night certificate can only be redeemed at hotels that cost up to 40,000 IHG One Rewards points per night, however certificates from the new credit cards can be combined with points for a more expensive redemption.
Ye, you can combine points with your IHG Rewards free night certificate to book a night at a hotel that costs more than 40,000 points per night.
No, IHG One Rewards does not have an award chart and instead used a dynamic pricing model. This means the number of points required for a free night depends heavily on the cash rate of the night you are hoping to book.
This can cause both run-of-the-mill properties to cost more than 40,000 points per night and luxury properties to cost less than 40,000 points per night, based on the demand for rooms at the hotel.
With that, if you’re hoping to use your free night certificate at as nice of a property as possible, you’ll want to be as flexible as you can when it comes to booking. Generally speaking, you’ll have the most luck looking for lower-demand days in the middle of the week or outside of peak tourist season for the city you are visiting.
Yes, you can definitely use your IHG One Rewards free night certificate to book an award for someone else. Simply add the name of the person you are booking for to the reservation, then call the hotel in advance and let them know of the arrangement.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.