I recently wrote about my plans for using free night certificates from Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott (“Forced” to adventure due to free night certs). In that post I asked readers for recommendations, and the response was awesome. There are so many great places to stay! I used those recommendations to help develop the following posts:
- Best Hyatt Category 1-4 Hotels & Resorts
- Best uses for Marriott free night certificates (35K and 50K)
In this post I present the best IHG hotels bookable with 40K certificates. Currently the list focuses on U.S. properties, but I intend to expand the post and republish it in the future with international options as well. The list found below comes from a combination of reader suggestions, and Kimpton hotels listed here: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.
About IHG’s Free Night Certificates
The IHG Premier card and the IHG Select card (no longer available to new applicants) offer a free night certificate each year upon renewal. IHG also often offers these free night certificates as rewards for various promotions. These certificates are capped at 40,000 points. This means that they can be used to book a single night at any IHG hotel that is priced at 40,000 points for the night, or less. You cannot use a single certificate to book multiple nights that add up to 40,000 points or less (e.g. you can’t book two nights at 20K points per night each). You also cannot use a certificate to pay for the points portion of a points + cash stay.
IHG dynamically prices awards at most of their hotels. As a result, there’s no way to know if rooms are available for 40K points or less other than by searching IHG’s website for dates of interest to see how those nights price. If your dates are flexible, it’s possible to figure out which dates are available for 40K or less with a single search. This post shows how: The trick to finding IHG 40K free nights.
Best Uses for IHG’s Free Night Certificates
With dynamic pricing, almost any IHG property could theoretically be available for 40K points or less at some point during the year. That said, in practice, many very high end properties are never priced that low. I’ve restricted the following list to the properties that are likely to at least sometimes have 40K free nights available…
Kevin says: “Just used two of our IHG chase free night certificates at Kimpton Shorebreak in Huntington beach and had a great experience.”
Laura says (via personal communication): “Plusses were a very nice room upgrade with a great bathroom and balcony, and a very fun afternoon happy hour in their courtyard area. Minuses were that there were only 2 spaces for check-in and luggage drop off, and massive traffic. Also a lot of patrons with noisy dogs. And high amenity fees (not waived) and a bogus honor bar charge that took multiple phone calls to get removed. Watched some of a surf competition from the pier and marveled at the huge lifeguard training camps on the beach. The beach is really great for long walks, scenery, and people watching.”
Points Adventure says: “The Kimpton Everly is pretty good … and often below 40k. The best Kimpton in LA, La Peer, is sadly always above 40k. There’s a zillion things to do in LA, as long as there isn’t a Covid closure.”
Points Adventure says: “For the IHG 40k cert, I’m using mine at the IC Los Angeles. It’s the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The lobby on the 71st floor is awesome – reminiscent of the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur.”
Buzz says: “I’ve booked nights at the IC San Diego for 40k. Great hotel and location. There are also Kimptons here.”
Recommended by Dizzy: “We stayed in both the Born and the Hotel Indigo around the corner in Janurary 2020, tbh really enjoyed hotel indigo more.”
Have you stayed at this hotel? Please let us know your impressions. Comment below!
DavidS says: “Brice Hotel in Savannah was great and a couple of blocks outside the main tourist area meaning you can take advantage, but it’s quieter.”
Jess says: “They upgraded the Kimpton Monaco in Chicago, and it’s now really nice!”
Holiday Inn Resort Bar Harbor – Acadia Natl Park
Jennifer says (via Frequent Miler Insiders on Facebook): “You are going for the destination, not the hotel. That hotel prices all over the place depending on the time of year.”
Personally, I’ve never stayed at the Holiday Inn, but I have visited Acadia National Park a number of times and absolutely love it. If a free night certificate encourages you to visit this island in Maine, then it’s worth it!
Laura says (via personal communication): “The bar was very nice and they did comp us 1 drink each. The room was okay, except that they should have triple glazed the windows. If you have a room on Front Street, the traffic is extremely loud all night long. But I do love Traverse City.”
Have you stayed at this hotel? Please let us know your impressions!
ActualMichael says: “I stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Arras in Asheville, NC for my birthday and could not have been happier or more impressed with my stay. The hotel is incredibly nice and even the base rooms are lovely. It’s also positioned in a prime location in downtown, close walking distance to a ton of restaurants, bars, breweries, shops, and art. If you’re able to get an upgrade to one of the rooms on a high floor, the hotel has unobstructed views to the mountains surrounding Asheville. It’s by far the tallest building in the area. Additionally, there are condos on top of the hotel, and a restaurant / bar on the ground floor, so the lobby of the hotel always feels occupied and safe. Would highly recommend. Only downside is that parking at the hotel is valet only, so be prepared to spend a good bit to park your car.”
Davis S says: “Monaco Philadelphia is right next to Independence Hall & Liberty Bell if American History is your thing.”
Readers seem to love this hotel!
- Brant says: “IHG Kimpton Van Zandt, Austin, TX. Located within a very short walking distance of 6th Street, the famed entertainment district. Also the Texas State Capitol. Largest and most impressive state capital complex in the USA. The Texas State History Museum, a very impressive educational experience replete with its own IMAX theatre. Ladybird Lake runs behind the hotel, with inexpensive kayak rentals for a fish eye view of the downtown cityscape and the health conscious population enjoying its wide walkways. A rental car can give your visit many new dimensions. Sunset dinner and drinks at the Oasis Restaurant on Lake Travis, Hill County winery tours, Enchanted Rock State Park in historic Fredericksburg, the fresh peach capital of the South. The list experiences is very long.”
- Lynn says: “LOVED the Kimpton Van Zandt and the location was excellent for walking around Austin.”
Pam says: “I also recommend the IC Houston for use, post-summer. It is technically in the Medical Center complex (really fringe) but is also very near the museum district. There are parks & some of the leafiest & loveliest parts of Houston in the area. The IC Houston is 3 years old with a light refined style. We used our own Ambassador/IHG new member certs here & were upgraded to an Executive Suite. There is a Club IC on the 18th fl not yet opened because of Covid but would’ve been otherwise available as Ambassador. Fresh fruit & bottled water were in our suite upon arrival. The new Cullen Sculpture Garden & Hockney-Van Gogh at the Museum of Fine Arts nearby is interesting to view as is a drive to the NASA Space Center for a tram tour.”
Washington D.C. Area
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
IHG’s InterContinental luxury brand has many locations across the U.S. Most would be great uses for free night certificates if you can find 40K and lower availability:
- InterContinental Alliance Resorts Palazzo at The Venetian Resort
- InterContinental Alliance Resorts The Venetian Resort
- InterContinental At Doral Miami
- InterContinental Boston
- InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta
- InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
- InterContinental Cleveland
- InterContinental Dallas
- InterContinental Houston – Medical Center
- InterContinental Kansas City At The Plaza
- InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
- InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco
- InterContinental Miami
- InterContinental Minneapolis – St. Paul Airport
- InterContinental New Orleans
- InterContinental New York Barclay
- InterContinental New York Times Square
- InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront
- InterContinental San Diego
- InterContinental San Francisco
- InterContinental Suites Hotel Cleveland
- InterContinental The Clement Monterey
- InterContinental The Willard Washington D.C.
- InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf
Reader Suggestions Wanted!
Most of the hotels listed in this post were recommended by readers. If your favorite IHG hotel is missing from the list, that’s only because we haven’t heard from you yet about it! Please let us know!
Additionally, if you been to any of the ones listed above we’d love to hear your impressions — good or bad. Please comment below!