Best uses for IHG 40K free night certificates

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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:

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.

Table of Contents

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…

Arizona

Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

California

Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington Beach Resort

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.”

Also suggested by Stvr.

Kimpton Everly Hotel Hollywood

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.”

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown

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.”

Also recommended by Platini.

InterContinental The Clement Monterey

Recommended by GrantAlso recommended by Platini who notes: “very very limited availability, no fees, possible free valet parking.”

Kimpton Sawyer Hotel Sacramento

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Recommended by flybyFIRE.

Intercontinental San Diego

Buzz says: “I’ve booked nights at the IC San Diego for 40k. Great hotel and location. There are also Kimptons here.”

Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego

Recommended by flybyFIRE.

Colorado

Kimpton Hotel Born

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Hotel Indigo Denver Downtown-Union Station

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.”

Florida

Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Kimpton Epic Hotel Miami

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Kimpton Angler’s Miami South Beach

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel Miami South Beach

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Z Ocean Hotel South Beach

Have you stayed at this hotel? Please let us know your impressions.  Comment below!

Georgia

Kimpton Brice Hotel Savannah

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.”

Illiniois

Kimpton Gray Hotel Chicago

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago

Jess says: “They upgraded the Kimpton Monaco in Chicago, and it’s now really nice!”

Maine

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!

Massachusetts

Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, Cambridge

Recommended by Becky.

Michigan

Hotel Indigo Traverse City

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.”

New York

Kimpton Hotel Eventi NYC

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Crowne Plaza HY36 Midtown Manhattan

Have you stayed at this hotel? Please let us know your impressions!

North Carolina

Kimpton Hotel Arras Asheville

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.”

Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, Charlotte

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, Winston-Salem

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Ohio

Kimpton Schofield Hotel Cleveland

Recommended by Kirby.

Oregon

Kimpton Riverplace Hotel

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Kimpton Hotel Vintage Portland

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Pennsylvania

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia

Recommended by Ash.

Davis S says: “Monaco Philadelphia is right next to Independence Hall & Liberty Bell if American History is your thing.”

Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia

Recommended by Ash.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh

Recommended by Becky.

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Tennessee

Kimpton Aertson Hotel, Nashville

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Texas

Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, Austin

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.”

Intercontinental Houston

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.”

Utah

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Washington

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Kimpton Palladian Hotel

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

Washington D.C. Area

Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, Alexandria

See: Best Kimpton Hotels in the United States and Canada.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

The Willard, Washington D.C.

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:

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!

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Sco

Not sure how often you update this, but the “Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland” (OR) is no longer a Kimpton and is now the Royal Sonesta Portland.

FWIW, I stayed there last year when it was a Royal Sonesta as part of Amex’s Hotel Collection and found it to be an excellent use of my $200 Amex Platinum credit.

Nathan

Kimpton Sawyer looks to be above 40k now. Am I wrong?

Nate nate

I think the IC Willard prices at 42k points on the lower end. Can be higher due to dynamic pricing but haven’t seen it lower than 42k so don’t plan on using your certificate.

The IC DC Wharf is a reasonable alternative but not as conveniently located.

BL-K

I’m eyeing trying to use certs for the Canary Hotel (Kimpton) on my next trip to Santa Barbara. Has anyone stayed there?

[…] a deep dive into a program so the rest of us don’t have to. This time, it’s looking for the best IHG hotels to use your 40K free night certificates. They’ve just been extended again until the end of 2021, so if you’re still sitting on […]

Troy

Intercontinental Ljubljana, Slovenia is my second favorite IC (after the Hong Kong that’s being converted to something else). It is easy walking distance from downtown, has the best park even closer, and nearby restaurants if not enthused to go all the way to town (a 10 minute walk). They also have the single most unique amenity of any hotel I’ve ever been to…a free milk menu (including room service delivery). I’m talking half a dozen types of milk, served ice cold or warm, on demand 24/7 for free. I started every morning with a glass and it was phenomenal. Also amazing rooms with bluetooth-connected speaker system in main room and bathroom, excellent pool/spa area…but the milk!

Buzz

I think it’s important you’re focusing this series of posts on US properties right now. Many of us have expiring certificates and international travel, even if we’re vaccinated, will be limited.

Sven

I stay at the Z Ocean a lot. The cert has never been usable there since they put cap on points that a cert is worth. Why listed here? Makes no sense. Very misleading.

Pat

Thank you for this post as I now have 2 capped certificates to use this year. A word of warning that the free night certificates cannot be used at the Miami Beach and Vero Beach properties, at least in high season, as IHG has dramatically increased the number of points needed for those hotels per dynamic pricing. I had booked a Miami Beach Kimpton property for March 2020 and then March 2021 using my free night certificate but had to cancel both due to pandemic, and now cannot use it for March (or April 2022) due to pricing increase.

[…] a nice weekend getaway from your free nights.  So far, they’ve covered Hyatt, Marriott  and IHG.  We’ll let you know when we see similar posts for Hilton, Choice and […]

Mark P

Note: The Kimpton Hotel Born in Denver charges an additional $25 amenity fee on top of the FNC. The Hotel Indigo a block away does not however.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark P
HoKo

So annoying when hotels charge amenity/resort fees on award nights (and paid nights too for that matter)

Nate nate

Don’t all Kimptons charge a fee?

Mark P

No, used the FNCs at many Kimptons that do not have an additional fee.

AC NYC

Great list and I will definitely save for reference.

I’d also like to add the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver for consideration. Flying to Denver in August and booked it for a night using my 40K certificate before heading onward. Listed for 38,000 points so the certificate worked and the comparable price for the room if I paid for it was $317. Pretty good use at a very nice hotel that is well positioned in downtown Denver.

Steve

I think a lot of hotels use the dynamic pricing to play games with their inventory. I find in the middle of the week, the same hotel with the same number of “rooms remaining at this price” jumps from 28,000 points to 60,000 points even when the cash price per room is the exact same from one day to the next.

Pam

The IC Dallas keeps getting pushed back – now 2022 sometime

Buzz

I’m currently at the Kimpton Nine Zero booked with a 40k cert. It’s a nice hotel with a great location in Boston.

I’d love to score the Vero Beach location but I have yet to see anything close to 40k points there.

The San Diego IC is above 40k for the rest of the year. The Miami IC has a few dates at 40k. I’ve got two certs to burn. I think we’ll do one night at the Los Angeles IC and maybe one in Huntington Beach.

Mark D

I second the Vero beach comment. I look often and haven’t seen it below 40k.

Ava

I was looking at the Kimpton Nine Zero for this summer so glad to hear your recommendation. I have 4 total certs to use by early next year and actually found 4 consecutive nights there this summer that are under 40K.

Buzz

That’s great! It’s a really nice hotel. The bar/lounge is currently closed but hopefully will be open by the time you get here. I got bumped to the 17th floor with a great view.

Brant

InterContinental Porto Palacio das Cardosas is a luxury hotel housed in an 18th-century palace, and interiors are elegant and refined. The IHG points necessary for this hotel range from 35,000 to well over 50,000 during peak season and certain holidays. The building is directly on the city’s main plaza with commanding views. Located right in Porto’s historic district, the iconic narrow lanes of the old town are just down the hill, and Riberia Square only takes 15 minutes to reach on foot. The style in the 105 rooms is a blend of modern and classic aesthetics — with just a touch of shimmer — and all come with marble bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. Some have balconies overlooking Liberdade Square below. The hotel has an elegant cocktail bar and Portuguese restaurant. I stay 4 nights here, taking advantage of the 4th night free option with the IHG Premier credit card. I am Spire Elite Ambassador. I was upgraded to the most expensive suite in the hotel. This was in 2018 and at the time that suite was priced at just over $1000 per night. It was amazing!
This is a 5 star property. Porto is the best city in Portugal. Don’t scrimp here. Treat yourself to a luxurious stay and you’ll thank me later!

Larry D

Another great and useful post. Using my two certs at the kimpton in Asheville, nc