IHG Premier: How We Get an Annual Hotel Night for Only $99

Disclosures: This article includes links to credit cards. If you choose to apply for a credit card through our links, we may or may not receive a referral bonus. Credit cards are not suitable for everyone, however. If you have credit card debt of any kind, are irresponsible with your past or current use of credit cards, are unaware of the risks of using credit cards, or are conscientiously opposed to the use of credit cards, please do not apply for the credit cards mentioned in this article. You are 100% responsible for your own choices regarding the use of any credit cards mentioned here.

Noah Surf House in PortugalAs frequent travelers, finding ways to maximize the value of our travel budget is essential for us. A few times a year, we have to stay in hotels, but hotel stays are some of the most significant expenses while traveling.

Fortunately, over the last few years, we have been able to stay in some really nice places for the cost of staying in a budget hotel.

How do we do it? By owning a credit card that we don’t even use!

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card provides us immense value just by sitting and doing nothing. The card has many benefits, but the annual free hotel night offered by this card for only a $99 annual fee has become a game-changer in how we plan and enjoy our travels.

If you need a hotel night at least once a year, we believe the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is a must-have for any savvy traveler who wants a comfortable (and sometimes luxurious) room at an affordable cost.

About the Anniversary Night Certificate

Here is a quick rundown of this specific credit card benefit:

$99 Annual Fee
Each year, upon renewal of the card, we receive a complimentary night at any eligible IHG® hotel worldwide. This benefit alone more than offsets the $99 annual fee because most hotels exceed this cost per night.

Flexibility and Choice
The beauty of the annual free hotel night certificate is its flexibility and choice. With thousands of IHG® properties around the globe spanning various brands such as InterContinental, Kimpton, Holiday Inn, and Crowne Plaza, we have the ability to redeem our certificate at a destination of my choice on any room that has an award rate of 40,000 points or less.

Atlantic Ocean Bungalow in PortugalUnlocking Luxury Experiences
The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card allows us to indulge in luxury experiences that would otherwise be out of reach. From iconic city center hotels to beachfront resorts and boutique properties, the annual free hotel night certificate opens the door to unforgettable stays at some of the world’s most renowned destinations.

We have used this certificate to stay in downtown Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, a beachfront bungalow overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal, and a hotel in downtown Seattle. The stay in Portugal was absolutely amazing and definitely nothing that I could have paid cash for.

Maximizing Value and Savings
By taking advantage of the annual free hotel night benefit, I’m able to maximize the value of my IHG® Rewards points and stretch my travel budget further. Whether I’m traveling solo, with family, or for a special occasion, the savings from the complimentary night enhance my overall travel experience and allow me to explore new destinations with peace of mind.

Potential Complimentary Upgrade
In addition to the annual free hotel night benefit, the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card offers a range of other valuable perks, including IHG® Rewards Platinum Elite status. With Platinum Status we are often able to get complimentary upgrades on our free room. For example, when we stayed at a hotel during a layover in Miami last year, we were upgraded to a 2-bedroom suite at no charge! This perk is especially nice for families.

As mentioned, this credit card has an annual $99 fee, and you receive your first free hotel night certificate upon the first anniversary of holding the card. But there is usually a nice signup bonus with this credit card, so the points that you receive from that bonus can also be used for free nights at IHG® hotels during your first year.

Another unspoken benefit of this anniversary hotel night perk is that it can save you money in case of an emergency. If you’re traveling somewhere and your other lodging plan falls through, or if you need to book a last-minute trip, this hotel night can potentially save you a lot of money in those situations. We have had to do this a couple times!


For anyone who travels on a fairly regular basis, the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is a game-changer.  Its annual free hotel night benefit offers unmatched value for a modest $99 annual fee. The rewards for spending on the card itself are not spectacular, so we only keep the card for the annual free night certificate that it provides.

We get so much value from this card that we own two of them!

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a dream vacation, this credit card can help you make the most of your travel adventures and perhaps even unlock unforgettable stays around the US or around the world.

Do you have a credit card with an annual fee that you don’t even use but you keep simply because of its benefits?