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Presently, Chase points two IHG One Rewards bank cards that provide cardholders a free night time certificates as a part of their advantages bundle – the card_name and the card_name – and fairly a number of of us who’ve been across the miles and factors interest for a while, additionally maintain the IHG One Rewards Choose bank card (now not open to new candidates) which gives the identical profit.
In case you check out the phrases and circumstances that accompany both the card_name or the card_name, there’s nothing difficult about how the free night time certificates is meant to work – an eligible cardholder is awarded a free night time certificates on their card anniversary and this can be utilized to e-book an evening at an IHG property charging as much as 40,000 factors for that night time.
If a cardholder needs to e-book a property costing greater than 40,000 factors, they will prime up the worth of their certificates with factors from their IHG One Rewards account (this does not apply to the certificates issued by the legacy IHG One Rewards Choose bank card).
It’s all fairly simple, and as there are not any exceptions to this profit listed in Chase’s phrases and circumstances, the free night time certificates ought to be useable at any IHG One Rewards property on this planet.
This, nevertheless, isn’t at all times the case and whereas I’ve chosen to name what I’m about to debate a “glitch”, I’m not completely satisfied that there isn’t extra to this than meets the attention so let me know what you assume.
Right here’s my current expertise:
A few days in the past, I had two free night time certificates sitting in my IHG One Rewards account – one courtesy of my card_name and one courtesy of my legacy IHG One Rewards Choose bank card – and one among them is because of expire on the finish of this yr.
Sadly, I don’t actually have a urgent want to remain at an IHG property earlier than the tip of 2023, however as a result of I’m at all times detest to let a free night time certificates expire unused, I made a decision to attempt to use it to e-book one among IHG’s Heathrow properties forward of an upcoming journey dwelling.
I headed over to the IHG web site, logged in to my account, chosen the free night time certificates that can expire this yr, and looked for an acceptable property.
Fairly a number of properties confirmed availability, and as soon as I filtered the outcomes for a number of the higher IHG manufacturers, the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4 was the property that I made a decision to e-book.
Virtually instantly, nevertheless, there was a difficulty.
As quickly as I chosen the property from the checklist of outcomes, IHG.com determined that there wasn’t any free night time availability in any case and tried to promote me a money charge.
I modified the search parameters to see if IHG would promote me the identical night time on the similar property as a daily award reserving and, positive sufficient, I used to be supplied a room for twenty-four,000 factors (sure, I do know this isn’t an incredible use of my free night time certificates so please don’t write in!)
This was odd.
What made this example odder nonetheless was the truth that after I went again into my account and looked for a free night time utilizing my different free night time certificates (the one from my legacy IHG One Rewards Choose bank card that expires in April 2024), I used to be capable of e-book the property with no points in any respect.
At this level, I famous that IHG.com was referring to the non-functioning certificates search as an “Anniversary Free Night time Flex” search whereas the functioning certificates search was being referred to easily as a “Chase Reward Night time” search so, simply to see what would occur, I used the functioning certificates to get me so far as the room choice web page after which modified the search parameter to point that I needed to make use of the certificates from my card_name.
Instantly, all availability disappeared and I used to be as soon as once more being informed that “my most popular charge” was not obtainable.
I wasn’t about to surrender, so I referred to as IHG to see what could possibly be accomplished about this.
At first, the agent adopted the identical steps that I had taken after which informed me that there was no Chase free night time certificates availability.
After I informed her that I might e-book the room with my different certificates and that the room was additionally bookable with factors, she put me on maintain for a couple of minutes earlier than coming again to inform me that her system was nonetheless not permitting her to e-book the room and suggesting that she make the reserving utilizing my different certificates.
Politely (however firmly) I refused her provide to make use of my different certificates and identified simply how ridiculous the scenario was (why does one certificates work however not the opposite?!), so after she stated she would see if she might get some assist, she put me on maintain once more.
half-hour into the cellphone name, she got here again on the road to say that she had discovered a technique to make the reserving utilizing the certificates that I needed to make use of after which proceeded to do precisely that.
I do not know who helped her or how she did it however I now have only one certificates in my IHG One Rewards account…
…and a reservation on the Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4 (which I’m wanting ahead to trying out).
Apparently, there was availability in any case!
This isn’t a one-off situation
It will be tempting to place this right down to unhealthy luck or to a one-off situation however the easy truth is that that is neither.
This isn’t the primary time I’ve had a difficulty making an attempt to make use of a free night time certificates at a property the place rooms can be found for 40,000 factors or much less (I simply misplaced the desire to reside and gave up earlier than I received to the underside of these points), and Flyertalk is suffering from examples of different IHG One Rewards members having hassle utilizing their certificates when there seems to be no rational motive for his or her certificates to not work.
On one Flyertalk thread we will see that IHG informed Gary Leff (VFTW) that the problem flagged was “an remoted incident” which they have been “working to rectify”, however as that was removed from the one report of somebody having hassle utilizing a free night time certificates, and as that thread is over a yr outdated, I really feel secure in saying that IHG was flawed concerning the situation being “remoted” and that my expertise exhibits that the issues haven’t been rectified in any respect… at the very least not completely.
Per the phrases and circumstances of Chase’s free night time certificates, there ought to be no motive why one among these certificates can’t be used at a property that’s ready to promote a room for 40,000 factors or much less.
Chase doesn’t point out blackout dates, give any examples of when a certificates can’t be used, or counsel that certificates free night time awards come out of a special stock to award bookings (regardless that you’ll discover individuals on the web telling you precisely that), so if you happen to’re having hassle redeeming an IHG Chase free night time certificates however every part factors to the truth that you shouldn’t be having any points in any respect, don’t surrender.
Name IHG and don’t cling up till you’ve got the reserving you want. Your certificates represents a major rebate on the annual charge that you simply’re paying to Chase so don’t let IHG cease you from utilizing it when you’ve got each proper to take action.
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