We’ve talked about how we keep our hotel credit cards that come with free night certificates each year because we can book a room for at least double the annual fee. Our hotel cards are credit cards for which we don’t mind paying an annual fee. Let’s go over booking with free annual night hotel certificates so you know how to do it.
When you are ready to redeem a free annual night hotel certificates with Marriott, you start with a search. Marriott has 35K, 50K, and 85K certificates depending on the card you have with them.
Let’s say that I want to go to Costa Rica and want to use one of my annual night certificates. I just put my dates in to book with my certificates as if I was booking with points. I click the box that says use points or certificates. This is what pulls up for the JW Marriott, a hotel I would be interested in.
I would hit select, and there I will see my award certificates. I check the free night certificate + miles needed to “top-off” my points and can book it. These certificates are automatically sent to the hotel. If I cancel, the points return to my account.
IHG gives you a free night certificate that can be used on a stay that would cost 40,000 points or less if you were redeeming points. This gives you quite a few options. Considering that the IHG World Rewards Premier Credit Card only has a $99 annual fee, it is a really good deal.
On the “my account” page, you will see your point balance and the free night awards you have after you log in. I recently booked one, so mine says zero right now, but you can see where you would select the area to book a free night.
One of my favorite uses of IHG points and certificates is to stay at an Intercontinental Hotel. Bali is amazing, let’s look there.
There are even more choices available than are shown here. Holiday Inn or InterContinental—I’ll choose the InterContinental, thank you! The prices of hotels in Asia are pretty low, so I might want to stay at a hotel that would cost me more.
I really like Kimpton hotels also. Let’s look at one in Denver, Colorado. This is for the Kimpton Monaco in Denver.
When you pay your annual fee on the Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card, you also receive an annual free night certificate good at a category 1-4 hotel. Obviously, I would try and use it at a category 4 hotel to get the most value. You can also get a free night for the Brand Explorer Award.
You click on “My Awards” on your home page to pull up your free nights.
When I hit the “My Awards” button, I see this.
Once you hit the “explore hotels” button, you can look for hotels with redemptions of less than 15,000 points. I don’t always use my free night certificates at expensive hotels. Sometimes, I use them for less expensive options. In this case, I needed to use them by the end of the year. Alex and I planned a trip to Disneyland, and the Hyatt Place with a kitchen and sofa bed for her boys was just the thing. The hotel room is only $140, but I still saved money as my annual fee is $95. It’s all about what works in your situation.
To redeem, call 1-800-446-6677 and provide the certificate ID to the customer service representative to make your booking. Unfortunately, you cannot book them online.
Booking with free annual night hotel certificates is not difficult. Each hotel chain has a different way of booking, but they are not complicated. You can get great value with your annual night certificates, or book them for a staycation. Whether you are booking internationally or closer to home, they are a great credit card perk and make the annual fees worth paying.
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