Several hotel credit cards offer annual complimentary “anniversary” nights: a free one-night stay each year at a participating hotel in the brand’s chain. The benefit begins the second year of card membership.
But each hotel credit card — at least, that I know of — sets limits as to which properties are available for the free anniversary nights.
For example, the World of Hyatt credit card ($95/year annual fee) gives cardholders a free night at Hyatt properties in the 1, 2, 3, or 4 categories.
And the IHG Rewards Club Premier Mastercard ($89) sets a 40,000 point max for their eligible properties.
But would you be willing to pay a higher annual fee for these cards if you could stay at any of their respective hotels?
The $49 a year IHG Rewards Club Select card (#RIP) used to carry that benefit — and it was glorious. But even when that card became defunct and IHG introduced the $89 a year Rewards Club Premier Mastercard, redemptions were capped at properties valued at 40,000 points max. (I recently argued IHG should re-introduce the uncapped night.)
I think hotel credit cards are good to hold simply because of their anniversary nights perks. But it’s frustrating to search for a hotel to redeem your night — only to find out it’s over the cap.
But what you fork over — realistically — for a hotel credit card to uncap its free room nights?
As I mentioned, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant is $450 a year and sets a to 50,000 point limit for redemptions. However, that card also comes with $300 in incidental credit at Marriott properties.
Personally, I’d shell out $150 — maybe $175 — for a card that lifted the cap.
What are your thoughts?
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