The Chase IHG Credit Card’s Worst Customers Revolt Over ‘This Flaming Piece of Garbage’

Following recent leaks of the current Chase IHG card being retired from new applications in favor of two new cards, there was a big rush to apply for the current card in the hope of being grandfathered into an annual anniversary free night certificate good at any IHG property.

The grandfathering reasoning was dubious, based primarily on how Chase treats its self-branded cards, rather than it co-branded cards with travel partners. Ink Plus sticks around, Fairmont is gone. It was worth the gamble to some, who were promptly disappointed, along with existing cardholders, with the announcement that all current IHG cards will have their upcoming anniversary certificates capped at properties 40,000 points and less per night, effective 5/1/18. Well, that’s not quite true because a subsequently published exclusion list has some 40,000-point properties, too.

Chase IHG Credit Card Certificate Change Letter April 2018

It must have been costing a lot to IHG to have this benefit to motivate them to dump their card’s headline benefit. Complexity over simplicity. Not smart to include an insert titled, “Travel the Way You’ve Always Wanted.”

IHG Travel the Way Youve Always Wanted

Walking Back How Far?

IHG fumbled on implementing this without a grace period. Update: they’ve walked back this walk balk. Already they have walked it back for new cardmembers who applied 1/1-4/5/18, who will now get their first-anniversary certificate honored as advertised when they applied.

This still leaves applicants from 5/1-12/31/17 who will never get the full certificate on their card.

And what about existing cardholders with an anniversary falling on the other side of 4/2/18? I got mine in February, my wife won’t in June. Chase and IHG have ensured they will receive complaints that will take time to handle and resolve. The CFPB still exists, folks, and even the MAGA hats around here like that part of government when they can use it as a weapon.

The sensible solution is to honor for any new application from 5/1/17-4/5/18 and anyone having their card anniversary 4/2-31/18. We’ll see on that.

The Outrage is Humorous, At Least

Looking through the comments across the blogs is a riot. Rob on Doctor of Credit, “I can’t believe I just wasted a credit pull on this flaming piece of garbage.”

Others are more sanguine. $49 for a capped annual certificate, Platinum status, and 10% points rebate on awards would be great in any other context. Other hotel cards charge more for less.

The funniest part of me is that usually with such a change you hear people screaming, “I spent $x on this card last year and they do this?!”

I’ve not seen a single complaint mention that anyone has spent anything on these cards, ever. Out of guilt I used to have a monthly $2.49 subscription charged to my card. I’m not sure we used my wife’s card in the past year so I’ll charge a dollar for something.

Chase and IHG probably don’t value customers who find a 40,000 point hotel beneath them, yet who:

  • Never use the card for purchases
  • Call every year for card retention offers
  • Either stay once a year at an IHG hotel using the certificate, or
  • Every stay at an IHG hotel contact the GM in advance to get an upgrade, contact the sales manager in advance to get an upgrade, contact housekeeping in advance to get an upgrade, demand at the front desk for an upgrade, demand at the front desk for free breakfast because the upgrade isn’t good enough, charge nothing to the room, clean out the toiletries, clean out the lounge (where available), and manufacture a complaint to get compensation

We’ll be missed by IHG!

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16 Comments on "The Chase IHG Credit Card’s Worst Customers Revolt Over ‘This Flaming Piece of Garbage’"

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Is there a List and/or link of 40k hotels in the portfolio?

I agree with you a 1000% as i listen to people whine about “How Chase is going to lose customers” “I’m cancelling the card” The truth is, myself include NEVER used the card beyond the initial spend and free night benefit. Even on the free night stay, I use a different CC for better spend. on room service. The card was useless to MS. So all Chase did was get rid of the deadbeats and “Cull the herd.” I am not big on free night benefits as I would rather receiver 40k in points. Remember this isn’t France so you’ll… Read more »

[…] only changed how the Free Night certificate can be redeemed for new card applicants, but also–much to their chagrin, especially those who applied just before the change expecting to get grandfat…–for existing […]


love this post!!

it’s a genius move by chase. get rid of all your worst customers.


Taking the inquiry, seeing the dip in score for a new account that affects 5/24 status, only to have the card changed is a slap in the face.

rick b
It would be fine if they just capped it at 40k and left it there, but the barely mentioned EXTRA list of exlusions is dishonest. It excludes many 40k properties where a tourist would want to go. Just make the certificate honest and easy to use, how hard is that. Instead they try to suck out any possible value from it while still parading it around like it has value. I’m sure there were plenty of real users of this card who are getting screwed just as much, and how many “bright” hackers used the free night, only to end… Read more »
I used the card for many IHG stays and some dining and misc. spending. At least for me, the card actually drew me to stay at IHG hotels, since the one free night is too short at a nice hotel and then you get on the status/points gathering treadmill, so you actually want to stay more at their hotels. I personally got some solid upgrades at IHG, but now that they’re intentionally destroying the most valuable aspect on top of the massive recent devaluations, I’m thinking I’ll just cancel the card, free night in a HIE outside of Jacksonville or… Read more »

I’ve been pushing the idea on social media today that they made this into the Radisson card with a 40k annual benefit and medium status. In actuality it’s worse. It would be better to get 40k IHG points than a certificate award that expires and capped at 40k, or less depending on the property. Chase doesn’t care but they should as should IHG. We should have seen the writing on the wall when IHG was devaluing and raising award prices lately.


I agree I would much rather have the 40k in points.


Even the cheap holiday inns at poor neighborhood cost at least 50k points so this card ain’t worth $49 fee. Called and spoke with senior rep to complain. The rep gave me choice of free extra night or $100 credit . Took the later and will cancel next month before fee is due. Call and complain first and then cancel the caff


Chase’s Twitter team is now contradicting itself and saying the 40k limit will apply. Social media team seems confused.