Now book Kimpton hotels with IHG points! Huge value w/ IHG free night

Kimpton Hotels and its Kimpton Karma Rewards has been a much-loved niche brand for years. IHG acquired Kimpton last year and announced that they were merging the loyalty programs, leading many Kimpton loyalists to wonder whether they will keep any of the benefits they have grown to love in the combined program (See: Earn Inner Circle Status in the combined IHG Kimpton program). On the flip side, many IHG members have wondered when we would be able to book all Kimpton hotels online. That time has come. You can now book Kimpton hotels online using IHG points. What’s more, you can use your annual IHG certificate to extract even better value through Kimpton.

Note that this doesn’t necessarily indicate that these hotels are a value in the IHG system. How much value there is to be found will likely depend on the time of year, events going on, and prevailing cash rates. For instance, the options above were available for a midweek night in Chicago next week. Cash rates for the same night are low, making these bookings a comparatively poor value in that instance.

On the other hand, the Sir Francis Drake in San Francisco on the same night shows a value that beats our Reasonable Redemption Value for IHG – so YMMV on the value of Kimpton, but it’s now available as an option.

And, as noted in the opening paragraph, your annual IHG free night will now work with Kimpton hotels.I looked up a couple of properties in Washington, DC for the 4th of July and was pleasantly surprised to see that I could use my IHG annual free night certificate:

Cash rates that same night were as high as one would imagine. The value of the annual free night that comes as a benefit of the IHG Rewards Credit Card, which comes with just a $49 annual fee, increases substantially with the ability to use it on Kimpton Hotels.

Cash rates for the 4th of July were very high. This would be a great use of an IHG annual certificate.

Bottom line

This is a great change for IHG Rewards members because it opens a number of new higher-end and more personal hotels. On the other hand, redemption values might be poor at many of them – especially with IHG’s recently announced increased redemption levels. Kimpton Loyalists may still find the cost worthwhile in some spots – and indeed a cursory search shows that there may be value to be had if you’re able to buy points cheaply during promotions. Furthermore, those with the IHG credit card are likely to be very happy to be able to stay a night annually at a Kimpton for the $49 annual fee. I know I sure will be.

H/T: reddit via IAD GR8

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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  1. Seems like a wonderful addition for Chase IHG cardholders who don’t do much international travel and favor trendy properties. The Kimptons are obviously great hotels to use your annual free night certificate at.

    Otherwise, the benefits seem modest. I suspect the redemption costs on points will be quite high, so fairly unattractive for most IHG members. I guess if you find a good paid rate at one of these hotels, you can earn some points, which would be nice.

    Personally, I tend to use my free night certs at their fancy int’l properties, like the Intercontinentals in Hong Kong and Paris. I doubt I’d give up those stays for a hipster hotel in Portland. But maybe others will.

  2. Does this work at the Kimpton Seafire Resort in Grand Cayman? I stayed there earlier this year and was blown away by the hotel. The price was pretty high ($500+ per night steadily). Would be a perfect option to save some money at a boutique hotel in the Caribbean.

  3. I’m loving this development. All Kimpton hotels are pet-friendly and don’t charge a pet fee, so it means we can make use of our free night certificates at higher-end locations with our dog.

    Most of the other higher-end IHG properties charge something like a $100 pet fee per stay, so this’ll save us money on our free night redemptions.

    • Right, your situation is the perfect one to take advantage of Kimpton being folded into IHG Rewards. I definitely can attest to Kimpton’s pet friendly policy: perhaps too friendly for regular travelers. I remember being in the lobby of their Portland Monaco hotel and it felt like I was at the Westminster Dog Show.

      It is a shame that you only get one free night certificate per cardholder per year. Because other than that free night certificate, there seems to be no logical way to redeem your IHG points for Kimpton stays — they’re going to be very bad value.

  4. Only familiar with the Klimptons around me in DC.

    Except for the Monaco they were formerly apartment buildings that were converted into decent cheaper hotels in fairly nice neighborhoods. Then they were upgraded when they became Klimptons into trendy/hipster designs.

    A 1950’s apartment building in my DC neighborhood was converted into a cheap hotel years ago and gave neighbors discounts for their guests. It was basic with apartment-rental type furniture but spacious. It was originally the Carlyle apartments, then the Carlyle Suites, and now it’s the Klimpton Carlyle. A half dozen other Klimptons around me came the same route.

    Klimptons are going to be at the top end of redemptions in most cities, up with Intercontinentals.

  5. also….I hate when people compare prices and redemptions in off-off-peak. Of course paid rates are shockingly low in Chicago in January. Of course that’s a dumb use of points.

    In reverse try New Orleans for Mardi Gras or Times Square for NYE if you want to see some great redemptions.

  6. Was looking at staying in GCM Kimpton Seafire 1K per night rate when I wanted to go.
    They are still going to charge you Service Fee of 10 % on rack rate for the stay and resort daily fee of 60 dollars So around 200 bucks a night they were going to hit me up for and 70 K points. No Thanks I pass. One rep also said Taxes of 13% was covered by points at least but next rep I talked with was not to sure.

    • I’m confused – what do you mean by 1K per night rate? That sounds like a paid rate that comes with a bonus 1K points, not an award night. You would definitely be on the hook for any resort fees and taxes on a paid rate.

      On an award night, you never pay %-based taxes on the room as far as I am aware. I remember in Milan they instituted some sort of city green tax per room of like 1 or 2 Euro per person per day or something that I think we did have to pay (I believe there is something similar in the Maldives and I’ve heard of other similar flat per-room taxes in some cities that are not tied to the room rate that must be paid), but not a percentage tax based on any kind of room rate.

      To my knowledge, the IHG policy on resort fees varies. Some properties don’t charge them on award stays, but I’ve heard stories of other properties adding them. I haven’t stayed at one with a resort fee in the past couple of years, so I’m not positive about that end.

      It should be pretty easy to confirm if you just try to make a booking online and see what it shows for charges I think, right?

      • A service charge to pay their employees will be charged to the room regardless if room was booked with points or cash pay.
        I was trying to state to them how do you charge me a service charge when My room Costs me zero out of pocket as the charge is a percentage of room rate. They stated its based on the Room rack rate for a standard room for the night you are staying. So room rate 1049 for the night I was going to use point would mean charges 104.9 for service charge for the day and then the resort fees on top of it. Tried to argue stating IHG is not paying the hotel 1K for the room I would be willing to pay 10 % of what they receive and I was told No its the rack rate of the room for that day.
        So 70 K points + 105 bucks then 60 bucks resort fees.

      • Indeed, very interesting. I’ve occasionally run into staff service charges overseas, but never in the USA. This would be right up there with Urban Destination Charges. It would certainly make it untenable to use points at hotels that charged it for award stays at rack rates.

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