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.
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.