Keep or Close? Old Chase IHG Rewards Select & Hyatt Credit Cards

Good morning everyone.  A few readers have asked me if they should keep their old Chase IHG Rewards Select Credit Card ($49 annual fee) and old Chase Hyatt Credit Card ($75 annual fee) in exchange for the annual free night certificate.  As a reminder, the free night certificates are not really free, since you pay the annual fee before getting the free night certificate – they are more like prepaid free night certificates with a strict expiration date.  Both of these credit cards are no longer available to new applicants, so if you do not have these credit cards right now, there is no way for you to get them now.  That also means that if you ever cancel or upgrade to the new Chase IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card or the new Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card, you will never be able to get the old Chase IHG Rewards Select Credit Card and old Chase Hyatt Credit Card again.

There are 2 possible reasons for wanting to close the old Chase IHG Rewards Select Credit Card and old Chase Hyatt Credit Card:

  1. You want to get the new Chase IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card or the new Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card.
  2. You no longer stay at IHG or Hyatt properties and have no use for the free night certificates.

There is good news for the first reason.  If you currently have the old Chase IHG Rewards Select Credit Card, you can also get the new Chase IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card.  I just got the new Chase IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card with a 100,000 IHG Points sign up bonus during my Mini July App-O-Rama.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the new Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card.  You can either upgrade your old Chase Hyatt Credit Card to the new Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card and get 2,000 Hyatt points, or you can close your old Chase Hyatt Credit Card and then apply for the new Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card. Learn more about that option here.

For the second reason, you have to decide if the annual IHG free night certificate (uncapped for now, then capped at properties costing 40,000 IHG points next year) is worth $49 (the cost of the annual fee).  In some parts of the world, you can find IHG properties for cheaper than $49 / night, but a majority of IHG hotels costs more than $49 / night. If you tend to travel to a region of the world without IHG hotels, maybe you can use the free night certificate for a friend or family member (just book a room with 2 adults and add them as the second guest).  They might even pay you $49 for the 1 night stay.

Even if you can’t use the free night certificate this year, maybe you can use it the next year, and the year after that, and every year after that.  By closing the old Chase IHG Rewards Select Credit Card, you are essentially saying that you will never have a use for a $49 IHG hotel room for IHG hotels that cost up 40,000 IHG Points / night.  Who knows, your travel plans might change and you might visit a region of the world that has a great IHG hotel that you can stay at or maybe IHG builds or acquires a hotel in your preferred region of the world.  You never know what might happen in 1-2 years from now, but if you decide to close your old Chase IHG Rewards Select Credit Card now, you will never be able to stay at an IHG hotel for $49.

The same process also applies to the old Chase Hyatt Credit Card.  In exchange for paying the $75 annual fee, you get a free night certificate that can be used at Hyatt hotels that cost up to 15,000 Hyatt Points / night (category 1-4 hotels).  Some years, you may find the perfect use for the free night certificate and some years, you may not be able to.  But you can always use the free night certificate for a friend or family member (just book a room with 2 adults and add them as the second guest).  They might even pay you $75 for the 1 night stay.

If you do close your old Chase IHG Rewards Select Credit Card and then realize that you want the free night certificate, you can get the new Chase IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card.  You get the same free night certificate, but now your free night costs $89 (the cost of the annual fee on your new Chase IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card).  Don’t pay $40 more for the same free night (and $40 more every year).  The new Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card has an annual fee of $95, which is only $20 more than the old Chase Hyatt Credit Card, but why pay an extra $20 more every year for the same free night certificate?

I know, I know… the new Chase IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card and the new Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card both have added features and benefits that their lower annual fee siblings do not have, but are those added features and benefits worth an extra $40 or $20 a year?  I just don’t want you to focus on the short term benefits and forget about the long term travel opportunities.  Travel hacking has been around for many years and will continue to be around for many more years.  Make sure your decisions are the right decisions for the long term.

If you agree or disagree with me, I want to hear from you. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!

13 thoughts on “Keep or Close? Old Chase IHG Rewards Select & Hyatt Credit Cards

  1. Dukie02

    Great post Grant. Agree that hanging on to these cheap nights is worth it —at least for now. Certainly not worth the paltry upgrade offers!

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Yes, if you can, lock in these cheaper free night certificates before it is too late. I upgraded my Marriott CC because the upgrade offer was decent and the free night certificate was more valuable. The upgrade offers on the IHG and Hyatt CCs are too small, in my opinion.

      Reply
  2. jason

    I have the old IHG card and will keep it will churning the new one 2 years after getting the sign up bonus (unless they change the rules by then). This is what I did for the old IHG one to get the points, pay 49 and get free night, get the second free night and cancel before paying the annual fee, go 3 months or so for it to clear the 24 months since getting the bonus, and then sign up for the new bonus.

    Hopefully the rules are the same in another 21 months or so, because that worked out great on the old one. In this case, I will now just keep the old IHG for the reasons you stated.

    Unfortunately they switched from the old Hyatt to the new one at a time I didn’t have the old one, so I can’t lock in on the $75 night.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      1 for 2 is not bad. Thankfully you still had your old IHG CC and you can now get the sign up bonus on the new Hyatt CC to soften the blow.

      Reply
  3. Christian

    I likely will be closing my original IHG card due to the 40k redemption limit they will be imposing after my current renewal. Yes, it’s $49 so I should be able to find a redemption at 40k or less but doing this is just too much of a hassle and I am definitely not going to take a one night trip somewhere where I can redeem and not loose the free night and possibly stay at a low-end hotel.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      That is your decision but there are a few decent IHG hotels in the 30k-40k range that cost several times more than the $49. If you are set on closing the IHG CC, keep the card until your annual fee posts. The free night certificate usually posts within 2-3 weeks of your annual fee posting. After the free night certificate posts to your IHG account, you can close the IHG CC, avoid paying the $49 annual fee and keep the free night certificate.

      Reply
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  5. Steve

    I am keeping the old IHG for now but I closed my old Hyatt and waited 30 days to reopen the new version. I was at three years, so wasn’t a problem to get the 60k bonus offer.

    Reply

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