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My IHG Hotel Strategy: Points, Free Night Certificates & Multiple Rebookings

Good afternoon everyone.  Last week, Laura and I were in New York City for her Spring Break.  I had 2 IHG Free Night Certificates (40K capped FNC from my old Chase IHG Select Credit Card and a 40K uncapped FNC from my Chase IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card) that were expiring soon that I wanted to use.  We were staying for 4 nights, so I could have used the IHG 4th Night Free Benefit, but I wanted to use up those 2 IHG FNCs instead.  We decided to stay at the Crowne Plaza Times Square because the hotel is 1-2 blocks away from Times Square, surrounded by many musical theaters, very close to many subway lines (including the subway that goes from Manhattan to JFK (via the Jamaica Station), and walking distance to Central Park / Cruise Terminal / Rockefeller Center, etc.

I didn’t take screenshots during the booking process, but here is the booking strategy I used which I will explain below.  To get started, I searched for 4 nights to ensure that there was availability every night using points.  I clicked the Select Hotel button to view more details.

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PSA: Keep Checking IHG Award Prices for Price Drops, Then Rebook or use Free Night Certificates

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  I have an upcoming trip to New York City and have been planning my hotel stays for a few days.  I really like the Kimpton brand that is part of IHG Rewards and there is a Kimpton Muse Hotel in New York City that is close to Broadway and Times Square.  I have 3 IHG Free Night Certificates from my Chase IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card and my old Chase IHG Rewards Plus Credit Card (no longer available) that are good for award redemptions up to 40,000 IHG Points.  When I searched for award nights in November through January, I noticed point prices ranged from 31,000 IHG Points per night up to 73,000 IHG Points per night.  I looked at the same few days over a week period and noticed that the point prices would change from day to day, based on the cash price of the hotel on that specific night.  In this post, I will share the point prices and the cash prices I observed over the next 3 months and share my thoughts and findings.  I will also show you how to use your IHG Free Night Certificates and use the fourth night free benefit.

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PSA: Track Existing Marriott Reservations & Rebook When Points Price Drops (or Switch to a Free Night Certificate)

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  Long story short, I had a 1 night reservation at a Marriott property that was charging 60,000 Marriott Points / night.  A few days ago, I checked the current rate of the property and the price dropped from 60,000 Marriott Points / night to only 50,000 Marriott Points / night.  I was able to rebook the reservation and use one of my 50K Free Night Certificates and received a refund of 60,000 Marriott Points back into my account.  In this post, I wanted to remind you to keep checking existing reservations to see if the rate drops and show you how to rebook the reservation when that happens.

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New Southwest Airlines Flight Rebooking Process (Updated April 2018)

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  On Friday, I was looking at my existing Southwest Airlines reservations and found a flight that went down by $45.  My weekly routine is to check all my existing Southwest Airlines flights every Tuesday morning – that is when Southwest Airlines sends out emails regarding airfare sales.  During my most recent flight rebooking, I noticed that the rebooking process got a (much needed) face lift.  Southwest Airlines is doing some Spring cleaning, because they recently updated their (previously broken) gift card balance checker.  For reference, here is what the old rebooking process looked like.  To get started, click on the Change / Cancel tab on the homepage, then enter your confirmation number, first name, last name, and click the Search button.