How I Saved My Father $400 On A Hotel Room

by joeheg

I spent a few hours this week at my father’s house going over the miles, points and credit cards that he and his wife have accumulated over the last several years. You see, I was able to help them get flights in first class for their honeymoon to Southeast Asia and they’ve been hooked on collecting points ever since.


When the two of them got home from their trip, it was hard to keep them from signing up for every credit card offer available but I eventually managed to have them ask me before they applied for any new cards. That was over two years ago. I’ve been a poor example of a son because I haven’t checked in on them since then. So I planned a couple of hours and stopped by their house to take an inventory of their points and miles balances.

Despite my setting up an Awardwallet account for him, none of the accounts were updated. I had to go through them one by one (updating passwords and account information as we went). I knew he had applied for the Chase IHG Rewards Mastercard, which I had no problem with. It’s a wonderful card to have even if it will be undergoing some major changes in the near future.

When looking at his card inventory, I asked where was his IHG card? He told me that since he had used all his points and wasn’t staying at IHG hotels presently, that he cancelled it. ARRRRGGGGGGGGHHH!!!!!!!!

The card that offers a free night at any hotel just for paying a $49 annual fee and he went and cancelled it. It was all my fault, because I didn’t check up on his accounts often enough. I decided to check his IHG account since his remaining points would expire within twelve months with if he has no account activity. Luckily, he only had a few hundred points left and it wasn’t worth it to try to keep them active. However, I did notice one more thing when I was in his IHG account.  He still had a free award night from his IHG Credit Card in his account that he never used. WINNING!!!!!!!!!! As it turn out, my dad cancelled his card part of the way into the year after paying his annual fee. That meant his free night was still active and in his account, waiting to be used.

I also saw that they were planning a trip this upcoming weekend, which I had no idea about. When I asked if they were going away, they said they were heading out of town to Sarasota, FL to celebrate his wife’s birthday and were taking their new addition to the family, a rescue named Wrigley, with them.


While they already had a hotel booked, their IHG free night was going to expire in June. I looked to see if the hotel they booked had any rooms available to book with the free night certificate, but that hotel didn’t have any award rooms left. However, another IHG hotel in Sarasota did have rooms available. The most expensive IHG hotel in town.

The Hotel Indigo Sarasota is a 95 room hotel that was built in 2006 and underwent a million dollar renovation in 2016. Cash rooms at the hotel were going for $420 after all taxes were included.

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Reading the hotel website, the hotel is pet friendly. However if you want to book a room to stay with your pet, you need to call the hotel directly. So my dad got on the phone. They transferred him to IHG reservations (who then had to call the hotel to check if a pet friendly room was available) but when all was said and done, the three of them have a reservation for a pet friendly room using his Chase IHG free night (which cost him $49).

On a side note, anyone worried that IHG totally DEMOLISHED the value of the IHG free night certificate this week, this is a hotel still available to book even after the changes taking place. So it’s still possible to get a $400 a night hotel with your free night, you just have to pick your spots.

The room is not totally free as the hotel charges a $100 pet deposit (which they may get back?) and a $10 self parking fee. It’s still better than the $250 they were paying for the other hotel they were planning to stay at.


So, this made my week. I got my dad and his wife a $400 hotel room for free with a voucher they didn’t know they had. I’m also starting to plan a trip for them to travel to Hawaii using points and miles. They haven’t signed up for any credit cards in the last two years so they are both way under 5/24 and I should be able to get them an amazing trip, if they’d only decide where they want to go and when.

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