I Got Charged by InterContinental for a Free Night!



As you know from this post, I used my two Chase IHG free nights for the previous year and this year to book my weekend getaway at the Willard InterContinental in Washington, DC. Now, it was not a straight redemption, of course. My two free annual nights for the last and current year overlapped back in April. Since I couldn’t go last month, I decided to book my hotel stay for the last week. I honestly pointed the agent’s attention that my stay would be taking place beyond the expiration date, and she said it wouldn’t be a problem as long as I booked within the allocated time. We booked May 17th and 18th.

Then something came up at work; something that would require me to be home by Monday morning, so I called again and asked if it would be OK to change the arrival date to May 16th. The agent said it was fine and re-booked my first night for the 16th. All was fine and dandy. When I checked out from the hotel on the 18th, they gave me a bill for two sodas from the minibar I’d never used, but not for the chocolate I did. Since the amount was about the same ($12), I didn’t make a fuss.

Jumping ahead, they didn’t not charge me $30 for the rollaway bed I had to get for the kid; not yet, anyway!

I checked my credit card activity this morning and everything was fine. Then, I decided to check it again before going to bed and found this beauty:


Needless to say, my beauty sleep had to be delayed. I called IHG, talked to a supervisor, who didn’t sound like he understood what I was talking about, got the reference number and was told they would investigate for the next 48 hours. I’m not too worried–yet–since I have the screenshots of my reservation that says FREE EVERYTHING in bold letters; that should be more than enough for the chargeback battle, should push come to shove. But the funny thing is how cocky I was just a couple of weeks ago on Flyertalk. Here is a lesson to all of us (but me in the first place). Never presume you know everything!

It’s very late, so I will get back with a small trip report tomorrow. And of course, I’ll keep you posted.


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[…] the words FREE on them, but you can totally say told you so, and you'll be right. Fellows, beware! Details __________________ New to Travel Hacking? Read my bestselling BOOKS to get started! MY BLOG […]


Same thing happened to me when using points to book a stay. Not only did the hotel issue the refund, they also gave me points since I had to call them twice. You might want to try and get some compensation from them for your troubles.

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