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Following days of speculation, both Chase and Barclays lifted the lid on much-anticipated rewards cards in April 2018, announcing details such as bonuses, earning levels, transfer partners, and more. While neither card is a keystone release, the new cards replace/augment two much-loved rewards cards that held treasured places in the wallets of many a points and miles fan.

Unfortunately, the new Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard® has received a relatively lukewarm reception, and it falls flat on a number of fronts. Chase’s new IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, on the other hand, appears well thought out, offering a solid combination of benefits vs. a higher annual fee than it’s predecessor. And that’s taking into account Chase recently taking an ax to the IHG cards’ signature perk, the unrestricted anniversary free night certificate.

Chase: IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG Rewards Club Logo

IHG's newest co-brand card features a high-value signup bonus, an anniversary free night certificate, and receives a couple of exciting new perks; 4th night free on award bookings of four or more nights, and 20% off purchased IHG points. Highlights include:

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Enjoy a Free Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®

With Chase upping the annual fee on the card to $89 (Up from the $49 seen with the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card) and restricting the value of the annual free night certificate, it’s easy to see why many folks are a little wary of the new IHG card. However, when you take the card at face value, focusing on the value of benefits vs. the $89 annual fee, it starts to look more attractive.

For starters, 20% on points purchases, if used in conjunction with the 4th award night free, provides the ability to purchase points well under their redeemable value. And if you can stack these perks with that of the previous IHG card (still to be seen if this is possible), which offers 10% back on points redemptions, you would receive a ridiculous amount of value. How much exactly?

In the past, we’ve documented how to buy IHG points for as little as 0.46¢ per point, and as there is nothing in the new card T&C’s to indicate you won’t receive the additional 20% off as a cardholder, you could drop your acquisition cost as low as 0.37¢ per point. Combine that the new 4th-night free feature, and you could lower the cost of your stay by a further 25%!

Another question that, seems to be already answered; is the card subject to Chase’s 5/24 policy? Recent data points indicate that this card is now subject to the 5/24 Rule. The previous IHG Rewards Card was one of the few cards that were exempt from the rule, but it appears the IHG Rewards Premier Card doesn't get the same treatment.

Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®

Barclays latest addition to the rewards credit card market is the Barclays Arrival® Premier World Elite Mastercard®. The card is marketed as a premium rewards credit card, but without the high-value benefits of a premium card such as complimentary lounge access or elite status, falls somewhat short of expectations. The card is Barclays' first foray into transferable points, although points don’t transfer at a 1:1 ratio. Highlights of the card include:

  • 75,000 miles each year if you spend $25,000 on purchases
  • After that, keep earning unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
  • Global Entry - $100 automatic statement credit for the cost of one Global Entry application fee every five years

Barclays Arrival Premier Transfer Partners

Barclays Transfer PartnerTransfer Ratio
Air France / KLM Flying Blue 1.4:1
Aeroplan / Air Canada1.7:1
Aeromexico Club Premier1.4:1
China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles1.4:1
Etihad Guest 1.4:1
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands1.4:1
JAL Mileage Bank1.7:1
Jet Airways JetPrivilege1.4:1
Malaysia Airlines Enrich1.4:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer1.4:1

It’s disappointing the card doesn’t offer any welcome bonus, particularly when the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® scored a fantastic bonus, and has an annual fee of $150 (waived first year). It’s also hard to see what Barclays thought when they put together the transfer partners. It’s not that the transfer partners are no good, to the contrary, JAL offers some of the best value of any program in the world. But the 1.7:1 transfer ratio is rough, and until we know the transfer times and in what increments we can transfer, it’s hard to quantify the value.

So, when does it make sense to have the Arrival Premier? If you put exactly $25,000 in non-bonus spend on the card, items such as insurance or tax bills, you'll qualify for the extra 25K bonus points. As the card already earns 2x points for every dollar spent, you’ll earn 75K Arrival Miles on the first $25K spent on the card, redeemable at 1¢ per point ($600 value when accounting for the annual fee of $150 (waived first year)). Keep in mind, the Arrival Premier is not subject to Chase’s 5/24 policy, or Amex’s once per lifetime bonus offer language.

Final Thoughts

Outside of IHG placing restrictions on the value of the free night certificate offered with the card, the new IHG Rewards Premier Card offers a ton of value, particularly the new path to buying points at such a steep discount. Also, we're not seeing any language that would preclude a cardmember of the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card from also obtaining the IHG Rewards Premier Card; it is something we're seriously considering especially when you stack the benefits (and combine free nights). The Arrival Premier may not have quite the same attraction as the Arrival Plus, but if you plan on spending exactly $25K in non-bonus spend, you can take home the additional 25K Arrival Miles for your troubles.

Applications Open for New Barclays Arrival Premier & Chase IHG Premier Card
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  • I think it’s nice to see a new IHG co-branded card. I hope this does not give me false hope that we may see a new card in Canada too??

  • Both cards suck

  • signed up today.

  • 80k + 5k for an authorized user is a strong offer for the new IHG card. Whether or not the card is a keeper or a cancel will depend on how long it remains possible to use the ‘annual free night’ at 40k per night hotels in major cities, before those properties fall victim to category-creep and disappear as cert redemption options.

  • I had high hopes for both of these cards but, as the article says, they both fall flat.

    I really appreciate the current 10% rebate on redeemed points with the current IHG® card.
    I think I will give these a pass.

  • 1.7:1 – that’s such a dissapointment

  • If you have the existing IHG card, will you now get the 4th night free. or do you have to get the new card?

  • Looking at the transfer rate it appears to me that the CSR has a better points transfer ratio…am I missing something here, what makes this card worthwhile??

  • I have the old IHG select card with the 49 annual fee. Any idea if I also get the new club traveler card with the 29 annual fee if I will get both the 10% rebate on point redemptions from the select card and the 4th night free from the traveler card? Or if I got the new premier card would I get 2 nights free? Doesn’t make sense for me to give up the old card, the free night alone is worth more than the 49 fee and if I got the new traveler card, a 4th night free on any redemption would be worth 29 and don’t need platinum since I have it from the first card.

  • Both cards are interesting, but not quite compelling enough for me to jump in quite yet.

  • I certainly hope they add more transfer partners in the future.

  • and the huge devaluation in IHG land continues…

  • I will probably apply for the new IHG credit card. It is very easy to get value out of $89 for a free night at most IHG hotels.

  • deerseason says:

    Transfer ratio and limited partners makes the Barclays card way too prohibitive to add to my rotation.

  • High hopes, not so great reality. Especially the barclay card, wow horrible.

  • Ezra Gonzalez says:

    We got the “old” IHG card under the wire when the rumors started. Now I’m trying to decide whether it will be worth keeping in a year. $49 for a free night isn’t a bad cost but wondering if the 4th night free is a better value for us. I know it’s not necessarily an either/or proposition, but we probably don’t want to keep both long term.

  • Air Flyer says:

    Just getting the Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee statement credit is worth more than the $89 annual fee.

  • I might consider this cuz i think the airline transfer partners are pretty decent.

  • Alice Chen says:

    Wow, that IHG card looks like a fantastic choice! I usually don’t like to stay in a specific hotel chain, but the sign up bonus is great.

  • Barclays card is a rip off deal.

  • miskocina says:

    The more I read about these cards the less interested I am.

  • The barclay card benefits and earn/redemption rate are pretty weak considering the 150 annual fee. I guess they are hoping people are too lazy to cancel after the first year and earning the bonus.

  • I can’t stand how so many bloggers are pushing this terrible card (Barclays Arrival). It must have a high referral rate. Honestly, the fact that it has high fees with non-competitive benefits, yet is being touted in the Miles and Points atmosphere, makes me think that many bloggers only care about selling cards as opposed to helping uninformed readers learn to maximize miles and points.

    • I think in general the information about the card is on point. Definitely not competitive when compared to most everything out there — the high annual fee and lack of any new cardmember bonus are the biggest stings I see.

  • The $89 card with the statement credit for Global Entry could be interesting for those with Global Entry re-signups coming up soon in the near future.

  • I’m just hoping Barclay or Barclaycard doesn’t change the Aviator Card. This one wouldn’t be something I would need.

  • I’m with @Ed, the big question now is how are the benefits going to overlap if one holds the ‘old’ Select MC, and also the ‘new’ Premier MC. Is it conceivable that one would get both a 4th night free, *and* 10% of points back?

  • Good thing I got my free anniversary nigh before these changes. Will certainly cancel IHG card next year

  • charles j says:

    Oh well. The Barclays card isn’t a big deal. and the Chase card probably has the 5/24 restrictions.

  • charles j says:

    RE: My previous comment. If the Chase card is not subject to the 5/24, it’s worth considering.

  • How long will AA stay with Barclays?

  • I have the older AA Barclay card and given the changes as you describe I will not be switching. Keep us informed if Barclay learns from their mistakes. If so, I’d reconsider.

  • Wanted to be excited. Guess not. Pass on new Barclay card and keeping existing ihg card.

  • looks good

  • What do people think about a hotel card vs. airline card? I’m always looking for miles for upgrades and don’t know that I’d get much use of points for the hotel cards.

  • Was hoping for this card in the future but not ready to use up one of my 5/24 spots

  • I’ve had the IHG card for a couple of years now, and had some FABULOUS stays, using the free night certificate (most recently at the Intercontinental in Hong Kong just last month) I was lucky en ought to get a certificate valid for a free night at ANY IHG for this upcoming year as well. Is there any restriction about having BOTH IHG cards? The old one as well as the new one?

  • My annual fee for Marriot hits in a few months. My plan before the change of the free night was to cancel Marriott and switch to IHG. Now I’m torn. The 4th night free is a nice perk. Marriott and SPG are 5th night free, but I rarely stay anywhere for 5 nights, so this is better. Hmmm. Something to think about.

  • @Mack says: “Keep us informed if Barclay learns from their mistakes. If so, I’d reconsider.”

    Let’s hope at some point these devaluations are viewed as mistakes.

  • It’s disappointing that the card doesn’t offer any welcome bonus… let’s wait few months before applying, they might change their mind..

  • IHG states the free anniversary night certificate is valid at hotels costing 40,000 points or less per night, then why are there so many properties excluded that are showing at 40,000 points?

  • annual fees make it not worth it for us

  • I wonder if Barclays is getting ready to transition away from AA..

  • I wish IHG just gave 40,000 points annually rather than the certificate so that we could use it towards a nicer stay if we want.

  • The Barclays does not look like it’s worth much IHG however has some value although not a stellar offer still may be worth getting

  • Travis Braugh says:

    Such disappointment with these. Hopefully there’s some better offers in the works.

  • Will holders of the existing IHG MasterCard be forced to transition to this new IHG card? Also, are existing IHG MasterCard holders eligible for the new card’s 80k signup bonus?

  • lenin1991 says:

    I think the Barclays card has appeal, just not to those of us who read blogs about this sort of thing. But for someone looking for 1 card to have on autopilot with reasonable earnings & benefits and scared off by $450+ annual fees or esoteric points systems, an argument could be made.

  • You can transfer points to Flying Blue (AF and KLM) –I’ve had good luck with their award tickets.

  • Barclay card is a pass. Have to think on the IHG dependent upon what they do with the older one I have.

  • mediocre Barclay card I’m going for the Sapphire instead.

  • Hmm. Ok a better explanation of the benefits of the IHG Premier card. Thank you for that.
    Now the Premier doesn’t look at that bad. It just might work out with our stays. I could really use that buying of their points. I’ll have to see how much it’s to purchase regularly and see the cost.

    Would the Global Entry be as soon as you get the card? Are they waiving the annual fee at all? It didn’t look like it.

  • Holding out for a sign-up bonus card; hard to beat the CSR or ChaseInk.


    Pass, but thanks!

  • rodney ross says:

    will check into IHG as we seem to be staying in those brands more Thanks for info

  • I have the older vrrson of both cards and I think I’ll keep the IHG card in spite of the devaluatiion and replace the old Barclays Card.

  • IHG better for US or international?

  • I have the Barclay card, but am uncertain if I should keep it. My problem is that it get 2 AA miles per $ but the Citi Business AA card only gets 1, so I keep using the Barclay card in spite of it not being the best.

  • And sign-up bonus?

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