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The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is a well-rounded hotel card with valuable benefits for anyone who stays with IHG at least a few times each year.
Right now is a great time to get this card, with a new-cardmember offer of 140,000 bonus points after you meet the minimum spending requirement.
In this post, we'll break down the ongoing benefits to help you decide whether the IHG Rewards Premier Card is a good fit for your upcoming travel goals.
- Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 3 or more nights
- Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
- Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
- Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
- IHG Rewards bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
- Earn 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
- 5X points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants
- 3X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
The earning for spending at IHG hotels breaks down as follows:
- Earn 10X points for being a IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card member
- Earn 6X points from IHG® with Platinum Elite Status, a benefit of having this card
- Earn 10X points from IHG® for being an IHG® Rewards Club Member (Being a cardholder is not required to earn this bonus for participating in the IHG® loyalty program)
Points Earning Potential and Category Bonuses
The IHG Rewards Premier Card receives a higher earn rate on IHG purchases than its predecessor. All things considered, cardholders will earn 26X points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel, 5x points on travel, gas stations, and restaurants, and 3x points per $1 on all other purchases.
The earnings for spending at IHG hotels can be a bit deceiving if you're comparing head-to-head with other cards. In reality, you could earn 16X points per dollar out of the 26X marketed by Chase if you already hold Platinum Elite Status in the IHG® Rewards program. Here is how it breaks down.
- Earn 10X points for being a IHG Rewards Premier Cardmember — this is the part that is only available if you have this card.
- Earn 6X points from IHG® with Platinum Elite Status—a benefit of having this card if you don't earn the status through IHG stays.
- Earn 10X points from IHG® for being an IHG® Rewards Member (Being a cardholder is not required to earn this bonus for participating in the IHG® loyalty program).
IHG Rewards Premier Card Feature Benefits
Reward Night Certificate
The IHG Rewards Premier Card anniversary Rewards Night Certificate is valid for hotels up to the value of 40,000 points per night. However, following recent changes, IHG members can now top up their certificates with points from their IHG Rewards account and redeem the certificate at properties worth more than 40K per night. This makes the IHG Rewards Night Certificate much more valuable, opening up almost every property in the IHG Rewards portfolio if you have enough points to combine with your certificate. The reward night certificate must be booked and the stay completed within 12 months of being issued.
“Anniversary Free Night is valid at IHG® Hotels and has a point redemption value of 40,000 points or less (covers one standard room night and tax only), with the ability to add on points from your IHG® Rewards account to redeem your Anniversary Free Night at hotels above the 40,000 point redemption level. Anniversary Free Night must be redeemed, and stay must be completed, within 12 months from date of issue.”
4th Night Free on Award Stays
Cardholders receive the fourth night free on all award bookings of four or more consecutive nights. Rather than averaging the cost of four nights and offering the savings as a rebate, the IHG fourth night free is included complimentary at the time of booking the room, so you’ll only require enough points for three nights in your account to take advantage of this benefit. When combined with the ability to purchase IHG points at a 20% discount (see below), you can reduce the cost of buying points well under the level required to be profitable.
Complimentary Platinum Elite Status
IHG elite status doesn’t offer the same value as top hotel rewards programs, but Platinum Elite status does entitle members to a 50% bonus on top of base points and complimentary room upgrades when available, plus a few other perks. Cardholders receive Platinum status for as long as they hold the card.
That elite status alone will keep your IHG Rewards points from expiring.
Earn IHG Rewards Diamond Elite Status
Following Chase's refresh of the IHG cards, one of the best new benefits is the ability to spend your way to top-tier status with IHG. Cardmembers can now earn IHG Rewards Diamond Elite status after spending $40,000 on qualifying purchases each calendar year
Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit
If you already hold a card that offers a Global Entry/TSA Pre Credit, this benefit likely won’t pique your interest, although you can gift the credit to a family member by charging their fee to your card. The IHG Rewards Premier Card receives a Global Entry credit, up to $100 in value, every four years.
Earn 10,000 Bonus Points and $100 Statement Credit
IHG cardholders can earn 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on the card (and then making one additional purchase) each year.
$50 United Credit Each Year
Receive $50 in United TravelBank credit each year after linking your card to United TravelBank.
20% Discount on Points Purchases
The discount allows you to purchase IHG Rewards points at a 20% discount. Searching the T&C’s, there is no language preventing cardmembers from stacking this discount with other savings when IHG points are already on sale, which opens up some exciting possibilities. IHG regularly runs promos allowing you to buy points with up to a 100% bonus, which reduces the cost of points down to 0.5¢ each. Stack the 20% discount as an IHG Rewards Premier Card cardholder, and you’ll reduce the cost of points down to 0.4¢ per piece. Stack both discounts/bonuses with the 4th-night free benefit, and you’ll receive a further 25% off the cost of an award, reducing the effective cost of purchased points down to 0.3¢ per point. Decreasing the cost well under the value you’d typically receive from IHG Rewards points.
Outside of Chase’s published application restrictions (and those we’ve pieced together), all data points indicate the IHG Rewards Premier Card is subject to the 5/24 policy, meaning you won't be approved for the card if you've opened 5+ cards in the previous 24 months.
IHG recently updated the application restrictions for its family of co-brand credit cards. From 03/25/2022, the rules are now aligned with most of Chase's co-brand credit cards, and you won't be eligible for this card if you already hold another IHG personal card, or have received a bonus on one in the previous 24 months.
“This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any IHG® Rewards credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any IHG® Rewards credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.”
The new IHG Rewards Premier Card offers plenty of value for IHG loyalists. If you stay with IHG at least once each year, the 40K point anniversary reward night should easily cover the card's ongoing $99 annual fee. Once you factor in the fourth night free on award bookings and the benefits of complimentary elite status, it's easy to justify keeping this card for the long term.
Right now is an ideal time to add the IHG Rewards Premier Card to your wallet and pick up 140,000 bonus points. That gives you plenty of time to test out the card's benefits—and lot's of points to do it in style.
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