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If you're looking for some tips on how to best redeem your IHG Rewards, check out our IHG Sweet Spots.
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is one of two new IHG co-brand cards from Chase, replacing the discontinued IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card. The IHG Rewards Premier Card is a mid-tier hotel rewards card sporting an $89 annual fee and featuring a welcome offer of 80,000 bonus points, an anniversary free night award, 4th night free on award stays, and complimentary Platinum Elite status.
Replacing a card that has been a mainstay of the U.S. points and miles scene since its release, the IHG Rewards Premier Card has big shoes to fill if Chase and IHG want the card to retain a position as a cornerstone rewards card.
- 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 10 points 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®
IHG Rewards Premier Card Welcome Bonus
The IHG Rewards Premier Card offers 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. While 80,000 bonus points may appear to be a higher than average signup bonus when compared to other cards on the market, IHG Rewards Club points don’t hold the same value as other points. In fact, most folks redeem IHG points for 0.5/0.6¢ per point, rather than the 1.5¢ to 2¢ for SPG points or Ultimate Rewards, making the welcome bonus worth roughly $400 depending on how you value IHG points.
Points Earning Potential and Category Bonuses
The IHG Rewards Premier Card receives a higher earn rate on IHG purchases than its predecessor, earning a solid 10x points per $1 spent when you stay at any IHG property. You’ll receive 2x points per dollar on purchases from gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and just 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. While the earn rate has gone up from the 5x points featured on the old IHG Rewards Card, the lack of additional high-value bonus categories means the only purchase you would realistically use this card for is IHG Hotel spend, as you’d get better returns on the 2x bonus categories using a 2% cash back card.
IHG Rewards Premier Card Feature Benefits
Free Night Certificate
The bad news for IHG fans is the devaluation of the free night certificate awarded on your card’s account anniversary. Up until the release of the new IHG cards, the anniversary free night was valid at any participating IHG hotel. Following recent changes, however, the certificate is limited to properties pricing at 40,000 points or less. IHG has put together a website listing the hotels excluded from the free night certificate. At this stage, it includes roughly 200 of IHG’s 5,300+ hotels worldwide. The free night certificate must be booked and the stay competed within 12 months of being issued.
“Anniversary Free Night is valid at IHG® Hotels with a current point redemption level of 40,000 points or less, and must be redeemed, and stay must be completed, within 12 months from the date of issue.”
4th Night Free on Award Stays
A fresh perk offered on both of IHG’s new rewards cards; 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.
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 peak 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.
20% Discount on Points Purchases
The discount allows you to purchase IHG Rewards Club 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 Club points. It’s yet to be seen if members that hold both the old and new cards can stack the fourth night free received on the new cards with the 10% rebate on points from the superseded IHG card.
Outside of Chase’s published application restrictions and those we’ve pieced together, it also appears the IHG Rewards Premier Card isn’t subject to the 5/24 policy. While Chase doesn’t publish a list of cards affected by the restrictions, recent DP’s from a post on Doctor of Credit, and from AwardWallet’s Facebook community, Award Travel 101, point to applicants well over 5/24 being accepted for the card.
It also looks like current cardholders of the IHG Rewards Card aren't restricted from applying for the new IHG co-brand cards, opening up the possibility of receiving two anniversary free night certificates each year.
It’s tough to lose the unrestricted free night offered on the old IHG card, with an annual fee of just $49. But the new IHG Rewards Premier Card offers plenty of value for IHG loyalists, and there’s still enough value in the 40K point anniversary free night to cover the $89 annual fee. If you factor in the ability to buy points at a 20% discount, stacked with the fourth night free on award bookings, the card offers the potential for some seriously cheap stays at IHG properties.
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