IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card Review IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card Review

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card Review

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The IHG One 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 One Rewards Premier Card is a good fit for your upcoming travel goals.

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
Annual Fee$99
Welcome Bonus Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 140,000 Bonus Points
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG® hotel stay.
  • Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Automatic 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 One Rewards Bonus points are redeemable at Hotels & Resorts such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
  • Member FDIC
  • 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 One 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 One 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 an 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 One Rewards Premier Card Feature Benefits

Reward Night Certificate

The IHG One 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 One 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 One 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.

Application Restrictions

Outside of Chase’s published application restrictions (and those we’ve pieced together), all data points indicate the IHG One 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.”

Final Thoughts

The new IHG One 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 One 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.

4.3 / 5 - (29 votes)
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  • I’m a Platinum Elite member and IHG booked me at the Crowne Plaza Times Square using my annual free night on 9/20/20. Arrive on 4/23 only to find out the hotel has been closed since May 2020. I received a “check in” confirmation two days prior to my stay and spoke with an IHG representative on the phone about my upcoming stay. Customer service was a complete joke and said they would credit 15,000 points to my account for my inconvenience and would NOT reissue my rewards nights. A mere inconvenience is finding out your hotel is closed weeks before your stay not when you show up after making the 4 hour drive with children. So according to them your annual night is equivalent to hotels that are 15,000 points or less and not hotels 40k and under Shame on you, IHG!

    • Ouch. That’s really bad customer service for that type of situation. Do you mind if we reach out to IHG about this? I’m curious if they think that this is acceptable or you just got a bum deal.

      • ashley.segee@gmail.com says:

        Please do! I still can’t understand how they could not issue a reward night back on my account after wasting it on a hotel that was closed. There’s no way I can rebook at the Crowne Plaza in NYC on a Friday for 15,000 points. Mind blown!

  • Is it true that we can get more than 1 IHG product at the same time??

    Perhaps worth it to get this for the point promotion bonus and then cancel it when the annual fee renewal… I ‘ll still maintain my $49 a year card that I can deal with and get a little bit of value out of.

  • Bill Dwyer says:

    I wish someone would finally and definitively, state, one, whether or NOT you have to have the points required to book all four nights, even if they only charge you for three, and two, whether or NOT you can apply for the IHG Premier card (if under 5/24) if you already have the original IHG card.
    Because the small print I’ve read states you can’t get the new card if you have or have had any IHG Rewards card in the past 24 months.
    Am I missing something?

    • Hey Bill, I’m not 100% sure on question number one. (please chime in if someone knows)

      For the IHG card eligibility, you can get the new version as long as: “you do not have this Card (the new version) and have not received a new Cardmember bonus for this Card (the new version) in the past 24 months.” The old IHG Club Select card should not disqualify you as long as you’re ok on 5/24.

      The text quoted above is from the Chase application page (parentheticals added by me). Are you seeing a different version of the language?

    • On August 29, 2017, I got the $49/year IHG Rewards Select World MasterCard, made the minimum spend, and earned the 100,000 welcome bonus points. Exactly two years (i.e., 24 months) later to the day (on August 29, 2019), I got the $89 IHG Rewards Premier World Elite MasterCard, made the minimum spend, and will receive the 125,000 bonus points and $50 cash bonus.

      Those who own both cards can opt to book a four-night stay using 2 anniversary nights (no points or cash needed), plus a third night (using points and/or cash), and get the fourth night free (no points or cash needed).

      I hope that answers your questions.

  • Thanks for the write up. I think I will add this as my second IHG card after I get to 5/24 – using the free nights together in a weekend will be much easier to pull off at a good value than a single night from my current card.

  • IHG hotels are expensive to book with points, unless you snag a pointbreak hotel. But I think the card is worth it, even if just for the sign up bonus and free anniversary night. The $89 annual fee more than pays for itself with the anniversary night.
    On another note. The free Global Entry perk may seem like a nice perk, however unless you are traveling with only carry on, whatever time you save at immigration, you spend waiting for your luggage. This has consistently been my experience at various airports.

  • I think this is a great card. Ihg has many locations and the anniversary night with no foreign transaction fee make it a perfect card to have for a traveler.

  • I think I will apply and see what happens, even though I have the old card. 2 free nights sounds good for a weekend getaway.

  • I really wanted that card but don’t want to give up a 5/24 slot or screw up my chances at the companion pass…. I wish it was sticking around till after the first of the year when I blow past 5/24

  • Are Kimpton Hotels included in the IHG rewards program? I’ve heard different answers to this question. Thanks.

  • Thanks for the reminder, I used your link and was approved for this Premier card at $89.
    I’m keeping the original IHG $49/yr card too..

    IHG Premier’s free nt, 100K bonus for $3K spend as well as the possibility to earn another 10K points bonus after spending $20K is fantastic.
    Note: I’m unclear if the $20K spend is by the calendar year or 12 months from your “anniversary” date. (?)

    My other favorite spend perks cards are:
    DL AMEX $50K=20K MQMs
    Best Western MC $10K=diamond elite status – great for road trips.

    Chase United removed their spend perk and its my least fav CC now but i keep to fly United for the free bag.

    • It is your account anniversary date, which is 1 year from when your card account was opened each year. Customer support can tell you the exact date.

    • Keep in mind when you apply for a new IHG card, even though you are approved, they will NOT give you the bonus points if you have already received the bonus points within 24 months earlier. That’s what happened to me and they told me that’s because I have received bonus points less than 24 months ago.
      Also, does anyone know if this card double the manufacturer’s guarantee and has trip cancellation & interruption protection?

  • Anyone have insight on whether this is an offer that will resurface again, or improve?

  • Yea, okay card and good for a sign up bonus.

  • Appreciate the old IHG card benefits but may consider trying out the new one too.

  • A better way to not upset people is to increase the AF instead of devaluating the annual free nights.

  • This card has decent benefits in itself, but elite benefits with IHG are very poor at all levels.

  • One nice thing is that points don’t expire for platinum members

  • Not really happy with the devaluation of the annual free night for the older IHG card ($49 fee) I don’t think the changes make much sense as it was only for 1 night and not like 3-4 nights. Why fix something that wasn’t broken?

  • 10 points per dollar at IHG hotels is pretty good.

  • I agree that the fourth night free would be great, if you use it. Like the previous poster, I almost never stay 4 nights in the same place. I currently greatly value the 10 percent back of reward points that I get from the current card. I also want to get under the 5/24 so I can get the Freedom Unlimited so I’ll pass on this one.

  • 80k is decent, but their recent devaluations hurt a bit

  • The 4th night free is good, but I rarely stay 4 consecutive IHG nights *on points*; that’s why the 10% back on redeemed points with the old version was better for me. The best part about the new Premier card is still the annual free night. For a couple that both get the Premier, and keep the old Select card, that would be 4 free nights per year.

  • Thanks. I’m keeping my old card in spite of devaluation because I’m stuck by Chase’s 5-24 rule and can’t trade f a better card I want.

  • I hit IHG gold status and so far it’s been pretty useless. Are the higher tiers better?

  • It’s a meh card – annual fee not waived. 80k bonus only enough for one night at their top-tier and better tier properties.

  • I already am pining for the value of the soon to be discontinued card.

  • Adam Parsons says:

    Good rewards as far as I can see, IHG cards by creation are soon to be dispensed by the looks of it in Europe.

  • I read elsewhere that some people report of chase shutting down their accounts. Is there any truth to this? Would this be related to opening another IHG card if you already have an existing of a a previous version?

    • Chase shutting down an account or accounts would be on a case by case basis — you’d need to know the exact circumstances of that individual. The likelihood of anything being solely related to getting one of the new IHG cards while holding the previous IHG Select card is highly unlikely.

  • I have not gotten any notice on my old card account. Will I lose my benefits and annual fee level? Or, like the Chase United, will I keep what I had?

  • sti;;.free points are free if they don’t displace a better offer.

  • I have the current IHG credit card. I may get the new card as last year I had two award stays of four nights.

  • The two big questions for me are, will the stacking of 4th night and 10% back be an option. And will IHG ultimately allow guests to upgrade the free night by making up the point difference from 40K to, say, 50K by adding 10K of their own points.

  • Hello… i am a bit confused.. I enjoy the original $49/ year IHG card at the moment…. Now that it is being “retired” does the NEW IHG rewards premier card come automatically at the expiration date ? Or, do i have to re-apply ….? How do you get the 80000 point bonus for the new card ;IF, you already have the old card ….? Do i have to cancel the $49/year card first , or just wait for it to expire??? etc.. etc…

    • As of now, your current card will stay at $49 and nothing will change (other than the limitation now imposed on the annual night certificate). Chase my convert this product or provide you an option to convert to another product at some point but we don’t have details on their plans. To get the 80k bonus, you’d need to open a new card account for the IHG Premier card and then you would have two different IHG credit cards, which is perfectly fine.

    • It’s hard to beat the old IHG card but the new one, while not as good, is pretty good.

    • Keep in mind when you apply for a new IHG card, even though you are approved, they will NOT give you the bonus points if you have already received the bonus points within 24 months earlier. That’s what happened to me and they told me that’s because I have received bonus points less than 24 months ago.
      Also, does anyone know if this card double the manufacturer’s guarantee and has trip cancellation & interruption protection?