IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card Review

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The offer on the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card is no longer available through this site. You can see a review of IHG's new premium card here.

One of the best hotel rewards cards on the market, the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card offers a substantial signup bonus, a stellar list of perks, and a small annual fee. Highlights of the card include an anniversary free-night certificate valid at any IHG property worldwide, complimentary Platinum Elite status with IHG Rewards Club, and you’ll earn points redeemable at over 5,000 hotels across the globe.

Valuable 60,000 Point Signup Bonus

New cardholders currently enjoy 60,000 bonus points after hitting a minimum spend of just $1,000 in the first three months. For such an affordable min-spend requirement, 60K IHG points is a top bonus for new cardholders. IHG Rewards points can be redeemed for thousands of hotels ranging from 200 top-of-the-range InterContinental hotels down to the 5,000 point per night PointBreaks hotels released every quarter.

Chase has some of the better rules when it comes to receiving cards a second or third time around, allowing you to receive the card and bonus again as long as you’re not a current cardholder, and haven’t received the signup bonus for at least 24 months.

“This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.”

Note: IHG points expire after 12 months of no account activity. The exception to this rule is members with IHG elite status, whose points don’t expire. The IHG Rewards Card provides members with complimentary Platinum Elite status, so as long as you’re a cardmember, your points won’t expire.

5,000 Points for Adding an Authorized User

While premium cards charge you a fee to add an authorized user, the IHG Rewards Card throws a 5,000 point bonus your way when you add an authorized user and make a purchase on the card in the first three months from account opening. With AU cards not attracting a fee, this is straight money in the bank (or should we say points in the account.)

Unrestricted Anniversary Free Night Certificate Every Year

The annual free-night certificate is where the IHG Rewards Card truly shines. One of the most valuable and versatile anniversary free-night perks of any card, the IHG free night is all the more remarkable as it's not category restricted! You can use the free-night at any of IHG’s 5,000+ properties, including world-famous resorts like the InterContinental Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa in Bora Bora, or the Intercontinental Sydney looking out over Sydney’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

The IHG Rewards Card annual free-night certificate is hands-down one of the best value perks in the points and miles game and reason enough to hold onto the card year-in-year-out. Especially when you take into account the card has an annual fee of just $49, which is waived for the first year!

Complimentary IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite Status

Another cardholder benefit is an upgrade to Platinum Elite status for as long as you hold the card. While IHG’s Platinum isn’t as valuable as the mid-tier elite status from Hilton Honors or Marriott Rewards, it still provides modest benefits like higher earning potential, and the chance of an upgrade if you wear a smile and put your best foot forward.

10% Rebate When Redeeming Points with the IHG Rewards Card

Just for holding the IHG Rewards Card you’ll receive a 10% rebate on redemptions up to 100,000 points per year. That’s a significant boost to your points, putting 10K IHG Rewards points back in your pocket for every 100K you redeem.

Earning Potential of the IHG Rewards Card

One feature where the IHG Rewards Card lacks in comparison to its competition is the everyday earning potential. Cardholder's earn:

  • 5 points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG® hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

With IHG points worth roughly half that of higher value flexible currencies like Ultimate Rewards or SPG points, you'll get more value from everyday spend using other cards. You can potentially earn more points using the IHG Rewards Card if it ties into one of the many promos released each year, for example, the recent Accelerate promo offered an additional 1,500 points for using the IHG Rewards Card to pay for a stay. But we wouldn't recommend it as your everyday spend card.

Redeeming IHG Rewards Points for Maximum Value

The best use of IHG points is redeeming them for hotel stays. IHG has a huge footprint, particularly in Asia and Europe, and although the majority of its 5,000+ hotels are on the lower end of the luxury spectrum, they still offer good value in places you may not otherwise be able to use points. IHG also runs a quarterly promo called PointBreaks, listing a bunch of hotels all over the globe for just 5,000 points per night. The hotels are not always in the easiest to reach locations, but if they match up with your travel plans, you can bag a hotel room for roughly $35 a night.

For more information on top value IHG redemptions, check out a few of our favorites in our post on IHG Rewards sweet spots.

Additional Perks and Benefits

The IHG Rewards Card offers a bunch of other perks and benefits, including:

  • Purchase Protection
  • Price Protection
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement

You can catch all the details on the Visa Signature benefits that come with the card in the Benefits Guide; keep in mind if you want a card with the best travel insurance you should look elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

One of the best hotel rewards cards available to points and miles fans, the IHG Rewards Card offers a substantial signup bonus, an automatic upgrade to IHG Platinum Elite status, the best value free-night certificate of any card on the market, and a small annual fee.

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card Review
4.6 (91.11%) 9 votes
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Comments

  • IMO the IHG card is one of the best on the market. To get 80k points, 5k plus for additional card user and free night certificates on anniversary, one great card to keep!

    • Agreed. IHG points also can be worth more than you’d think with the right redemption. I’ve received much more value out of these points than Marriott in my experience.

  • This is a great credit card, a hotel night for only $49. Too bad one can only have one of these credit cards.

  • Co-sign on this being one of the easiest value proposition cards on the market. Especially with 33% more sign-up bonus points for *no change* in spending requirement.

    I always wonder whether this one is ripe for benefit reduction, seems too good!

  • I recommend this card to everyone. It is terrific. And your post, as always, is a great summary and a great reminder of all the benefits.

  • Isn’t there a 100,000-mile enrollment offer out there?

  • this is a fantastic card just for the free night if nothing else

  • I keep this card year after year. Hard to beat the free nigh for the $49 annual fee. Have used it in some excellent locations at top of the line Crowne Plaza properties.

  • This seems like a pretty sweet deal even with the annual fee, but how does this stand to the SPG card which has no fee?

  • I need to get this card. It’s a great signup offer, and the free night more than makes up for the AF.

  • People do talk quite a bit about this card. So many point cards have annual fees…though there are many that don’t. I can see the benefit to this card, however, I already have a card with a high annual fee. Do people usually have several cards with annual fees? Normally can they get the fee waived? I just do not have the funds to have several yet. I wonder how you usually go about having 3 or 4 cards with an annual fee?

    • Many people opt for no cards with fees — others have many cards with fees. It comes down to math and value. For $49, a free night at any IHG property around the world is a great value and worth the cost for me. It might not be for you but is for me.

  • For what you get this card is a no brainer

  • Josh Renzema says:

    Only downside is that to get to spire status, you still need to stay the full (circa) 80 nights per year. They don’t start you at the Platinum level.

  • Yesterday, I received an email from IHG with the following offer….. “With the IHG® Rewards Club Credit Card, you can experience adventures anywhere. Earn 100,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening when you apply by 08/11/17*. This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the last 24 months.”

  • A $49 AF for a Free Night Cert that can be used at nay property in the portfolio, including those that would otehrwise require $500-$800 per night; total no-brainer to get and to keep.

  • I always have shunned cards with annual fees; despite trying to find enough value, I rarely have been able to. I might make an exception with this card as the free night seems to do it.

  • Definitely worth the AF just for holding it. Spending might not be worth it but definitely something to hold and keep

  • I have had this card on my watch list for while. Might be time to get it. The annual night is no brainer.

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