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Like the other major hotel chains, the IHG credit card has been updated. Cardholders received some new benefits, but there are some downsides to the new card as well. If you’re a fan of IHG, this guide will help you decide whether or not you should apply for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.
Chase IHG Premier credit card benefits
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers excellent benefits without requiring cardholders to spend a lot.
New cardholders can also earn 125,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. For the first 12 months, new cardholders can also earn 40x points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. After that, you will earn 25x points per $1.
Additionally, you can earn 4x points on all other purchases for the first 12 months. After that, you will earn 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1 point per $1 on everything else.
I like to stay at Kimpton Hotels and love how this card offers the ability to earn points there. Unfortunately, Kimpton Hotels doesn’t give IHG Rewards points for dining. However, when I bill my meals to my room and pay with my IHG Premier credit card, I’m able to earn points on those meals.
Even if you’ve never stayed one night at an IHG property, when you get the Chase IHG Premier credit card, you’ll automatically receive top-tier Platinum status from IHG. Platinum status provides great benefits such as late check-out, complimentary upgrades, and guaranteed room availability.
Each year when you renew your Chase IHG Premier credit card, you’ll receive a free night that you can redeem for any room valued up to 40,000 points.
How much is the annual fee for the Chase IHG credit card?
The annual fee for the IHG Premier card is now $89.
Prior to the credit card changes, the annual fee was only $49, which made it one of the best values of any hotel credit card and a great travel credit card.
Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier vs. Chase IHG Rewards Club Select
There are a few major changes between the (old) Chase IHG Rewards Club Select and the (new) Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier.
- The annual fee was increased by $40 (~80%)
- Cardholders now earn twice as many points when spending at IHG properties
- Annual free night is limited to 40,000 points
- Receive the 4th night free on point reservations
- Up to $100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry reimbursement
This chart highlights what has changed and what has stayed the same between these two IHG credit cards.
|Chase IHG Rewards Club Select||Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier|
|Points earned with IHG||5x||40x points for the first year, then 25x points|
|Gas, Grocery, Dining||2x||4x for the first year, then 2x|
|Elite status included||Platinum||Platinum|
|Authorized users||No charge||No charge|
|Foreign transaction fees||None||None|
|Anniversary free night||No restrictions||Maximum of 40,000 points|
|Extra benefits||– 10% rebate on points redeemed; max of 100,000 points back||– 4th night free on point redemptions|
– TSA PreCheck/Global Entry reimbursement
Don’t upgrade yet
If you are already an IHG Rewards Club Select cardholder, don’t be in a hurry to upgrade your credit card. Chase and IHG will send you emails attempting to entice you to move to the new card. Most of these offers are for 5,000, which is only worth about $35 when you can buy IHG points at $0.007 each.
Don’t fall for it.
The IHG Rewards Club Select credit card offers an annual free night that can be redeemed at ANY of the IHG properties around the world. When you upgrade to the Chase IHG Premier, you can only redeem your annual free night for properties that cost 40,000 points or less per night.
As long as your IHG Rewards Club Select credit card renews before May 1, 2019, you’ll get one more uncapped annual free night. You can redeem this free night for tremendous value at any IHG property around the world. Many of their top-tier hotels can cost in the range of $800 to $1,000 per night, like the Kimpton Seafire Resort in Grand Cayman, InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, and InterContinental London Park Lane.
How to maximize the value of the Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier
With an annual fee of less than $100, cardholders receive great perks at a reasonable price.
IHG PointBreaks promotion
Each quarter, IHG releases a curated list of hotels that are available at a huge discount. Hotel locations are from around the world, so they provide great value redemptions for your points. Point prices range from 5,000 to 15,000 points per night, depending upon which category the hotel belongs to.
With sign-up bonuses ranging up to 125,000 points, IHG PointsBreaks offer an excellent opportunity to maximize the value of your points.
Receive IHG Rewards Platinum status
Elite status with hotels offers great benefits that reward loyalty. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers Platinum status right off the bat. This will get you late checkout, a 50% bonus on points earned, and complimentary room upgrades.
Unfortunately, IHG Platinum status doesn’t offer confirmed suite upgrades or free breakfast, like other hotel elite programs do. But, remember that you receive Platinum status before you’ve spent your first dollar with IHG.
Earn points for eating out
If you’re looking to rack up a lot of IHG Rewards points, use the Chase IHG Premier card when you go out to eat. It offers 2x points on dining and grocery stores.
Whether you hold the IHG credit card or not, sign up for IHG Rewards Club Dining. This free membership earns IHG points on dine-in or carry-out meals from over 10,000 participating restaurants. Keep an eye on for follow-up surveys about your dining experience for additional freebie points.
4th Night Free
Chase IHG Premier cardholders have an awesome perk that normal members of the IHG Rewards program do not. When you redeem points for stays of four nights or longer, the fourth night is free. This is a great feature that can reduce the cost of your hotel stays by 25%.
Annual Free Night
Each year upon renewal, cardholders receive an annual free night. This free night can be used to book any hotel up to 40,000 points per night.
Although you only have one year to redeem the free night, in my experience, you can book your reservation past the expiration date. This is a great way to “double up” your free nights for a weekend trip.
Should you apply for the Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier?
The Chase IHG Premier is ideal if you like to stay at IHG properties. With 14 brands to choose from, IHG offers hotel styles to fit every need. Although this credit card doesn’t offer the same value as it used to, in my opinion, it is still a great deal when you factor in all that the card provides.
However, if you are looking for more flexibility but still want to earn points for your hotel stays and travels, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred (which earns points on all travel worldwide) or the Capital One Venture (which earns 10x miles per $1 when you book through hotels.com/venture). You can read all about them here.
What are your thoughts about the Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier? Do you have a favorite hotel to redeem the annual free night? Let us know in the comment section below.
Learn more: IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.