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The Chase IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a great credit card option for those travelers who use IHG Rewards. The Chase IHG credit card comes with a 125,000 bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Keep reading to learn about the many other perks of this hotel credit card.

Chase IHG Premier Credit Card
Use your IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card to book your stay at the Kimpton® Shinjuku, in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by IHG

Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Review

The Chase IHG Premier credit card is a hotel rewards card that comes with a few air travel benefits thrown into the mix. Yet it still has an annual fee of less than $100. Let’s take a look at what Chase and IHG have to offer.

IHG Premier Credit Card Details

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has an annual fee of $89 per year. However, you don’t have to worry about paying any foreign transaction fees.

Earn Points Total When Staying at an IHG Hotel

You’ll earn 25x points total for each $1 spent on purchases made at IHG properties. Properties include:

  • InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts
  • InterContinental Alliance® Resorts
  • Kimpton® Hotels
  • Crowne Plaza®
  • Hotel Indigo®
  • Holiday Inn®
  • Holiday Inn Express®
  • Holiday Inn Resort®
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations®
  • Staybridge Suites®
  • Candlewood Suites®
  • EVEN™ Hotels
  • HUALUXE™

The 25x points are a good deal, especially if you frequent IHG properties. The other travel benefits and these points earning opportunities will help you get those reward nights.

One Reward Night Annual Certificate with IHG Card

The much-beloved IHG reward night annual certificate after your account anniversary is one of the best hotel night certificates offers around. But, the annual reward night certificate is only good for hotels in category 1-7 or that cost 40,000 points or less a night.

Since the annual fee is $89, one IHG night could still easily exceed the annual fee. You can book your reward night at almost any IHG property as well. See here for instructions and locations that are eligible for the reward anniversary night.

There are no blackout dates when you can use your reward night certificate either. However, it is only for eligible hotels and each hotel only has so many spots. You will need to act quickly if you want to book it at a high-demand property or during the peak travel season.

Get a 4th Reward Night With the Chase IHG Credit Card

You get a reward night when you book four or more consecutive nights with IHG points. This benefit is unlimited as long as you have enough points to cover your multi-night stay.

Automatic IHG Platinum Elite Status

You will also enjoy automatic IHG Platinum Elite Status, the 2nd highest reward tier in the IHG program. You’ll maintain that status as long as you are a Premier cardholder.

Some of the key Platinum Elite benefits include:

  • 50% point bonus in addition to base points earned during a stay
  • Rewards nights count toward Elite status
  • Complimentary room upgrades (when available)
  • Extended checkout
  • Guaranteed 72-hour room availability

Your IHG points and status will never expire as long as you own the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Without the IHG credit card, you must stay 40 nights or earn 40,000 elite bonus points in a calendar year to earn Platinum Elite Status.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Application Fee Credit

You’ll get a fee credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card. This perk virtually pays the annual fee in addition to the reward anniversary night. It used to be that you could only get a fee credit for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry access if you owned a premium travel credit card with an annual fee of $450 or higher.

In 2017, credit card companies started including this benefit for credit cards with an annual fee of $100 or less. Who would have thought a hotel rewards card would offer an air travel benefit?

TSA PreCheck costs $85 every five years and lets you skip the long security lines for domestic flights. It’s the easier of the two security clearances to get as well. You don’t need a passport and there are more enrollment centers.

Global Entry costs $100 every five years and lets you enter the expedited security lanes to re-enter the United States when you travel abroad. You will also enjoy the benefits of TSA PreCheck by skipping the regular TSA security line for when you depart from a domestic airport.

If you have a valid passport and can visit a Global Entry enrollment center, apply for Global Entry instead of TSA PreCheck. The extra effort can be worth it if you travel outside the U.S. during the five-year enrollment period.

Perks of the Chase IHG Premier Credit Card

Here are some of the other perks of owning the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. You have the opportunity to earn 125,000 bonus IHG Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

You will also be able to enjoy a Reward Night annually, after each account anniversary. This is valid at eligible IHG hotels around the globe. You can also enjoy a reward night after you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights.

You’ll have the opportunity to earn:

  • Earn 25x points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1x point for all other purchases

You can redeem your IHG Rewards Club Bonus points at hotels such as Crowne Plaza®, Indigo® Hotels, & Holiday Inn®.

The Best Ways to Use Your IHG Rewards Points

You might decide to only keep the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card in your wallet for the reward anniversary night and the TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement. But, when you have points to spend for a reward night, consider these options to maximize the value of your IHG points.

Chase IHG PointBreaks

IHG rewards nights start at 5,000 points with the IHG PointBreaks program. They recently started offering higher category properties for 10,000 points and 15,000 points per night. Note that these usually require more points when they’re not included in the PointBreaks portfolio.

If you don’t find a discounted property, you can expect to spend between 15,000 and 20,000 points per night.

Stay at a Candlewood Suites

The IHG portfolio includes several brands including Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, and InterContinental. But, have you ever stayed at a Candlewood Suites?

Candlewood Suites is the business traveler-friendly extended-stay brand. Some rooms come with a mini-kitchen. Amenities include a cooktop stove, fridge, and a few kitchen gadgets that let you cook a real meal inside your hotel room. These properties are sometimes cheaper than other IHG properties, even in the same town.

It’s not uncommon to find a Candlewood Suites for 10,000 points per night when a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express might start at 15,000 points. Even if you only stay for one night, Candlewood Suites gladly welcome Platinum Elite members like yourself.

Book with Points and Cash

You also have the option to use points and cash to book a rewards night, instead of burning through your entire points balance in one stay. This option is better if you only book one or two nights at a time.

Summary of the Chase IHG® Premier Credit Card

Not every hotel credit card is a good deal, but the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card pays for itself with the reward night after your account anniversary and TSA PreCheck application fee waiver. The addition of the 4th reward night is an added bonus.

Plus, the signup bonus of 125k points and the ability to earn 25x points per stay make it easy to earn more reward nights.

Chase IHG Premier Credit Card
Use your IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card to stay at the InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay Facade Day. Photo by IHG

The One Credit Card That I Regret Canceling: My Chase IHG Premier Credit Card

There’s one credit card I had to cancel that still haunts me today – the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. In general, I don’t like canceling credit cards, but prefer to downgrade them to a no annual fee credit card or receive retention to keep them open.

But when I do cancel a card, I will move over my existing credit limit to another card (if possible) so that my credit utilization stays the same. That way, I keep my existing credit as a bargaining chip during the reconsideration process if I need it. Also, canceling a credit card won’t hurt your average age of account as long as it’s not your oldest card.

A canceled credit card will stay on your credit report for 10 years.

I canceled my IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card because I had applied for the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card when there was a limited time offer, and they didn’t want to open up another credit card account for me without having me close a current one first. They wouldn’t even let me move around some existing credit.

I respect that, but in hindsight, I would’ve closed a different card. But this was a few years back, and we all make mistakes…

Why I’m Bummed That I Closed My IHG Card

Annual Reward Night Certificate

I’m mainly bummed that I canceled my IHG card because it comes with an annual reward night certificate after each account anniversary, and the annual fee is only $89. I was basically paying $89 a year for a nice stay at an Intercontinental property.

Yup, the annual certificate would’ve enabled me to stay at some awesome properties, like the Mark Hopkins in San Francisco that I stayed at a couple of years ago. There’s also the Venetian or Palazzo in Las Vegas, Intercontinental in Paris, and the ever-popular Intercontinental in Bora Bora.

Of course, you can always use your IHG reward certificate at a Holiday Inn, and it will still offset the $89 annual fee. I know a lot of families that spread out their IHG points by staying at lower level Holiday Inn, Staybridge, or Candlewood properties.

It’s also worth mentioning that the IHG Rewards Club program is a transfer partner of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards. So you can top off your IHG account if you hold an Ink card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, or some of the other best Chase credit cards.

Platinum Status

Platinum status with the IHG isn’t the best elite status, but it’s an automatic benefit with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. I like free status. Platinum status with the IHG card also allowed me to get a status match trial a couple of years ago with Hyatt.

IHG Platinum status benefits are:

  • Free internet
  • Rollover your extra nights towards next year’s qualification
  • Priority Check-in on guaranteed reservations
  • Complimentary room upgrades (subject to availability)
  • Guaranteed room availability (72 hours in advance)
  • 50% bonus on base points
  • Access to exclusive Platinum Elite Phone Number

As you can see, nothing too sexy, but I have received room upgrades on all my IHG hotel stays with Platinum status. And I always enjoy a priority check-in and free internet.

Misc.

There are also no foreign transaction fees, and you earn 2x points per $1 on gas, groceries, and restaurants.

That said, I also earn 2x Ultimate Rewards points on dining with my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which earns Ultimate Rewards points that transfer to IHG at 1:1. I would most likely rather save my UR points for other redemptions, but if I needed to top off my IHG account for a reward, it’s nice to have the option.

Conclusion on Regretting Canceling My Chase IHG Premier Credit Card

I’m still bummed that I let this card get away from me, but I’m eligible to apply for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card again since it’s been over 24 months since I last received a bonus for my previous card. So, the IHG is definitely on my radar.

Remember to think before canceling a credit card. What are the perks that you will be losing? Do the benefits justify the annual fee? Also, don’t forget about the options of downgrading your card or receiving a retention bonus to keep it.

Johnny Jet Editorial
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