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IHG and Chase are rolling out a new IHG credit card called the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. The new IHG credit card is a premier card that comes with a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, you will receive an additional 5,000 bonus points if you make a purchase in the same time period.
There’s also a new IHG Travelers credit card that has a lower sign-up bonus, perks, an annual fee. I’ll do a review of that new IHG credit card soon. And it’s also unclear what will happen to current IHG Select cardholders.
The IHG Premier credit card is a hotel rewards card that comes with a few air travel benefits thrown into the mix and still has an annual fee less than $100. Let’s take a look at what Chase and IHG have to offer.
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has an annual fee of $89 per year and there isn’t a foreign transaction fee.
Full Marketing Details on the new IHG credit card:
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase in the first three months from 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 and Holiday Inn®
Earn 10x Points on Every IHG Purchase
The 10x earning potential is double the amount for the current $49 a year IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card that only earns 5x points on IHG purchases. On a $100 nightly rate, you’ll now earn 1,000 points instead of 500 points.
Double the points can mean the double the fun and the other travel benefits will help make sure you can get those free nights sooner than ever.
One Free Annual Night Certificate
The much beloved IHG free annual certificate is one of the best hotel night certificate offers around, but unfortunately, the annual free night certificate is only good for hotels in category 1-7 or that cost 40,000 points a night. This is a downgrade from when you could redeem your free night for any IHG property on the old IHG Rewards Club Select credit card.
Since the annual fee is $89, one IHG night could still easily exceed the annual fee, but it’s not as lucrative as the old free night on the IHG Select was (it was capped at 40k points a night too starting May 1). You can book your free night at almost any IHG property with the one exception being the Kimpton hotel brand which is gradually integrating into the IHG rewards program.
There are no blackout dates when you can use your free night certificate, but each hotel only has so many spots so you will need to act quickly if you want to book it at a high-demand property or during peak travel season.
Get the 4th Night Free with the New IHG Credit Card
Another benefit that has become popular recently with many of the largest hotel loyalty programs is getting a free reward night when you book a multi-night stay with rewards points.
IHG is rolling out this benefit too as you get a free reward night when you book four or more 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 which is the 2nd highest reward tier in the IHG program.
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 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 Reimbursement
This is a new perk that also virtually pays the annual fee in addition to the free anniversary night. It used to be that you could only get TSA Precheck and Global Entry access for free 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. Seriously, 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 because 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 too.
If you have a valid passport and can visit a Global Entry enrollment center, take the extra time to apply for Global Entry instead of TSA Precheck. The extra effort can be worth it if you travel outside the U.S. several times during the five-year enrollment period.
The Best Ways to Use Your IHG Points
You might decide to only keep the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card in your wallet for the free anniversary night and the TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement. But, when you have points to spend for a reward night, you should consider these options first to maximize the value of your IHG points.
IHG rewards nights start at 5,000 points with the IHG PointBreaks program, and they recently started offering higher category properties for 10,000 points and 15,000 points per night that 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 that comes with a mini-kitchen with a cooktop stove, fridge, and a few kitchen gadgets that let you cook a real meal inside your hotel room if you want too. 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 use points and cash to book a rewards night, instead of burning through your entire points balance in one stay. So you can still get you free night reward, this option is better if you only book one or two nights at a time.
Summary of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Not every hotel credit card is a good deal, but the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card pays for itself every year with the free anniversary night and TSA Precheck application fee waiver. The addition of the 4th free night is an added bonus, but it does hurt to see the free annual night capped a category 7 IHG property (40,000 points a night).
Apply Now: 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.