Premium IHG Credit Card + Free Annual Night & More

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Chase just announced an 80,000 bonus on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. The IHG credit card comes with a bonus of 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, you will earn 10x points per $1 spent at select IHG hotels worldwide.

IHG credit card property in Bora Bora

The IHG Rewards Club 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 Rewards Club 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 10x Points When Staying at an IHG Hotel

The 10x earning potential is a great opportunity, especially compared to the other IHG cards. Double the points can mean the double the fun. Plus, 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. Unfortunately, the annual free night certificate is only good for hotels in category 1-7 or that cost 40,000 points or less 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. You can book your free night at almost any IHG property as well. See here for instructions and locations that are eligible for the free anniversary night.

There are no blackout dates when you can use your free night certificate either. However, 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 Award Night Free with the New IHG Credit Card

You get a free 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.

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. 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.

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Here are the marketing bullets for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of 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 & Holiday Inn®

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, consider these options to maximize the value of your IHG points.

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 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 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 with the free anniversary night and TSA Precheck application fee waiver. The addition of the 4th free night is an added bonus.

Mary Renking

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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.

Premium IHG Credit Card + Free Annual Night & More
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About the Author

Mary Renking
Mary writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

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