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For the longest time, IHG has only offered one co-brand hotel rewards credit card, the $49-a-year IHG Club Select Credit Card. Just this week, IHG revamped their card lineup and now offers two brand new credit cards. Part of the IHG lineup is the brand new IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card with a $29 annual fee.
What does the IHG Traveler Card offer for 29 bucks a year?
IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card Benefits
The IHG Rewards Club comes with the following IHG travel benefits:
- 60,000 bonus IHG points when you spend $2,000 in the first three months
- Fourth night free on 4+ night reward stays
- Earn 5 points per $1 spent on all IHG purchases
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
- All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent
- Automatic IHG Gold status after making $10,000 in annual card purchases
- No foreign transaction fee
While IHG doesn’t waive the $29 annual fee for the first year as an introductory bonus, you can earn an extra 5,000 points by adding an authorized user during the sign-up bonus period.
Furthermore, you may qualify for the IHG Traveler Card’s 60,000 points sign-up bonus even if you are a current or recent cardholder of another IHG credit card.
As long as you earn the IHG Traveler Card, your IHG points balance will never expire.
What Doesn’t the IHG Traveler Card Offer?
When you hear the phrase, “IHG credit card” getting a free hotel night certificate might be one of the first thoughts that enter your mind. While it’d be awesome to get a free IHG night for $29 each card anniversary, that isn’t the case.
Compared to the more elite Premier IHG Credit Card, you won’t get these benefits:
- Free anniversary night certificate
- Upgraded membership status
- TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fee reimbursement
With the basic IHG Traveler credit card, you’ll only have entry-level IHG Club membership status. This lets you book discounted Your Rate nights when you pay with cash. You need to make at least $10,000 in total card purchases to upgrade to IHG Gold status for the rest of this year and all of next year to enjoy additional benefits. These include things like late checkout, welcome amenity, and point redemption bonuses.
Should You Apply for the IHG Traveler Card?
How often do you stay at IHG properties (Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton, or the InterContinental)?
If your answer is, “not often, but enough to own a credit card to earn bonus points,” then the IHG Traveler Card might be a good option for you.
The IHG Traveler Card is best at earning bonus IHG points on top of your regular stays and ensuring your points balance never expires. Paying only $29 a year might be a good option to get peace of mind.
Is It Better to Apply for the IHG Premier Card Instead?
If you’re willing to spend $89 a year, you might enjoy the IHG Premier Credit Card that offers more travel benefits. For an extra $60 a year, you get:
- Free IHG anniversary night
- Automatic IHG Platinum Elite status
- Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement ($100 every five years)
- Earn 10x points on all IHG purchases
Considering most IHG nights cost at least $100 a year, the free night certificate alone pays the $89 annual fee. These additional benefits are a bargain for even the most casual IHG travelers.
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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.