The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (review) is a phenomenal card — it’s worth getting for the limited time bonus that is being offered right now, and it’s worth keeping for the long term perks that it offers.
While a lot of people may not be planning travel right now, there are a couple of reasons to consider getting this card now:
- It has a reasonable minimum spending requirement, so even with people spending less right now, it should be possible for many to complete the spending needed
- One of the primary benefits of this card is a free night certificate that you get every account anniversary, so you get your first one in about a year; hopefully, more people will feel comfortable traveling by then
In this post, I wanted to look at eight reasons to apply for this card. In no particular order:
140K Point Sign-Up Bonus
At the moment the IHG Premier Card is offering a sign-up bonus of 140,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $3,000 within three months. Personally this is the most points I’ve ever seen offered as part of the sign-up bonus, and the spending requirement is even quite reasonable, which is great.
I value IHG points at 0.5 cents each, so to me the points are worth ~$700.
140K IHG points can potentially get you lots of hotel stays
No Annual Fee The First Year
While the IHG Premier Card has an $89 annual fee, the fee is waived for the first 12 months. This is a great way to be able to try the card without even having to pay an annual fee for the first year.
While we saw a bonus of 140K points earlier this year, at the time the $89 annual fee wasn’t waived for the first year, so this is a nice improvement.
Anniversary Free Night Certificate
Arguably the single best benefit of the IHG Premier Card, which more than justifies the ongoing $89 annual fee, is the anniversary free night certificate. This certificate can be redeemed at an IHG property retailing for up to 40,000 points per night, which covers over 95% of IHG properties around the world.
While this won’t get you a stay at one of IHG’s top InterContinental properties, I still find this to be extremely worthwhile, given that a vast majority of hotels retail for over $89 per night.
For example, I’ve stayed at the InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut and InterContinental Johannesburg Airport using free night certificates, and in each case, a night would have otherwise cost $250+.
Redeem your anniversary free night certificate at the InterContinental Beirut
Fourth Night Free On Award Redemptions
The other best perk of the IHG Premier Card is that it offers a fourth night free on award redemptions. If you stay for four consecutive nights on an award redemption then you only have to redeem points for the first three nights.
This is an awesome perk, since it can be used an unlimited number of times (you can even use it to book multiple rooms at the same hotel). If you usually redeem points for stays in increments of four nights, this is like getting 25% off all your redemptions. This is a fantastic perk.
Get a fourth night free at the InterContinental Willard Washington DC
IHG Rewards Club Platinum Status
- Room upgrades, subject to availability
- A 50% bonus on base points
- Early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability
- A welcome amenity
Receive room upgrades as an IHG Platinum member
Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Credit
For some this will be valuable, and for others it won’t offer much value, but the card also offers a statement credit of up to $100 when you use your card for a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check enrollment fee, up to once every four years.
This is a nice perk that could easily get you more value than the annual fee.
The card offers a TSA Pre-Check credit every four years
Stack Benefits With IHG’s Old Credit Card
Some of you may be thinking “I have IHG’s old credit card, so the new card doesn’t seem worth it.” I agree that it might not be worth product changing from IHG’s old credit card to the new one.
The beauty is that if you get the IHG Premier Card, you can stack some of the benefits of the two cards:
- Both cards offer an anniversary free night certificate, so you could earn two of those each year, and use them for back-to-back stays
- The old card offers a 10% refund on redeemed points (up to 100,000 refunded points per year), while the new card offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, and you could stack those benefits; in other words, if you make a four night stay at a hotel costing 70,000 points per night you’d end up paying 210,000 points, and then would get 21,000 points back, for a total cost of 189,000 points, which is over 30% off
You are eligible for the bonus on the IHG Premier Card even if you have the old version of the IHG Card. Furthermore, you’re also eligible for the IHG Premier Card (including the bonus) if you have the no annual fee IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card (review).
Anecdotally Easy Approval
However, anecdotally many report that the IHG Premier Card is easier to get approved for, and that also matches my experience, as I got instantly approved when I applied several months ago (and I don’t otherwise remember the last time I was instantly approved for a Chase card).
It’s my understanding that Chase has different approval requirements for some co-brand cards, depending on the customer base they’re going after, and it sure seems like the IHG Card is the easiest of the travel rewards cards to get approved for.
Assuming you’ve otherwise struggled to be approved for Chase cards (while still being under 5/24, etc.), then this could be a good card to consider.
IHG Premier Card Summary
The IHG Premier Card has an incredible 140k bonus plus waived annual fee for the first year right now. On top of that, the card is worth holding onto long term.
Personally I’d get the card for the anniversary free night certificate alone, though there are potentially valuable benefits beyond that, including the fourth night free on award redemptions, IHG Platinum status, etc.
The best-case scenario is having the IHG Premier Card and old IHG Select Card, since you can stack the fourth night free and 10% award rebates towards a single stay.