9 Reasons You’ll Want the Best-Ever Offer for the IHG Credit Card

I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).


IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The new Chase-issued IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has its biggest-ever bonus. There are new benefits for this product launched last summer, even legacy IHG Rewards Club credit card customers can apply, and anecdotally IHG cards have been relatively easier to get approved for.

The offer – not just up front for getting the card, and recurring for keeping the card, but even to encourage spend over the first year really surprises me (in a good way).


Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

There are 9 reasons to get this card:

  1. 125,000 points. The card’s initial bonus lets you earn 125,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. When Chase had an offer of almost as many points before it required more spending. Last summer there was a 100,000 point offer. Their previous offer of 80,000 points was as big as they’d ever gone with an IHG Rewards Club card. So this is unprecedented.

  2. Elite status. You get Platinum elite status as long as you’re a cardmember.

  3. Annual free night after each account anniversary year. The annual free night is limited to most of the hotels that are bookable for 40,000 points per night or less. It also must be used within 12 months of issue.

  4. Free reward night on points stays of 4 or more nights. That’s better than the ‘5th night free’ some other chains offer and amounts to a 25% discount on four night award stays.

  5. Put all your spend at IHG hotels on the card, and stay at IHG hotels as often as you can. For the first 12 months this card will earn 25 points per dollar at IHG hotel properties. That strikes me as much stronger earn than any other card at any other hotel chain. If you can move reimbursable business stays to IHG properties and pay with the card that’s tempting. If you make personal stays the strong rebate makes them more attractive.

  6. Even use it for everyday spend. Normally I don’t like IHG cards, or really any hotel card, for everyday spend. However for the first 12 months it will earn 4 points per dollar on all other spend which makes the card worth using. That makes it as good or better than most cards, I’d rather earn that than one Chase point or American Express point. It’s not the absolute best you can do for unbonused spend but it’s attractive.

  7. Anecdotally easier to get approved than other Chase travel cards. While you can only get approved if you’ve had fewer than 5 new credit card accounts in the last 24 months, readers share that they have an easier time getting approved for this card than other Chase airline, hotel, or Ultimate Rewards points cards.

  8. New card product. If you have a legacy IHG Rewards Club credit card reports are people are getting approved for this one too. That’s great for the 4th night free on points redemptions and the annual free night as well as the signup bonus points. Of course if you have the card currently you are not eligible for another one, nor are you eligible if you have received an initial bonus for the card within the past 24 months (it’s been available less than a year).

  9. Gift someone Global Entry. The card comes with Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit (up to $100 every 4 years). I have tons of cards now with similar benefit, so I have gifted the credit to friends. They just use my card to pay the application fee and it credits back automatically.


Intercontinental Boston

The card is worth getting, in my opinion. And it’s worth keeping for the annual free night and for the 4th night free on IHG Rewards Club free night redemptions. I’d definitely use it for IHG hotel spend. Bottom-line is that the card has a good bonus and once you have the card it’s worth keeping.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Terrible. What about opportunity cost? Most cards make sense to get in a vacuum. But how’s this card better than the Hyatt or United or Southwest for someone under 5/24. The article doesn’t explain that and gives the impression that one is just after sign-up bonuses. There’s nothing wrong with that in the abstract, but here it seems like it comes at the detriment of the reader.

  2. You were wise to not elaborate on the benefits associated with IHG Platinum Elite status.

    And is it 7 or 9 reasons?

  3. All this ‘offer’ does is bring the IHG card up to the same level as a Hilton card for paid stays. With a Hilton surpass or biz card you get gold status so 18 points per $, plus Hilton always runs a double points promo, like all the time. Then add on the 12 points per $ from paying with your Hilton card & you’re easily getting 40+ points per dollar total. Which chain would you rather stay with?

  4. Is it just me or is the real benefit of 125K points to cover 3 years of Intercontinental Ambassador status ($200/year x 3 years)? The IC I stay at never has view rooms for awards.

  5. I agree with WF’s sentiment. While I love hearing about new special offers for cards, no one really discusses the downside. Sometimes a great offer is not great because of competitive offerings or some other constraint.

    I’ve enjoyed reading Gary’s commentary on Hilton cards in that past. Whereas most bloggers go crazy over the Hilton Aspire’s top-tier Hilton Honors Diamond status benefit, Gary broke down those benefits actually meant in practice. He concluded that, for most people, Hilton was less rewarding program than even Marriott.

    Here’s my personal situation. I don’t have the card, I never really stay at IHG properties, and I’m under 5/24. There are a few IHGs I’ve been curious to stay at. Intercontinental has a very limited footprint. Unfortunately, most are >40k points per night. I wonder how practical the annual night cert is outside of the Holiday Inn or Staybridge properties. I also hear that IHG Platinum status in not really worth much as the benefits are not really guaranteed. As a points currency, IHG points are not really worth earning (or transferring to) relative to other programs. If one has status with Marriott and Hyatt, are they “throwing away” value (e.g., benefits, elite credits, extra points / bigger rebate) by participating in another loyalty program?

    I always get the sense that IHG’s loyalty program is only for IHG to “win” loyalty only in suburban / airport markets (e.g., Holiday Inn, Staybridge). I think of their upscale properties (i.e., Intercontinental) in the same way I would think of Four Seasons or independent/boutique hotels: loyalty has zero role in whether I decide to stay there. It will be purely based on the location, property, and price. There are no upgrades, breakfast, points, or anything else to consider.

    So, we know there is a great welcome bonus and initial earnings. But, in practice, is the card worth keeping? Or, are we better off staying more at where we are already loyal

    Gary, do you personally have the card? Why or why not?

  6. About #5. It said 25x return on IHG hotel spending. I will hold a wedding party at Crown Plaza Macau. The total cost will be approx $25K USD. Is that mean I will get 25000×25 = 625K points if I use this can to pay for the wedding. cost?

  7. @Ivo, Congratulations!

    I believe you should earn a total of 1,000,000 points for spending $25k at the Crowne Plaza. The card confers automatic Platinum Elite status as long as you hold it, so you would get a 50% point bonus on top of the 10 points/dollar you get just for being an IHG Rewards Club member, for a total of 15 points/dollar. Add that to the 25 points/dollar bonus from the card for the first 12 months and you’d earn a whopping 40 points/dollar for your wedding stay.

  8. @Ivo, congratulations!

    You might earn up to 1,000,000 points for spending $25k at the Crowne Plaza. The card confers automatic Platinum Elite status as long as you have it, so you’d get a 50% bonus on top of the 10 points/dollar on qualified IHG spend just for being a Rewards Club member. Add that to the 25 points/$ from the card and you’d earn a whopping 40 points/$.

    One catch I can think of is if the hotel is giving you a special rate that isn’t considered a “qualified” rate. If that’s the case you might not get the 15x points from the hotel, but still may get the 25x from the card. IHG or the hotel should be able to tell you if your rate is qualified.

  9. @Ivo, congratulations!

    You might earn up to 1,000,000 points for spending $25k at the Crowne Plaza. The card confers automatic Platinum Elite status as long as you have it, so you’d get a 50% bonus on top of the 10 points/dollar on qualified IHG spend just for being a Rewards Club member. Add that to the 25 points/$ from the card and you’d earn a whopping 40 points/$.

    One catch I can think of is if the hotel is giving you a special rate that isn’t considered a “qualified” rate. If that’s the case you might not get the 15x points from the hotel, but still may get the 25x from the card. IHG or the hotel should be able to tell you if your rate is qualified.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *