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Along with a of IHG Rewards elite status Chase is making changes to their IHG co-brand credit cards, effective March 24, 2022.
The primary consumer card will improve points-earning, offer new benefits, and rewards for hitting spending targets (including top tier elite status). Meanwhile the no annual fee card is improving, and a revamped business card is coming too.
Real Improvements To the Main IHG Credit Card
Currently the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which has an offer to earn 125,000 bonus points + a Free Night after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- a free night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide.
- Platinum status just for being a cardmember
- a free reward night each time cardmembers redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights. (That’s better than the ‘5th night free’ from Hilton, and amounts to a 25% discount on four night award stays.)
- There’s also a Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit (up to $100 every 4 years) as well.
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card will be renamed the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card in line with the program’s rebranding and offer:
- Increased points-earning for spending: 5X points (up from 1X) on travel; 5X points (up from 2X) on purchases at gas stations, dining / restaurants; 3X points (up from 1X) per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- More flexibility for Anniversary Free Night certificates add unlimited points to redeem Anniversary Free Night certificates at hotels above the 40,000 point redemption limit.
- United® TravelBank Cash Up to $50 each calendar year in TravelBank Cash from United Airlines purchases after registering the card with the cardmember’s MileagePlus® account. This comes as the United premium club card gets an IHG status benefit as well, an interesting tie-in given United’s relationship with Marriott.
- Threshold bonus 10,000 bonus points and $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year
- Earn Diamond status The card still comes with Platinum status, but $40,000 spend and one additional purchase each calendar year will earn Diamond (the re-named Spire Elite top tier).
The card’s annual fee will increase from $89 to $99 in 2023 for existing cardmembers. That’s still a reasonable price point considering the revamp that gives both real substantive new benefits – more valuable (because more flexible) free nights, United credit – as well as it seems a case to put spend on the card.
Previously this was a card to get for the status and free night but not spend on, but tripling the points-earning for unbonused spend and offering top tier status and additional points and a statement credit as a reward for hitting spending targets will change the calculus for some.
No Annual Fee Card Changes
The no annual fee IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card is also being rebranded IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card in line with the program name change. It currently has an offer to earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
- Increased points-earning for spending 3X points (up from 1X) on utilities, internet, cable, phone, and select streaming services purchases; 3X points (up from 2X) on dining / restaurant and gas purchases; 2X points (up from 1X) per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Automatic silver status and spend to gold after spending $20,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year, instead of receiving Elite Qualifying Points (EQPs) on purchases made with the card.
- Threshold bonus 0,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year.
One of the best features is that cardholders receive a free reward night each time they redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights. That to me is the reason to keep this card. If you’re going to spend on an IHG card, though, I think it makes sense to put that spend on the annual fee product.
New Small Business Card Coming
Chase and IHG will be introducing a new $89 annual fee IHG Premier Business Card on March 24 as well. Apparently there’s an existing group of cardmembers with a legacy business card, which I don’t think I actually realize. They’ll be migrated to the new card, with the annual fee going into effect in 2023.