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For several years the IHG co-brand card from Chase has offered generous up front bonuses and has been worth keeping for its benefits – Platinum status, annual free night, and 4th night free on awards.
Now, though, the card has gotten much better and new benefits are live. Oh, and there’s still a generous up front bonus, too.
- Initial bonus offer: Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening (Offer expired)
- Anniversary free night: You’ll enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. That’s valid on nights that cost up to 40,000 points but there’s also a new top off option so you aren’t so restricted where you spend the night.
- Free night on redemption stays: Cardmembers enjoy a reward night free when you redeem points for any stay of 3 or more nights (e.g. 4th night free, better than competitor 5th night free on redemptions).
- Improved earn: I still don’t see the card as go-to for ongoing spend, even though they’ve tripled the return on unbonused spend (going from 1 point per dollar to 3 points per dollar!).
It’s compelling for IHG stays though – 10 points per dollar, plus you earn 10 points as a base member of the program and 6 bonus points as a Platinum (status comes with the card) so that means you can earn 26 points per dollar on IHG hotel spend. You also earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants.
- Elite status: The card comes with Platinum status, and IHG is set to announce new better elite benefits next month. In addition you can earn IHG’s new top tier Diamond status after $40,000 spend on the card in a calendar year.
- Credit: The card comes with $25 United Travel Bank funds twice a year to spend and there’s a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card as well. Finally there’s also 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after $20,000 spend on the card in a calendar year.
Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur
That’s all great value on a $99 annual fee card, well worth getting and well worth keeping in my view even if it isn’t going to be my everyday spend card.
I linked my UA travel bank to my existing card.
The 25 dollars posted instantly to my UA travel bank. So this appears retroactive for this January.
I have my card linked as a payment option in travel bank yet no $25 credit is showing?
@ Gary — Great that there will be anew way to pick up a new card and SOB, but I suspect a better off will come along before EOY. 140,000 IHG is only worth about $650-$700. Surely they can get that up to a 175,000-180,000 offer, or maybe throw in an extra free night.
You didn’t exactly bury the lead, Gary, but… the news that the Anniversary Free Night can now be enhanced with IHG points to book at hotels above the 40,000 point limit is an excellent and noteworthy development. A big valued added in my book.
i have a IHG rewards club card, $49/year
does it make any sense to upgrade to this? or just leave it alone
Are legacy IHG Rewards Select cardholders eligible for this card and its initial bonus offer?
@Isaac: How do you link those? I cannot see any details of it on IHG
Ok, I figured it out, but the weird thing is my wife cannot register for this offer, the page where you enter the United FF number doesn’t come up for her when she signs in with her IHG number.
Link your IHG card to United Travel Bank…
Log in to IHG
Open a new browser window
Copy/paste this address….. https://www.ihg.com/content/us/en/deals/member-offers/united
Enter your UA member number and last name
Check the “I accept” box
@Bill Pisor: yes, that is the link I used, but for some weird reason it doesn’t work for her, the sign-in button comes back again even after correctly signing in.
With my IHG account sign in it worked for me. Called IHG, they have no idea why
“(e.g. 4th night free, better than competitor 5th night free on redemptions).”
That is a stupid claim that keeps getting recycled.
How is a fourth night free any “better” than a fifth night free from competitors? I guess it’s better if you only take four-night vacations. But that seems personal and subjective. I also fail to see what makes “Platinum “ elite status valuable at these hotels, since I’m not seeing any tangible benefits like suite upgrades that can be booked. Or those “free” breakfasts that readers here seem to care so much about.
Call me jaded, but I don’t see much of a value proposition here.
For those having difficulty linking their IHG account with their UA account for the TravelBank cash, try another browser and/or go incognito. We had a really hard time in Chrome on a Mac, went over to Firefox and were able to complete the linkup.
If you already have an IHG Rewards card, can you upgrade to this and get the bonus miles?
@Mark @David @Pam. I have a legacy card. While I didn’t try to upgrade it (which I don’t think would work for a bonus), I did get the “new” Premier card a couple of years ago when you got 80k points. You can have both, and you will get 2 free nights per year since you have both cards.
The 4th night “free” on award stays is not exactly free. I just booked a 4 night stay at a Kimpton in DC Iihg.com showed award nights available at 37,500 points, reduced from 40,000.
When I booked the stay, it charged me 50k for each of three nights and 0 points for the 4th night. So instead of 37,500 x 3 it costs 50k per night!
IHG customer service was utterly useless. Rep could barely speak English and was hard to hear. She told me the 4th night free was a promotion that required registration.
They don’t have a clue!
Huge ripoff and misleading.
Yup, that constantly recycled claim is a head scratcher. I cannot imagine for the life of me why a free night spent in the same room as part of a 4-night award stay would be considered “better” than a free night spent in the same room as part of a 5-night award stay. Isn’t a free night a free night anymore? I guess “a free night” takes on a magical “aura” as part of a shorter 4-night award stay that it does not as part of a 5-night award stay! What does that make of, e.g., Hilton’s free night (FN) certs that can be used as part of revenue or award stays of any length at most of their hotels?
Reductio ad absurdum
1-night award stay, 1 night free using a FN certificate: 100% off!
2-night award stay, 1 night free using a FN certificate: 50% off!
4-night award stay, 1 night free using a FN certificate: 25% off!
5-night award stay, 1 night free using a FN certificate: 20% off!
Therefore, one must conclude, e.g., that 2nd night free [on a 2-night award stay], is “better” than competitor 4th or 5th night free, and that 4th night free [on a 4-night stay], is “better” than competitor 5th night free on redemptions”. Also, since one night free on a 1-night award stay is, of course, unbeatable (100% !), one should spend one’s FN certs only for 1-night award stays; or, if one prefers more award nights, one should book only stay 4-night award stays [4th night free] instead of 5-night award stays [5th night free].Right? That is, of course, quite silly, considering that stay-length preferences are quite subjective and vary widely.