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IHG Rewards Club is the loyalty program that covers Intercontinental, Kimpton, Holiday Inn and myriad related brands. They have already relaxed elite status qualification rules given the downturn in travel. And that creates an interesting opportunity.
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has its biggest-ever bonus. There are new benefits for this product that came a year and a half ago. And anecdotally IHG cards have been relatively easier to get approved for.
Some key things to know about the card:
- 140,000 points. The card’s initial bonus lets you earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Last year they had an offer of 125,000 points and that was unprecedented.
- Elite status. You get Platinum elite status as long as you’re a cardmember.
- Annual reward night after each account anniversary year. The annual reward 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.
- 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.
It’s one thing to get Platinum status just for having the card. Top tier Spire Elite status normally requires earning 75,000 qualifying points in a year but has already been dropped to just 55,000 points.
A couple of interesting things here.
- Points from spending on their credit card count. While the initial bonus does not count towards elite status, points earned from your spending on the card does.
- Points from Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers worked in my experience last year and the experience of others which meant points from the initial bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card were able to count by earning the bonus transferring points into IHG Rewards Club.
Here are the benefits of tier status:
|Benefit||Gold Elite||Platinum Elite||Spire Elite|
|Points Don’t Expire 5||✔||✔||✔|
|Welcome Amenity/Minibar (Kimpton)||✔||✔||✔|
|Bonus Earnings on Top of Base Points||10%||50%||100%|
|Elite Rollover Nights||✔||✔|
|Room Upgrades 3||✔||✔|
|Guaranteed Availability 4||✔||✔|
|Choice Benefit Upon Receiving Status**||✔|
|Hertz Five Star Status||✔|
The normal 75,000 points may be a bit much to generate this way for top tier status with the hotel chain, but 55,000 points could make more sense for some people.
And of course the card itself is worth getting, in my opinion. And it’s worth keeping for the annual reward night and for the 4th night on IHG Rewards Club reward night redemptions. Bottom-line is that the card has a good bonus and once you have the card it’s worth keeping.