Negative IHG Credit Card Card Changes (Speculation) – You Might Want to Apply Now!

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The IHG Rewards Club Select credit card is by far one of my favorite travel credit cards out there. It is a card I keep in my wallet year after year despite ever using it for everyday purchases. It is a card I think every single person should have in their wallet! This card gives you a free night at ANY IHG credit card every single year! It is one of the cheapest travel credit cards at only $49/year (first year annual fee waived). So ultimately, for only $49, you are getting a free night that could easily cost you $300 or more! By far the best perk compared to any of the other hotel credit cards and even one of those “too good to be true” cards. Learn more

Unfortunately though, via Dan’s Deals, there is some speculation that this particular card will be discontinued in the near future and another (or two other) different IHG credit cards will be announced. From the sound of it, it looks like one of the cards will come with a more expensive annual fee and may or may not come with the free night perk. And then a potential other card with a significantly lower annual fee, but definitely no free night perk. No definite information has been released, but when comparing the current card to the two new potential cards, the current card is definitely better!

So if you have been meaning to get this card, or had no idea about this card but are now recognizing the benefits of having the card, I suggest applying now! This card is also NOT subject to Chase’s “5/24” rule so even if you are far above 5 approvals within the past 24 months, you are still eligible which is nice.

I personally have had this card for year, as well as my husband, so every single year we have two free nights to use at a top IHG hotel. And the way these free night certificates work, you only need to book by the expiration date, you do not actually need to stay by the expiration date. So in actuality you can skip a year and double up on the free nights. That means between my husband and I we could stay four nights for free one year! You can learn more about IHG’s free night expiration policy here.

Aside from the free night, the card also has some awesome perks:


  • Get 10% of your points back: Only IHG credit card members receive a 10% rebate when using their points at IHG hotels. That means, if you book a hotel that requires 25,000 points, after your stay you’ll receive 2,500 points back into your account. You can receive up to 100,000 points back per year.
  • You get Platinum status: The IHG credit card automatically gives you Platinum status. While this status isn’t anything to write home about (compared to other mid-level hotel statuses at other hotel chains), there are still a few good perks. One of my favorite perks of having Platinum status is that your IHG points will never expire. Only those with Platinum or Spire status receive this benefit. This means that you never have to worry about keeping your account active. 
  • Your points never expire: IHG actually has some pretty strict expiration rules where you points will expire after 12 months with no account activity. The only exception is if you have Platinum status (or higher). As mentioned above, you automatically receive Platinum status by being a cardholder so you never have to worry about losing your points.
  • Save on gas: IHG has partnered with Shell Gas Station’s Fuel Rewards program where you can save money when filling up your tank at a Shell gas stationWhile all IHG members can save 5 cents per gallon, if you have Platinum status (which you do just by having the credit card) you’ll actually save 6 cents per gallon! You can sign up for a Fuel Rewards account and then link your IHG and Fuel Rewards account. Learn more about saving money on Shell gas with IHG.

Learn more about hotel credit cards

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  1. Seriously, with all the bloggers writing about how great a deal the free night that can be used at any hotel, (and touting some of the very expensive ones) is for only a $49 fee, should anyone really be surprised if that benefit is changed?

    Also, this current card is a Mastercard, and Chase has been moving to Visa. Remember when the CSP was a MC?

  2. Do you have any intel on whether existing cards will still be maintained as current structure?
    My aniversarry comes up in June, I hope it does not change until then, or existing accounts remain unchanged?

    Thanks for the great bog!!!!, I got my SWA companion pass from SWA cards 🙂

    • @Jay Cee – You are welcome! Right now there is no known information on what will happen to existing card holders. My hope is that we are grandfathered into it, but you never know.

  3. I just received notice via mail that the annual free night at any IHG property perk will be limited to 40,000 points. This is very disappointing and makes the card much less attractive to me.

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