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Earlier this week I wrote about some speculations regarding the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card. While we still are not 100% sure what is happening to the CURRENT card, we do know that a new card is being introduced, although the timing is still to be determined. Straight to the Point got his hands on the marketing material for the new card. The details include:
- Bonus offer: 80,000 points (plus 5,000 points if you add on an authorized user
- 10,000 points after spending $20,000 on the card per year
- Free night certificate every anniversary at “eligible” hotels
- 20% discount on buying IHG points
- 4th night free on award stays
- Annual fee: $89/year
While the new card offer and benefits seems to be promising, I would still take todays CURRENT card benefits. Right now, the current card only comes with a $49 fee, that is a full $40 less then what the new annual fee will be. Additionally, the current card allows you to redeem your free night at ANY IHG property (assuming availability), as of right now we are not quite sure what “eligible” hotels mean. We do not know if it will work the exact same as the current certificate or if it will be capped at a certain number of points. Learn more
Aside from the free night certificate, some of the other benefits are pretty good! There are many times throughout the year where IHG sells points as low as .5 cents per point. With the 20% discount that would bring your purchase rate to .4 cents per point. This is assuming that IHG doesn’t jack up the price because of this new discount. Now, if you combine this with the 4th night free on award stays this is one heck of a deal! The most expensive IHG property costs 70,000 points. If you stay somewhere for 4 nights, this means you’ll be paying an average of 52,500 points per night. If you were to be able to purchase those points at .4 cents per point that means the most you’ll pay is $210/night on that 4 night stay! Of course IHG caps the number of points you can purchase a year. But this could end up being an amazing value for some!
My personal suggestion would be to apply for the current card (learn more) and then hope for two things: 1) Current cardmembers will be grandfathered in. Chase typically allows cardmembers to keep the card with the benefits even after they have stopped taking new applicants, and 2) Chase allows existing cardmembers to still apply for the new card as well! It seems as though these will be two different products, so there is a good chance they will allow you to hold both cards (but not 100% guaranteed).