The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has been around for a little over a year and is definitely a card that should be on everyones radar. While some credit cards are great for the sign up bonus and then have minimal benefits year after year, this is one of those cards where the benefits surpass the annual fee on an ongoing basis. This is also one of the few Chase credit cards where if you’ve had the old version of the card, the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card, you are still eligible for the new version — so yes, you can have both cards!
The IHG credit card typically promotes strong welcome offers where you can receive anywhere between 80,000-120,000 points. Typically, IHG points are worth about .5 cents per point, so value varies dependent on the current offer.
Free Night Every Single Year
With this card you’ll receive a free night certificate on every anniversary year at eligible hotels. Although IHG is now capping the awards at hotels that cost 40,000 points or less, this perk alone should pretty much pay for the yearly annual fee, if not more! For example, you can use this free night certificate at the Holiday Inn Aruba which is right on the beach and can easily go for $300+ a night during peak season. If both you and your significant other or travel partner have this card, then that will give you two free nights a year!
Just a few months ago I used my IHG free night certificate at the Holiday Inn Suites in Clearwater Beach. This property is walking distance to the beach, restaurants and overlooks the water. This property would have otherwise cost my family over $200 a night.
4th Night Free on Award Stays
If you commonly stay 4+ nights at hotels, this is an awesome perk. When you book with your IHG points, you’ll receive your 4th night free just by being a cardmember. With many other chains, such as Marriott and Hilton, your free night doesn’t appear until the 5th night, so getting the 4th night free is big. This is definitely a unique benefit amongst cards and one that can definitely save you a ton of points throughout the years as there is no maximum number of times you can take advantage of this benefit.
Now, if you have the old IHG Rewards Club Select credit card (no longer available to new applicants), you can combine the 4th night free and 10% rebate benefits of the two cards. So let’s assume you have a four night stay that costs 40,000 points a night, you’ll end up paying just 120,000 points total and receive 12,000 points back after your stay—this nets out to paying just 27,000 points a night, or a 32% discount! This stacking opportunity even works on PointBreak reservations as well!
Global Entry or TSA Precheck Fee Credit
This is a popular benefit amongst many cards but typically only appears on the very expensive credit cards. So to have this benefit on a normal annual fee card is pretty rare and awesome! Essentially you pay for your Global Entry application fee and you’ll receive a $100 statement credit — ultimately giving you free Global Entry. While you can also use the fee credit on TSA Precheck instead (which is only $85) you might as well get Global Entry as it comes with TSA Precheck. The good thing about this credit is that the application doesn’t have to match the name on the credit card. So if you already have Global Entry all you have to do is pay for another friend or family members application and you’ll still get the $100 statement credit. You can receive this statement credit every 4 years.
Platinum Elite Status
While IHG Platinum status won’t get you too much when staying at their properties, there are a few benefits to having this status, such as:
- Your points will never expire. Typically IHG points expire if there is no activity in the account for a 12 month period. When you have Platinum status (even if it is just earned from having the credit card), your points will not expire even if there has not been any activity in 12 months. This is definitely one of the shorter expiration periods amongst hotel chains, so not having to remember to keep your account active is nice.
- Raid the Bar Credit. Platinum status also matches to Kimpton’s “Tier 3” status which will get you a $10 Raid the Bar credit when staying at Kimpton properties.
20% Discount on Purchasing Points
While this is a good discount to have in your back pocket if you have have to purchase points on a whim. Although, typically IHG offers promotions where you can purchase points for way more then a 20% discount; and you cannot combine both promotions together. While probably not a benefit most folks would take advantage of when planning on future travel, this is definitely a good perk to have for last minute hotel reservations.
This is a great offer and significantly better than what we’ve seen in the past. When the card was initially introduced we saw a 100k offer and then it was decreased to 80k. Then in early 2019 it was increased to 120k points.
Although I wouldn’t personally use this credit card for my every day spend, it is on of those cards that is great for both the welcome offer and the yearly benefits—primarily the free night certificate and 4th night free on award points. And of course getting Global Entry for free is great as well!
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