There are two types of credit cards — those that allow you to earn valuable points and miles on everyday purchases and then those that provide valuable benefits simply by having the card. For the later, there are many cards that pretty much stay in my sock drawer, so to speak, and the benefits I receive on an annual basis far outweigh the annual fees. Two cards that absolutely fall into this category are the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card (no longer available to new applicants).
While both cards have many benefits, both offer a discount/rebate when using your points to redeem for a free night. Fortunately, if you are a cardmember of both cards, you can stack the savings and really come out ahead for all IHG point reservations.
IHG Premier Credit Card: 4th Night Free
When the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card launched last year, one of the more favorable benefits was that you’d receive your fourth night free on all reservations booked with points. For those why typically stay 4+ nights at IHG properties, this is a huge way to save your points. While other hotel chains also give you a free night when you use your points, such as Hilton and Marriott, it requires you to stay an extra night since you’ll get the fifth night free (instead of your fourth night with IHG). For me personally, there are many times throughout the year where staying four nights at a single hotel is a common occurrence, but five nights is a stretch.
IHG Select Credit Card: 10% Rebate
With the old IHG Select Credit Card, which is unfortunately no longer available to new card members, their point saving benefit gives you a 10% rebate on all reservations. Unlike the fourth night free benefit, there are no minimum number of nights required to receive the rebate (although you are capped at receiving 100k points back per year).
Combining the Two Benefits
Unlike many other Chase cards within the same “family”, you are eligible for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card even if you are a current IHG Select Credit Card member. In my opinion, there is no reason to actually upgrade your old card to the new card, but to instead apply for the new card to take advantage of the limited time offer as well as the new benefits. Of course, that is if you are able to take a hit against your Chase “5/24” status. Right now, this card is offering up to 120k points after meeting the minimum spend requirement — it is the highest offer we’ve ever seen for the card. This offer is set to expire May 1, 2019.
If you are a cardmember for both cards and you use points for exactly a four night stay, you’ll ultimately be spending 32.5% less points. For example, let’s say you are staying at a property that requires 40,000 points for a free night. This will cost you 120,000 points. After you complete your stay, you’ll then receive 12,000 points back into your account (10% of the total number of points redeemed). This means your four-night stay will only cost you 108,000. This is a 32.5% discount on what would have originally required 160,000 IHG points! The only thing to keep in mind is that the 10% rebate is in fact a rebate, so you must have the full number of points in your account to actually book the reservation. The points you get back can then be used towards a future IHG stay.
Best of all, both benefits work on IHG PointBreak reservations!
Purchasing IHG Points on a Deal
Since IHG many times sells points at .5 cents per point, even if you are short on points, purchasing points can be quite a deal when combining the two benefits. For example, if looking to redeem your points at a property that costs 40,000 points a night, at .5 cents per point, a four night stay will ultimately only cost you $540 (or just $135 per night). Of course though you’ll need to purchase the full number of points prior to the rebate taken into consideration, but you can always put those points towards another stay assuming you stay at IHG properties often enough.
One example when this could be useful is if you are looking to stay beachfront in Aruba. The Holiday Inn Express in Aruba is located right on Palm Beach with the beach right outside of the room. This is a resort property and if you can stay for just $135 a night, especially during peak dates, that is an incredibly inexpensive cost to stay in the Caribbean!