9 Reasons To Apply For IHG Premier Credit Card

9 Reasons To Apply For IHG Premier Credit Card

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The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card (review) is phenomenal — it’s worth getting for the very good welcome bonus, and it’s worth keeping for the long-term perks. Not only did the IHG Premier Card recently undergo a refresh, but IHG’s overall loyalty program also underwent a refresh, and the changes are almost entirely good news.

In this post, I wanted to look at nine reasons to apply for this $99 annual fee IHG Premier Card. In no particular order:

140,000 IHG points welcome bonus

The IHG Premier Card has a welcome bonus of 140,000 IHG points after spending $3,000 within the first three months. This is an excellent bonus, and on top of that, the card has a reasonable spending requirement that most people should be able to achieve.

I value IHG points at 0.5 cents each, so to me the 140,000 points are worth ~$700.

140,000 IHG points can potentially get you lots of hotel stays

Anniversary free night certificate

Arguably the single best benefit of the IHG Premier Card, which more than justifies the ongoing annual fee, is the anniversary free night certificate. This certificate can be redeemed at an IHG property retailing for up to 40,000 points per night, which covers a vast majority of IHG properties around the world.

With the recent changes to the card, you can also use points to top off a free night certificate, in order to redeem at a more expensive property. For example, you could book a hotel costing 60,000 points per night by redeeming the free night certificate plus 20,000 IHG points.

I’ve gotten lots of value with this free night certificate. For example, I’ve stayed at the InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut, InterContinental Johannesburg Airport, and Kimpton EPIC Miami using free night certificates, all without having to top off these awards. In each case, a night would have otherwise cost $250+.

I’ve redeemed an anniversary free night certificate at the InterContinental Beirut

Fourth night free on award redemptions

The other best perk of the IHG Premier Card is that it offers a fourth night free on award redemptions. If you stay for four consecutive nights on an award redemption then you only have to redeem points for the first three nights.

This is an awesome perk, since it can be used an unlimited number of times (you can even use it to book multiple rooms at the same hotel, and you can even use it at Six Senses properties). If you usually redeem points for stays in increments of four nights, this is like getting 25% off all your redemptions. This is a fantastic perk.

Get a fourth night free at the InterContinental Willard Washington DC

IHG One Rewards Platinum status

Just for having the IHG Premier Card, you get IHG One Rewards Platinum status, which is valid for as long as you have the card. IHG One Rewards Platinum status includes the following perks:

  • Room upgrades, subject to availability (including potentially to suites)
  • A 60% bonus on base points
  • Early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability
  • A welcome amenity
  • Access to award night sales throughout the year
  • The ability to earn Milestone Rewards, which could get you club lounge access, confirmed suite upgrades, and more

With the recent changes to IHG’s loyalty program, status is more valuable than ever before.

Receive room upgrades as an IHG Platinum member

IHG One Rewards Diamond status with spending

While the IHG Premier Card offers Platinum status for being a cardmember, you can earn Diamond status when you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year. This is IHG’s new top tier elite status, which includes legitimately valuable perks. Among other things, Diamond members receive a 100% points bonus and free breakfast.

If you stay at IHG properties with any frequency, it could be worth going out of your way to earn this status.

Receive complimentary breakfast as an IHG Diamond member

Up to $50 in United TravelBank Cash each year

As a new perk, the IHG Premier Card now offers up to $50 in United TravelBank Cash each calendar year:

  • Each calendar year you’ll receive one $25 United TravelBank Cash deposit around January 1, and another around July 1
  • Deposits made between January 1 and June 30 expire on July 15, and deposits made between July 1 and December 31 expire on January 15
  • You must complete one-time registration to receive this benefit

If you fly United with any frequency, then this is like $50 worth of travel on United per year.

Get $50 in United TravelBank Cash annually

Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS credit

For some, this will be valuable, and for others, it won’t offer much value. The IHG Premier Card offers a statement credit of up to $100 when you use your card for a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS enrollment fee, up to once every four years.

This is a nice perk that could easily get you more value than the annual fee.

The card offers a TSA PreCheck credit every four years

Valuable rewards for spending

While the IHG Premier Card has long had strong perks for being a cardmember, the value proposition of spending money on the card has improved considerably:

  • The IHG Premier Card offers 10x points on IHG spending, 5x points on travel, gas stations, and dining, and 3x points on other purchases
  • The IHG Premier Card offers a $100 statement credit plus 10,000 bonus points if you spend $20,000 on the card in a calendar year, plus make one additional purchase
  • As mentioned above, the IHG Premier Card offers Diamond status if you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year

In the past the card was exceptionally unrewarding for spending, while I’d say for some people there could now be value in spending on the card.

Redeem IHG points at the InterContinental Maldives

Anecdotally easy approval

Historically Chase is one of the tougher issuers with which to get a card approved. The IHG Premier Card has all the standard Chase approval restrictions, and this card is subjected to the 5/24 rule.

However, anecdotally many report that the IHG Premier Card is easier to get approved for, and that also matches my experience, as I got instantly approved when I applied (and I don’t remember the last time prior to that where I was instantly approved for a Chase card).

I got instant approval on the IHG Premier Card

It’s my understanding that Chase has different approval requirements for some co-brand cards, depending on the customer base the card is targeting, and it sure seems like the IHG Card is among the easiest of the travel rewards cards to get approved for.

Assuming you’ve otherwise struggled to be approved for Chase cards (while still being under 5/24, etc.), then this could be a good card to consider.

Looking for a business credit card?

If this card sounds intriguing but you’re instead interested in a business card, there’s good news — the IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card (review) was recently launched. The card has an excellent welcome bonus, and very similar perks to the personal version of the card.

Best of all, you’re eligible for both of these cards, so you could pick up both the personal and business version of the card to really maximize your perks.

Bottom line

The IHG Premier Card is a useful hotel credit card that just about everyone who is eligible should have, even if they’re not otherwise IHG loyalists. Personally, I’d get the card for the anniversary free night certificate alone, though there are potentially valuable benefits beyond that, including the fourth night free on award redemptions, IHG Platinum status, $50 in United TravelBank Cash, etc.

This card is even more compelling with the recent refresh, given the new perks that were added, including more flexibility with free night awards. If you’re looking for a business card instead, consider the IHG Premier Business Card, which has equally good perks.

If you have the IHG Premier Card, what has your experience been like?

Conversations (3)
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  1. Andy Guest

    Got “in review” for business card. After two weeks of not hearing anything I called up and agent asked why I wanted this card because I had $35K limit on CSP and wasn’t “fully using”.

    When I mentioned that I wanted to put large spend on IHG hotels, I was put on hold. Then agent returned and said I had too high of balances and then I was denied . 740 score under 30% utilization. So weird.

  2. Todd Guest

    Got "In review".

    I also received a similar reply when applying for the Chase Aeroplan card a couple of months ago. The letter from them referred to their 5/24 rule :-(

  3. Chris Guest

    Has anyone been approved for this card or the business version, and receive this error message when trying to register for the United TravelBank:

    " Sorry, this offer is only available for IHG Rewards Premier and Business Premier Credit Cardmembers. If you’ve received this message in error, contact IHG Customer Care: 1 (877) 424-2449 "

    It's been about a month since I received the card. I've called the number and the overseas call centers for...

    Has anyone been approved for this card or the business version, and receive this error message when trying to register for the United TravelBank:

    " Sorry, this offer is only available for IHG Rewards Premier and Business Premier Credit Cardmembers. If you’ve received this message in error, contact IHG Customer Care: 1 (877) 424-2449 "

    It's been about a month since I received the card. I've called the number and the overseas call centers for IHG have ZERO idea what I'm talking about. 5 hours on the phone over the past 2 weeks and no closer to a resolution. Hoping someone here knows a trick.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Andy Guest

Got “in review” for business card. After two weeks of not hearing anything I called up and agent asked why I wanted this card because I had $35K limit on CSP and wasn’t “fully using”. When I mentioned that I wanted to put large spend on IHG hotels, I was put on hold. Then agent returned and said I had too high of balances and then I was denied . 740 score under 30% utilization. So weird.

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Todd Guest

Got "In review". I also received a similar reply when applying for the Chase Aeroplan card a couple of months ago. The letter from them referred to their 5/24 rule :-(

0
Chris Guest

Has anyone been approved for this card or the business version, and receive this error message when trying to register for the United TravelBank: " Sorry, this offer is only available for IHG Rewards Premier and Business Premier Credit Cardmembers. If you’ve received this message in error, contact IHG Customer Care: 1 (877) 424-2449 " It's been about a month since I received the card. I've called the number and the overseas call centers for IHG have ZERO idea what I'm talking about. 5 hours on the phone over the past 2 weeks and no closer to a resolution. Hoping someone here knows a trick.

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