8 Reasons To Get The IHG Premier Credit Card

8 Reasons To Get The IHG Premier Credit Card

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The IHG® Rewards Club 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. In this post, I wanted to look at eight reasons to apply for this card. In no particular order:

125K IHG points with welcome bonus

The IHG Premier Card has a welcome bonus that includes 125,000 IHG Rewards 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 125,000 points are worth ~$625.

125,000 IHG points can potentially get you lots of hotel stays

Free night certificate with welcome bonus

Not only does the welcome bonus on the IHG Premier Card include 125,000 points, but it also includes a free night certificate valid at a property costing up to 40,000 points per night. This is also earned upon completing the minimum spending requirement. Since that certificate is worth up to 40,000 points, the bonus could potentially get you up to 165,000 points in value.

I used a free night certificate at the Kimpton EPIC Miami

Anniversary free night certificate

Arguably the single best benefit of the IHG Premier Card, which more than justifies the ongoing $89 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.

While this won’t get you a stay at one of IHG’s top InterContinental properties, I still find this to be extremely worthwhile, given that a vast majority of hotels retail for over $89 per night.

For example, I’ve stayed at the InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut, InterContinental Johannesburg Airport, and Kimpton EPIC Miami using free night certificates, and 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 Rewards Platinum status

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

  • Room upgrades, subject to availability
  • A 50% bonus on base points
  • Early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability
  • A welcome amenity
Receive room upgrades as an IHG Platinum member

Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check 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 or TSA Pre-Check 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 Pre-Check credit every four years

Stack benefits with IHG’s old credit card

Some of you may be thinking “I have IHG’s old credit card, so the new card doesn’t seem worth it.” I agree that it might not be worth product changing from IHG’s old credit card to the new one.

The beauty is that if you get the IHG Premier Card, you can stack some of the benefits of the two cards:

  • Both cards offer an anniversary free night certificate, so you could earn two of those each year, and use them for back-to-back nights
  • The old card offers a 10% refund on redeemed points (up to 100,000 refunded points per year), while the new card offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, and you could stack those benefits; in other words, if you make a four night stay at a hotel costing 70,000 points per night you’d end up paying 210,000 points, and then would get 21,000 points back, for a total cost of 189,000 points, which is over 30% off

You are eligible for the bonus on the IHG Premier Card even if you have the old version of the IHG Card. Furthermore, you’re also eligible for the IHG Premier Card (including the bonus) if you have the no annual fee IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card (review).

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.

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, etc.

On top of that, the card has a fantastic welcome bonus of up to 125,000 IHG Rewards points plus a free night certificate upon completing minimum spending, which is excellent. This is a very well-rounded hotel credit card, and for most travelers the perks should more than justify the annual fee.

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  1. gizmosdad Guest

    do the annual night certs accumulate? eg if i dont redeem my annual certificate in one year, after another year, will i have two nights? i rarely travel for just one night, and it would be nice to have a block of 2 or 3 free nights after having this card for 2-3 years…

    1. Mishas Guest

      No, unfortunately, you have about a year to use the free night. During the pandemic, however, as the free nights were getting extended, you could accumulate two or three at the same time.

  2. DLPTATL Guest

    I use this card 1-2x per year to load my Starbucks card and get 5% back as a statement credit to have some activity, otherwise the card keeps my socks company. I routinely use the free night cert in Lisbon and New Orleans. In both cases paid rates are generally over $200/night presenting a solid value.

  3. SMR Guest

    I got 150,000 and that’s all this card is worth… welcome bonus and annual certificate. Spend on this card is absolutely useless as IHG points are Delta - level TP, but the perks do make it a fair deal at $89 per year.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      While both IHG points and Delta miles have been devalued a lot. I don't see IHG redemptions are that out of touch as Delta. There are many decent redemptions out there that is reasonable. Just don't compare it when IHG had PointsBreak.

      That being said, spend on this card is not good, even at IHG. That's why OMAAT didn't even bother writing about the spend categories.

  4. Another Lump Guest

    What is the all time highest signup bonus for this card? I seem to recall a higher bonus available before. IHG elite benefits are extremely poor, no free breakfast and meaningful upgrades are rare, so not really that appealing for anything but the SUB.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      This 125k + 40k cert if you can maximize the value.
      Personally I like the previous 125k + up to 45x for a year offer.

      IHG program is essentially a rebate program. You earn points easier with lots of points promo. Unlike other programs with premium redemptions, you're better earning at Holiday Inn and burning them at Holiday Inn.

  5. Eskimo Guest

    And 1 reason to hold off on getting for a few months.

    IHG is coming out with changes to their rewards program. There might be new offers out along with the program changes. Could be better or worse, but worth considering.

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Eskimo Guest

While both IHG points and Delta miles have been devalued a lot. I don't see IHG redemptions are that out of touch as Delta. There are many decent redemptions out there that is reasonable. Just don't compare it when IHG had PointsBreak. That being said, spend on this card is not good, even at IHG. That's why OMAAT didn't even bother writing about the spend categories.

1
Mishas Guest

No, unfortunately, you have about a year to use the free night. During the pandemic, however, as the free nights were getting extended, you could accumulate two or three at the same time.

0
gizmosdad Guest

do the annual night certs accumulate? eg if i dont redeem my annual certificate in one year, after another year, will i have two nights? i rarely travel for just one night, and it would be nice to have a block of 2 or 3 free nights after having this card for 2-3 years…

0
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