Chase and IHG now have three co-branded credit cards. We recently saw a refresh to the card portfolio, including the introduction of a new business credit card. On top of that, welcome bonus eligibility requirements were recently changed for these cards, to coincide with the refresh. I wanted to cover the basics of what you need to know if you’re looking to get approved for these cards.
Chase IHG Rewards credit card basics
For context, here are the annual fees and current welcome bonuses on the three IHG credit cards issued by Chase that are currently open to new applicants:
- The no annual fee IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card (review) has a welcome bonus of 80,000 IHG points after spending $2,000 within three months
- The $99 annual fee IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card (review) has a welcome bonus of 140,000 IHG points plus one free night (valued at up to 40,000 points) after spending $3,000 within three months
- The $99 annual fee IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card (review) has a welcome bonus of 140,000 IHG points after spending $3,000 within three months
On top of that, there’s the IHG Rewards Select Credit Card, which has a $49 annual fee. This card hasn’t been open to new cardmembers for a few years now, but some people still have this card from back in the day.
Eligibility for welcome bonuses differs between the personal and business versions of the card, so I wanted to discuss that in a bit more detail. I imagine many people are probably currently interested in the IHG Rewards Premier Card, given the phenomenal new bonus.
IHG Rewards personal credit card eligibility
IHG Rewards’ personal credit cards recently adopted stricter eligibility requirements than before. You’re not eligible for the welcome bonus on the IHG Rewards Premier Card or IHG Rewards Traveler Card if:
- You currently have any IHG Rewards personal credit card (including the Premier, Traveler, or Select)
- You’ve received a new cardmember bonus on any IHG Rewards personal credit card in the past 24 months (business cards don’t count toward this limit)
In other words, you can only pick up either the IHG Rewards Premier Card or IHG Rewards Traveler Card, but not both. And if you have the IHG Select Card, you’re unfortunately not eligible for the bonus on either of those cards.
In the event that you’ve canceled an IHG Rewards personal card on which you got a bonus more than 24 months ago, I’d recommend waiting at least a month before applying for another IHG Rewards personal card, just to be on the safe side. That’s because it can take a while for the system to reflect you no longer being a cardmember.
IHG Rewards business credit card eligibility
Eligibility for the new IHG Rewards Premier Business Card is independent of eligibility for any of the personal IHG cards. You’re not eligible for the bonus on this card if:
- You currently have this exact card
- You’ve received a new cardmember bonus on this exact card in the past 24 months
Since this card recently launched, this should impact very few people, and almost everyone should be eligible. Just to be crystal clear, you’re eligible for both the IHG Rewards Premier Card and IHG Rewards Premier Business Card.
General Chase credit card application restrictions
In addition to the IHG Rewards specific restrictions, be aware of Chase’s general application restrictions:
- Chase has the 5/24 rule, whereby you typically won’t be approved for a card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months
- Chase doesn’t generally have a strict limit on how many total cards you can have at any given point, but rather the limiting factor is regarding the overall credit you’ll be issued
- You can typically be approved for at most two Chase credit cards every 30 days, and I generally wouldn’t recommend applying for more than one Chase business credit card every 30 days
These are just general guidelines, though do note that there’s always some inconsistency based on what other cards you’ve applied for, your overall relationship with Chase, etc.
What credit score do you need for an IHG Rewards credit card?
There’s not a consistent rule as to what credit score you need to be approved for a Chase IHG Rewards credit card. Broadly speaking, I’d recommend having a credit score in the “good” to “excellent” category if you’re going to apply for any of these cards.
Personally, I probably wouldn’t apply if my credit score were under 700, and ideally, I’d hope to have a credit score of 740 or higher. That being said, people with scores lower than that have been approved for these cards, and conversely, people with scores higher than that have been rejected. There are lots of factors that go into approval — your income, your credit history, how much credit Chase has already extended you, etc.
Lastly, anecdotally I’ve found that IHG cards are among the easiest co-branded Chase cards to be approved for, so that’s at least good news.
Chase’s IHG Rewards credit cards are fantastic, especially with the recent refresh. With this, we not only saw the introduction of a new business credit card, but also saw changes to the eligibility requirements for personal cards.
The good news is that if you’re new to IHG credit cards, you can get both the IHG Rewards Premier Card and IHG Rewards Premier Business Card. This would be my strategy, since both cards have generous bonuses, worthwhile perks, and are great complements.
The most important thing to understand is that eligibility for personal cards is mutually exclusive, meaning you can’t get the bonus on an IHG Rewards personal card if you currently have any IHG Rewards personal card (including the IHG Select Card), or have received a new cardmember bonus on such a card in the past 24 months.
If you’ve applied for an IHG Rewards credit card, what was your experience with getting approved?