Yesterday Chase introduced an increased welcome bonus on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. This $89 annual fee card has a welcome bonus of 100,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months, plus a further 5,000 points after you add your first authorized user and have them make their first purchase in the first three months, for a total of up to 105,000 points.
Not only is that a solid bonus, but the IHG Premier Card carries some valuable benefits, including:
- An anniversary free night certificate on your account anniversary every year, valid at any property that retails for up to 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night
- A fourth night free on award bookings; when you redeem points for a consecutive four night stay, you only have to redeem points for the cost of the first three nights
- IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card
- A TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit every four years
One common point of confusion is who is eligible for this card, given the changes that were made to the card in early April.
You can get the IHG Premier Card even if you have/had the IHG Select Card
Up until early April, Chase issued the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card. Then they stopped accepting applications for that and instead started issuing the IHG Premier Card.
If you have the old IHG Select Card, you’re still eligible to get the IHG Premier Card, and you absolutely should, in my opinion.
Some people who acquired an IHG Card within the past few months are confused about whether or not they already have the Select or Premier Card. It should be pretty easy to figure out — if you applied before April 5, you have the IHG Select Card, and if you applied as of April 5, you have the IHG Premier Card.
If you want to be able to tell which card you have visually, the designs of the cards are different as well (thanks to reader Allen for pointing this out):
- The IHG Select Card is light gray, has an orange stripe across it, and has the Mastercard logo in yellow and red
- The IHG Premier Card is dark grey, and the Mastercard logo is white and gray as well, so the card has a lot less color
You can’t get the welcome bonus if you upgrade from the IHG Select to IHG Premier
It may be possible for you to upgrade from the old IHG Select Card to the new IHG Premier Card. This would maintain your credit history and not require an inquiry on your credit. The catch is that you won’t get the welcome bonus of 100,000+ points if you upgrade, but rather only if you apply outright.
Beyond that, you actually want to have both cards, as I’ll explain below.
The IHG Card isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule
Chase has what’s commonly referred to as the 5/24 rule, where you can’t be approved for a card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. Not all Chase cards are subjected to the rule, and the IHG Premier Card is one of those exceptions.
So you can get approved for the IHG Premier Card even if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months.
Why you want the IHG Premier Card even if you have the IHG Select Card
You might say “well why would I want both of these cards?” There are two main reasons you can get a lot of value out of having both of these cards:
- Each of the cards offers an anniversary free night certificate valid at an IHG property retailing for up to 40,000 points per night; getting that just for paying an annual fee is a great deal, and if you have two then you can use them for back-to-back stays
- The IHG Select offers a 10% refund on redeemed points (up to 100,000 refunded points per year), and the IHG Premier offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, and you can stack the two; in other words, if you book a hotel costing 50,000 points per night for four nights, you’d end up paying just 135,000 points, or 33,750 points per night, which is a great deal
Hopefully this clarifies some of the common questions regarding eligibility for the IHG Premier Card. The card isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, and you can get it even if you have the old IHG Select Card. For that matter, you should especially get it if you have the old IHG Select Card, so you can get two anniversary free night certificates per year, and can stack the fourth night free with the 10% off redemptions.