As I wrote about earlier, today is the last day to book IHG free nights before the cost of reward nights at over 650 hotels changes tomorrow. There’s no denying that the value of IHG points has decreased over the past year.
Early last year IHG increased the number of points required for stays at their most expensive properties, and also increased the cost of stays at many other properties. Now they’re raising the cost for award stays at roughly 500 of their hotels.
So while my valuation of IHG points is going down, in my opinion there’s more value than ever before with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which I consider to be one of the most lucrative hotel credit cards out there. As a matter of fact, for the “average consumer,” I tend to think it’s the single best hotel credit card out there.
Get an annual free night at any IHG hotel
This perk is huge, and a reason that many people should get this card. Just for paying the $89 annual fee each year you get a free night certificate that you can use at any IHG property. This includes InterContinental hotels that ordinarily retail for over $500 or 60,000 points per night. For example, last year I used this free night at the InterContinental London The O2, where the paid rate would have been $400+ for the one night stay.
But even if you’re not going for an aspirational property, I think a vast majority of people can get more than $49 per year of value out of an annual free night. IHG has hotels around the world, so a vast majority of people should be able to get value out of this.
Get a 10% refund on the points you redeem
You can receive a 10% refund when you redeem your points, for a total of up to 100,000 refunded points per year (that means it’s valid for up to a million redeemed points per year). With the cost of many award nights increasing, this means you’re looking at bigger points refunds for lots of hotels.
Keep in mind that IHG often also sells points at a very reasonable cost, which can be even more worthwhile if you’re getting a 10% refund when you redeem those points. That makes redemptions at some high end properties more worthwhile.
IHG Platinum status for as long as you have the card
You receive IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. I’ll be the first to say that Platinum status isn’t that great, but it’ll often lead to a room upgrade, and you receive a 50% bonus on earned points.
For example, at the Crowne Plaza Doha I received an upgrade to a suite for being a Platinum member.
This card isn’t subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule
Keep in mind that Chase often won’t approve people who have opened more than five accounts in the past 24 months. That makes it tough for some people to apply for new Chase cards. However, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card isn’t subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so that should help a lot of people with getting approved for this card.
With IHG increasing the number of points required for stays at many properties, there’s even more value than before with the annual free night offered on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. The card has just a $89 annual fee, and for that you get a free night that you can redeem at 60,000 point per night properties each year. Add in the Platinum status and 10% refund on redeemed points, and there’s huge value to be had with this card.