How The Benefits On The IHG Premier Card Work

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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In 2018 Chase introduced the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (review), which is the premium co-brand IHG credit card being issued by Chase.

At the moment the card is even offering a fantastic sign-up bonus, so there has never been a better time to get the card. While people aren’t traveling right now, the points you earn now can be used towards a future adventure, and you’ll also be closer to earning your first anniversary free night certificate.

IHG Premier Card Benefits

The IHG Premier Card offers some unique benefits, including:

  • A welcome bonus of 125,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months
  • A 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
  • 20% off when you purchase IHG Rewards Club points
  • 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

Those are some awesome perks, and I’ve received a lot of questions about how certain benefits on the IHG Premier Card work. In this post, I wanted to take a closer look at some of the details of these benefits.

How Does The Fourth Night Free Benefit Work?

One of the best perks of the IHG Premier Card is that it offers a fourth night free on award redemptions. There has been some confusion regarding how this benefit works, and specifically at what point the cost of the fourth night is reimbursed.

With this benefit, the cost of the fourth night is deducted at the time you make your booking. Once you have the card and go to IHG’s website to make a booking, go through the process of making a four night award booking, and before you click “confirm,” you should see that the cost of the fourth night is deducted.

To give an example, the InterContinental London Park Lane ordinarily costs 70,000 points per night.

When I go through the process of booking a four night stay, I’m only asked to pay 210,000 points.

If this isn’t displaying correctly for you, it’s probably because you haven’t had the card for long enough. It can take a few days for this benefit to kick in.

This is great, since it means you only need enough points for the cost of three nights to make the booking.

You can use this benefit an unlimited number of times, and can even use it for back-to-back stays (in other words, you can book eight consecutive nights at one hotel and get two nights free).

You do need to stay four consecutive nights at one hotel to use this, meaning you can’t stay two nights at one hotel and two nights at another hotel, and then get one of those nights free.

Furthermore, all four nights need to be booked as a single points reservation. In other words, you couldn’t book one night with a free night certificate and then three nights with points, and get that third night of the points reservation free.

Get a fourth night free at the InterContinental Los Angeles

Can You Stack The Fourth Night Free Benefit With The 10% Rebate?

The IHG Premier Card offers a fourth night free on awards, while the old IHG Select Card offers a 10% rebate when you redeem points (that benefit is capped at a total refund of 100,000 points per year). One common question has been whether these two benefits can be combined, assuming you have both cards. The answer is yes.

This is a pretty awesome opportunity to stack benefits. Let’s assume you’re staying at a hotel that costs 50,000 points per night for four nights.

A four night stay would cost you 150,000 points (with the fourth night free), and then you’d be reimbursed another 15,000 points, meaning you’re paying just 135,000 points for those four nights. That’s an average of 33,750 points per night, or a discount of 32.5%.

The terms state that the 10% rebate will post within eight weeks of a stay, though in my experience it usually posts within a few weeks.

Save 32.5% on an award stay at the InterContinental Phu Quoc

Can You Earn Two Anniversary Night Certificates?

The way I see it, the single biggest perk of the IHG Premier Card is that it offers a free night certificate on the account anniversary every year. The IHG Select Card (no longer open to new applicants) also offers the same benefit.

Can you actually get two anniversary free night certificates every year? The answer is yes, assuming you have both cards. That’s a pretty cool perk, since it makes this useful not just for one night stays, but also for longer stays. If you and your spouse/friend each have both cards, that’s potentially four free night certificates per year.

Use your anniversary free night certificate at the Crowne Plaza Changi

Can The IHG 20% Discount On Points Be Stacked With A Sale?

The IHG Premier Card offers a 20% discount when you purchase points. Unfortunately, this isn’t valid when IHG is offering a discount on purchased points, which they often are.

There’s no reason to buy IHG points for 20% off when IHG otherwise sometimes offers 75-100% bonuses on purchased points.

When the discount is available, you’ll see that it’s automatically applied at the time you purchase points.

This is a benefit that’s almost never worth it, in my opinion.

How Does The TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry Credit Work?

The IHG Premier Card offers a TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit once every four years. You can choose either one (in general Global Entry is a better option, since it automatically comes with TSA Pre-Check), and then the statement credit will automatically post within 24 hours of the eligible purchase appearing on your account.

Note that all that matters is that the fee is charged to your card, so if you already have a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check membership, you can use this for a friend or family member.

TSA PreCheck
Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check are great perks

When Does IHG Platinum Status Post To Your Account?

Just for having the IHG Premier Card you get Platinum status for as long as you have the card. This will post to your account automatically, and that’s determined based on having the correct IHG Rewards Club number linked to your account.

While the terms state that the status will post within six to eight weeks, in practice it usually posts much faster than that.

Score a room upgrade with IHG Platinum status

IHG Premier Card Benefits Summary

The IHG Premier Card is an all around worthwhile card. Between the Platinum status, fourth night free on awards, and an annual free night, I’d say this card is well worth getting if you’re eligible.

I know people aren’t traveling now, but these are rewards you can use once we can travel again, and you’ll also be closer to the first anniversary that way, so you can earn your first free night certificate.

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  1. It’s important for readers to know that although the fourth night benefit means you only pay points for three nights, you must have enough points in your account to cover the fourth night before you will be allowed to complete the four night booking – a “catch” that may be important for some.

  2. @ Ben — Love the fourth night free. This has replaced Citi Prestige in our arsenal. Too bad it doesn’t help with Hyatt or stays at IHG when we would rather pay a cash rate for a better deal or better upgrade. Now the FCQ just has to conplain more loudly for her suites.

  3. I’ve had this card for a few months, and have about 230K pts. Just tried to simulate a 4 night booking at a 70K/night hotel, and it told me I needed 210K. I didn’t bother completing it, but it certainly doesn’t look like it won’t let me. I’m staring at a button that says “Book Reservation” with no warnings about needing cash to supplement it or not having enough points for that reservation. Are you saying that if I clock “Book Reservation”, it will error out?

  4. Ben is correct, you only need enough points for 3 nights to get the 4th night free. I’ve used this benefit stacked with the 10% rebate on points twice at different hotels so far, and I didn’t need enough points for the 4th night to book the reservation.

  5. @Jon
    can’t you bypass that by calling instead of booking online? a supervisor could temporally add points to your account, make the booking, then deduct the points. Hilton is known to do this with free night certificates.

  6. I get far more value out of my two IHG cards ($138) than I do with the SPG… I mean, Bonvoy Business Amex ($125).

    IHG may have a crappy elite program, but their redemptions are reasonably priced (unlike *cough* Hilton *cough*). IHG properties are far from aspirational, but 90% of the time, I just need a clean and safe place to stay.

  7. I believe it has changed. And I recently bought pts to make it work before I figured out it doesn’t need the 4th nts pts anymore!

  8. With regard to The Fourth Night Free Benefit With The 10% Rebate; can I use either card when I make the reservation and still stack both benefits.

  9. @Bebo

    Yes. Your IHG account is linked to both cards. It does not matter which card you used for the reservation guarantee. You can even use a non IHG card for the guarantee. It does not matter.

  10. > This is great, since it means you only need enough points for the cost of three nights to make the booking.

    That’s not been my experience- I’ve always needed enough points to cover the 4th night, even though that amount isn’t deducted. If I didn’t have enough in my account, it would say I needed more points.

  11. I signed up for the new card recently but as haven’t been able to travel over the last 3 months, haven’t yet been able to take advantage of x25 points for staying at IHG hotels. @Lukcy, do you think chase will allow people like me to earn this bonus for > 12 months since signing up?

  12. IHG can and will screw you out of your free night. I made a booking months ago. They closed the hotel due to Coronavirus and returned the free night to my account with the same expiration date which by then was only two months away.

    Requests to extend the expiration (after all they are the ones that cancelled the reservation) were met with a firm NO.

  13. @Steve,

    Not sure what is the case of your cert. Reps are NOT able to do manual extension due to the New Apr 15 policy on Automatically extension by the System on certs.

    My cert that expired on Mar 26, was manually extended to Sept 26 on Mar 20. After the new policy, now it shows Dec 31, 2020 expiration.

    So just HOW you have only 2 months left on your cert? Have you checked your account recently? I can only guess that you totally misunderstood what the reps said when you called, assuming that was after Apr 15. Before that they were doing manual extension for all certs expiring in Mar and Apr.

    IHG announced a new policy on Apr 15 – ALL certs that expire in 2020 now are extended to expire 12/31/2020. It is done by the system automatically – already happened to our accounts.

    For certs issued after Mar 1st 2020, they will get 18 months life. Although those issued between Mar 1st and Apr 15, have not yet seen the new 18 months. However people reported new certs issued AFTER Apr 15 announcement, have all have 18 months lives.

  14. I just wanted to give a quick shout out against the InterContinental Park Lane referred to in the article. Stayed there for two nights, one paid, one with a Chase free night. I had Ambassador status. The hotel put me up in a tiny room on the 1st floor, one of the rooms directly across the corridor from the fitness centre. I could almost touch the roofs of cars on the road. The front desk dismissed my concern and said that the room they gave me was already “upgraded”.

    Due to my experience at this hotel and others, I ended my Ambassador membership the year after.

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