How The Benefits On The IHG Premier Card Work

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Last year Chase introduced the new IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which is the premium co-brand IHG credit card being issued by Chase.

Best of all, as of recently, this $89 annual fee card is offering its best-ever welcome bonus of up to 120,000 IHG Rewards Club points. This comes in the form of 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $2,000 within the first three months, plus a further 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending a total of $5,000 within six months.

The card carries some unique 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
  • 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

That’s an all-around pretty rewarding structure, 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. So 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.

If it isn’t, 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).

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%.

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

Can you earn two anniversary free night certificates?

The way I see it, the single biggest perk of this 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.

So 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 purchased points be stacked with a sale?

This is one benefit that disappoints me. 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.

So 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.

How does the TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry fee 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.

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.

The statement credit should be posted to your account within 24 hours of the eligible purchase appearing.

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 status will post within 6-8 weeks, in practice it usually posts much faster than that.

Score a room upgrade with IHG Platinum status

Bottom line

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.

Add in the fact that the card currently has its best ever welcome bonus of up to 120K points, and that makes it even more tempting.

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  1. @ AJ Montana — Thanks! Trying to add these to some of the posts with more sub-headings, appreciate the feedback. 🙂

  2. Thanks Lucky, I just tried booking 2 rooms for 2 nights each (both rooms for the same 2 nights) with the rewards night rate option enabled on IHG’s website, but the website says when I am using points I can only book 1 room at a time.
    Is there another way to do this?

  3. My platinum status posted to my IHG account before my card arrived. Just make sure to enter your IHG number on the Chase application.

    Since this is an IHG post, has anyone noticed Kimpton’s portfolio shrinking recently? The last two properties I went to book are no longer Kimpton properties: The Kimpton Grand Minneapolis is now a Hyatt and Kimpton Amara Sedona is independent.

  4. Lucky,
    You have to have the points for all 4 nights in your account to book the 4th night free. Once you have the points (i.e. 100K pts for a 25K/nt booking) IHG will calculate it to 75K for the 4 nights.

    Also, in addition to stacking the 10% rebate from the old IHG credit card, if you are an Ambassador and renewed at $200, it includes an additional 10% rebate. That brings down the example above to 60K for 4 nights (15K/nt).

  5. I like reading your column,
    Ben -Lucky. So I already had the IHG Rewards Club card for over 2 years now and just got the IHG Rewards Club PREMIER CARD so I have both. Do I then qualify for the Welcome Bonus as well as the other unique benefits? Not sure you can answer that or would I need to contact their Customer Service Dept.? Thanks for any help you can provide.

  6. One very annoying thing about the 4th night free is you have to have enough points for 4 nights. So if you want to book a 50K a night hotel, you need 200K points in your account even though you are only going to use 150K

  7. I have both cards and am an Ambassador – I so remember family vacations in the 50-60s and pleading with my Dad to stay at a Holiday Inn (WOW 😉

    however IHG doesn’t recognize status on Award stays and I need status to snag my favorite hotel benefit: the view. Also I enjoy the Club lounges. So the award stays are low priority, although I do want to try the 4 night stay – maybe in Des Moines or similiar 🙂

    what I have found as a work around for the free night certificate is a paid first night and a request to stay in the same room.

  8. Lucky, I am and AMB and have both IHG cards. I booked 4 nights at the Tokyo Intercontinental using points and received the 4th night free but did not receive the IHG card 10% rebate or the AMB 10% rebate. Please Advise. Am I missing something. Should this happen automatically?

  9. Lucky,
    This is a follow up to my previous post regarding the stacking of 4th night free and the 10% AMB rebate and 10% IHG Select Card Rebate. I called the Ambassador 888 help desk and was informed by the representative that the two rebates to not post until the completion of the stay. You won’t see the rebate in your IHG account until after the stay is completed. I think this is an important point to clarify for folks.

  10. @Leonardo: In my experience, the 10% rebate posts around 3-5 weeks after the stay is completed.

  11. @Leonardo: In my experience IHG credit card rebate posts in 3-5 weeks and the Ambassador rebate posts 8+ weeks. I have had to email IHG several times to get the Ambassador rebate to post.

  12. Lucky,
    Please correct the fact that you need all 4 nights worth of points in your account to book a “Fourth Night Free” award stay. Sloppy…

  13. My spouse and I just returned from a trip to Japan. Using the IHG cards’ benefits and points , we received 11 free nights of 14 nights hotel stays. The cost for hotels, for the whole vacation was about $1500, instead of $6K. The points were earned mostly from the card sign ups, and the Accelerate promotions. And of course, the annual free night. While the overall benefits of being Platinum Ambassadors is not what it used to be, the ease of earning free nights is hard to beat. IHG cards should only be used to pay for IHG stays, as the points really accumulate very easily. But, not for everyday spend. Our stay at Intercontinental Osaka was all free. Many rating organizations name that hotel as the best in the city. Our stay for free, was just icing on the cake. Admittedly IHG properties are very variable and many are just old Holiday Inns. But some Intercontinentals are over the top nice.

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