How The Benefits On The New IHG Premier Card Work

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Just under a month ago we saw the introduction of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which is the new premium co-brand IHG credit card being issued by Chase. The card has an $89 annual fee, and offers a welcome bonus of 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points upon completing minimum spend. This card also isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, meaning that lots of people should be eligible for the welcome bonus on the card.

As I wrote about when it was first introduced, 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® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card work. In this post I wanted to take a closer look at some of the details of these benefits.

How the fourth night free benefit on the IHG Card works

One of the best perks of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit 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.

Can you stack the fourth night free benefit with the 10% rebate?

The new IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers a fourth night free on awards, while the old IHG 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 just over 30%. That’s excellent.


Use your fourth night free benefit at the InterContinental Fiji

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 old IHG Card that’s no longer available to new cardmembers as of about a month ago also offered 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 disappointed me. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers a 20% discount when you purchase points. In the terms there was nothing indicating that this couldn’t be stacked with a bonus on purchased points, which IHG frequently offers. However, unfortunately it seems that the two can’t be stacked.

The discount is automatically supposed to be applied at the time you purchase points, and that isn’t happening in conjunction with a sale. IHG customer service is confirming that these can’t be combined.

That’s a shame, as it renders this benefit almost useless. There’s no reason to get 20% off when you can otherwise buy points with a big bonus. For example, at the moment IHG Rewards Club is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points, which is an opportunity to acquire points for just 0.56 cents each.

Bottom line

The new IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a compelling card, in my opinion. Between the great welcome bonus and the fact that the card isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, I’d say this is a card that’s worth picking up.

It’s also a card that’s worth holding onto long term, in particular for the anniversary free night certificate and the fourth night free benefit. That fourth night free benefit can even be stacked with the 10% points refund offered on the old IHG Card. My one disappointment with the card is that the 20% discount on points purchases can’t be combined with one of the bonus promotions.

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Comments

  1. Will the old IHG card have different benefits besides the downgrade of the annual free night.

  2. @ BFD — The only IHG Card is maintaining the current benefits it has, with the exception of the anniversary free night certificate being downgraded.

  3. Still no explanation as to why folks who procured the old card during the later part of 2017 will not receive even one (first) unlimited anniversary night certificate, while a group that got the SAME CARD in early 2018 is grandfathered in for one (first) unlimited anniversary night certificate. Chase says it was IHG’s decision. Should not promote IHG products until they rectify their prior arbitrary and unfair decision on the old card. Everyone with the old card should get at least one (first) unlimited anniversary night certificate. Still time to fix this.

  4. @SEAguy. Completely agree with you! AskSebby indicated that they received 10k Pts for complaining to IHG for capping the 1st year valuation for those in the game, myself included. I called IHG to complain and ended up routed to Chase after 5 terrible IHG callcenter agents. Chase awarded me 5k and “communicated my frustration to IHG.”

  5. Interesting to hear about the points apology points offered to some screwed over IHG customers. But, of course, 5-10k points isn’t going to unlock the Intercontinental Sun Penninsula Resort. Kind of reminds me of Lucky’s 5k Delta outrage yesterday… I guess he has more patience with IHG’s nonsense. 🙂

    IHG should have thought it through and done the right thing from the start. Everyone’s first IHG anniversary night certificate should be unlimited. That is not complicated. Would have preserved customer goodwill and created less friction and expense for their banking partner. Not too late to make it right.

  6. Might be a redundant question but thought I’d ask anyway. Assuming you have both cards, for the 4th night free + 10% rebate that you mentioned they do stack, which card do you put the reservation on? The new premier card?

  7. Awesome! Since I have the old IHG card, once I get the new one I’ll be able to get a free weekend next to that Cracker Barrel I love so much.

  8. @SEAguy I’m in the same boat. Have been beating down doors and challenging IHG / Chase to offer a logical explanation for this. Of course, they are unable because it is a completely illogical move. Let’s keep at it!

  9. After many frustrating phone calls to both Chase and IHG, it seems that the 20% discount for point purchases with the New Chase IHG Premier card is not compatible with the current 80% point bonus. Nothing in the literature stated you could not combine the offer.
    Has anyone had better luck then me?

  10. The free nights really do nothing for me. Unless you’re traveling near an airport you can’t use them. I’m canceling my card before renewal because of this. Yes, it was too good to be true.

  11. This must be my unlucky day. I’ve been looking for IHG hotels in several locations. In Tahiti you can’t use any points even to reduce the nightly rate partially. In Santiago for the Crowne Plaza you can use 10,000 points to reduce the room cost from $103.55 to $89 (meaning a point seems to be worth $0.0014); a little better at the Intercontinental where points are worth $0.0048. Auckland looks like a winner at $0.0025/point at the Crowne Plaza and a big half-cent per point at the Auckland Airport Holiday Inn. I could go on, but these look like awfully shabby reward values, and there’s no way in the cities I looked at (a couple more included) where you can reduce the nightly bill to zero no matter how many points you’ve accumulated — I have well over 100,000 at this point. Nor can I see how I can get a “fourth night free” under this partial point system. Am I missing something?

  12. Arne. A bit dramatic. The Crowne Plaza Santiago goes for 25,000 points for a free room. Try sesrching.

  13. I owe IHG an apology and thanks to Jr. When one goes to the IHG.com page and just searches for a hotel, you see a rate offer of price or lower price and 10,000 points, and the rates are what I commented on earlier. BUT if you go the “Rewards” tab and search for a hotel, you see a completely different offer for the very same room: 25,000 points per night and no cash charge at all. I don’t know what gives, and haven’t had a chance yet to check out the other cities I mentioned, but I suspect the IHG web page needs some clarification for those of us who are easily confused.

  14. When you book a points+cash stay at IHG the cash component is technically being used to purchase points. So, will the 20% discount on purchased points apply here?

  15. Can you get 2 free nights for 8 consecutive stay ? Its not showing up when i try to split the booking in to two. is there any work around ?

  16. @PK Yes, 4th Free night in as many multiples of 4 as you can afford.

    8-night stay = 2 Free…12-Night stay = 3 Free and so on…..

    I’m a IHG Spire AMB with 500K+ IHG points AND the original IHG Select Card with the Premier Card in the mail as we speak.

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