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.
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.