Details Of The New IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

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Chase and IHG are making some major changes to their co-branded credit card this week. Unfortunately the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card is no longer available for new applicants, and in the process they’ve made a negative change to the anniversary free night certificate.

Today a new credit card is open to applicants — the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Here are the details of this new card:

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card welcome bonus

The new IHG Rewards Club Premier Card has a welcome bonus of 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $2,000 within the first three months.

Personally I value IHG Rewards Club points at ~0.5 cents each, so that’s like a reward of ~$400. That’s a solid welcome bonus, though not amazing.

Regarding eligibility for this card, the terms state the following:

This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.

Based on this language, it looks like you should be eligible to apply for this card if you currently have another version of the IHG Card, which is good news.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card annual fee

The card has an annual fee of $89, which isn’t waived the first year. This is significantly higher than the $49 annual fee on the previous card, which was waived for the first year.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card spending bonuses

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card offers the following return on spend:

  • 10x points per dollar spent at IHG hotels
  • 2x points per dollar spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
  • 1x point per dollar spent on everything else

Again, I value IHG Rewards Club points at ~0.5 cents each, so to me this isn’t a terribly compelling return on spend. By my valuation, the card earns the equivalent of 5% back at IHG hotels, 1% back at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 0.5% back on everything else.

Personally I’d rather use the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card for hotel spend and restaurants, and The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express more for everyday spend. Given that IHG points aren’t worth as much as airline miles, I think they need to up the game here if people are to put a significant amount of spend on the card.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card perks

The card does offer some perks that help offset the annual fee, including:

Anniversary free night certificate

The card offers a free night certificate on your account anniversary every cardmember year. The certificate is valid for 12 months from when it’s issued, and can be redeemed at any hotel that would cost 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night or less. This excludes about 330 of IHG’s 5,300 hotels around the world. While that’s only a small percentage of hotels, it does exclude many of IHG’s best properties.

A free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights

This is a pretty cool new perk. When you make a reward booking at any IHG hotel for four or more consecutive nights, the fourth night is free. The fourth night will be free at the time of purchase, so you don’t even need the points in your account for the fourth night, as the price will just show as zero for that night. You can use this benefit for as many bookings as you’d like.

Buy IHG Rewards Club points for 20% off

Just for having the card you can save at least 20% on points purchases when you pay for them using your IHG Rewards Club Premier Card. There’s nothing in the terms stating that this discount doesn’t apply when IHG points are already on sale, so you should be able to save even more during an IHG sale.

IHG Rewards Club Platinum status

You can receive IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card. This isn’t the world’s most useful hotel status, but it does get you bonus points, room upgrades subject to availability, and more.

A Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit

Every four years you get up to a $100 statement credit when you use your card for a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check enrollment fee. This is a nice perk, though so many cards offer it nowadays (including The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, and the Citi Prestige® Card), that it’s of limited value, in my opinion.

My thoughts on IHG’s new credit card

It goes without saying that the old card with a $49 annual fee and uncapped free night was more compelling. However, that card is no longer open to new applicants, and further, a cap has been added on the hotels you can redeem at, as you’re also limited to hotels that cost 40,000 points per night or less.

Let’s take that out of the equation and look at this card independently. What intrigues me the most about the new IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is the ability to buy points for 20% off and combine that with fourth night free award redemptions.

Let me give an example, based on my understanding of things. Recently IHG sold points for just 0.575 cents each. If you could get a further 20% off, that would mean you’d be paying just 0.46 cents per point. Then if you redeemed for a four night stay, you’d be getting a further 25% off in terms of redemption costs. For example, a four night stay at a top InterContinental costs 70,000 points per night, so a three night stay would cost 210,000 points, or 52,500 points per night. If you’re paying just 0.46 cents per point, that’s like paying $240 per night all-in for stays at IHG’s top properties.

That’s not even the best use of something like this, though. Take the Hotel Indigo Tel Aviv, which costs just 25,000 points per night. That means a four night stay would cost 75,000 points, or 18,750 points per night. If you acquired those points for 0.46 cents each, that’s like paying ~$86 per night, which is amazing.

Bottom line

I wish the $49 annual fee IHG Card still offered an uncapped free night every year. It won’t going forward. While I don’t find the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card as intriguing as the old one, I still see some potential value. I think the annual free night capped at 40,000 points is worth roughly the $89 annual fee, but the area where you can get real outsized value is by combining the ability to buy points for 20% off with the ability to book fourth night free awards. If this works the way I suspect it does, that could be a cool opportunity.

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Comments

  1. This card would be more compelling with an uncapped annual free night. This is not a good deal by any stretch. Stay away from This card.

  2. This new card has been hugely devalued from the old card capping your annual free night redemption at 40,000 points. While charging you$89 AF. 4th night free is hard to maintain particularly if you run out of points to redeem, as revenue bookings don’t qualify.
    There are many better cards. Stay away everyone.

  3. @Jerry you’re crazy. The card is a steal for 89. I will take big time advantage of the 4th free night redemptions!

  4. Just to let you know, it seems like you made a typo when writing “When you make a reward booking any any IHG hotel for four or more consecutive nights, the fourth night is free. ”

    You wrote the word any twice 🙂

    I love your blog, keep it up!

  5. I think the “4th Night Free” benefit will be a great perk, and per the terms it’s unlimited in use:
    “Members can utilize the 4th Reward Night Free benefit on an unlimited number of stays annually.”

    Example…. let assume TWO 4-night reward stays at an upper tier 60K point per night hotel…. Total cost 480,000 points.

    With the current Select CC 10% rebate you’ll get back 48,000 points and spend 432,000 as a result.
    With the new Premier CC 4th night free you’ll save 120,000 points and spend ONLY 360,000 points.
    That’s a savings of 72,000 points or basically more than an extra night worth $360 @ a $0.005 point value.

    Also remember, the 10% rebate is/was capped at 100K points per year.

  6. They need to fix their current mess before launching a new card. Folks who got the IHG card but haven’t yet receive their first Anniversary Certificate should be grandfathered so the first Anniversary Certificate is not restricted. There is no reason to look at things ‘independently’ when Chase/IHG are treating their clients/guests unfairly and inhospitably. Will not consider any new card until they do the right thing with the old one.

  7. Ben,

    Do you know if applications are bound by the chase 5/24 rule?

    Thank you for letting us know.

  8. The new card is of questionable value. Some will be able to maximize it. To me, it’s questionable because the anniversary bonus is a moderately priced hotel stay for the $89 annual fee. I have nothing against a Holiday Inn Express in Omaha or Syracuse but those hotels are typically not that expensive.

    The sign up bonus is nice but I try to not just sign up for credit cards for the sign up bonus and cancel because I have been denied a Chase credit card on the basis of too many new cards within two years.

  9. Yawn. It’s extremely rare that I say anywhere longer than 3 nights. Guess I’ll hang on to the $49 card and try to get some outsized value from the cert at ~40K properties.

  10. If they kept the $49 annual fee but capped the anniversary stay at moderately priced hotels, fine. That is not the case.

    If they raised the annual fee to $89 but didn’t cap the anniversary stay or had a more generous cap, like 50,000 points, then ok. That is not the case.

  11. So my $49 annual fee card will have the same anniversary benefit as the new $89 card? I think I’ll stick to what I have

  12. So if you have the Select card everything remains the same besides the devaluation of the certificate? ( Luckily I applied for it between 1/1 and 4/5 so will get one uncapped certificate)

  13. Ben, don’t forget the 10% return on reward stays for being a platinum member. In reality the point values here could be as low as 0.414 cents per point after taking that into account.

    I think i’m going to stick with the $49/yr card i currently have. no need to pay $40 more per year to get a discount on points and a potential 4th night free. most of my trips are usually in the 1-3 night category anyway.

  14. I also very rarely stay at a hotel for 4 nights in a row. Thus, this card would be very limited in terms of benefits for me. Also, who guarantees your points would be available when you need them? a 4 digit PIN to secure your account? Good luck with that!!!! Mine was hacked and the headache to get IHG to deposit the points back was not worth it. Bye bye IHG!!!!

  15. Even with the old certs, I was ambivalent given the lack of status recognition on award stays. So a four night stay at a place that I don’t have status when I have high status with the other majors isn’t enticing. (Even true when I bought Ambassador status).

  16. Are you sure the old card isn’t available anymore? I just followed a link and it looks like it would still let me apply.

  17. Big question is: what happens to the $49 annual fee card for those who already have it?

  18. @ Aric where do you get this information? If the hotel award night is 40K or less it is included no matter what. It’s not limited to which hotel but rather the award night cost

  19. @Austin787, I don’t know if it depends on the co-brand agreement, but Chase seems to be pretty good at keeping grandfathered products as is. I still have my UA MP Select card from 2009, which if nothing else provides 5,000 RDMs for $95/year.

  20. For those of us that have the existing $49 card does that mean we can apply for this one separately and get two annual free nights?

  21. @ Aric – I’m confused now, that link to the previous article and the link to IHG site shows the 330 hotels that are over 40K per night and thus excluded. How do you know that many of those 330 hotels currently cost 40K? Did you actually check every single one of them to see that and are you saying they will make those hotels worth more points?

    As far as I understand that list of the current 330 hotels out of 5,300 will be excluded from the free night certificate with a 40K. Surely they can devalue even more hotels but that’s currently not the case

  22. What makes you think the 20% off will stack with flash sales? I bet it will be a separate link. Very wishful affiliate marketing thinking on that one. I hope you prove me wrong though

  23. @Aric, @Alex Z, Lucky and all- I believe IHG IT made a fix overnight to their “ineligible property list”. Now 198 properties are on the list, as it appears that several at 40k (and maybe a few below) have been removed since yesterday. Of course, it doesn’t stop the bleeding but helps a little bit. Lucky- you may want to update your recent posts as the original list has been revised.

  24. Card is not subject to 5/24. I was approved for the new card today and still have the old one.

  25. @BrianC Thanks for the info. Glad to hear it because I have a certificate coming up an was planning to use it at one of the 40k hotels that was on that list.

  26. You people are all crazy with the faux outrage. It’s not like you are locked into a long term contract with Chase. They used to have a product where for $49, you could get maybe $300 of value. Now you can only get maybe $150 of value. If you don’t like it, cancel the card and move on.
    I think Chase is being generous for making any exceptions at all. When you signed up for the card, you got a sign up bonus in exchange for your first years annual fee. The possibility of an anniversary night with the second year fee was never guaranteed. The writing was always on the wall with bloggers bragging about how this was the most generous benefit ever.

  27. I have a strong data point to provide. I’m 12/24 with 11 of those card approvals since June 2017, including 5 Chase cards, one of which was the $49 Chase card (still open). I was booking a room on the IHG website a few moments ago and found a link there for the Premier card with all the same specifications mentioned above but also with a $50 statement credit after the first purchase, thus effectively lowering the first year’s fee to $39. I applied and was immediately approved. (All credit scores around 805.) The recent devaluation certainly ticks me off, and I’m one of the unfortunate ones who applied for the $49 IHG card during summer of 2017 so I never even got one free uncapped night, unlike the latecomers, but this is at least a small silver lining.

  28. @Omer Check your IHG link above again. Those properties have been removed from the revised list. See my previous comment above.
    @QTang That’s correct, for the 2 new cards (Premier and Traveler).

  29. Add me to the list of people who rarely stay more than 3 nights at the same hotel, but I’m on the road ~250 nights/year. This card’s still a skip for me, mainly due to the capping of the free night benefit.

  30. Honestly, I only stay at a IHG property once a year, so this card isn’t worth it. Personally, I think Amex’s Hilton Ascend card is a much better value for the same price.

  31. I think that this card is valuable if you purchase IHG points and you redeem your points annually. The 10x per dollar on IHG hotels could be good for the extra fees such as the taxes and fees or the parking fees, if applicable. With this said the 1x points on everything else or the 2x on the categories mentioned doesn’t matter because there are other cards that service those categories which are of a better value.

  32. Fool me once… I’ll pass on this until they devalue again. THEN I’ll apply and shake the dice to see if they grandfather me in

  33. Pretty much every good place to go for a vacation is on the “no” list now. I thought I’d keep my IHG card for life, and frankly it made me consider IHG hotels when I normally wouldn’t. But I will be canceling. Especially since they screwed my husband who doesn’t even get one night at the original terms.

  34. On the bright side, I won’t have to think about IHG hotels anymore! I can focus on accruing points at other chains.

  35. I have the select card but the 80000 points is tempting. I am pretty sure exceeded 5/24 limit. I am wondering if I should call up chase and check if they can switch me to premier provided I can get the signup bonus. I opened the select in June 2016 and so wondering if I can eligible for the bonus. Any thoughts?

  36. @ sv — If you product change the card you won’t get the sign-up bonus, you’d have to apply directly. However, this card isn’t impacted by 5/24, so you should be able to get approved despite being over that limit.

  37. I applied for this card after the post where points on sale with 20% discount.

    I received a ‘we will have to review your application’ notice after submitting app online

    Today I got letter I assumed would be a denial as I could not feel a card inside the envelope.

    However, I was approved, but they reduced my British Airways card credit limit to accommodate this one…Yahoo. This is no problem as I already got the 100,000 Avios sign up bonus.

  38. The 20% discount cannot be combined with any other points purchase offer. Point purchase transactions managed by Points.com.

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