7 Reasons To Get The IHG Premier Credit Card

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In early April, IHG made some major changes to their credit card portfolio, as they introduced the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. In the process they stopped issuing the old IHG credit card, which is a loss, but at this point we have to make the best of the current cards.

For those who don’t yet have the new IHG Premier Card, in this post I wanted to look at seven reasons to apply for this card, especially now that this card has an increased welcome bonus. In no particular order:

Increased welcome bonus of 80K points

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

The best part is that you’re eligible for this card even if you have the old IHG credit card.

Not subjected to 5/24

While most Chase cards are subjected to the 5/24 rule (which means you typically won’t be approved for a card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months), this card isn’t. So you’re potentially eligible for this card even if you’ve opened more cards in that timeframe.

An anniversary free night certificate

Arguably the single best benefit of the IHG Premier Card, which more than justifies the $89 annual fee, is the anniversary free night certificate. This certificate can be redeemed at an IHG property retailing for up to 40,000 points per night, which covers over 95% of IHG properties around the world. While this won’t get you a stay at one of IHG’s top InterContinental properties, I still find this to be extremely worthwhile, given that a vast majority of hotels retail for over $89 per night.

A fourth night free on award redemptions

I think the other best perk of the IHG Premier Card is that it offers a fourth night free on award redemptions. If you stay for four consecutive nights on an award redemption then you only have to redeem points for the first three nights. This is an awesome perk, since it can be used an unlimited number of times (you can even use it to book multiple rooms at the same hotel). If you usually redeem points for stays in increments of four nights, this is like getting 25% off all your redemptions. This is a fantastic perk.

IHG Rewards Club Platinum status

Just for having the IHG Premier Card you get IHG Rewards Club Platinum status, which is valid for as long as you have the card. That comes with lots of great perks, including room upgrades, bonus points, late check-out, and more.

A Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credit

For some this will be valuable, and for others it won’t offer much value, but the card also offers a statement credit of up to $100 when you use your card for a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check enrollment fee, up to once every four years. This is a nice perk that could easily get you more value than the annual fee.

Benefits you can stack with IHG’s old credit card

Some of you may be thinking “I have IHG’s old credit card, so the new card doesn’t seem worth it.” I agree that IHG’s old credit card was more lucrative, but that card isn’t open to new cardmembers anymore. The beauty is that if you get the IHG Premier Card, you can stack some of the benefits of the two cards:

  • Both cards offer an anniversary free night certificate, so you could earn two of those each year, and use them for back-to-back stays
  • The old card offers a 10% refund on redeemed points (up to 100,000 points per year), while the new card offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, and you could stack those benefits; in other words, if you make a four night stay at a hotel costing 70,000 points per night you’d end up paying 210,000 points, and then would get 21,000 points back, for a total cost of 189,000 points, which is over 30% off

Bottom line

Personally I don’t think the IHG Premier Card is as generous as the old IHG card that is no longer open to new applications. Given that, I still think the card is definitely worthwhile, especially now that it has an increased welcome bonus. I thought the original welcome bonus was solid, but this one is even better.

Personally I’d get the card for the anniversary free night certificate alone, though there are potentially valuable benefits beyond that, including the fourth night free on award redemptions.

Given that I have the old IHG card as well, I’m excited to get the new one soon, so I can get two anniversary free night certificates per year, and so that I can stack the fourth night free with the 10% rebate.

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  1. Thank you for not making the “20% back on purchased points” a benefit. IHG is so ambiguous in their T&C language, and even after promising me in writing that I would receive 20% back automatically during the 80% bonus point purchase offer a month or so ago, they have continually refused to honor their promise.

    I’m not sure if I should contact Chase and dispute the charge after their refusal or not. I bought $500 in points to make the below booking, so I’m out $100.

    I have the old IHG card as well. We booked the Ink 148 in NYC for 5 nights. One night on anniversary night credit, and 4 nights with the pay for 3 get the 4th night free plus the 10% back with the old card.

  2. I have the IHG rewards club card. If I apply for the new premier card, do I get the welcome bonus points by completing the requisite spending requirements ? Or will that not be allowed since I have this old card?

    Related to the Hilton American express card, similarly, I understand that if you auto-received the new American Express Hhonors card when the Citi Hhonors card fazed out, you can receive The welcome points if you upgrade to their premier Hilton card and complete the requisite spending within the requisite time frame? or not?

  3. @Patrick — I have the club card and received the 80k bonus for the new premier card. Wasn’t a problem. Have used to stack award nights discounts just like Ben suggested. Works like a charm.

  4. @ Ben — Are you sure about the 4th Nt Free combining with the 10% rebate? I haven’t seen this hit our account yet, but now that I think more about it, maybe we haven’t completed one of these stays yet.

  5. Can we apply for and receive the bonus for both the IHG Premier card and the Traveler card
    (65 K bonus) if one already has the old IHG card? Thanks for your response.

  6. For once I have been grandfathered into a lucrative card! I’d love to get both to stack the free nights. Are you sure about the 4th night free and 10% back stacking, though? I’d love some data points on that.

  7. @ Anastasia — I’ve seen several data points suggesting that they stack, though I have no firsthand experience (I don’t have the new IHG Card yet, as I’m trying to first get below 5/24).

  8. And a reason not to: IHG points are in my experience the worst points currency out there right now. One real world example: upcoming trip to 3 countries in SE Asia. Best deal per point I can find is 40K points for a $135 room in Hong Kong.

  9. Personally I think lucky should start posting his monthly spending and on which cards he does it. In percent terms if he wants to protect some privacy.

    I will be an easier convert if you added these data to back you up when you recommend a new cards, especially if you have been regularly posting it for a few months.

  10. Someone said these are worst points to use…. We are taking a 2 week to Japan. Out of 15 nights, we are only paying for 3 nights. One paid night is the Ambassador 2 for 1 in IC ANA Tokyo. We are paying to stay at an onsen for 2 nights. Our 3 nights at the IC Osaka should cost $3k, all free. You have to know how to use these points and search for the best redemption. But for about 400k points, I think we received excellent value. And, lately we have been receiving upgrades that are much better than other chains. Even on award stays. The IC Danang upgraded us 2 levels on our award nights. The pic in the banner is the IC Danang which is a really nice resort, especially when it is free.

  11. @ Keith – I have paid 25K a night for a Hotel Indigo Tel Aviv with nightly rates of $300. I’ll be paying 40K a night at Intercontinental Lisbon with rates also around $300. So it just depends where and when you stay

  12. Reason #8 – The only reason I would consider this card, which goes hand-in-hand with Reason #5 (IHG Platinum status) and almost got me to pull the trigger and apply for it, is that IHG hotels may sometimes be the only game in some destinations, so that having elite status in IHG Rewards could ensure recognition and deference in strange places…

    For my 2018 Year-end Asian Escapade(tm), I decided to be ‘adventurous’ and spend a couple of days in Vientiane (VTE), Laos (just a 1-hour hop from BKK on TG). Never been there, but I quickly established that currently the city has no Hyatt, Marriott/SPG or Hilton presence, although in the case of Hilton that will change in early 2020 when a DoubleTree is scheduled to open [1].

    Therefore, I went to my usual Plan B, and searched for 5-star hotels in VTE using AGODA. Exactly 8 hotels met my search criterion, one of which was Crowne Plaza Vientiane. That’s when it occurred to me that it might be useful to have the IHG Plat status in places like VTE that are sort of ‘out of the way’, and offer no choice of chains/programs that I patronize. In the end I decided not to get the IHG card because I did not need yet another reward card, and it was not at all clear how often I am likely to encounter a situation like I did in VTE.
    [1] “Hilton Enters Laos with DoubleTree by Hilton: Signing Hotel in historic Vientiane Capital underscores company’s growing APAC footprint” – March 28, 2017

    “VIENTIANE, Laos and MCLEAN, Va. – Hilton (NYSE: HLT) and DoubleTree by Hilton today signed a management agreement with TPD Company Limited, a subsidiary of the TK Group, to manage the 160-room DoubleTree by Hilton Vientiane, which is scheduled to open in early 2020. The announcement marks Hilton’s entry into Laos and the brand’s debut in the historic capital city of Vientiane.

    “We are excited to introduce the award-winning DoubleTree by Hilton brand into the historic and charming town of Vientiane,” said Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “As one of the first global hotel companies with a presence in the market, we look forward to welcoming both international and domestic visitors to the city with our unforgettable service and countless smiles, starting with our signature, warm DoubleTree Cookie at check-in.””

    Oh boy, can’t wait to be welcomed with a warm cookie at check-in at DT VTE…(◔_◔)

  13. Hey Lucky, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting this card.
    As I understand, the anniversary night applies to 40,000 points per night. While that’s still good, and worth more than the 89$ fee, that excludes a number of the higher end properties.
    Second, while the platinum status is certainly nice, it doesn’t come with things like free breakfast, lounge access, or guaranteed check out. I’m not going to be using this as my primary card, so all the bonus IHG points don’t mean so much to me.
    So I’m still going back and forth.

    On a related note, I’m considering getting the new Amtrak card with 30K points after 1000 in purchases. That has an 89 $ fee too but with 30K points I could get lots of NYC-BOS/PHL/WAS trips.

    Any thoughts on that card?

  14. With this card Is the award cost savings if a 4 night booking showing at booking? (A 4 night 40,000 night hotel costing only 120,000 at booking) or 40,000 4 th night credited later? And how about previous 4 night award bookings? Do they need to be rebooked after get this card?

  15. With this card Is the award cost savings if a 4 night booking showing at booking? (A 4 night 40,000 night hotel costing only 120,000 at booking) or 40,000 4 th night credited later? And how about previous 4 night award bookings? Do they need to be rebooked after get this card?

  16. @ John — The cost gets deducted at the time of booking, so you only need the points for the first three nights in your account. Previously booked ones would need to be rebooked, since you get the discount at the time of booking.

  17. I applied just before the bonus was raised to 100,000 points for a $3,000 spend. I will get 80,000 for only a $2,000 spend. Everything else is the same. Personally I’m glad to spend the $1,000 bucks somewhere else.

    But yes, it does stack to the same account (I still have my old card) and you get both free nights going forward. I just had an in-town stay-cation at the new Kimpton LaPeer in West Hollywood. It’s the first 5 star hotel in their chain. I loved being able to take my dog with me and enjoy the pampering he received and the free wine hour I received. The night I stayed my room would have been $489 + tax. Sure I wish I was in Manhattan or Beijing, but my year end date was looming so I stayed local. Having two nights going forward will be awesome. That’ll definitely be a lot more useful in planning trips or extended layovers.

  18. @JohnB – I have the old IHG card and used 2 anniversary nights (previous year + current year) in combination with a points award booking for a stay at IC Da Nang later this year. Two questions for you – Am I correct in that the anniversary nights on the new IHG card will exclude redemptions at higher category hotels (like IC Da Nang)? You were upgraded 2 levels on your award stay at IC Da Nang – was that a paid upgrade or because of Spire or Ambassador status or other reason? TIA.

  19. One more reason NOT to apply for this card: lots of Chase shutdown stories from people who have engaged in MS shenanigans, who were apparently flying nicely under the radar for years, then applyied for one more Chase card (often a hotel card) then boom – they’re approved for that new card, followed immediately by having all their Chase cards shut down.

    If you would rather not get RAT team eyes on your account, think carefully before applying for this one.

  20. Lucky,

    Does the 4th night free apply to points + cash BOOKINGS? I know IHG converts the cash to points to book the room, so it should right?

    Do you also get the 10% points purchase rebate with a points + cash booking?


  21. @ Joe M. — It only applies to free night reservations, and not Points + Cash bookings. The points purchase discount only applies of buying points at normal price through IHG, and not in conjunction with a Points + Cash booking.

  22. Does the fourth night free on award redemptions need to stay in the same hotel or i can stay four consecutive nights in different IHG hotels?

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