8 Reasons To Get The IHG Premier Card

Filed Under: Chase, IHG Rewards
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The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (review) is phenomenal — it’s worth getting for the great bonus that is being offered, and it’s worth keeping for the long-term perks.

While a lot of people may not be planning travel right now, there are a few reasons to consider getting this card:

  • It has an excellent welcome bonus
  • It has a reasonable minimum spending requirement, so even with people spending less right now, it should be possible for many to complete the spending needed
  • One of the primary benefits of this card is a free night certificate that you get every account anniversary, so you get your first one in about a year; hopefully, more people will feel comfortable traveling by then

In this post, I wanted to look at nine reasons to apply for this card. In no particular order:

125K Point & Free Night Welcome Bonus

The IHG Premier Card is offering a welcome bonus of 125,000 IHG Rewards Club points and a free night award after spending $3,000 within three months. This is the richest bonus I’ve seen on this card, and the spending requirement is even quite reasonable, which is great.

I value IHG points at 0.5 cents each, so to me the 125,000 points are worth ~$625. Add in the free night award good for a property up to 40,000 points and that adds another $200 in value for a total of $825.

125,000 IHG points can potentially get you lots of hotel stays

Anniversary Free Night Certificate

Arguably the single best benefit of the IHG Premier Card, which more than justifies the ongoing $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.

For example, I’ve stayed at the InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut and InterContinental Johannesburg Airport using free night certificates, and in each case, a night would have otherwise cost $250+.

Redeem your anniversary free night certificate at the InterContinental Beirut

Fourth Night Free On Award Redemptions

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.

Get a fourth night free at the InterContinental Willard Washington DC

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. IHG Rewards Club Platinum status includes the following perks:

  • Room upgrades, subject to availability
  • A 50% bonus on base points
  • Early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability
  • A welcome amenity

Receive room upgrades as an IHG Platinum member

Cell Phone Protection

Cell phones are super expensive nowadays, so getting a card that offers cell phone protection could be well worth it. With the IHG Premier Card you can get up to $1,000 per year in cell phone protection:

  • Get up $800 per claim
  • This applies towards covered theft or damage
  • You must pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card to be eligible
  • You can have a maximum of two claims in a 12 month period
  • There’s a $50 deductible per claim

Get cell phone protection with the IHG Premier Card

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.

TSA PreCheckThe card offers a TSA Pre-Check credit every four years

Stack Benefits 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 it might not be worth product changing from IHG’s old credit card to the new one.

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 refunded 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

You are eligible for the bonus on the IHG Premier Card even if you have the old version of the IHG Card. Furthermore, you’re also eligible for the IHG Premier Card (including the bonus) if you have the no annual fee IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card (review).

Anecdotally Easy Approval

Historically Chase is one of the tougher issuers with which to get a card approved. The IHG Premier Card has all the standard Chase approval restrictions, and this card is subjected to the 5/24 rule.

However, anecdotally many report that the IHG Premier Card is easier to get approved for, and that also matches my experience, as I got instantly approved when I applied (and I don’t otherwise remember the last time I was instantly approved for a Chase card).

It’s my understanding that Chase has different approval requirements for some co-brand cards, depending on the customer base they’re going after, and it sure seems like the IHG Card is the easiest of the travel rewards cards to get approved for.

Assuming you’ve otherwise struggled to be approved for Chase cards (while still being under 5/24, etc.), then this could be a good card to consider.

IHG Premier Card Summary

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, IHG Platinum status, etc.

The best-case scenario is having the IHG Premier Card and old IHG Select Card, since you can stack the fourth night free and 10% award rebates towards a single stay.

If you’ve been considering getting this card but haven’t yet applied, this is your last chance to do so.

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  1. Being a travel blogger who makes money off credit cards isn’t exactly a good place to be right now. Collecting points right now is pointless. Many (all?) have lost a ton of value either due to the fact that you can’t travel anywhere, places you can travel have greatly cut back what you can do or cut back amenities, or the cash price is so low you aren’t getting much of any value from the points.

    Suggesting people to get these cards is foolish and makes you look bad. Nothing has improved in the number of virus cases, much of Europe is closing up again, no vaccine close, treatments are a bit better but still no sure fire treatments, and besides the potential risk of traveling, once you get there you may not be able to do much and risk getting stuck in a lock down.

  2. @rich While I understand some won’t be willing to travel, I’ve personally redeemed over 1 million points/miles across various currencies for travel through next May. Availability tends to be very good, as is the value.

    The IHG card is no AF for the first year anyway, so for those looking at future travel, it presents a good opportunity to bank some points and that free night will hit just in time to book travel in 2022, when things should be fully open in a post-vaccine world.

    If you’re not interested in applying I get it, but there are plenty who are and Lucky isn’t exactly forcing anyone to apply.

  3. With a waived annual fee and historically high bonus I see no problem with mentioning this card now. Hawking something like the Amex Platinum might cause me to raise an eyebrow, but this card I have zero problem with given the facts. The IHG definitely has “keeper card” potential and no immediate downside, so why not apply and stash the points for some time when the world is no longer in full panic mode?

    I intend to travel again as soon as possible when all the ridiculous restrictions are lifted and I am still using credit cards to buy what I need just like before. If the downturn is causing card issuers and co-brand partners to offer special sweet deals to keep interest up and drum up new business, who am I to say no? Personally I appreciate Lucky bringing offers like this to light.

  4. I go to Europe to see family. I try not to stay with them for more than one day at a time. I use points when it makes sense to offset hotel room costs when visiting, and to also pay for rooms when we take a family road trip. Status in europe means something not as much as it does in Japan, but you are treated alot better than in the US

  5. @rich I personally this is a great time to collect points with all signup/spend bonuses offered. When everything is open, I will have all the points to book my trips when other people who has the same thoughtbas you are still trying to collect them. Got 4 credit cards since Covid started. Actually I already booked trips next year. If we still can’t travel, everything is free cancellation. If we can, I don’t have to fight for availability. Also you don’t have to live in the US to apply for US cards.

  6. @rich
    There are lots of places that are open, and there are lots of places that are “safe”, even if your day job is hygiene theater on social media for judgmental in-laws. I just got back from Hyatt’s stunning Carmel Valley Ranch on a points stay, my fourth stay since August. How awesome and caring we look going to a place with 500 acres to social distance; we hiked in solitude through Pinnacles National Park on Thanksgiving Day. It is actually a great time to be traveling if you are sensible and sensitive about where you choose to go.

    I’ve applied and received six cards in the last few months; we’re industriously using quarantine time to build up a base of points to spend when things really re-open.

    The better question regarding this IHG card is why we would want to burn credit and a Chase 5/24 slot on this relatively boring and unrewarding card. Offhand I can think of a bunch of recent offers that are way, way better than this:

    * Marriott’s two AMEX cards, each which come with a huge 100,000 point bonus, Platinum Status for 2021, and an annual nights certificate.

    * The World of Hyatt Card, which has similar benefits and similar low costs but which is tied to by far the best and most rewarding loyalty program in the business IMHO

    * The awesome recent AMEX Platinum offers (100,000 points, up to 225,000 points additional earning on gas and groceries at 10X points per dollar, $300 in restaurant reimbursement, and numerous other cash credits and benefits.)

  7. @Kendor

    I got a similar dilemma , because of the single slot spot left (5/24) and am wondering between Hyatt and IHG cards. Hyatt program seems better , but they have less footprint than IHG outside the States and no 4/5th free award night. The sign-up bonuses are the same , so I kind of incline more to IHG , simply because of the bigger portfolio and 4/5th free night.

    Also , I have Boundless and Surpass cards.

  8. @Stan P

    Speaking as someone with top tier status in multiple hotel programs, your choice would be a no-brainer for me: I’d get the Hyatt card all the way with that last 5/24 slot. World of Hyatt is amazing as a Globalist, and in my experience, amazingly generous. Hyatt is just killing the competition when it comes to returning value to its upper-tier elites, and from my point of view I have received many tens of thousands of dollars of benefits as a result of participating in World of Hyatt and the cobranded credit card, which is a critical part of any Hyatt elite strategy. I am also appreciative of the relative stability of Hyatt points, which have not devalued much if at all in the time I’ve participated in the program.

    That said, Hyatt has properties I love in the places I love. If that’s not the case with you, then it doesn’t make a huge amount of sense to chase status with them no matter how good the loyalty program.

  9. I have an anniversary night certificate expiring this month. Even with COVID-19 ramping up, IHG “customer care” just says sorry and that there will be no extensions.

    A lost night (or even a forced use night) leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Somebody out there can get the card to make up for my dropping the card. There will be no more IHG card, or paid IHG stays, for me. Hilton and others have handled COVID-19 much better, and I will remember that when I start back traveling.

  10. I guess they spent all their money paying bloggers to promote their CC instead of taking care of existing customers by extending expiring free night certificates beyond 12/31/2020. Penny wise pound foolish.

  11. I took a walk from IHG over their policy not to extend certificates. No club access as Spire. No breakfast. Upsells that are insane. No thanks.

  12. Having had my Marriott and Hilton certificates extended well before expiration date I can not understand why IHG is not being more reasonable on extending certificates. I have two expiring this month. My husband is “high risk” for Covid with sever coronary health problems and I can not risk bringing the virus home by taking non essential trips.

    Will I boycott IHG ? – No, while I consider them the distant #3 brand, their program still does offer some “sweet spots”, especially being able to get 4th rather then 5th night free on award stays if you hold their credit card. However, IHG is unworthy of my loyalty as a customer and will focus my paid stays with Hilton where I am a Diamond. Hilton is not perfect but I feel there Covid policies have been the most consumer friendly.

    When family and friends ask about hotel loyalty programs I do warn them that “IHG Corporation is a low class operation with antiquated website” . Base on my phone dealings with them they clearly outsource their customer service offshore to the lowest cost provider.

    There are those who will travel and spread Covid during current spike to avoid forfeiting their annual night. I am surprise that Chase does not lean on IHG to be more responsible corporate citizen and extend their certificates. This policy dragging Chase’s name down too.

    I wonder if IHG has a public relations department that reads online posts.? Man are they getting flamed over certificates , as they should be. I am printing this post out and mailing it to:

    Keith Bar
    Chief Executive Officer
    InterContinental Hotels Group (US office)
    3 Ravinia Drive
    Suite 100
    Georgia 30346-2149

    Yes, I know they are headquartered in UK but assume this will still get me a “dot of the chart”

    Stop complaining online and address an envelope.

  13. Hey everyone
    I’m over 5/24
    Good record with chase and have the old IHG card years now. What are the chances of getting approved for this card?

  14. Lucky, I keep seeing you post regarding the idea you can get the bonus if you already have the old IHG Club Select card, but the following direct from the IHG website seems to contradict that:

    “If you currently have an IHG Rewards Club Credit Card from Chase, or you earned a new cardmember bonus on that credit card within the last 24 months, you are not eligible to receive another of the same credit card.” – the wording is somewhat vague

    Are some offers supposed to exclude individuals with the old card versus others?

  15. @ Michael Gaitan — You’re absolutely right that the offer page is vague, but if you click on the “Offer Details” button, you’ll see it spelled out explicitly:
    “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.”

    I’ve confirmed that my interpretation is correct here, so you’d qualify for the bonus if you just had the IHG Select Card.

  16. I got this card when the bonus offer was 75K points and thought it was great. Now that it offers nearly twice that plus no annual fee for first year it is a no brainer.

  17. Lucky,

    Is that not negated by this statement in the pricing & terms?

    “Chase cardmembers who currently have or have had a Chase credit card in any Rewards Program associated with this offer, may not be eligible for a second Chase credit card in the same Rewards Program.”

  18. I agree that this was a great offer. I was rejected, appealed, and rejected again. Credit score 839. Reason: I did not use the Chase card I already have enough. And, I have qualified for too much credit on the cards I already have. I wonder how people can accumulate 3, 4 or 5 of the same branded cards?

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