Last year 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 Select Credit Card, which is a loss, but at this point we have to make the best of the current cards.
In this post I wanted to look at seven reasons to apply for this card, especially as the card offers some fantastic benefits. In no particular order:
25x Points On IHG Spending For 12 Months
If you apply for this card you earn a total of 40x IHG Rewards Club points per dollar spent with IHG for the first 12 months. This is broken down as follows:
- 10x base points per dollar spent, which is standard for IHG
- 5x bonus points for being a Platinum member (which is status you get for having the card)
- 25x points per dollar spent for paying with the card (compared to the usual 10x points)
In other words, you’re earning an incremental 15x IHG points per dollar spent at IHG hotels for the first 12 months, which has the potential to add up quickly. This is the best return on spending offered by any hotel credit card, in my opinion.
Earn up to 40x points per dollar spent at IHG properties
4x Points On Everyday Spending For 12 Months
Ordinarily the card offers 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1x points on all other purchases.
However, if you sign up with this offer you can earn 4x points per dollar spent on all purchases for the first 12 months, making this card a great choice for your everyday spending.
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.
For example, I recently 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
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.
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
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.
The 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 IHG’s old credit card was arguably 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 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
IHG Premier Card Summary
The IHG Premier Card is a very well rounded card that I think is worth having.
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.