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
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.