The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (review) is phenomenal — it’s worth getting for the very good welcome bonus, and it’s worth keeping for the long term perks. The welcome bonus is expected to be pulled tomorrow (Wednesday, December 1, 2021), so this is the last chance to apply. In this post, I wanted to look at eight reasons to apply for this card. In no particular order:
Welcome bonus of 150K IHG points
The IHG Premier Card is offering a welcome bonus of 150,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $3,000 within three months. This is an excellent bonus, and on top of that the card has a reasonable spending requirement that most people should be able to achieve.
I value IHG points at 0.5 cents each, so to me the 150,000 points are worth ~$750.
Waived annual fee the first year
Not only is the IHG Premier Card offering an excellent welcome bonus, but the card’s $89 annual fee is even waived for the first year. This essentially allows you to try the card before you have to “buy” it. You can’t beat getting a bonus that big, all while not paying the annual fee the first year.
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 a vast majority 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+.
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, and you can even use it at Six Senses properties). 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
- Room upgrades, subject to availability
- A 50% bonus on base points
- Early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability
- A welcome amenity
Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit
For some this will be valuable, and for others it won’t offer much value. The IHG Premier Card 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.
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 nights
- 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
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 remember the last time prior to that where 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 the card is targeting, and it sure seems like the IHG Card is among 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.
The IHG Premier Card is an awesome hotel credit card that just about everyone who is eligible should have, even if they’re not otherwise IHG loyalists. 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.
This is a very well rounded hotel credit card, and for most travelers the perks should more than justify the annual fee.