IHG Traveler Card Review (No Annual Fee)

IHG Traveler Card Review (No Annual Fee)

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card Earn 80,000 bonus points | $0
Apply Now Terms Apply.
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card Earn 80,000 bonus points | $0
Earn 5x points at IHG hotels
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Fourth Night Free On Award Redemptions
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There are lots of reasons it can make sense to have hotel credit cards, including the ability to earn elite status, free nights, and more. However, not all hotel credit cards are created equal.

In this post, I wanted to take a look at the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card, which is a no annual fee hotel credit card that offers some valuable perks. Nonetheless, this isn’t generally a card I’d recommend applying for.

IHG Traveler Card Details For January 2022

For those looking for a no annual fee hotel rewards card, the IHG Traveler Card is one of the best ones out there. The card has an excellent welcome bonus and perks, but I do think there’s a better approach to take than applying outright for this card. First, let’s cover some of the basic details of the IHG Traveler Card (note that positive changes are being made to the card as of March 2022).

No Annual Fee & No Foreign Transaction Fees

Nobody likes paying fees, so one huge positive of the IHG Traveler Card is that it has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. While there’s an increasing number of no annual fee cards with no foreign transaction fees, it’s still relatively rare.

Sign-Up Bonus Of 80,000 IHG Points

The IHG Traveler Card is offering a welcome bonus of 80,000 IHG Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months:

  • I value IHG points at 0.5 cents each, so to me the bonus is worth $400, which is pretty great for a no annual fee card
  • You aren’t eligible for the IHG Traveler Card if you currently have this exact card, or have received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months
  • However, you are eligible for the card, including the bonus, if you have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
  • The IHG Traveler Card is issued by Chase, so standard credit card application rules apply, including the Chase 5/24 rule
Redeem IHG points at the Kimpton Vividora Barcelona Hotel

Earn Up To 5x Points Per Dollar Spent

Personally, I don’t find spending money on the IHG Traveler Card to be especially worthwhile. As mentioned above, I value IHG points at 0.5 cents each. The card earns:

If you’re looking to maximize rewards, I’d have a hard time justifying actually spending money on this card.

Fourth Night Free On Award Redemptions

One of the most valuable benefits of the IHG Traveler Card is that you get a fourth night free on award redemptions. There’s no limit to how often you can use this benefit, so this is essentially a way to save up to 25% on points redemptions, assuming you stay in increments of four nights. This is also a benefit offered on the more expensive IHG Premier Card.

Get a fourth night free at InterContinental properties

Earn IHG Gold Status With Spending

While the IHG Traveler Card doesn’t offer any status just for having a card, it does offer IHG Rewards Gold status when you spend $10,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Since there are better cards for everyday spending, and since IHG Rewards Gold status isn’t that valuable, personally that’s not a spending threshold I would put much effort into. IHG Gold status comes with very basic benefits, like bonus points, preferred rooms, and more.

Why You Shouldn’t Apply For The IHG Traveler Card

For a no annual fee card, the IHG Traveler Card is quite solid — it has a generous bonus, no foreign transaction fees, and even has useful perks, like a fourth night free on award redemptions.

However, for just about anyone I think the better strategy is to apply for the IHG Premier Card (review):

  • The card has an $89 annual fee, which is obviously higher than $0, but still reasonable
  • The card has a welcome bonus of 125,000 IHG Rewards points plus a free night certificate upon completing minimum spending, so that’s significantly better
  • The card offers incremental perks in the long run that make it worthwhile, including IHG Rewards Platinum status for as long as you have the card (with no spending requirement), plus a free night certificate on your account anniversary year, valid at a property cost up to 40,000 points

I’m by no means an IHG loyalist, but this card more than pays for itself year after year, as I consistently redeem the free night certificate at properties costing $250+ per night.

I think many will find that they get more value with the IHG Premier Card than the IHG Traveler Card, but if you don’t, there’s good news:

  • After a year you could downgrade the IHG Premier Card to the IHG Traveler Card, if you don’t want to pay the $89 annual fee
  • However, I think many will find the IHG Premier Card worthwhile after getting it, and may not want to downgrade
I love the IHG Premier Card’s anniversary free night certificate benefit

Bottom Line

The no annual fee IHG Traveler Card offers an excellent welcome bonus of 80,000 points, plus valuable perks, like a fourth night free. This isn’t a card I would put much spending on, though, as there are more rewarding cards for everyday spending.

Personally I think the much better move is to apply for the IHG Premier Card for the better bonus and far superior perks. If you like the card you can keep it for years, while if you don’t you can always downgrade it to the IHG Traveler Card.

If you want to learn more about the IHG Traveler Card or apply, follow this link.

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