The One (And Only) Credit Card I Want But Don’t Have

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I have a lot of credit cards — 24 at this point, to be exact — and for the most part I’m really happy with my credit card portfolio.

The five credit cards I’ve recently picked up

For a while there were a lot of credit cards that I really wanted, though since October I’ve picked up five cards, all of which I’ve had my eye on for quite a while. Since then I’ve applied for:

  • The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, which has a $95 annual fee, a welcome bonus of up to 80K points, offers 3x points in select categories, and has an excellent cell phone protection plan
  • The Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card, which has no annual fee, a welcome bonus of up to 50K points, and offers 1.5x points on all purchases
  • The World of Hyatt Credit Card, which has a $95 annual fee, a welcome bonus of up to 60K points, offers five nights towards status annually just for having the card, and much more
  • The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, which has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), a welcome bonus of up to 200K Spark miles, and offers 2x Spark miles per dollar spent
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which has a $450 annual fee, a welcome bonus of up to 150K points, and offers Diamond status, an annual weekend night reward, a $250 airline fee credit every calendar year, and a $250 Hilton resort credit every cardmember year

The one card I still want

Like I said, at this point I’m really happy with the cards I have, though it got me thinking what other cards I’d like to get. Much to my surprise, I realized that I think I just about have all of the cards I could possibly want… with the exception of one.

The one card I don’t have but wish I could get is the  IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.

This is a card that was introduced earlier in the year. I actually have the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which is no longer open to new applicants as of the beginning of the year.

While I could upgrade from the old card to the new card, you can actually have both cards, and there are benefits to doing so.

The old card that I have offers an anniversary free night certificate valid at any IHG hotel retailing for up to 40,000 points per night and a 10% refund on redeemed points, for a total of up to 100,000 refunded points per year.

The reason I want the $89 annual fee IHG Rewards Premier Card is because of how complementary the benefits are. This card offers:

  • An anniversary free night certificate valid at any IHG hotel retailing for up to 40,000 points per night
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card
  • A fourth night free on award redemptions, which can be used an unlimited number of times
  • A TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit once every four years

So by having both cards there are some great benefits I could stack. I could get two anniversary free night certificates every year, and I could also stack the 10% refund on redeemed points with the fourth night free on award redemptions.

In other words, if I made a four night booking for 25,000 points per night, I’d end up paying just 67,500 points (the fourth night would be free, and then I’d get 10% of the 75,000 points that I redeem back). That’s an excellent value.

The reason I haven’t been able to get this card is because the IHG Rewards Premier Card is now subjected to the 5/24 limit, and I’m over that at the moment. So it’s a card I could get eventually, but not for now.

I guess since there aren’t too many cards I’m looking to apply for nowadays I could just wait until I get back under 5/24, though that’s going to be a while.

What credit cards are on your radar for 2019?

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  1. Lucky. Can you explain me why do you need 24 credit cards? You just cannot justify having all 24 cards. How do you manage payments for them? I know you gather points and all.

    How much do you spend on annual fees?

  2. No Starwood Luxury card for you, Lucky?

    Here is what I am looking to pick up next year:

    1) One of the Citi AA cards
    2) Amex Gold Card (will pick this up very early January)
    3) Starwood Luxury Card
    4) JetBlue Card
    5) Capital One Venture
    6) British Airways (is this card still exempt from 5/24)?

    Also looking at these upgrades:
    1) Hilton Ascend to Aspire
    2) Chase Sapphire Preferred to Reserve

    Spending goals:
    1) $25,000 on Delta Platinum
    2) Maybe $15,000 on Hilton Ascend

  3. Hi Lucky,

    Well another year of travel draws to a close, as I look forward to the many new products you plan to review in 2019. I always enjoy reading about your adventures.

    I am curious as to how you manage to qualify for so many cards among which are several business cards. Do you have a corporation or sole proprietorship and how do you support yourself if you don’t mind sharing that pearl.

    I wonder how many cards are approved because of your prominence within the travel community, where the average working Joe wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance of having a mitt full of cards .

    Keep on flying and I wish you & Ford a prosperous, adventure filled 2019

  4. Lucky,

    I also have both cards but stacking did not work. I was planning for a short trip in Manila last month and tried to book 6 nights at Crowne Plaza using IHG website. Its website only showed 4th night free so I called IHG customer service. I explicitly explained about having both new and old IHG credit cards but 10% refund on redeemed points does not show up in IHG website when making reservation. The rep told me that the 10% refund on redeemed points only works when using points and cash (i.e., not just points) to book a reservation.

    Also tried to clarify this with IHG’s twitter account but it has no use. It responded almost 24 hours later and told me to call customer service rep.

  5. @Biokozy – not going to speak for Lucky but my wife and I have a total of 21 credit card and our total annual fee is $3,571. My wife and I love to travel (we already travel multiple times a year even before knowing about points and miles) and the credit cards game allow us to travel with a discount. Not only can I justify it but I wish I can apply for more if not for the 5/24 rules right now.

    Let just focus on the hotel cards:
    10 of our cards are hotel based card that comes with a “free night”. Our annual fee for the 10 cards are $2,226. With that 10 hotel cards, I have around 14 to 18 nights of hotel rooms cover for an annual year. That’s about $123.67 to $159 per night for me for the 14 to 18 nights I got with the 10 cards. That to me is not a bad deal anyways based on the kind of hotels I will be staying in with the free nights. Now if you would add up all the extra benefit I would also receive with the cards.. I think I got a great deal out of it (and that’s not even including all the sign-up bonus)!!

  6. @BlueMountain – I believe the 10% refund of points doesn’t return to your account AFTER the completion of your stay. So let say you are going to IC Bali (40,000) for 4 nights. You are still require to have 120,000 pts (not 160,000 pts if you have the new IHG card) points during reservation. 12,000 pts will return to your account after your stay (if you have the old IHG card).

  7. @BlueMountain, the rebate of 10% only happens –after– the stay, not before.

    The 4th night free you get on booking.

  8. @BlueMountain, stacking works (100% sure). You will not see the 10% refund on the website while booking a reservation (like the 4th night free); the refund takes a while (~4-6 weeks).

  9. Lars,

    Good point. I’m not a Lifetime Plat, so I didn’t think about that. At a minimum, its a $150 net fee for a 50,000 night certificate annually. For me, the card also gives 15 nights towards Platinum qualification (though the Personal card also gets you that).

    It was more posed as a question to Lucky. I have a slot for one more Amex credit card, and I already have the mid-tier hotel cards, so I am myself debating between the Aspire, Ascend, Delta Reserve or even EDP. For me, with the Personal and Luxury card, at least you get the certs, which are valuable.

  10. Ben,

    Any interest in the Centurion Card? You probably spend enough in travel a year to catch their attention.

  11. It’s absurd that IHG and Hyatt cards are unavailable to certain members of those loyalty programs because of 5/24. Meanwhile, AMEX sends out Hilton cards like they’re candy. We now spend more nights in Hiltons than Hyatts as a result of the certificates and points that we earn from card sign up and annual spend. Hyatt and IHG should never have allowed 5/24 to apply to members of their loyalty programs wanting a hotel branded credit card.

  12. $45k spend for 445k MR (400k + 45k from spend)
    Goldman Sachs Amex “Thanos” Platinum coming in Feb 2019

    Must have $400k+ in GS accounts to qualify

  13. Get it! It’s an awesome card and I have used the 4th night free on award redemptions many times over. The saving in points automatically shows on the final page when booking. And with the 40K point anniversary free night certificate, this card is a no-brainer.

  14. I am a frequent traveler to Bangkok and I just made my first ever points redemption here using the IHG Rewards Premier Card. I am stying over New Years and the normal luxury hotel price of around $200/night became $400+/night during the holiday.

    The Intercontinental Bangkok was available for 40,000 points per night. I booked four nights so it became a net 120,000 points which was a terrific value. Great card!

  15. Can the 4th night free be used with anniversary free nights. Say, If I have both IHG credit cards and book 2 free nights plus two nights on points, will points for one night be subtracted?

  16. Don’t agree.
    1. IHG hotels tend not to be as well located as Marriott/SPG and other brands
    2. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to use the free complementary night with many nights and locations not available.
    3. The TSA Precheck/global entry is offered by many other cards that you own
    4. If you really stay in many IHG hotels then the free night is valuable but it does not seem you stay anywhere very long…

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