Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade To The IHG Premier Card

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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Yesterday I wrote about how the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is offering a new best-ever welcome bonus.

Best-ever IHG Premier Card bonus details

With the new IHG Premier Card bonus you earn:

  • 125,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $3,000 within three months
  • 40x points per dollar spent on IHG hotel stays for the first 12 months (25x earning on the credit card and 15x points per dollar with Platinum status (complimentary as a cardmember))
  • 4x points per dollar spent on all eligible purchases for the first 12 months

The 125K bonus points alone are the best-ever bonus, but the 4-25x points for the first 12 months is what makes this offer especially exceptional. For anyone who doesn’t yet have the card and is eligible, this is the time to get it.

Are you eligible for the IHG Premier if you have the IHG Select?

The IHG Premier Card is still a fairly new card, as it was just introduced in April 2018. When it was introduced, it replaced the IHG Select Card.

There has been quite a bit of confusion regarding who is eligible for the IHG Premier Card, especially for those who have the old IHG Select Card.

You are eligible for the IHG Premier Card (including the welcome bonus) even if you have the IHG Select Card. And you absolutely should apply for the IHG Premier Card in addition to having the Select Card, rather than upgrading to it.


The IHG Premier Card is offering a welcome bonus of up to 125K points

Comparing benefits of IHG Premier & IHG Select

On the most basic level, the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card ($49 annual fee, no longer open to new applications) 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 10% refund on redeemed points, for a total of up to 100,000 refunded points per year

For the IHG Premier Card ($89 annual fee), I view the most valuable benefits to be:

  • 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


Redeem your anniversary free night award at the Crowne Plaza Changi

Deciding which IHG card is better for you

On the surface, the old IHG Select Card is probably an all-around better value. The card has an annual fee of $49, which is $40 per year cheaper, and offers the same anniversary free night certificate and Platinum status for as long as you have the card.

The other biggest benefit on both cards is the extra value you get when you redeem points — the old IHG Select Card offers a 10% rebate on redeemed points (up to 100,000 points per year), while the new IHG Premier Card offers a fourth night free on award redemptions.

The fourth night free on award redemptions has the potential to be more valuable, since it could offer up to 25% off. However, that requires redeeming in increments of exactly four nights. If that matches your typical redemption patterns, then I’d say that benefit is more valuable, while otherwise, the 10% rebate is likely to be more rewarding, since it applies to all redemptions.

Why you shouldn’t upgrade to the IHG Premier Card

While I think the IHG Premier Card is potentially more valuable for some (specifically, those who often redeem in increments of four nights), I wouldn’t recommend upgrading from one card to the other.

Why? Because you can have both cards, and you don’t want to cancel a card that you can never apply for again, especially one that has benefits that are this good.

You can continue to have the old IHG Select Card for the anniversary free night certificate and 10% refund on redeemed points, which is well worth the $49 annual fee.

Then you can complement that with the $89 annual fee IHG Premier Card, which has a welcome bonus of 125,000 points, plus offers 4-25x points per dollar spent. Then you can also benefit from the additional free night certificate and fourth night free on award redemptions.

The best part is that you can stack those benefits — if you have both cards you get two anniversary free night certificates per year, and you can combine the fourth night free on award redemptions with the 10% refund on redeemed points, which gets you maximum value. If you redeem in increments of four nights, that’s the equivalent of up to 32.5% off redemptions, which is excellent.


By having both cards you can save up to 32.5% on award stays

Bottom line

While many people are tempted to upgrade their existing IHG Select Card to the new IHG Premier Card, I highly recommend against this. You’d be giving up a card that you’ll never be able to apply for again, and that has a lower annual fee and a unique 10% refund benefit on redeemed points.

I’d much rather keep the IHG Select Card, and then apply for the IHG Premier Card, which has useful benefits that you can stack, and a big welcome bonus of up to 125K points (which you’re eligible to earn, assuming you don’t have the card).

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Comments
  1. Currently at a Hyatt Hotel, trying to log into my IHG account to see if I am eligible for the aforementioned $500 statement credit with the current portion. Access to ihg.com blocked with the hotel wifi.

    Land of the free.

  2. Lucky – Sorry for the Off-topic, but could you please make a post for advisory/guiding travelers to hong kong. I’m sure there are many of still with those ultra cheap First and Business class tickets from the Vietnam sale last year. Whats the best way to handle these tickets if flights get cancelled.

  3. I think he meant $50 statement credit and NOT $500! Go to the IHG website…start a booking…then the credit card will show up on the bottom or top of the page offering the same deal PLUS a $50 statement credit. Just did it myself.

  4. Here’s the thing. I have the Select card, and I have declined upgrading up until now. I am absolutely LOL/24 with no end in sight, and it is not worth going under 5/24 at the loss of tons of American Airlines miles with Citibank and picking up Amex cards here and there. Maybe if the game changes I’ll go under 5/24 way down the road, but this is just too long range and hard to bank on.

    I am in the same boat with the Hyatt card as well.

    I actually MAY take the bait and upgrade my IHG Select card because I could use the Global Entry credit because I very strangely do not have it on any other card, despite having a ton of cards.

    This post is great for the average Joe, but I think lots of your audience is over 5/24? Let alone many people are LOL/24.

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