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I’m a frequent guest at InterContinental Hotels Group properties for a number of reasons, most of which revolve around how well the hotel chain takes care of repeat guests. You can sign up for IHG’s free membership program, for example, to access discounted room rates, and the chain’s portfolio is also big enough — it includes Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and InterContinental hotels — that I can usually find somewhere to stay wherever I go that’s part of the brand.
There are other benefits of being a repeat IHG guest we could go into, but for the purposes of this post, we’re going to take a look at a co-branded IHG credit card from Chase that’s offering a pretty impressive bonus at the moment just for signing up. In fact, that card — the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card — is offering its highest-ever sign-up incentive: 125,000 IHG bonus points once you’ve spent $3,000 in the first three months after opening the card.
Not only that, but you’ll also get an incredible 25x points per dollar spent at IHG Hotels and Resorts for the first 12 months after signing up. All told, you’ll actually end up earning a whopping 40x points for every dollar you spend at an IHG hotel for the next year. And as if that wasn’t enough, you can also score 4x points on all other purchases for your first 12 months with the card. After that, you’ll rack up 2x points for every dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants (and 1x point on all other purchases).
Let’s take a closer look at why this specialty card is definitely worth your consideration.
(Before you get too excited about the benefits and want to sign up, we should mention right off the bat that the IHG Premier Card does now appear to be subject to Chase’s so-called 5/24 rule. Basically, it stipulates that if you’ve opened at least five personal credit cards in the last 24 months (no matter what issuer they’re from) Chase isn’t likely to approve you for this card.)
The annual fee will set you back $89, and unfortunately, you can’t waive it during the first year like you can with other cards. However, the card does grant cardholders IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status, with The Points Guy valuing this status at $880 for those that earn it through stays. If you’re a regular IHG guest, this perk alone could make the $89 annual fee worth it.
Free hotel room nights are another nice perk associated with this card. Cardholders automatically get a fourth consecutive night free — and after your first cardholder year and for each card anniversary after that, you’ll score a free night certificate good at any IHG property that charges a maximum 40,000 points for an award night stay. I can definitely see taking advantage of the fourth-night free perk by specifically extending vacation stays around it, but that’s just me.
One final perk category we want to mention is the category bonuses. As noted, you’ll earn 25x IHG points per dollar spent on IHG purchases in your first year — but since this card also grants you Platinum Elite status, you’ll earn a 50% bonus on hotel stays. IHG Rewards members get a base earning rate of 10x points per dollar spent, which means that after the 50% elite bonus you’ll earn 15x points per dollar spent directly from IHG Rewards. Adding that to the 25x earning rate on the card and you’ll get at least 40x points per dollar spent for the first 12 months. All in all, an impressive rewards structure that makes this card seriously attractive to IHG regulars.
The final word
With all of the stellar rewards and bonuses we mentioned above, from the 125,000-point sign-up bonus to the fourth award night free and much more, the card certainly makes a solid case for itself. Not so much as a general spending card, but our verdict is that the IHG Premier more than pays for the $89 annual fee for frequent guests of the chain.