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The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has been offering its best-ever welcome bonus for what seems like forever, but now there are indications on the Chase website that this deal isn’t going to be around much longer. If you’ve been meaning to apply but just haven’t got around to it, now may be a good time to take another look at this excellent card in case the bonus gets pulled without any further notice.
Right up front, I need to disclose that I’ve had no information passed to me which says that anything is changing with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, and if you use any of my links, you won’t see any suggestion that the welcome bonus ending soon.
The Chase website, however, seems to have news that I don’t have because it has recently been updated to say that the current offer on the IHG Rewards Club Premier card is “ending soon”.
On the basis that the current welcome offer that comes with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is the highest offer we have ever seen, it’s unlikely that whatever is coming next will be an improvement.
Just as I have no official news to say that the offer is definitely going away, I also have nothing to tell me what the next welcome offer will look like so your guess is as good as mine.
So, with all that preliminary stuff out of the way, here’s a recap of what the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers and why I think that it’s a card a lot of people should have in their portfolio.
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Cost & welcome offer
Annual fee: Waived in the 1st year and then $89/year in subsequent years
Welcome bonus: Earn 150,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening (Link to more details).
The welcome bonus is not available to current holders of this credit card or previous holders of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.
If you hold another IHG Rewards Club credit card (like the no annual fee IHG Rewards Club Traveler credit card) you’re eligible to earn the welcome bonus.
- 10 Rewards Club points/dollar on spending at IHG Hotels & Resorts worldwide
- 2 Rewards Club points/dollar on spending at gas stations
- 2 Rewards Club points/dollar on spending at grocery stores
- 2 Rewards Club points/dollar on spending at restaurants
- 1 Rewards Club points/dollar on spending in all other categories
IHG Rewards Club members using this card to pay for stays at full-service IHG properties will earn 25 points/dollar on all IHG spending during their stay – 10 points/dollar for using the IHG Rewards Club Premier card to pay for a stay, 10 points/dollar for being an IHG Rewards Club member, 5 points/dollar for being an IHG Rewards Platinum member*
*The IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card offers IHG Platinum status as one of its benefits
- Get a free IHG award stay (at properties costing up to 40,000 points/night) every year.
- IHG Rewards Platinum elite status for as long as the card is held
- Get the 4th night free on IHG award bookings of 4 nights or more
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit of up to $100 every 4 years
- No foreign transaction fees
What Makes This Card Great
The Welcome Bonus
Based on how much value I can easily get out of my IHG Rewards Club balance I value IHG points at 0.4 cents each so this means that I value the welcome bonus points at $600.
For those who prefer to look upon the welcome bonus in terms of free nights, the 150,000 points that the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card is currently offering can be used to book two nights at a variety of top IHG properties around the world.
Most of the top-tier properties cost 75,000 – 100,000 points per night during busy times (so the welcome offer would cover just one night when cash rates are high) but thanks to dynamic award pricing, you should find that a lot of excellent hotels can be booked for considerably less than that.
Get a 4th night free on award bookings
This is a benefit that, on its own, should easily cover the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card’s annual fee.
Here are the key aspects of this benefit:
- There is no cap to how many times this benefit may be used
- The is no cap on the points value of the award booking (this can be used at top-tier IHG properties worldwide)
- Every 4th night of an award booking is free (so an 8-night stay would see a cardholder get two free nights).
- This benefit cannot be used in conjunction with a Points & Cash booking
When you consider that on a single 4-night stay this benefit can save a cardholder up to 100,000 points (the maximum cost of most IHG top-tier properties) and the fact that there’s no cap on how often this benefit can be used, the $89 annual fee looks like a bargain if you’re an IHG Rewards Club fan.
Annual free night award
Holders of the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card are given a certificate valid for a free night at properties costing up to 40,000 points per night every year on or around their card anniversary. The benefit may not be valuable enough to book IHG’s top-tier properties during busier times, but with dynamic award pricing now in action, cardholders should be able to find dates on which they can book some truly excellent properties (despite the recent horrendous devaluation earlier this year)
My view on IHG
I make no secret of the fact that I see very little value in the elite status aspect of the IHG Rewards program and that I have very little interest in making IHG my go-to hotel chain when I travel, so some may wonder why I like this card so much.
Well, it’s simple. The 4th-night free benefit that the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card offers combined with the frequent points sales that IHG promotes can be used to make fantastic savings on stays at some of the nicest properties in the IHG portfolio (I’ve written about this in detail in the past).
I love a great deal as much as anyone, so while I have little interest in earning a lot of IHG Rewards points organically (I prefer to earn Hyatt points where possible), I still love staying at great IHG properties when I’m getting a nice discount…and that’s exactly where the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card comes into play.
Based on a small banner that has appeared on the Chase website, it looks like the current 150,000 point welcome bonus that the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card is offering won’t be around for much longer.
With that in mind, now would be a very good time for any fans of IHG who don’t have this card to seriously think about adding it to their portfolio and for anyone who’d like to make more of the frequent IHG points sales to do the same.
To put it succinctly: I’m not sure how anyone who stays at IHG properties with any kind of frequency (or who likes to make the most of the good points sales), can fail to make this card work for them. To me, that’s a pretty good reason to hold this card.
[HT: reader Sanjay]