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The welcome bonuses on both the IHG co-branded credit cards have recently been refreshed, so the entry-level card is now promoting a welcome offer that’s 25% higher than it was a couple of days ago, and the bonus being promoted by the more premium card is now not far off the highest points bonus that we have seen it ever offer.
I’m on record as saying that the card_name is a must-have card for anyone who pays to stay at IHG properties with any great frequency, and that’s an opinion that I’m happy to stand by – this can be an excellent card to hold, and even though I’m not the biggest fan of IHG One Rewards, you’ll find this card in my collection.
Note: This product is not available to current holders of any IHG Rewards personal credit card, or previous holders of any IHG Rewards personal credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for that credit card within the last 24 months.
The card’s key benefits
Leaving aside, for a moment, the value of the newly boosted welcome offer, this is a card that offers cardholders good key benefits:
- An annual free night certificate worth up to 40,000 points/night (this can be topped up with points for more expensive bookings).
- IHG One Rewards Platinum elite status (for as long as the card is held).
- A 4th night free on IHG award bookings of 4 nights or more.
- A Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS credit of up to $100 every 4 years.
- Up to $50 in TravelBank credits every year for United MileagePlus members.
- No foreign transaction fees.
It also offers strong earnings at IHG properties around the world:
- Up to 26 points/dollar on spending at IHG properties worldwide*
And it offers bonus points for spending in other categories:
- 5 points/dollar on spending at restaurants.
- 5 points/dollar on spending at gas stations.
- 5 points/dollar on travel spending.
- 3 points/dollar on eligible spending in all other categories.
*The 26 points/dollar earnings are broken down as follows: 10 points/dollar for using the card_name to pay for spending at full-service IHG properties, 10 points/dollar for being an IHG One Rewards member, and 6 points/dollar for being an IHG One Rewards Platinum member (a benefit of this card).
The card_name comes with a annual_fees annual fee and while some annual fees can be a little tricky to justify, someone who likes staying with IHG should have no trouble recouping the cost of holding this card.
Just using the 4th-night free benefit as infrequently as once a year should cover the card’s annual fee with ease, but even if a cardholder doesn’t get a chance to do that, the annual free night certificate that the card offers should do the job nicely.
The annual certificate is worth up to 40,000 points, but as it can be topped up with as many points as are required to book whatever IHG award night a cardholder has in mind, it can be viewed as a discount certificate as well as a certificate that can cover the cost of a night all on its own.
For anyone who is still unsure of how well this card will fit into their portfolio and how much use they’ll get out of it, the new welcome bonus should provide enough of an incentive for them to give this card a try.
The welcome bonus
The new welcome bonus looks like this:
Based on how much value I know that I can get out of my IHG Rewards balance with ease, I value IHG points at 0.4 cents each, so this means that I value the welcome bonus at $660. That’s not bad for a card that costs annual_fees/year.
In terms of free stays, the 165,000 points that card is currently allowing eligible new cardholders to earn can be used to book at least a couple of nights at a variety of top IHG properties around the world (when demand isn’t very high), or a single night at a top-IHG property (+ a lot of points in change) when demand is booming, and I’m reasonably sure we can all agree that even a single night at a top IHG property is worth more than this card’s annual fee.
The card_name from Chase is now offering eligible, successful new applicants the chance to earn 165,000 bonus points when they spend $3,000 in the first three months following the opening of their new account.
Even if we ignore the welcome bonus, this is still a great card for IHG fans to hold, but for those who are still on the fence about its merits, the great value of the welcome bonus should more than cover the annual fee and, effectively, allow them to try the card out very, very economically.