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The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is a fantastic card to hold if you’re a fan of IHG properties as not only does it currently come with an amazing 150,000 point welcome offer, but it also offers cardholders a number of key benefits that can improve their stays with IHG and, crucially, save them money and points.
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Here are some key things you need to know:
- Waived in the 1st year and then $89/year in subsequent years
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.
The 25 points/dollar earnings are broken down as follows:
- 10 points/dollar for using the IHG Rewards Club Premier card to pay for your spending
- 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 ever 4 years
- 10,000 bonus points after a cardholder spends $20,000 and makes one additional purchase each account anniversary year.
- Save 20% on points purchases*
- No foreign transaction fees
*Does not apply to IHG Rewards Club points sales
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 a lot less than that.
The 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.
At 0.4 cents/point, this benefit will save a holder of the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card up to $400 on a 4-night stay and, even if the stay is made at a time when award costs are cheap (e.g. when you can book a great InterContinental for 40,000 points/night), the saving will still be close to double the card’s annual fee.
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):
Dynamic award pricing can be irritating, but it can also definitely help holders of the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card get excellent value out of their annual free night certificate.
The points I made above are the key reasons why I think this card can be a great addition to an IHG fan’s wallet and I’ve deliberately shied away from discussing some of the other benefits because, on the whole, they’re not particularly impressive.
I’m not going to suggest that anyone should be spending $20,000 on this card just to earn the 10,000 bonus points that are on offer (if you can spend that much at IHG properties that’s fine but otherwise there are a lot of other credit cards that will offer you a better return on your other spending), I’m not going to suggest that IHG Rewards Club Platinum status is amazing (I have it, and I can tell you that it isn’t), and I’m not going to suggest that the 20% saving on points purchases is a great deal as the discount isn’t available on sale pricing and you should never be buying IHG Rewards points outside of a sale.
What I am going to suggest is that the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is a must-have card for anyone who pays to stay at IHG properties with any great frequency – the card should more than pay for itself year after year.
If you stay at IHG properties with any great frequency you would be well advised to have an IHG co-branded credit card in your wallet and with a great welcome offer and a host of excellent benefits to make your IHG stays better and cheaper, the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card is probably the card you should hold.