Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
ln a little over 6 weeks’ time, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card will be getting refreshed and the good news is that the changes that are being made are almost entirely positive. The less good news is that it looks like once the changes go live, a great two-card pairing that currently remains open to holders of the legacy IHG Rewards Club Select Card may no longer be an option.
A reminder of the changes coming to the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card
On 24 March 2022, the following changes will be made to the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card:
- The card will be renamed the IHG Rewards Premier Card
- The card’s annual fee will increase from $89 to $99 for new applicants*
- The card will earn:
- 5 points/dollar on all travel excluding IHG spending (up from 1 point/dollar)
- 5 points/dollar on dining (up from 2 points/dollar)
- 5 points/dollar on gas station spending (up from 2 points/dollar)
- 3 points/dollar on spending in all other categories (up from 1 point/dollar)
- The anniversary free night certificate that the card gives to cardholders will be made more flexible – holders of these certificates will be able to combine points and a certificate when booking a single night.
- The card will give cardholders 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit when they spend $20,000 on the card in a calendar year.
- Cardholders will be given IHG Diamond status (formerly known as Spire Elite status) when they spend $40,000 on their card in a calendar year.
- Cardholders will be given a $50 United Airlines TravelBank credit every year (registration will be required).
*Existing cardholders will see their annual fee rise to $99 in 2023
Note: None of the current benefits offered by the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card are being eliminated.
The dream ticket that’s going away
When the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card (review) was introduced, Chase closed the legacy IHG Rewards Club Select Card to new applicants but allowed existing cardholders to keep their card and, importantly, it also allowed them to apply for the new IHG Rewards Club Premier Card as well.
What this has meant is that for the past few years, holders of the legacy IHG Rewards Select Card have had the option of pairing their card with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card and creating a fantastic two-card “team” that offers the following benefits:
- IHG Rewards Platinum status
- An earning rate of 25 points/dollar at all IHG properties (10 points from the Premier Card and 15 Points for being a Platinum IHG Rewards Club member)
- 2 free night certificates every year valid at properties costing up to 40,000 points/night
- A 10% rebate on all IHG Rewards Points redemptions (up to 100,000 points back per year).
- A 4th night free on all award night bookings
- A credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years.
That’s an impressive set of benefits for a combined ongoing annual fee of $138 (rising to $148).
Sadly, it looks like the option to pair the IHG Rewards Select Card with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card may be going away.
When the news of the changes to the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card were announced, a number of outlets reported that the option to hold both the Premier Card and the legacy Select Card would remain but that holders of the Select Card wouldn’t be eligible for any welcome bonus that the Premier Card was offering.
That, however, doesn’t appear to be the case.
Miles to Memories has confirmation from an IHG contact that once 24 March 2022 rolls around, IHG Rewards Select cardmembers will be able to product switch to the IHG Rewards Premier Card but will not be able to apply for the Premier card while still holding their Select card.
While there’s always a chance that the MtM contact is mistaken (and there’s no evidence that I’ve seen to suggest that they are), anyone who holds a legacy IHG Rewards Club Select Card and who still hasn’t got the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card would probably do well to consider applying in the next few weeks.
A bit of good news
If you’re interested in pairing your IHG Rewards Select card with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card (review) you’re in luck because the Premier Card is currently offering successful new applicants one of the better welcome bonuses that we’ve seen the card offer.
As things stand, successful new applicants can earn 125,000 IHG Rewards Club points + a free night certificate (valid at properties costing up to 40,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening (Link to more details).
Note: 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.
A personal take
I make no secret of the fact that I’m not a big fan of IHG Rewards but that doesn’t mean that I’m not open to making the most of any pathway that the program may offer me to save a considerable amount of money on one or more great stays.
I’m also fortunate enough to hold the legacy IHG Rewards Select Card so I’m writing this post from the point of view of someone who has actually taken the advice that’s being put forward.
Pairing the Select and Premier cards may not be the best pathway for everyone but if you hold the Select Card, it should be safe for me to assume that you have at least a passing interest in making the most of any opportunities that IHG offers, and I genuinely believe that pairing the Select Card with the Premier card is an opportunity that’s currently too good to pass up.
Based on the information we have, it looks like time may be running out for holders of the legacy IHG Rewards Club Select Card (which is no longer open to new applicants) to pair their card with the soon-to-be refreshed IHG Rewards Club Premier Card to create an excellent 2-card team that can offer very good rewards.
I’ve already made sure that I have both cards in my portfolio before Chase and IHG make any further changes and my advice to anyone else holding the IHG Rewards Club Select Card is that they should consider doing exactly the same.