If you travel frequently and often stay at Holiday Inns or other hotels under the IHG umbrella, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is an option you’ll want to consider. Not only does this card offer huge point bonuses on stays at the branded locations, but you’ll also qualify for member status upgrades just by gaining approval for the card. While much of the value in the incentive program comes from hotel bookings, some other common spending categories, such as gas and groceries, will earn 2x points also.
You’ll enjoy complimentary room upgrades, priority check-in and extended check out privileges at the affiliated hotels, and just by hanging on to the card for more than a year, you’ll scoop up additional bonus points. All these perks and benefits come with an annual fee, but if you use the card wisely, you’ll quickly recoup any cost of being a member.
What we like about IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- Use the card to purchase Global Entry or TSA Precheck programs, and you’ll be reimbursed $100 every four years toward the cost of the application fee.
- Simply by acquiring the card, you gain Platinum Elite Status, which includes a chance to earn additional points, complimentary internet access and a dedicated customer service line.
- Travel protections include coverage for lost or delayed baggage and automatic enrollment in a trip cancellation insurance program.
- Earn one free night’s stay at the brand’s locations on each account anniversary.
- No foreign transaction fees, which is great if you’re using the card while abroad.
Things to consider
- The highest rewards categories are limited to stays within the IHG family, and points can’t transfer to other hotel chains.
- The free night earned on your card anniversary lasts for 12 months.
- 2X bonus categories are limited, and all other everyday purchases only earn one point per dollar.
- The value of your points will diminish if you redeem them for merchandise, gift cards or airfare.
- The annual fee is $89.
Travel rewards details
The most appealing feature of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card comes in the form of the super-sized point bonuses you’ll receive when patronizing IHG hotels. When using the card to pay for accommodations, you’ll earn ten points per dollar. Your included IHG Rewards Membership status packs on another ten points per dollar, and you’ll grab an additional five points through Platinum Elite Status, which won’t require any more effort than just owning the card. That’s a multiplier of 25X for each dollar spent within IHG properties.
The rewards for using this card will keep piling up, as you’ll earn a 10,000-point bonus after spending at least $20,000 in a calendar year. This is in addition to the current welcome bonus of 125,000 points awarded when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card ownership. Book a series of four or more nights at the same IHG hotel, and you’ll receive an additional free stay when using points to pay for the visit.
At $89, the annual fee isn’t a deal-breaker, especially if you hold the card for a year and earn that free night at an IHG hotel. The card travels well, also. You won’t incur any foreign transaction fees when you’re on business or vacationing outside U.S. borders. On the prohibitive side, balance transfers will cost you 5% of the amount or $5, whichever is greater. Late payments will set you back up to $39, as will any payment that’s not honored by your bank.
How does it compare to other travel rewards cards?
If you’re already an IHG loyalist, this card will be a welcome addition to your wallet. However, you might want to look at the American Express® Gold Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card as well if you want more flexibility. The American Express® Gold Card offers higher rewards on spending at restaurants and groceries, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers more choices when it comes to redeeming points.
|APR||Annual Fee||Intro Bonus||Credit Needed||Key features|
|IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card||15.99% - 22.99% Variable||$89||125,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months||Good to Excellent||
|American Express® Gold Card||See Rates & Fees||$250 See Rates & Fees||35,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months||Good to Excellent||
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||15.99% - 22.99% Variable||$95||60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months||Good to Excellent||
The bottom line
If you fancy lodging at IHG properties, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better hotel card than the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. You’ll receive free nights each year just by holding on to the card as time passes. In other everyday spending categories, you’ll garner 2X bonuses, which positively impact your budget.
The card does carry an annual fee, so those who don’t care to pay for owning a credit card might look elsewhere for comparable perks and benefits. On the other end of the spectrum, individuals who crave luxury travel won’t mind paying several hundred dollars for companion travel certificates or complimentary airport lounge access. There’s a wealth of options on the market and your selection depends on which shoe fits.
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