IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Review

The information related to the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has been collected by Money Crashers and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card from Chase is a hotel rewards credit card with a $89 annual fee. It’s ideal for frequent travelers who regularly stay with InterContinental Hotel Group brands, which includes thousands of Holiday Inn, Staybridge Inn, and Candlewood Suites properties in the U.S. and around the world.

Every purchase with this card earns points that can be redeemed for hotel stays at more than 5,000 HG properties worldwide, usually at rates ranging from $0.005 to $0.01 per point. Cardholders in good standing also get a host of useful perks at IHG hotels, including 1 free stay per year and automatic upgrade to Platinum Elite status, which accelerates point earnings and entitles members to complimentary room upgrades.

If you’re interested in alternatives to IHG Rewards Club Premier, look to hotel-specific rewards cards such as Chase Marriott Rewards Premier and Citi Hilton Honors Reserve. It may also be worth considering airline-specific credit cards such as United MileagePlus Explorer and British Airways Visa Signature, or general-purpose travel cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred and Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®.

When you spend at least $2,000 within 3 months of opening your account, you earn 80,000 IHG Rewards points.

Every $1 spent at IHG properties earns an unlimited 10 points. Purchases made at restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores earn an unlimited 2 points per $1. All other purchases, including hotel stays at non-IHG hotels, earn an unlimited 1 point per $1.

Points can be redeemed for free hotel stays at IHG properties, starting at a minimum of 10,000 points for lower-tier properties and 70,000 points for the highest-tier properties. If you don’t have enough points to pay for a full night’s stay, you can purchase up to 10,000 additional points at $0.007 apiece ($70 maximum) through IHG’s Points & Cash option. Redemption thresholds are subject to change at any time.

At redemption, point values usually range from $0.005 to $0.01, sometimes more or less. Points don’t expire as long as you redeem any or earn more – through card purchases or hotel stays – within any 12-month period.

When you spend at least $20,000 in purchases and make one additional purchase within the same calendar year, you get an additional 10,000 bonus points.

Every year, you get 1 free hotel night, good for use at more than 4,900 properties worldwide. Redeeming your free night doesn’t cost any points, but you don’t earn any additional points for the stay.

As long as you remain a cardmember in good standing, you enjoy IHG Platinum Elite status. You do have to formally apply for this status after you receive your card, but it doesn’t cost anything to do so.

Platinum Elite status confers numerous benefits:

The $89 annual fee is waived in the first year, and there are no foreign transaction fees. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 5% and cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%.

This card requires excellent credit.

InterContinental Hotel Group isn’t a well-known name, but some of its hotel brands certainly are. If you’ve ever stayed at a Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, or any other related property, you’ve stayed at an IHG hotel. Depending on how often you travel and how frequently you encounter IHG-branded properties along the way, this could be a powerful rewards card to keep in your wallet – even if you use another product, such as an airline rewards or cash back rewards card, as your primary card.

On the other hand, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card isn’t great for infrequent travelers, cardholders who prefer not to deal with annual fees, cardholders who prefer more flexible rewards programs with a wider variety of redemption options, and travelers looking for value-added perks such as concierge service and VIP access. Of course, if you prefer another hospitality family – say, Hilton or Marriott – there’s sure to be a suitable card for you as well, as many other hotel rewards credit cards are available.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card pays you back when you stay at nearly 5,000 hotel properties around the world, including commonplace, affordable brands like Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites.

It’s great for frequent travelers who can spend enough – and redeem free nights frequently enough – to offset the $89 annual fee, and who don’t mind redeeming their earned points for hotel stays. Thanks to the 2-points-per-dollar earnings on gas, restaurant, and grocery purchases, it’s also great for frequent travelers who like being rewarded for everyday purchases – not just hotel stays, airfare, and car rentals

An attainable sign-up bonus, automatic Platinum Elite status, and broad points-earning power are all nice perks.

However, the inflexible redemption options, limited travel benefits outside IHG hotels, and potentially low point values at redemption may be problematic.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Categories: Chase, Credit and Debt, Credit Cards, Lifestyle, Reviews, Travel

Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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