8 Reasons to Get the IHG Premier Credit Card
The IHG® The Rewards Club Premier (review) credit card is phenomenal – worth getting for the great welcome bonus, and worth keeping for the long-term benefits. In this article, I wanted to look at eight reasons to apply for this card. In no particular order:
125,000 IHG Points with Welcome Bonus
The IHG Premier Card offers a welcome bonus that includes 125,000 IHG Rewards points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. It’s a great bonus, and on top of that, the card has a reasonable spending requirement that most people should be able to meet.
I value IHG points at 0.5 cents each, so for me the 125,000 points are worth about $625.
Free Night Certificate with Welcome Bonus
Not only does the IHG Premier Card Welcome Bonus include 125,000 points, it also includes a free night certificate valid at a property costing up to 40,000 points per night. This is also earned after fulfilling the minimum spend requirement. Since this certificate is worth up to 40,000 points, the bonus could potentially earn you up to 165,000 points.
Anniversary Free Night Certificate
Arguably the best perk of the IHG Premier Card, which more than justifies the ongoing $89 annual fee, is the Anniversary Free Night Certificate. This certificate can be redeemed at any IHG property selling up to 40,000 points per night, which covers the vast majority of IHG properties worldwide.
While that doesn’t get you to stay at one of IHG’s top InterContinental properties, I still find it extremely attractive, given that a large majority of hotels sell for over $89 per night.
For example, I’ve stayed at the InterContinental Phenicia Beirut, InterContinental Airport Johannesburg, and Kimpton EPIC Miami using free night certificates, and in each case a night would otherwise have cost $250+.
Fourth night free on reward redemptions
The other best benefit of the IHG Premier Card is that it offers a fourth night free on reward redemptions. If you stay four consecutive nights on a reward redemption, you only need to redeem points for the first three nights.
This is a great perk because it can be used an unlimited number of times (you can even use it to book multiple rooms at the same hotel, and you can even use it at Six Senses properties). If you usually redeem points for stays in four-night increments, that’s like getting 25% off all your redemptions. It’s a fantastic benefit.
IHG Rewards Platinum Status
Just for having the IHG Premier Card earns you IHG Rewards Platinum status, which is valid for as long as you have the card. IHG Rewards Platinum status includes the following benefits:
- Room upgrade, subject to availability
- A 50% bonus on base points
- Early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability
- A welcome convenience
Global Entry Credit or TSA Pre-Check
For some it will be valuable, and for others it won’t offer much value. The IHG Premier Card offers a statement credit of up to $100 when you use your card for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check enrollment fees, up to once every four years.
It’s a nice perk that could easily earn you more than the annual fee.
Combine benefits with IHG’s legacy credit card
Some of you may be thinking “I have the old credit card from IHG, so the new card doesn’t seem worth it.” I agree that it might not be worth switching from the old IHG credit card to the new one.
The beauty is that if you get the IHG Premier card, you can stack some of the benefits of both cards:
- Both cards offer an anniversary free night certificate, so you can earn two each year and use them for consecutive nights.
- The old card offers a 10% refund on points redeemed (up to 100,000 points redeemed per year), while the new card offers a fourth night free on reward redemptions, and you can stack these benefits; in other words, if you stay for four nights in a hotel that costs 70,000 points per night, you’ll end up paying 210,000 points and then getting 21,000 points back, for a total cost of 189,000 points, or more than 30% off
You are entitled to the bonus on the IHG Premier card even if you own the old version of the IHG card. Additionally, you are also eligible for the IHG Premier Card (including the bonus) if you have the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card with no annual fee (review).
Easy anecdotal endorsement
Historically, Chase has been one of the most difficult issuers to get a card approved with. The IHG Premier card has all the standard Chase endorsement restrictions, and this card is subject to the 5/24 rule.
However, anecdotally, many report that the IHG Premier card is easier to get, and that also lines up with my experience, as I was instantly approved when I applied (and I can’t remember the last time before the one where I was instantly approved for a Chase card).
I understand that Chase has different approval requirements for certain co-branded cards, depending on the card’s target customer base, and it appears that the IHG card is among the easiest travel rewards cards to approve.
Assuming you’ve otherwise struggled to get approved for Chase cards (while still under 5/24, etc.), this might be a good card to consider.
At the end of the line
The IHG Premier Card is a useful hotel credit card that almost everyone who qualifies should have, even if they are not otherwise IHG loyalists. Personally, I’d get the card for the only birthday free night certificate, although there are potentially valuable perks beyond that, including fourth night free on rewards redemptions, IHG Platinum status , etc
On top of that, the card offers a fantastic welcome bonus of up to 125,000 IHG Rewards points plus a free night certificate at the end of minimum spend, which is great. This is a very comprehensive hotel credit card, and for most travelers the perks should more than justify the annual fee.