Update: This 125,000 point welcome offer goes away on October 9, so get your application in now if you want to be eligible.
With a massive, worldwide footprint and properties ranging from the affordable (Holiday Inn Express) to the luxurious (Regent and Intercontinental), you can probably stay at an IHG hotel on any trip you take, and Chase’s IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card can improve every aspect of your experience.
Free nights at IHG properties start at 10,000 points, and range up to 70,000 points, with the exception of a rotating quarterly cast of PointsBreak properties, which start at 5,000 points. The company has announced that it will institute variable pricing in the future, and it’s unclear if that ceiling or floor will change. You can also use a combination of points and cash to book a variety of rooms, which is great when you don’t have enough in your account for a totally free night.
With the Chase IHG Premier card, you’ll earn a whopping 40 points per dollar total on IHG purchases for your first year with the card (25 points per dollar from the card, 10 points per dollar for being an IHG Rewards Club member, and five points per dollar from your Platinum Elite status, which we’ll get to later). That’s worth about $.20 per dollar spent at IHG properties according to The Points Guy’s points valuations, but just note that after your first year with the card, you’ll “only” earn 25 points per dollar spent total at IHG properties.
You’ll also earn four points per dollar (worth about $.02) on all of your other purchases for your first year, after which you’ll get two points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and one point on all other purchases. The Points Guy only values IHG points at .5 cents each, so with the exception of IHG purchases, most of your spend would probably be better put on another card, after you get your welcome bonus.
The Chase IHG Premier card will earn you 125,000 IHG rewards points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, worth approximately $625 based on the above valuations. That value will vary though based on how you redeem them.
That’s up from a typical 80,000 point bonus after spending $2,000 in your first three months.
The card will cost you $89 per year, and that fee is not waived in your first year. That’s pretty typical for non-premium hotel cards, and the perks (which we’ll get to below) should make it an easier pill to swallow.
Perks are where the IHG Premier card really shines. The headliner here is a fourth night free benefit on award stays. Just use points to book a four night stay at any IHG property, and you’ll only have to pay the points required for three nights. Stay eight nights, and you’ll pay for six. If you play your cards right, this can be incredibly lucrative.
You’ll also enjoy complimentary Platinum Elite status, which allows you to earn bonus points on paid stays, free room upgrades (based on availability), priority check-in, late check out, a $30 in-room spa credit, and even two free Kindle ebooks per quarter.
Card holders can also get a Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every four years in the form of a reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card. It’s not the only card to offer this perk, but it has a lower annual fee than just about every other option.
And finally, every year on your cardmember anniversary, you’ll get a free night certificate good for any room priced at 40,000 points or less. The value of that perk will vary based on how you use it, but according to TPG’s valuation, that’s worth around $200, more than enough to cover that $89 annual fee.
IHG rewards points may not be worth much compared to, say, World of Hyatt points, but that doesn’t mean the Chase IHG Premier card isn’t worth adding to your collection. I probably wouldn’t recommend putting much spend on it, since you can get so much more value from transferrable currencies like Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards, but the perks carry this card despite its relatively low annual fee.
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