IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card Benefits & Review (September 2023)
Hotel credit cards like the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card can be an excellent option for travelers that want an automatic free night award each year and a reasonable annual fee. This card also offers an exciting signup bonus, other IHG One Rewards loyalty perks, and one air travel benefit.
Here is a closer look at the IHG Premier Card and if it’s worth it for hotel rewards.
Table of Contents
Who is the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card For?
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a good option if you stay at IHG properties at least once per year as the free anniversary night certificate can cover one night of a multi-night stay or for a quick overnight trip.
You should also consider this card if you want IHG Platinum Elite status or the ability to get the fourth night free on 4+ night award stays.
Another unique perk that can benefit air passengers is a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
However, each purchase earns IHG points that have the highest redemption value for hotel nights. Also, hotel points tend to be less valuable than airline miles or broad credit card points like Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards.
This card is subject to the Chase 5/24 guidelines and you won’t qualify if you have added at least five or more new credit lines to your credit report in the past 24 months.
|Benefits at a Glance|
|Annual Fee: $89 ($0 for the first year)|
Current Bonus: 150,000 IHG points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
10x IHG points on IHG purchases
2x points at gas stations
2x points at grocery stores
2x points at restaurants
1x points on standard purchases
Anniversary reward night each card renewal
IHG Platinum Elite status
Free fourth reward night on 4+ night award stays
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to $100
Travel and Purchase Coverage
APR: 20.24% – 27.24% variable APR
Great Credit Score Required (700+)
Featured IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Benefits
These are the best reasons to hold the IHG Premier Credit Card.
$0 Introductory Annual Fee
This card’s annual fee is $0 for the first 12 months and then $89.
Few travel credit cards still waive the annual fee for the first year. The ongoing $89 annual is slightly lower than most consumer travel cards.
150,000 Points Signup Bonus
This card is currently offering its highest-ever signup bonus of 150,000 IHG points after making $3,000 in purchases during the first 3 months.
The 150,000-points bonus can be worth up to 10 free nights at most destinations. This bonus is also higher than most hotel credit cards with a similar annual fee.
Free Anniversary Night
You get one anniversary night certificate on each card renewal. This award night is valid at properties requiring 40,000 points or less.
This perk is redeemable any night of the week and doesn’t require you to achieve a spending minimum before earning the reward.
This benefit alone can be worth more than the annual fee as most IHG nights cost between $100 and $200.
Fourth Award Night is Free
One exclusive perk of this card is the free fourth award night for stays at least 4 nights long. You will need to pay for the entire stay with points to get the discount.
Other hotel loyalty programs offer this perk for all loyalty members. However, with IHG, you must have an IHG credit card to unlock this benefit.
IHG Platinum Elite
You automatically get IHG Platinum Elite status. This is the program’s second-highest loyalty tier and usually requires staying 40 nights or earning 40,000 points to achieve.
Some of the Platinum Elite benefits include:
- Space-available room upgrades
- 50% bonus earnings
- Elite rollover nights
- Complimentary internet
- Welcome amenity
Earn Up To 10x IHG Points on Purchases
Each card purchase earns up to 10x points:
- 10x on IHG purchases
- 2x at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
- 1x points on non-bonus purchases
The earnings potential and rewards categories are similar to most hotel credit cards.
Your IHG purchases actually earn 25x points. In addition to the 10x card purchase rewards, you also get 15x points as an IHG Platinum Elite member.
Other IHG Premier Card Features
These secondary benefits add value and can provide peace of mind.
10,000 Bonus Points Each Card Anniversary
You can earn 10,000 bonus IHG points each card anniversary by making at least $20,000 in annual purchases and then making one additional purchase in the same year after reaching the $20k spending mark.
This bonus makes it easier to book a free night when you combine it with your standard purchase rewards.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Application Fee Credit
This benefit is excellent if you fly periodically but primarily want to earn hotel rewards points. Usually, you need a premium travel credit card with a $450+ annual fee to get this benefit.
Tip: You may also decide to get this card just for this free credit and the anniversary night award but continue to use another travel credit card for the bulk of your spending.
Just make sure to make periodic purchases on this card to avoid an account inactivity closure or credit line decrease, if you use this strategy for this card.
20% Savings on IHG Point Purchases
You can save 20% when you buy IHG points. The IHG Rewards Loyalty Club runs several sales throughout the year and this additional discount can be an easy way to accumulate points without booking a hotel night.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
There are no foreign transaction fees on international purchases.
Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
Non-refundable travel purchases can qualify for up to $5,000 per person ($10,000 per trip) in trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
This benefit can reimburse your qualifying expenses when a trip gets canceled or shortened due to underlying reasons like sickness and severe weather.
If mishaps occur with a common carrier, your checked and carry-on luggage can qualify for two different trip insurance benefits.
- Baggage Delay Insurance: Up to $100 per day on essential purchases for up to 3 days on baggage delays exceeding 6 hours. Covered purchases include toiletries and clothing.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement: Up to $3,000 per passenger in reimbursement for lost or damaged checked and carry-on baggage.
New purchases are eligible for up to $500 per claim ($50,000 per account) for damage and theft. The coverage period is 120 days from the original purchase date.
Extended Warranty Coverage
Qualifying purchases with a manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less can get a one-year warranty extension for an additional year.
Cell Phone Protection
Paying your monthly cell phone bill lets you qualify for up to $800 per claim for cell phone theft and damage. You can make up to 2 claims per year and receive up to $1,000 in total coverage benefits.
There is a $50 deductible per claim.
Complimentary DoorDash DashPass
Cardholders can get 12 months of free DoorDash DashPass membership when enrolling before December 31, 2021.
Some of the DashPass benefits include:
- $0 delivery fees
- Reduced service fees on $12+ orders
These perks apply to DoorDash and Caviar orders.
Redeeming IHG Points
There are several ways to redeem IHG points for travel and non-travel rewards.
Hotel nights are the most valuable redemption option for IHG points. Free nights start at 5,000 points but most properties require between 15,000 and 35,000 points per night.
IHG doesn’t publish a category award chart anymore, so calculating the number of points you need for a stay depends on the cash value, nightly rate, and travel demand.
Some of the IHG portfolio brands include:
- Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Express
- Candlewood Suites
- Crowne Plaza
- Staybridge Suites
- Avid Hotels
- Hotel Indigo
Points are worth between 0.5 and 0.6 cents on most stays.
Redeem for Airline Miles
You can convert IHG points to airline miles for legacy domestic carriers, JetBlue, and many international airlines.
The transfer ratio is 10,000 IHG points to 2,000 airline miles (5:1). It also takes between 14 and 21 days to receive your bonus miles.
As this redemption ratio is pretty low, you might only pursue this option if you need to burn your points if you don’t anticipate booking a reward night soon.
IHG also lets you earn up to 2 airline miles per $1 on IHG purchases instead of hotel points. You can switch your rewards preference in your IHG member account dashboard when you prefer to accumulate frequent flyer miles instead.
Gift card redemptions to participating stores and restaurants are available with $25 (13,000 points) or $50 (25,000) cashouts. The average redemption value is 0.2 cents each.
Ebooks, digital magazines, movies and games can help you redeem a small number of points. Most of these redemptions are between 1,000 and 10,000 points.
The redemption value is approximately 0.15 cents. Of course, paying cash can be better, but you won’t miss the small deduction if you want to redeem a small balance as a gift or splurge.
You can also redeem your points for many physical items, including golf balls, musical instruments, kitchen gadgets, and electronics.
The redemption minimums are similar to an award night. You might prefer this option if you prefer items to experiences to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses.
Here are the IHG Premier Card fee details:
- Annual Fee: $0 for the first 12 months and then $89
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0%
- Purchase APR: 20.24% – 27.24%
- My Chase Plan Fee: 1.72% monthly fee
- Late Payment: Up to $40
IHG Premier Card Compared to Similar Cards
These hotel credit cards and flexible travel credit cards are also worth a look.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred can be a better option if you want the flexibility of redeeming your points for flights and hotels. Each point is worth 1.25 cents each for travel instead of 0.5 cents when booking directly through IHG.
Featured benefits include:
- 25% redemption bonus for award travel bookings (1.25 cents)
- 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers (includes IHG)
- Points are worth 1 cent each for cash and gift card rewards
- Annual $50 hotel statement credit
- Earn up to 5x Ultimate Rewards on purchases
- 10% anniversary bonus on your total earnings for the last 12 months
New cardmembers can earn a signup bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth up to $750 in travel rewards.
The annual fee is $95.
The Citi Premier is another flexible travel rewards card that offers a hotel perk.
Card benefits include:
- Earn 3x ThankYou points on flights, hotels, dining, groceries, and gas stations
- $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on a single $500+ hotel stay)
- Redeem points for airlines, hotels and car rentals
- 1:1 airline point transfers
Each point can be worth 1 cent each when booking travel rewards on the Citi ThankYou travel center.
Also, the $100 annual hotel benefit can be an excellent alternative to the free anniversary night the IHG Premier Card provides.
The annual fee is $95.
World of Hyatt Credit Card:
The World of Hyatt Credit Card is the best hotel credit card with an annual fee under $100 because of its travel benefits and point redemption values.
This card includes these benefits:
- Annual free night award (at Category 1-4 hotels and resorts)
- 2nd free night award after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
- World of Hyatt Discoverist status
World of Hyatt points are usually worth between 1 and 2 cents each for award stays. While the Hyatt portfolio isn’t as large as the IHG portfolio, you will find comparable leisure, business and luxury properties in the most popular destinations.
The annual fee is $95.
Capital One Venture:
The Capital One Venture earns 2x points on all purchases. Each point is worth 1 cent when you redeem them for recent travel purchases as a statement credit or book upcoming travel, even if your travel plans don’t include staying at an IHG.
You might also consider getting this card if you want free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. However, the Venture Card doesn’t provide add-on hotel benefits.
The annual fee is $95.
The annual fee is $0 for the first year and $89 at the first card renewal date. Authorized user cards are complimentary.
The foreign transaction fee is 0% for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.
Featured IHG benefits include one card anniversary night, IHG Platinum Elite status, earning 10x points on IHG purchases, and getting the 4th reward night free.
You receive one Chase Free Night award each card renewal. This benefit is worth one free night for a standard room at participating properties charging 40,000 points or less any night of the week.
You can get the 4th night free when you book an entire IHG stay for at least 4 nights with points.
This benefit is only available to the IHG Premier and (discontinued) IHG Traveler credit cards.
Platinum Elite is the second-highest IHG loyalty status and some of the core benefits include space-available room upgrades, welcome amenity, and earning 50% bonus points on IHG stays.
You can earn 10x IHG points on IHG purchases. Purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and gas stations earn 2x points. All non-bonus spend earns 1x points.
Making at least $20,000 in calendar year purchases plus one additional card purchase earns 10,000 bonus IHG points.
This bonus is in addition to the automatic anniversary night certificate.
The IHG Premier is currently a plastic card and will most likely remain so.
However, this card was made of metal when it first launched a few years ago.
IHG points expire after 12 months of account inactivity if you are an entry-level Club member.
Points do not expire for “Elite” members and IHG credit card customers as they earn or redeem points each year to renew their points balance.
IHG points are worth between 0.5 and 0.6 cents for most reward nights.
The current signup bonus is 150,000 IHG points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
You will need a good or excellent credit score to qualify. A preferable score is above 700.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
Infrequent IHG guests may consider the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card for the anniversary night certificate, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit, and the valuable signup bonus.
Frequent guests will also appreciate the 4th night free, IHG Platinum Elite status, and earning 10x points (25x points total) on IHG purchases.
This card has a reasonable annual fee ($0 than $89). However, hotel points are notorious for their low values.
Unless you’re an IHG loyalist, flexible travel credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve® have better redemption values for similar booking options. These cards also let you transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to IHG (and 12+ travel partners) when booking directly from the travel brand is the better redemption option.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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