The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a great mid-range credit card with plenty of benefits. It is a very rewarding choice for anyone staying regularly at IHG hotels, but there are good perks for other users too.. This article looks at the main benefits of the card and shows how you can get great value from it, both at IHG properties and elsewhere.
1. Get great value from the $89 annual fee
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has an annual fee of $89. There is no discount or waive in the first year as seen with some cards but even so this is, in our opinion, a great value price.
As our card review highlights, you will get most value out of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card if you stay at IHG hotels. The free night offered each year plus the elevated IHG Rewards Club status more than justify the $89 fee. And you are getting plenty more on top of this!
2. Earn points directly with IHG Rewards Club
The card is provided by Chase, but unlike many other cards, it does not take part in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Instead, points are earned directly in IHG Rewards Club.
All spending with the card will earn at least one point per dollar – with bonuses for dining, payments at gas stations and grocery stores, and at IHG hotels.
It is possible to transfer points out of IHG Rewards Club into other programs, but the rate, in general, is not good. There are a massive 39 airline program partners, but the transfer rate for almost all of these is 10,000 IHG points to just 2,000 airline miles. You will get the best value using the points for IHG stays. If you really don’t want to do this then this card probably isn’t for you, and you might want to consider other good Chase cards.
3. Enjoy a market-leading sign up bonus
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers an excellent welcome bonus for new cardholders. It awards 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points for a spend of $2,000 within the first three months. This is a lower target than some other cards.
80,000 points will go a long way with IHG Rewards Club. This would pay for four nights or more at a lower end IHG hotel, or two nights at many mid to top-range hotels costing 40,000 points a night. Or you could treat yourself to a one night stay at some of the best (and most expensive) properties such as the Intercontinental Paris Le Grande or London Park Lane (both priced at 70,000 points per night).
Extra points bonus for spending $20,000 in a year
For higher spenders with the card, there are even more points. If you spend $20,000 on purchases within each account anniversary year you will receive a 10,000 point bonus.
4. No foreign transaction fees
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card does not apply foreign transaction fees to any purchases made overseas, or purchases made online in a foreign currency. This is, in our opinion, an essential benefit for a travel card!
Many other cards charge a fee of around three per cent for foreign purchases. This can become very costly for the frequent traveler.
5. Use points for great value IHG hotel stays
As with most airline and hotel loyalty schemes, the best value use of points is within the IHG Rewards Club scheme – to book IHG hotel stays. Value varies as the points rate for each hotel is fixed, but there are some good value deals to be had. Just make sure you always check against the available cash rates!
Rates for IHG hotels start at 10,000 points per night and go up to 70,000 points per night for the highest-end properties. It is also possible to book reward nights using part points and cash – cash rates vary, but you are essentially buying the remaining points for cash (and won’t get the cash refunded if you later cancel).
To see all properties and rates, simply search on the IHG website and select ‘Reward Nights’ as a rate option.
6. Get upgrades and more with IHG Rewards Club Elite Platinum status
There are many excellent benefits for the IHG hotel user with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. One of the best is the free Platinum status for as long as you hold the card. Platinum Elite status usually requires you to stay 40 nights per year – getting this status straight away to use for stay benefits is a great offer!
Platinum status benefits include:
- A 50% bonus on all IHG Rewards Club points earned from stays
- Room upgrade (generally one category from that booked, but subject to availability)
- Late check out
- Complimentary internet
- Bonus points or welcome drink for each stay
- Guaranteed room availability (up to 72 hours before stay)
Platinum is the mid-range status with IHG Rewards Club. The top-level of Spire requires 75 nights per year and is not offered via credit cards. This top-level though does not bring significantly more benefits; you would receive an annual points bonus, and 100% bonus on all stays, but no hard benefits such as free breakfast or guaranteed lounge access.
7. One free hotel night each year
One of the valuable benefits of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a free night certificate for an IHG hotel stay each year that you hold the card. This is valid for a one night stay at any IHG hotel up to 40,000 points per night. This easily justifies the annual fee of $89 by itself!
Whilst this will exclude many high end or premium properties, there are plenty of great hotels available in most cities at this rate.
Hotel options in London, for example, include some great central properties – including the Holiday Inn Oxford Circus, the Hotel Indigo London Kensington or the Crowne Plaza at Kings Cross. Cash rates at these properties are usually around $250 per night, but can often be higher during peak periods.
8. Discounts on IHG hotel reward stays
Another great benefit from IHG is a reduction for multi-day reward stays. With the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card you will receive one night free when you book a consecutive four-night reward stay. For example, a four-night stay at a property costing 30,000 points per night would require only 90,000 points – the fourth night is free! There is no limit to how many times this benefit can be used, and how many points can be saved. Once you have the card you should be able to easily book these stays on the website or with the app.
This is only available for credit card holders – no such benefit is offered to elite members of the Rewards Club program. Some other hotel programs do (Hilton, for example, offer elite members a fifth night free on all reward stays), but with IHG it’s only for credit card holders.
9. Earn bonus points for dining and at gas stations and grocery stores
All spending on the card will earn at least one point per dollar. As an extra bonus, two points per dollar are offered for all spending on dining, and for payments at gas stations and grocery stores.
These earning rates apply both in the US and overseas, and with the zero foreign transaction fees, you can easily and freely use the card when you travel to build up more points!
10. Big earnings with IHG hotels – 25 points per dollar!
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card awards an excellent bonus for spending with IHG hotels of 10 points per dollar – again, both in the US and globally.
But this is not all you will earn with stays of course! When combined with the standard 10 points per dollar and 50% bonus for Platinum Elite status, you will earn a total of 25 Rewards Club points per dollar spent!
11. Make points go further with IHG promotions
IHG run several regular promotions which can enhance the value you get. Keep an eye on the IHG website, or your emails if signed up, for offers to save on points value or discounts on points and cash bookings.
Perhaps the best value promotion is the quarterly ‘PointBreaks’ offer. With this promotion, the points rates for around 100 hotels in the US and globally are reduced to 5000, 10000 or 15000 points per night. These are great reductions, and popular properties often sell out very quickly. If any of the locations match your travel plans for the coming months, you can get great value here.
12. Free Global Entry membership
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers up to a $100 credit when you sign up for the Global Entry program or for TSA PreCheck. These are great schemes that will speed up your airport security and immigration experience significantly!
This benefit is offered once every four years (corresponding to the renewal period for Global Entry). If you already have a membership, you can enroll someone else – you just need to pay with the card.
13. Benefit from free Collision Damage Waiver when you rent cars
Whenever you rent a car and pay with the card, in the US and overseas, you will receive free Collision Damage Waiver cover. This will cover loss or damage to most rental vehicles. You can then decline any equivalent cover offed by rental companies – saving you money.
14. Enjoy free travel insurance and protection benefits
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card provides several free travel insurance and protection benefits, when you book travel using the card. This is an often-overlooked perk of such mid-range cards and, if appropriate for your needs, can again save money on arranging separate cover.
Areas covered include:
- Trip cancellation insurance. Offers up to $5,000 cover for pre-paid expenses if a trip is canceled or cut short (for several reasons including sickness and weather).
- Baggage delay cover. Offers reimbursement of up to $100 per day for three days, when bags are delayed over six hours by your carrier.
- Lost luggage cover. If bags are lost or damaged by your carrier, there is cover up to $3,000 per passenger.
15. Shop safer with purchase protection and extended warranty cover
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card protects purchases made with it in several ways. Cover and limits here may be lower than offered by other premium cards (such as the excellent Chase Sapphire Reserve card) but are still excellent to have included for the annual fee.
- Purchase protection. This offers cover against damage or theft of items bought using the card for 120 days. The limit is up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Extended warranty cover. For eligible products purchased with the card, any US manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less will be extended for an additional year.
- Price protection. A nice extra benefit that helps you shop more confidently! This will reimburse the difference if an item purchased with the card is advertised for less within 90 days of purchase. This is limited to $500 per item and $2,500 in claims per year.