IHG Rewards Club Premier Review [2021]: Is It Worth the 5/24 Slot?

If you’re a loyal IHG traveler, the IHG Rewards Club Premier card can help you capitalize on your spending.
Last updated May 1, 2021 | By Matt Miczulski

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The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card made its entrance into the competitive travel credit card space last year as a replacement for its predecessor, the IHG Rewards Club Select. Boasting a revamped welcome offer, earnings multiplier, automatic Platinum Elite status, and a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, the Premier card offers great value if you frequent the many IHG properties around the globe.

In this IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card review, we’ll take a closer look at everything the card has to offer — including if it’s worth the annual fee — and possible alternatives to consider.

Earn an Annual Free Night

Benefits

  • Sign-up bonus: 125,000 points plus a Reward Night
  • Up to 25X points at IHG hotels
  • 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
  • Free night every year
  • Fourth reward night free

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule

In this IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card review:

Who should get the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card?

Designed with the IHG traveler in mind, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers a significant earnings rate for IHG stays that can help you accrue points in no time.

You’ll need good to excellent credit in order to qualify, so if you think you fall short, it may be worthwhile to improve your score before applying.

Since the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule — an unofficial rule that restricts the number of Chase credit cards you can open within 24 months — deciding whether to add this card to your wallet may be a tough choice to make, considering how valuable those slots are. If you aren’t staying at IHG hotels every time you travel, this may not be the best hotel credit card for you.

However, if you’re a loyal IHG traveler who can take full advantage of the card’s benefit, there’s a lot of value that can be found in this hotel credit card.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer Chase
Credit card network Mastercard
Annual fee $89
Intro bonus Earn 125,000 points plus a Reward Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening
Reward rate 25X points per $1 spent on stays at IHG hotels and resorts; 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; and 1X points on other purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card benefits and perks

  • Generous sign-up bonus: Earn 125,000 points plus a Reward Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
  • Earn bonus points: You can earn 10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 on purchases and make one additional purchase each account anniversary year.
  • Earn mega points at IHG hotels: You’ll earn 25X points per dollar spent at IHG hotels and resorts (10X points for being a Cardmember plus 10X for being an IHG Rewards Club member plus 5X with automatic Platinum Elite Status).
  • Earn points on day-to-day spending: You'll earn 2X points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1X point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Automatic upgrade to Platinum Elite status: You’ll enjoy a higher level of benefits, including no blackout dates for reward nights, rollover nights, late checkout, complimentary room upgrades, and a 50% bonus on base points, to name a few.
  • Anniversary free night: Enjoy a free night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide.
  • Fourth Reward Night Free: You can earn a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights at an IHG property.
  • No foreign transaction fees: No matter how many times you swipe your card to make a purchase outside the U.S., you’ll never have to worry about foreign transaction fees.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit: Every four years, you can receive a credit of up to $100 as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card.
  • Large IHG hotels and resorts network: Choose from a network of 14 hotels and resorts for any stay around the world.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: You and your immediate family members are covered up to $3,000 per passenger for checked or carry-on bags damaged or lost by the carrier.
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance: You’ll be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses if your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather, or other covered situations.

Drawbacks to the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

  • Annual fee: This card has an annual fee of $89. While it's relatively easy to offset the cost of the annual fee if you use your card regularly, it could be a drawback for some. 
  • Subject to Chase's 5/24 rule: As mentioned, this card is subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. Given that Chase credit cards offer a variety of valuable benefits and perks, if you aren't a loyal IHG customer, another card might be a better option for you. 

Earning & redeeming IHG Rewards points

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your points can add up with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 0.5 cents apiece.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $792

Year two earnings: $167

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which takes a look at points earned via spending, the welcome bonus, and the annual fee.

Note that these values account for general travel spending online, not spending at IHG hotels. If you're a loyal IHG guest and you use your card to book your hotel stays, you're likely to see a much larger return on your spending. It's also important to note that you get a free night's stay each year on your cardmember anniversary, and the value of that free night is not considered in the amounts above.

Best ways to earn

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card can be an excellent option if you frequent IHG properties, as you can earn a whopping 25X points total per dollar spent at IHG hotels and resorts (10X points for being a Cardmember plus 10X for being an IHG Rewards Club member plus 5X with automatic Platinum Elite Status). 2X points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.

Categories Rewards rate
IHG hotels and resorts (10X points for being a Cardmember plus 10X for being an IHG Rewards Club member plus 5X with automatic Platinum Elite Status) 25X
Gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants 2X
All other purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

IHG Rewards Club Premier points never expire as long as the account is active, and there’s no limit to how many you can earn, giving you the freedom to accrue as many points as you can and redeem them for rewards that make sense for you.

The value of IHG points depends entirely on how you redeem them, with some redemption options giving you more for your money than others. Generally, you'll get the most value from your points when you use them to book IHG hotel stays.

Redeem IHG points for: Details
Reward nights Book hotel stays at any of the 5,200-plus IHG hotels and resorts, which start at 10,000 points for a free night
IHG Rewards Club auctions Use your points and bid on exclusive rewards
IHG Rewards Club catalog Shop for anything from jewelry to YETI coolers
Gift cards Choose from a variety of gift cards to purchase, from shopping to restaurants
Donate to charity Donate your points to something that matters most to you
Combine points and cash Combine your points with cash toward reward nights
Buy more points If you fall short, you can purchase points to help you hit your goals; you’ll also save 20% when you purchase points with your IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Gift your points Know someone who can use some IHG points? Buy some and give them as a gift
Transfer points Transfer your own points to another IHG Rewards Club member with no limit

IHG Rewards Club transfer partners

You can transfer your IHG points transfer to 39 different airline partners. Most exchanges are 10,000 IHG points for 2,000 miles, but these numbers vary depending on the partner you choose. Some airline partners you might recognize include Air France, Delta, JetBlue, and United.

Typically, transferring your IHG points to a travel partner doesn't yield the best value. Unless you absolutely need to make a transfer to pay for airfare, it may be best to avoid transferring your points to an IHG airline partner.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card FAQs

Is the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card worth it?

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is likely worth it if you regularly stay at IHG hotels and can utilize the anniversary free night, the fourth reward night for free, and the $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

How much are IHG points worth?

There are several ways to redeem your IHG Reward Club points, and the value of your points will vary depending on how you choose to redeem them. The number of points required for a reward night, for instance, varies by brand and by hotel.

    Points can likely stretch further if you opt to stay at a less-expensive property, but, again, this can vary from property to property and with the method of rewards redemption. In most instances, using a combination of points and cash is less valuable than using points only.

    Can you have both the old and the new IHG credit card?

    Although the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card was created as a replacement for the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card, cardholders with the old version of the card weren’t required to upgrade to the new version and are eligible to carry both cards if they desire. In fact, the most value may come from applying for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card as a new card altogether because you can stack the benefits of both cards.

    If you have both cards, for instance, you’ll receive two free anniversary nights, and you can combine the fourth night free benefit of the IHG Premier with the 10% refund on redeemed points from the IHG Select for maximum value. Also, since the IHG Rewards Club Select card is no longer available to new applicants, you won’t be able to get it back if you do decide to upgrade.

    Is the IHG Rewards Club Premier card plastic or metal?

    The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a sleek, metal card with light gray words.

    What perks do I get with Platinum Elite status?

    As an IHG Rewards Club cardholder, you’re upgraded to Platinum Elite status for as long as you remain a premier cardmember, and as long as your IHG Rewards Club membership remains in good standing.

    Platinum Elite benefits include:

    • Complimentary room upgrades
    • Guaranteed room availability
    • Elite rollover nights
    • 50% bonus earnings on top of base points
    • Priority check-in
    • IHG points don’t expire
    • Complimentary internet
    • Extended check-out
    • Two free Amazon Kindle eBooks per quarter
    • $30 in-room spa credit
    • Much more

    How does the fourth night free benefit work?

    IHG Rewards Club Premier cardholders are eligible for a free fourth night on all award stays. Simply book your four-night stay and your fourth night won’t be charged any points. This benefit can be used on an unlimited number of stays.

    Is the IHG Rewards Club Premier a good card to use while traveling abroad?

    With an expansive global footprint, you’re likely to find an IHG property convenient for your travels. You’ll not only earn points on spending while you’re there, but you also won’t be hit with foreign transaction fees each time you make a purchase, making this card a good option for traveling abroad.

    What hotels are part of IHG Rewards?

    IHG is one of the largest hotel chains in the world with over 5,600 hotels globally, including brands such as:

    • Avid
    • Candlewood Suites
    • Crowne Plaza
    • Even Hotels
    • Holiday Inn
    • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
    • Holiday Inn Express
    • Hotel Indigo
    • Hualuxe
    • InterContinental
    • Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
    • Regent
    • Staybridge Suites
    • voco

    Other cards to consider

    The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card can be a great choice if you’re a loyal IHG traveler, but there are other comparable cards if that doesn’t sound like you.

    If you tend to stay at the various Marriott properties instead, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offers solid rewards at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels around the world, plus a generous welcome bonus.

    If, however, you want a general travel credit card that doesn’t require you to commit to a certain hotel group and comes with competitive benefits and generous travel rewards, you may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred instead.

    Earn an Annual Free Night

    Special Offer

    Earn 125,000 points plus a Reward Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months

    See how these cards compare:

    Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
    Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
    • 100,000 bonus point welcome offer
    • Up to 17X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
    • One free night each year
    • No foreign transaction fee
    Chase Sapphire Preferred
    Chase Sapphire Preferred
    • 80,000 point sign-up bonus
    • Up to $50 statement credit for grocery store purchases
    • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
    • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • Premium travel protection benefits

    Author Details

    Matt Miczulski Matt Miczulski is a personal finance writer specializing in financial news, budget travel, banking, and debt. His interest in personal finance took off after eliminating $30,000 in debt in just over a year, and his goal is to help others learn how to get ahead with better money management strategies. A lover of history, Matt hopes to use his passion for storytelling to shine a new light on how people think about money. His work has also been featured on MoneyDoneRight and Recruiter.com.