The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card boasts a generous welcome offer, earnings multiplier, automatic Platinum Elite status, and a $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS fee credit. The Premier card offers great value if you frequent the many IHG properties around the globe.
In this IHG Rewards 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
Earn 140,000 points plus 1 Free Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months
26X points per $1 spent on stays at IHG hotels; 5X points on travel, gas stations, and restaurants; and 3X points on other purchases
- Sign-up bonus: 140,000 points plus 1 Free Night
- Up to 26X points at IHG hotels
- 5X points on travel, gas stations, and restaurants, 3X points on all other purchases
- Free night every year
- Fourth reward night free
- Has annual fee
- Subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule
- Earn 140,000 points plus 1 Free Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months
- 26X points per $1 spent on stays at IHG hotels; 5X points on travel, gas stations, and restaurants; and 3X points on other purchases
Who should get the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card?
Designed with the IHG traveler in mind, the IHG Rewards 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 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.
|Credit card issuer||Chase|
|Credit card network||Mastercard|
|Intro bonus||Earn 140,000 points plus 1 Free Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening|
|Reward rate||26X points per $1 spent on stays at IHG hotels; 5X points on travel, gas stations, and restaurants; and 3X points on other purchases|
|Recommended credit score||Excellent, Good|
|Foreign transaction fee||None|
IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card benefits and perks
- Generous sign-up bonus: Earn 140,000 points plus 1 Free Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
- Earn bonus points: You can earn 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit 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 26X points per dollar spent at IHG hotels.
- Earn points on day-to-day spending: You'll earn 5X points per dollar at travel, gas stations, and restaurants and 3X 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 three 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, TSA PreCheck, NEXUS fee credit: Every four years, you can receive a statement credit of up to $100 as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card.
- DoorDash benefits: Receive a complimentary 12-month DashPass subscription if you activate by Dec. 31, 2024. DashPass benefits include $0 delivery fees for orders over $12.
- Large IHG hotels and resorts network: Choose from a network of 16 hotels and resorts brands 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 Premier Credit Card
- Annual fee: This card has an annual fee of $99. 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 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: $857
Year two earnings: $157
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 Premier Credit Card can be an excellent option if you frequent IHG properties, as you can earn a whopping 26X points total per dollar spent at IHG hotels. 5X points per dollar spent at travel, gas stations, and restaurants.
|Travel, gas stations, and restaurants||5X|
|All other purchases||3X|
Maximizing your redemptions
IHG Rewards 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 6,000 IHG hotels and resorts, which start at 10,000 points for a free night|
|IHG Rewards auctions||Use your points and bid on exclusive rewards|
|IHG Rewards 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 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 member with no limit|
IHG Rewards 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 Premier Credit Card FAQs
Is the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card worth it?
The IHG Rewards 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, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS.
How much are IHG points worth?
There are several ways to redeem your IHG Rewards 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 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 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 Premier card plastic or metal?
The IHG Rewards 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 Premier cardholder, you’re upgraded to Platinum Elite status for as long as you remain a premier cardmember, and as long as your IHG Rewards 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 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 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 almost 6,000 hotels globally, including brands such as:
- Candlewood Suites
- Crowne Plaza
- Even Hotels
- Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations
- Holiday Inn Express
- Hotel Indigo
- Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
- Staybridge Suites
Other cards to consider
The IHG Rewards 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® Card instead.
Earn an Annual Free Night
Earn 140,000 points plus 1 Free Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months
See how these cards compare:
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
- Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months (limited time offer)
- Up to 17X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
- 3X points at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining on the first $6,000 spent
- One free night each year at account anniversary
- No foreign transaction fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- 60,000 point sign-up bonus
- 5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 10% anniversary point bonus each year
- $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
- Premium travel protection benefits