IHG Rewards Club Premier Review: 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.
8 minute read | 7/12/19July 12, 2019

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.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Benefits

  • 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • 25X points at IHG hotels & resorts
  • 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
  • Free night every year
  • Fourth reward night free

Drawbacks

  • Annual fee
  • Subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule


Who should get this 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 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 card may not be a good fit 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

Annual Fee $89
Intro Bonus Earn 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards rate 25X points per $1 spent on stays at IHG hotels and resorts, 2X points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Generous sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 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 points on purchases during your stay: You’ll earn 25 points per dollar spent on purchases when you stay at IHG hotels. That’s 10 points per dollar spent with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card during your stay, plus 15 points per dollar spent during your stay as an IHG Rewards Club member.
  • Earn points on day-to-day spending: You’ll earn two points per dollar spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and one point per dollar spent on all other purchase.
  • Automatic upgrade to Platinum Elite status: You’ll enjoy a higher level of benefits, including no blackout dates for reward nights, rollover nights, 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 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.

Earning & redeeming

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 25 points total per dollar spent at IHG hotels. If that doesn’t sound enticing enough, cardholders also receive a 50% bonus earnings on top of base points.

While you’ll also earn two points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, the most value comes from the high earnings rate for IHG stays.

Categories Rewards rate
Restaurants 2X points
IHG hotel stays 25X points
Gas stations 2X points
Grocery stores 2X points
Everything else 1X points

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 options giving you more for your money than others.

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

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.

Common questions

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.

Take the following scenarios as an example:

Points bookings:

  • A two-night stay at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Denver during peak season in July 2019 costs 50,000 points, or $143.37 per night. That’s a value of roughly 0.3 cents per point.
  • The same stay at the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Denver costs 30,000 points, or $144.26. That’s a value of roughly 0.5 cents per point.

Points & Cash bookings:

  • A two-night stay at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Denver during peak season in July 2019 costs 30,000 points plus $115, or $143.37 per night. That’s a value of roughly 0.09 cents per point.
  • The same stay at the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Denver costs 15,000 points plus $99, or $144.26. That’s a value of roughly 0.3 cents per point.

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, you may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred instead.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Special Offer

Earn 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months

See how these cards compare:

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
  • 75,000 bonus point sign-up offer
  • 6X Bonvoy points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • One free night each year
  • No foreign transaction fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 2X points on dining and travel, 1 per $1 spent on everything else
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees

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