IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card Review [2024]: Free Hotel Stays, No Annual Fee

CREDIT CARDS - HOTEL CREDIT CARDS
The IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card is a great card to earn points for free hotel stays and valuable travel insurance — especially if you’re traveling with a family.
Updated May 23, 2024
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A hotel credit card like the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card can help you earn points to use for nearly free hotel stays on your future travels, and potentially save you hundreds of dollars on any given trip.

IHG points can be used at any of the 17 IHG brands — whether you’re looking for economical travel or a luxurious getaway, IHG has a brand that will suit your accommodation needs.

If you're looking to earn hotel points and have travel insurance coverage with no annual fee, then this card could be a good fit.

Earn Points for Family-Friendly Travel

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card
4.2

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 17X total points on stays at IHG hotels & resorts; 3X points on monthly bills, gas stations, and restaurants; and 2X points on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

In this IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card Review

Who should get the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card?

The IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card is great for someone looking for a straightforward card with great travel perks. If you travel once or twice per year with your family and want to keep your trip affordable, IHG points are a great reward system for you. Having additional insurance on your travels, such as trip cancellation insurance, travel accident insurance, luggage insurance, and emergency assistance services, is great reassurance in case things go wrong.

You will be able to use the majority of this card's perks without a lot of spending or consistent traveling. If paying an annual fee is something you prefer to avoid, or you are just looking for a card that can earn enough points for one or two simple trips per year, then this card is a great choice.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer Chase
Credit card network Mastercard
Annual fee $0
Intro bonus Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Reward rate up to 17X total points on stays at IHG hotels & resorts; 3X points on monthly bills, gas stations, and restaurants; and 2X points on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: You can earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening of account opening.
  • Savings on points purchases: If you are short on points to book your next vacation, you can save 20% off the retail price of IHG points when you use your IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card to make your points purchase.
  • Fourth Reward Night free: When you book a consecutive four-night stay at an IHG property using points, the fourth night is free.
  • Earn bonus points: You can earn 10,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on purchases each account calendar year.
  • Complimentary Silver Elite status: You’ll enjoy access to member rates when you book directly with IHG, as well as a 20% bonus on base points, complimentary internet, late check-out, and your points do not expire.
  • Path to Gold Elite status: If you spend $20,000 in a calendar year with the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card, you will earn Gold Elite status. Gold Elite status comes with several perks, including late check-out, no black-out dates on using your points for free rooms, and no expiration date on your points.
  • DoorDash benefits: You can receive a complimentary 12-month DashPass subscription if you activate by Dec. 31, 2024. DashPass benefits include $0 delivery fees for orders over $12.
  • No foreign transaction fees: You can use your IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card abroad without incurring any annoying (and expensive) foreign transaction fees.
  • Trip insurance: If your trip goes awry, you will have plenty of insurance coverages, including trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services, and travel accident insurance.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: You have the option to decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S., coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
  • Purchase protection: Covers your eligible new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. 
  • Extended warranty protection: Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less.

Drawbacks to the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

  • Non-flexible rewards: If you won't be spending most of your travel nights at an IHG property, then this isn't the card for you. IHG points aren't easily used for travel redemptions outside of IHG award stays. Our list of the best travel credit cards has an array of options with more flexible reward programs.
  • Lower points value: IHG points are often considered to be among the least valuable in comparison to other hotel rewards programs. It isn't necessarily bad as long as you earn enough points to make up for the lesser value, but it's something to keep in mind as you compare loyalty programs.
  • Fewer perks: The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card offers one free night's stay each year, along with up to a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS every four years, which you won't find on the IHG One Rewards Traveler Card.

Earning & redeeming IHG One Rewards points

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your points can add up with the IHG One Rewards Traveler 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: $1,096

Year two earnings: $655

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.

Keep in mind that these values account for general travel purchases, and do not include the up to 17X points you could receive if you stay at IHG hotels and resorts. It's also important to note that you get a fourth night free when you book a stay of four consecutive nights at an IHG property using points, and the value of that free night is not considered in the amounts above.

Best ways to earn

The IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card can be an excellent option if you frequent IHG properties, as you can earn a whopping up to 17X total points per dollar spent at IHG hotels & resorts. You'll also earn 3X points per dollar spent at on monthly bills, gas stations, and restaurants, and 2X points on all other purchases.

IHG One Rewards bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as Holiday Inn®, Kimpton®, InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, EVEN® Hotels, and Indigo® Hotels. Use your IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card to book an eligible IHG hotel room, and you'll earn five points per dollar spent. 

If you're an IHG One Rewards Club member, you'll earn 10 points per dollar spent. Keep in mind that stays at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites will earn only 5 points per dollar, not 10.

Categories Rewards rate
IHG hotels & resorts up to 17X
On monthly bills, gas stations, and restaurants 3X
All other purchases 2X

Maximizing your redemptions

Once you are ready to redeem your IHG points, it is important to keep the value of these points in mind. The value is not officially given by IHG or Chase directly, but many credit card rewards experts online have calculated IHG points to be worth 0.5 cents per point.

When you’re considering redeeming your IHG points for a hotel stay, you can use this valuation plus the equation below to determine the cash equivalent:

(Price of room in IHG points) x .005 = the cash value of the redemption

You can then compare the cash value of your points to the cost of booking the room the regular way with cash. If the value of your points and cash are close, you should consider using your IHG points. If the cost to book is considerably less than the cash value of your points, then you may want to save your points for another purchase.

IHG One Rewards transfer partners

You can transfer your IHG points transfer to over 40 different airline partners. These include American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Airlines, AirFrance, and more. Most exchanges are 10,000 IHG points for 2,000 miles, but these numbers vary depending on the partner you choose.

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 this route.

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card FAQs

What is the annual fee for the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card?

The annual fee is $0.

Is the IHG credit card worth it?

If you're a loyal IHG customer who wants to earn hotel points and have travel insurance coverage without paying an annual fee, the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card could be great for you.

Do IHG credit card points count towards status?

No, IHG credit card points do not count toward hotel status. However, with the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card, you'll receive complimentary Silver Elite status. 

Additionally, spending on this card does count toward Gold Elite status. You can achieve Gold Elite status after spending $10,000 in one calendar year with the card. Gold Elite status includes perks such as late checkout, complimentary Wi-Fi at IHG properties, and no blackout dates when booking a room with IHG points.

Do IHG points expire?

Yes, IHG points will expire if you go 12 months without activity. However, the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card comes with complimentary Silver Elite status. Silver Elite status offers many benefits, one of which is your IHG points do not expire. 

There are many ways to keep your IHG account active, including staying at an IHG hotel, earning more IHG points through spending on the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card (or other IHG cards), or redeeming your points for various items such as gift cards.

Can you have both IHG credit cards?

Yes, you can have both IHG cards. However, keep in mind that IHG cards are issued by Chase and are subject to Chase's alleged 5/24 rule. This means that Chase may not approve you for a new credit card if you’ve opened five or more personal credit card accounts from any card issuer in the last 24 months.


Other cards to consider

If the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card is not a good fit for your travel needs, there are other options for earning hotel rewards points.

The Hilton Honors American Express Card is a similar card to the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card as it has a $0 annual fee. Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a Free Night Reward after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months (offer ends 7/31/2024) of holding this card. You'll also earn complimentary Silver Elite status with Hilton Honors by simply being a cardmember.

Find out more in our Hilton Honors American Express Card review.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is another great travel rewards card to get started with. A favorite among Chase fans, this card does carry a $95 annual fee, but it has no foreign transaction fees, and new cardholders can earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $937.50 in travel rewards if you redeem through Chase Travel℠. You'll also enjoy up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Travel℠, which helps to offset the annual fee. 

Take a look at our full Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review for more details.

Earn Points for Family-Friendly Travel

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card
4.2

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

Why We Like It

Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

See how these cards compare:

Hilton Honors American Express Card
Hilton Honors American Express Card
  • Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a Free Night Reward after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months (offer ends 7/31/2024)
  • High rewards rates
  • Complimentary Silver status
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee. Terms apply.
  • See rates and fees | Terms Apply
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Travel℠
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Chase Travel℠
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Author Details

Brett Holzhauer Brett Holzhauer is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. He writes about using points & miles for travel, travel industry news, utilizing credit cards as financial leverage, and investing for the future. He has been featured in publications such as The Points Guy, Million Mile Secrets, The Money Manual, Recruiter, Travel Pulse, and Bald Thoughts. He is a full-time digital nomad with his wife, Kiersten.

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