Full Review of IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Generous one-time offer
Earn 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
No foreign transaction fee
Save 20% when you purchase points with your card
$89 annual fee
May not be able to redeem for rewards at InterContinental Residences
Points don't have a 1:1 redemption with partner airlines
- Generous One-Time Offer, Plus Additional Ways to Earn: The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card comes with a rather generous bonus of 125,000 points, making it possible to instantly redeem for rewards nights. You need to spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership in order to get this bonus. On top of the one-time offer, you'll benefit from accelerated earning as an IHG Rewards Club member, receiving 25X points per dollar at IHG properties. Here’s how it breaks down: 10X points for each dollar spent at IHG Hotels & Resorts, 10X extra points just for being a Club member, and 5X extra points for being a Platinum Elite member—which comes with the card.
- Earn 2X Points at Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, and Restaurants: With the IHG Club Premier, you'll earn 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Check the requirements, though, to make sure the places you frequent qualify under the rules of the card. You also receive 10X points for purchases at IHG Hotels & Resorts after the first year.
- Anniversary Night: Each year that you're a card member, you can receive a night at any one of the eligible hotels all over the world. On top of that, when you redeem your points for a four-night hotel stay, your fourth night is free.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee: When you use this card, you don’t have to worry about paying a foreign transaction fee for purchases outside the U.S. Because it's a Mastercard, it's widely accepted all over the world.
- Save 20% When You Purchase Points with Your Card: If you want to purchase extra IHG points, you can do so with your card—and get 20% off. So if you're close to having enough points for a purchase, but just need a few more, this can be useful.
- $89 Annual Fee: This card comes with an annual fee of $89. However, that's a bit less than many cards, which carry $95 annual fees. Additionally, just the Elite Platinum Status and the anniversary night are enough to more than offset the annual fee in most cases.
- May Not Be Able to Redeem for Rewards at InterContinental Residences: Even though there aren't official blackout dates, hotels can limit the rooms they have available for reward nights. Additionally, it might be harder to redeem rewards at InterContinental Residences, which is worth noting if that's the IHG brand you prefer. Also bear in mind that IHG uses a variable system for redemptions, so the value of the points depends on the hotel property and other factors.
- Points Don't have a 1:1 Redemption with Partner Airlines: The redemption value for miles with partner airlines is fairly low. For example, if you redeem 10,000 IHG points, you'll only get 2,000 American AAdvantage miles or Delta SkyMiles. While that is fairly standard with these kinds of cards, some partners offer even fewer miles or points.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
The IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card is designed for people who frequently stay at IHG properties. If that's you, this card could be a good choice.
This card would also work well for anyone who wants to earn extra points on everyday purchases, like groceries and gas, or who hopes to amass a large number of points in a short period of time. The bonuses for the first year ensure that you can earn points quickly, and then begin redeeming them.
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card One-Time Offer
The current one-time offer for this card is 125,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. While not insignificant, this is a fairly average spending requirement for a hotel rewards card that many people should be able to reach by using the card for their ordinary monthly purchases.
It can be hard to put a precise dollar value on IHG points because their value varies according to where you redeem them and other factors. But Investopedia assigns IHG points a value of 0.91 cents per point when they're redeemed at IHG properties. So 125,000 points would be worth an impressive $1,137.
Rewards Earning Details
This is an interesting card because of its accelerated earnings when combined with being an IHG Rewards member. You get 25X points on purchases at IHG properties. This can substantially boost your rewards—on top of the one-time offer.
This breakdown comes because you get 10X base points for the stay when charged to your card, plus get 10X points on IHG purchases for being an IHG member and another 5X points because this card comes with Platinum Elite Status. As a result, when you spend at IHG properties with this card, you can receive 25X points for every dollar.
On top of points earned per dollar spent at IHG properties, you get 2X points on groceries, gas, and restaurants. On top of that, you get 10,000 bonus points if you spend $20,000 on the card each year.
Rewards Redemption Details
You can redeem your points for a variety of rewards, including reward nights at hotels, merchandise, and gift cards. However, your best results are going to come from redeeming points for hotel stays.
For example, if you want a $100 Apple Store gift card, it will cost you 38,500 points, making each point you redeem this way worth about 0.26 cents—roughly half of what you’d get if you redeemed those points for a hotel stay instead.
When you book rewards stays, you can get an award night with as little as 10,000 points. Bear in mind that it is not possible to retroactively apply points to previous stays you may have paid for, however.
It's possible to transfer your points to airlines and other partners. However, you are unlikely to get the same value out of these transfers as you would by redeeming them with IHG for rewards nights.
For example, many partner airline programs will only give you 2,000 miles when you transfer 10,000 IHG points. Some programs, like AIR MILES, offer even lower transfer rates, like 10,000 points for 250 miles.
So before you transfer points, consider the value of the miles. If you just need a few more miles to book airfare, it might be worth it to transfer some of your points, even without the one-to-one benefit.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
The best way to maximize your rewards is to stay at IHG properties whenever possible. You'll earn points faster for the stays, and be able to use them more efficiently as well.
You can also benefit from earning 2X points per dollar for everyday purchases, like gas and groceries, as well as spending at restaurants, which can further build up your points balance.
Additionally, when redeeming for rewards nights, try to take advantage of the fact that your fourth night is free.
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card's Outstanding Benefits
- Automatic Elite Platinum Status while you hold the card
- Anniversary night each year you're a card member
- Fourth night free when you redeem for stays of four nights or more
- Cell phone protection of up to $1,000 per year for stolen or damaged phones
- No foreign transaction fee
- Discount when you purchase points with the card
- Travel insurance coverage and extended warranties
Chase, which issues the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card, received a score of 807 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. That’s one point above the national issuer average of 806.
You can manage your card from your online account, or you can call the number on the back of your card to speak with someone in customer service.
This card provides a number of standard security features. Chase says it uses real-time fraud monitoring to catch unauthorized purchases early.
Fees to Watch Out For
In general, this card's fees are fairly standard. But if you're thinking of transferring a balance from another card, note that there's no 0% APR offer and the balance transfer fee is a relatively steep 5%.
If you often stay at IHG properties and would enjoy some free nights at them, this card is a good choice. Overall, it's in line with many other co-branded credit cards, like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless or the Hilton Honors Surpass, in terms of rewards. However, those cards don’t offer the equivalent of IHG's Platinum Elite status, but instead relegate you to a lower tier. Both of those cards also have annual fees of $95. Even so, one of them might suit your needs better than this card, depending on where you’re more likely to stay.
In general, hotel rewards cards offer less value per point than other types of cards, and to get the most out of your redemptions, you need to be fairly loyal to a particular brand.