Credit Card Credit Card Reviews

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Review

overall rating
3

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When you get the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card, you have the potential to earn a large number of bonus points at IHG properties—on top of the generous one-time offer of 140,000 points. That's in addition to a variety of other perks, including a reward night on each account anniversary year, automatic Platinum Status for IHG Rewards Club members, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement. With all of the ways to earn points, offsetting the $89 annual fee is fairly easy.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

overall rating
2.5
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
On Chase's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $89
Rewards Earning Rate 10 points per dollar at IHG hotels and resorts, 2 points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1 point on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

Full Review of IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Pros
  • Generous one-time offer

  • Earn 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants

  • Anniversary night

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • Save 20% when you purchase points with your card

Cons
  • $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

Pros Explained

  • Generous One-Time Offer, Plus Additional Ways to Earn: The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card comes with a rather generous bonus of 140,000 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.

Cons Explained

  • $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

  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist
  • Avatar for Loyalty Status Seeker Persona
    Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
    Loyalty Status Seeker
  • Avatar for Frequent Flyer Persona
    Flies often for business or leisure
    Frequent Flyer
  • Avatar for Frequent Diner Persona
    Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
    Frequent Diner

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 140,000 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 140,000 points would be worth an impressive $1,274.

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.

Transferring Points

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

Standard Benefits

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Discount when you purchase points with the card
  • Travel insurance coverage and extended warranties

Cardholder Experience

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.

Security Features

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%.

Our Verdict

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.

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For IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
on Chase's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
overall rating
3
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.49% - 24.49% variable
Annual Fee $89
Rewards Earning Rate 10 points per dollar at IHG hotels and resorts, 2 points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1 point on all other purchases.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.