Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers, but not all offers on Select are from affiliate partners.
Chase recently released elevated welcome bonuses for two of its IHG co-branded travel rewards credit cards, in addition to launching a brand new IHG co-branded business card in April, offering perks such as extra bonus point and free hotel nights as incentives to help consumers save on their summer travels.
Subscribe to the Select Newsletter!
Our best selections in your inbox. Shopping recommendations that help upgrade your life, delivered weekly. Sign-up here.
IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card’s welcome bonus
The updated welcome bonus for the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card offers new cardmembers the opportunity to earn 140,000 IHG Rewards points — and one Free Night at an IHG property up to 40,000 IHG Rewards points — after spending $3,000 within the first three months of card membership.
With many travel rewards experts valuing IHG® points at one-half cent per point (.005) and assuming a free night costs about $150, the welcome bonus is worth about $850 ($700 for the 140,000 points, plus your free night). Even with the $99 annual fee, you’ll get good value from the welcome bonus alone.
On Chase’s secure site
Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel, 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants, 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Earn 140,000 Bonus Points + 1 Free Night after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
16.74% to 23.74% variable
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Along with the welcome bonus, the IHG Rewards Premier Card offers several valuable spending categories to help you earn even more IHG Rewards points. As you spend, you’ll be able to earn:
26X points per dollar for purchases made with IHG Hotels and Resorts — that’s 10X for using this card, 10X points just for being an IHG Rewards member and up to 6X points thanks to your automatic IHG Platinum Elite status, which comes with the card5X points per dollar on all travel, hotel and dining purchases, including takeout and certain delivery services, as well as those made at gas stations3X points per dollar for all other purchases.
The card also offers a bunch of benefits for cardholders who regularly visit IHG properties, including:
Complimentary IHG Platinum Elite statusA free anniversary night redemption to use at a property worth up to 40,000 pointsThe opportunity to redeem IHG points for three nights and get your fourth night freeA statement credit of up to $100 every four years to put toward Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS membershipUp to $50 worth of United TravelBank Cash each year once you register your card with your United MileagePlus loyalty program accountThe chance to earn a $100 statement credit and 10,000 bonus points once you spend $20,000 in a calendar year — you’ll also qualify for Diamond Elite status until the end of the following year after spending $40,000 in a calendar year20% off when you buy more IHG Rewards points through the websiteTrip cancellation and interruption insurance, as well as purchase protection through ChaseNo foreign transaction fees for using your card abroad
The IHG Rewards Premier Card is considered to be the highest level of IHG’s travel rewards cards and is meant for people who actively use the included Platinum Elite status benefits, such as complimentary Wi-Fi, free room upgrades (based on availability), early check-in, late check-out and a free welcome amenity. Since the card carries a modest $99 annual fee, it could be justified even for those who only stay in IHG hotels and resorts once or twice a year.
I currently have this card simply because of the free anniversary night you’ll receive once you pay the $99 annual fee — it’s quite easy to redeem the free night for a stay worth over $100. The certificate is valid for roughly 12 months, and is worth up to 40,000 points. If you wanted to stay at a property that costs 50,000 points per night, you can always supplement the free anniversary night certificate with an additional 10,000 IHG Rewards points to make your stay free.
How to earn and maximize IHG® Rewards points
IHG Rewards points are quite easy to earn and the hotel brand makes it just as easy to redeem them. Earning IHG Rewards points can be done in a few ways, including: spending with its co-branded cards and staying at IHG properties.
Currently, there are three IHG Rewards cards available, including the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card. The other two cards are the IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card and the IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, each of which also offer great benefits and perks, especially for frequent IHG customers.
You can also earn points by staying at IHG hotels and resorts — for the most part, you will earn 10X points for every dollar you spend at IHG properties just for being an IHG Rewards loyalty program member, plus extra points as well as those based on elite status level, which vary by card. Note that purchases such as room service, dining at on-site restaurants and other hotel-related charges will all earn this point-per-dollar rate by using your co-branded credit card.
There are a few exceptions to be aware of:
You’ll earn 5X points per dollar at Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites brandsYou’ll earn 3X points per dollar at IHG Army HotelsYou’ll earn 2.5x points per dollar at IHG branded residence properties (excluding Voco Residences)You’ll earn 2,000 points per stay at InterContinental Alliance Resorts, Venetian Resort Las Vegas and Palazzo at the Venetian Resort
Keep in mind that the most important part of earning and redeeming IHG points is two-fold: Never spend more money than you should for the sake of earning hotel rewards points — spending $1 just to save a few cents is never an advisable idea and earning points should be done with the money you’d be using anyway — and you should spend the rewards points you’ve earned like cash.
IHG Rewards points are generally valued at around one-half cent per point (.005), so as you’re booking your next hotel, run the numbers to make sure you’re getting a good value for your redemption. Since IHG’s rewards program runs on dynamic pricing, hotel award night prices can change regularly, so be sure to lock in a good price when you find one.
For example, let’s say you find a property that’s $425 a night for 75,000 points per night. With each point having a value of .005, it would make this a good deal, since you’re getting slightly higher than the “average” valuation. Don’t shy away from booking a hotel if the value of your points is slightly slower, though, as it’s usually a better idea to keep your cash and spend your rewards points, rather than do it the opposite way.
The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is a solid pick for anyone who wants to save money on an upcoming hotel stay. From the increased welcome bonus to the many included features and benefits, this card offers consumers a chance to earn even more rewards points on their hotel stays and daily purchases, which can in turn be redeemed for even more travel savings down the road.
Before applying for a new credit card, check to check your credit score to ensure it’s either good or excellent, as well as your budget to make sure a new credit card is a solid fit for your financial goals.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.