IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Review: A Great Card for IHG Rewards and Perks

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Review: A Great Card for IHG Rewards and Perks

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Editor's Rating

?

  • On Chase's Secure Website

Editor's Rating

?

  • On Chase's Secure Website

For frequent guests of IHG, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is worth its annual fee, offering an outstanding welcome bonus and a free hotel night each year on your anniversary.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is the best of the two hotel credit cards co-branded between Chase and IHG. It offers an outstanding initial welcome offer, and the fourth night free on all award stays.

The annual fee is waived the first year, and each year afterwards you'll get an Anniversary Night certificate good for one night at any hotel up to 40,000 points. This makes the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card a rare card whose benefits outweigh the annual fee for most people.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$0 Intro for the First Year, then $89

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Excellent/Good

  • Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®

Pros

  • Large initial welcome offer
  • Free anniversary night each year
  • 4th night free on award stays
  • IHG Platinum status
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck reimbursement

Cons

  • Annual fee after the first year
  • IHG points not as valuable as other types of points
  • Not a great source of points on everyday spending
{"backgroundColor":"gray","content":"\n\u003Cdiv class=\"full pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\n\u003Cdiv class=\"half pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"ShortcodeList--title\"\u003EPros\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--icon-check-circle\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Large initial welcome offer\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Free anniversary night each year\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n 4th night free on award stays\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n IHG Platinum status\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Global Entry or TSA Precheck reimbursement\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"half pad align-left clearfix\"\u003E\n\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"ShortcodeList--title\"\u003ECons\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--icon-times-circle\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Annual fee after the first year\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n IHG points not as valuable as other types of points\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Not a great source of points on everyday spending\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n","padding":"none"}

Earn 150,000 points

With the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you can currently Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

But while 150,000 points sounds like a lot, remember that IHG points aren’t worth as much as some other miles and points. We value IHG points at around 0.5 cents per point, so this offer is only worth around $750.

Another way to think about it is in terms of the number of free nights that you can get. With IHG points, you’ll book each night for the hotel's cost in points instead of the nightly cash rate. IHG no longer has an award chart, but many hotels will cost between 15,000 and 75,000 points per night. That means your welcome bonus will likely get you between two and 10 free nights. (Remember, though, that you also get the fourth night free on award stays.)

Given the low value of IHG points, you can find more valuable sign-up bonuses that can net you more hotel nights with IHG. For instance, you could redeem the bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for a hotel stay with IHG through the Ultimate Rewards portal and get a 25% bonus on those points, making your points worth 1.25 cents each.

What it's worth: Around $750 in IHG hotel nights

Who's eligible to earn this offer? You aren't eligible for this offer if you are either a current IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card cardmember of this credit card, or have received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. You're also not likely to be approved if you are over the Chase 5/24 rule.

{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EWhat it's worth\u003C\/strong\u003E: Around $750 in IHG hotel nights\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EWho's eligible to earn this offer?\u003C\/strong\u003E You aren't eligible for this offer if you are either a current IHG\u00ae Rewards Club Premier Credit Card cardmember of this credit card, or have received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. You're also not likely to be approved if you are over the \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"What's the Chase 5\/24 Rule? Everything You Need to Know\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/chase-5-24-rule\"\u003EChase 5\/24 rule\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

What can you get with 150,000 IHG points?

The 150,000 IHG bonus offer points can get you several nights at various IHG hotels across the world. IHG charges a different amount of points per night each and every night, which makes it difficult to know exactly how many free nights that 150,000 IHG points can get you. Here are two examples from across the spectrum.

First, one night at the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel near Boston can run as much as 74,000 points per night, so the welcome offer could cover two nights.

What can you get with 150,000 IHG points
A deluxe king room at the Kimpton Marlowe in Cambridge, Mass. cost 74,000 points per night for the dates that we surveyed.

On the other side, you can stay at the Holiday Inn Express Cleveland - Richfield for only 13,000 points per night on some days.

Your 150,000 point bonus would be enough for 11 free nights here. And don't forget that you get every fourth night free — so if you used all your points at once, you would get an additional two nights free.

Earn up to 25X points at IHG hotels

Like many credit cards, how many points you earn with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card depends on where you spend with the card.

You'll Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

As you can see, you won't get very many points by spending on the card outside of IHG hotels themselves. Even the 2 points per $1 spent bonus category isn’t that compelling, since that's roughly equivalent to 1 cent of value per $1 spent. There are many other travel credit cards that give better value.

It's important to note that the 25 points per $1 spent at IHG hotels includes the base points you already earn as an IHG member. All IHG Rewards Club members get 10 points per $1 spent for staying at an IHG hotel. Platinum Elite members (a status you'll get from having the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card) get an additional 5 points per $1 spent. And you'll earn 10 more points per $1 spent for paying with your IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, for a total of 25 points per $1.

15 base points + 10 credit card points = 25 points per $1 on IHG purchases

Check out the chart below for an idea of what kind of rewards you can earn with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. We estimate an earning rate for the average consumer based on U.S. Bureau of Labor data and multiply that by the value of each card’s points or miles. As you can see, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card does not compare favorably to other hotel and travel credit cards in terms of rewards return on everyday spending, due to the low value of its points.

Average rewards earned per $1 spent

$0.044
American Express® Gold Card
$0.025
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
$0.024
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
$0.022
World of Hyatt Credit Card
$0.021
Hilton Honors American Express Card
$0.02
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
$0.016
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
$0.009
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

What are IHG points worth?

We estimate IHG points to be worth about 0.5 cents each. The true value of IHG points depends on where you choose to redeem them, since value will depend on the number of points you need to book the hotel where you want to stay, compared to the cash cost of the same hotel night.

{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EWhat are IHG points worth?\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EWe estimate \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"IHG Rewards Program: Get Maximum Value from Your Points\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/ihg-rewards-club-loyalty-program\"\u003EIHG points\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E to be worth about 0.5 cents each. The true value of IHG points depends on where you choose to redeem them, since value will depend on the number of points you need to book the hotel where you want to stay, compared to the cash cost of the same hotel night.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Redeeming points

IHG no longer has a set award chart where hotels always cost a certain amount of points. Instead, the cost in points for a given hotel will vary from night to night. IHG does have a decent search engine where you can put in the address or city where you'd like to stay, and easily see the cost in points of various nearby hotels. The cost to redeem points for a free night will vary wildly by location and date, but you'll find most IHG hotels range generally between 15,000 and 75,000 points per night.

As you can see from the sample screenshot below, a higher-end IHG hotel can require a large number of points. An award night with EVEN Hotels New York - Time Squares South costs 80,000 points in our sample. In other words, your IHG points may not go very far for highly desirable properties.

Redeeming points

However, there are good values to be found here and there. Going back to our Holiday Inn Express Cleveland - Richfield example from earlier, you could book the hotel for 13,000 IHG Rewards points or $157.65 in cash. In that case, you would be getting 1.21 cents per point in value if you booked with points. That’s over twice as much as our average value for IHG points, making that an outstanding redemption. As a general rule, it is often easier to find better value at lower-end IHG brands.

IHG brands

  • Atwell Suites
  • AVID™ Hotels
  • Candlewood Suites®
  • Crowne Plaza®
  • Even™ Hotels
  • Holiday Inn®
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations®
  • Holiday Inn Express®
  • Holiday Inn Resort®
  • Hotel Indigo®
  • HUALUXE™
  • InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts
  • Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
  • Regent
  • Six Senses
  • Staybridge Suites®
  • VOCO

In addition, luxury travel club Mr and Mrs Smith partners with IHG Rewards, allowing members to earn and redeem points through stays at its more than 400 boutique properties.

To calculate the value that you're getting for your points, use the following formula:

Cost of a room in cash (including taxes and fees) ÷ Number of points = Point value

We value IHG points at around 0.5 cents per point, so anything above that number is decent value.

Free anniversary night

With the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you'll get an anniversary night each year, starting twelve months from the date you open your account. You do have to pay the card's annual fee to claim the anniversary night, so it is not exactly free — but it is still pretty good value for a free hotel night.

A few restrictions to keep in mind:

  • You must redeem and complete the stay using your anniversary night within 12 months from when it’s issued.
  • Anniversary night certificates are good on hotels costing 40,000 points or less, and you’re responsible for any resort fees, parking or other charges for your stay.
  • Because the nightly points cost to stay at a particular hotel varies from date to date, it is possible or even likely that a hotel might be eligible for an anniversary night redemption on some nights, but not on others.

Other IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card benefits

Here are a couple of the other benefits of having the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card:

One of the best benefits of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is that you get the fourth night free on an unlimited number of award stays per year. On any stay of four nights or longer, your fourth night will be free. On longer stays, your eighth and twelfth nights will also be free, and so on. This can be a great way to stretch the value of your IHG Rewards Club points.

Having the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card will give you Platinum elite status with IHG for as long as you have the card. This is IHG's midtier status, and in theory it'll help you get hotel room upgrades when you stay with IHG. Unlike competing rewards programs, though, IHG Platinum status doesn’t come with complimentary breakfast or lounge access. However, it does get you extra points when paying for stays with IHG and points that don't expire.

Platinum elite status benefits include:

  • 50% Bonus points on base points
  • Late checkout
  • Priority check-in
  • Complimentary room upgrade
  • Welcome amenity
  • $30 in-room spa credit

You can get 10,000 bonus points each account anniversary year if you spend at least $20,000. Your account anniversary date is calculated as your account open date through the first statement after the anniversary of your account open date.

10,000 IHG points are worth around $50, so this isn't an amazing return on spending. If you spent that same $20,000 on a 2% card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, you’d get $400 instead.

If you pay for your Global Entry or TSA Precheck application with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you’re eligible for up to a $100 reimbursement. You can get this reimbursement once every four years.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card charges $0 foreign transaction fees, so you can use it while traveling out of the country without having to pay any additional fees.

How does the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card compare to other cards?

Here's a look at how the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card compares against similar hotel and travel credit cards.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card vs. World of Hyatt Credit Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

On the surface, the World of Hyatt Credit Card appears to offer an inferior sign-up bonus and earning rate to the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. However, appearances are deceiving — because World of Hyatt points are more valuable, the card's welcome bonus and rewards earned per $1 spent are actually worth more.

On the other hand, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card holds the upper hand on travel perks. While the World of Hyatt Credit Card does give you Hyatt elite status, Discoverist status with Hyatt comes with fewer perks than IHG Platinum elite status. Not to mention, World of Hyatt Credit Card doesn't include a credit for Global Entry/TSA Precheck.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $95 (Worse)
  • Welcome bonus: Earn up to 60,000 Bonus Points - Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent. (Better)
  • Rewards earned/$1 spent: $0.022 (Better)
  • Other benefits: Free anniversary night at a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel, automatic Hyatt Discoverist status, five qualifying nights each year, two additional qualifying nights when you spend $5,000 (Worse)

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card vs. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card also bests the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card at earning points. Though Hilton points are worth about as much as IHG points, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card lets you earn far more points on many categories of spending: Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.

The card also performs a little better than the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card on its hotel benefits. While the card's free weekend award night requires $15,000 in spending each year, it's redeemable for a standard room at basically any available Hilton property, making it much more valuable. The card also grants you Gold status with Hilton (enrollment required) — its benefits are a little better than IHG Platinum status, including better base-point earnings and a food and beverage credit at U.S. hotels (or a continental breakfast at non-U.S. hotels). However, it doesn't include a credit for TSA Precheck/Global Entry.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 (Worse)
  • Welcome bonus: Limited Time Offer: 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 8/25/2021. Enjoy $0 intro Annual Fee for the first year, then $95. Offer expires 8/25/2021. (Worse)
  • Rewards earned/$1 spent: $0.024 (Better)
  • Other benefits: Free weekend night award when you spend $15,000, 10 passes for Priority Pass each year, Hilton Gold status (enrollment required) (Better)
  • Terms apply

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

If you don't stay frequently with IHG, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a better option than the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Unlike the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card or other hotel credit cards, the miles that you earn with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card can be used toward hotels, flights or any travel, at a rate of 1 cent per mile. Its rewards earning power is also better than the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, as Capital One miles are more valuable. The card's bonus is worth $1,000 when redeemed for travel statement credits. Plus, you also earn more on everyday purchases: Earn unlimited 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.

However, if travel perks are what you're after, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers few of them. Although it does award you a credit for Global Entry/TSA Precheck, you won't get elite hotel status with the card.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $95 (Worse)
  • Welcome bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel. (Better)
  • Rewards earned/$1 spent: $0.020 (Better)
  • Other benefits: Up to $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA Precheck (Worse)

Is the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card worth it?

For loyal guests of IHG, The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is worth applying for in most cases. It's a rare card whose benefits (primarily the anniversary night) outweigh the annual fee for most people.

However, it’s not a great card to put any ongoing spending on, with the possible exception of stays at IHG hotels — plus, the benefits will be difficult to use for those who prefer more flexible hotel options. If you prefer more flexibility in your travel, a general travel credit card may be the better way to go.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card FAQs

Does the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card have foreign transaction fees?

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card does have $0 foreign transaction fees, which means you can opt to be billed in a foreign currency and not be hit with any additional fees. This makes it a great card to use when traveling abroad.

Can you have both IHG credit cards?

You can have both the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card. If you're trying to decide between the two cards, you can check out our comparison of which one is best here.

How do you link your IHG account with your credit card?

The easiest way to link your IHG account with your credit card is to make sure to put your IHG Rewards number into the card application. If you don't put in your IHG number, you will be enrolled into the IHG Rewards program and given a membership number. If you accidentally end up with two IHG Rewards accounts, you can contact IHG customer service to merge your accounts.

What credit score is needed for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card?

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is designed for travelers with Excellent/Good credit. That roughly corresponds to a credit score of 680 or above.

Is there an annual fee on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card?

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card does have an annual fee: $0 Intro for the First Year, then $89. This means your first annual fee will be charged 12 months from when you apply for the card. That can be a great opportunity to try out the benefits of the card and make sure it's something that works for you before needing to pay the annual fee.

The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

  • On Chase's Secure Website