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

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

Excellent rewards and benefits for frequent IHG guests.

Editor's Rating

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4.5/5.0

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

The information related to the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card features a fantastic rewards rate on IHG purchases as well as some great benefits such as free nights at eligible IHG hotels. However, if you’re looking for a versatile hotel or travel card, then it may not be right for you.

Review: Our Thoughts on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The main draw of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is its very high rewards rate on IHG purchases. The 25 points per dollar spent at IHG hotels (40 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel for the first 12 months) is great even when we compare it to other co-branded cards, which typically offer exceptional rewards on purchases with the company. However, for this you sacrifice flexibility, as the points you earn with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card have little value outside of being redeemed for IHG hotel bookings.

Good For…

Bad For…
Frequent IHG guestsEveryday purchases
Earning free hotel staysFlexible rewards redemption

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers one of the most desirable features of a hotel credit card—the ability to earn free nights. Cardholders who can use the annual free night should easily be able to recoup value equal to or greater than the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card's $89 annual fee.

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is great for those that often stay at IHG hotels and can use the perks associated with the Platinum Elite status, which cardholders get automatically. This comes with many useful benefits that can be invaluable to frequent travelers, like free room upgrades (under certain circumstances), priority check-in and extended check-out. These benefits are some of the best we've seen among hotel cards.

Bottom Line: The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is worth getting for those who can utilize its high rewards rate for IHG purchases, free anniversary nights and some of perks that come with having Platinum Elite status. However, it works best when paired with a card that offers a good rewards rate on everyday purchases and has flexible rewards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Benefits and Features

Points can be used to book hotel stays or flights and can also be used to shop on IHG's online catalog or redeem gift cards. Using your points for anything but hotel bookings is usually not recommended because you’ll get less value back. For more information about other redemption options see our guide on the IHG Rewards Club program.

What is IHG?

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) is a massive hotel company with almost 5,300 hotels all over the world including brands such as:

  • Staybridge Suites®
  • Candlewood Suites®
  • InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts
  • Hotel Indigo®
  • Even™ Hotels
  • HUALUXE™
  • Holiday Inn®
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations®
  • Crowne Plaza®
  • Holiday Inn Resort®
  • Holiday Inn Express®

Free Nights

One of the more desirable benefits that the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers is a free anniversary night at an eligible hotel that you can qualify for every year on the anniversary of your account opening. You only receive this benefit after you've had your card for a year, so you do not receive it when you open your account. This benefit can only be used at hotels with a point redemption level of 40,000 points or less, and expires after 12 months of being issued. The 40,000 point restriction only excludes very high-end hotels and still leaves more than 4,900 eligible locations.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card users can also receive a free night when they use their points to book four nights or more. This can be very valuable for those who book longer trips a few times a year. The downside is that to use this benefit, you must first amass quite a large amount of points—at least 30,000—which might take a while for some cardholders.

Additional Benefits

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card cardholders automatically enjoy Platinum Elite status in the IHG Rewards Club. Normally to qualify for this, IHC Club members would need to stay 40 qualified night or earn 40,000 qualified points per calendar year. Platinum Elite status gets you 50% more point earnings only on points earned by being a IHG Rewards Club member-not to points earned by using the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Additional Platinum Elite perks include:

  • Complimentary room upgrades (subject to availability)
  • A $30 in-room spa credit when you stay at participating Kimpton Hotels
  • Priority check-in
  • Extended check out

With the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you can receive a credit of up to $100 to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. This is a fairly common benefit among travel cards. Global Entry members get all the benefits of TSA Pre✓® as well as expedited entry when entering the U.S. We typically recommend travelers opt for Global Entry for the greater covered benefit.

How Does the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?

It's hard to evaluate a card’s value without knowing how it stacks up to other options. For this reason we always recommend that you compare features when shopping for credit cards. Below, we have compared the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card to some of the best hotel credit cards currently available.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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While the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cannot match the rewards that the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card earns for IHG purchases, for all other spending it offers much higher rewards. For travel and dining at restaurants the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2 points per $1 spent, which—when redeemed for travel the Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) portal—amounts to a 2.5% rewards rate. Furthermore, UR points are incredibly versatile as they can be transferred 1:1 with a number of travel and hotel partners. Ultimately the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will be the better card for most, however those who frequent IHG hotels can still recoup excellent value with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and might consider getting both.

  • Earn 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 60,000 bonus points for making $4,000 in purchases within three months of your account opening.
  • Points are transferable to many leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Review

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card vs Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
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Though the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express are both co-branded hotel credit cards, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is far more versatile. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is one of our favorite hotel credit cards because it offers a minimum high rewards rate of 1.8% on all spending (based on our estimated point value of $0.009 multiplied by the points earned). Also, with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express you can redeem your points across 29 different hotel brands and transfer them to over 40 airline partners. If you can travel often and stay in IHG hotels and utilize many of the IHG specific benefits of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card then you should get it. Otherwise, you will get better value from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

For rates and fees of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

The information related to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. This offer and/or promotion may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card vs Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
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The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers great rewards and benefits for frequent Marriott guests. It features a 3% rewards rate for spending at Marriott locations as well an annual free night on your account anniversary. Ultimately picking between these two cards comes down to whether you stay more with IHG or Marriott more, as both cards offer excellent benefits for their respective hotels.

  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent at Marriott locations; 2 points for every $1 spent on direct airline ticket purchases, car rental agencies and restaurants; and 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.
  • Annual free night on account anniversary.
  • $85 annual fee that is waived for the first year.
  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

The information related to the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. This offer and/or promotion may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available.

Comments and Questions

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).