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The IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card features a solid rewards rate on IHG hotel purchases. Most travelers will get better value from this card's bigger brother the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card—which features an excellent rewards rate and valuable IHG-specific benefits—or a no-annual-fee cash back card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.
Review: Our Thoughts on the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
The IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card is easily outperformed by the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card in terms of IHG rewards and benefits. This is because the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card features some excellent additional benefits. These include annual free nights (valued at $256), a Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit every four years (valued at $100) and automatic Platinum Elite status in the IHG Rewards Club. Travelers that can take advantage of all of these benefits should recoup a value much greater than the annual fee of $0 for the First Year, then $89.
While the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card might seem like a decent low-cost alternative to the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, it does not have enough benefits to make it a better option than a cash back card such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.
Bottom Line: We do not recommend applying for the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card. Instead, we recommend the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card for those interested in IHG benefits.
Benefits and Features
The IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card's main feature is that it allows cardholders to earn points in the IHG rewards club for making purchases with their card. Travelers can also capitalize on the welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. See how these bonus points contribute to our total card valuation in the comparison tool below.
The points you earn with the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card can be used to book hotels nights and flights, and they also can be used to shop on IHG's online catalog or can be redeemed for gift cards. Our analysis found that when you use your points to book hotel nights—which we found to be the best redemption option—the points are worth $0.0064 each. For more information about how to get the most from your points, read our IHG Rewards Club program guide.
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) includes over 5,000 hotels all over the world including the following brands:
- Staybridge Suites®
- Hotel Indigo®
- Holiday Inn®
- Holiday Inn Resort®
- Candlewood Suites®
- Even™ Hotels
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations®
- Holiday Inn Express®
- InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts
- Crowne Plaza®
- Kimpton® Hotels
This card rewards cardholders that spend $10,000 on purchases within a calendar year with Gold Elite status in the IHG Rewards Club. When you hit the $10,000 yearly spending threshold, you are eligible for Gold Elite status until Dec. 31 of the following year. Gold Elite status includes a number of valuable benefits for IHG guests including extended check-out, priority check-in and a $30 in-room spa credit when you stay at participating Kimpton hotels. Normally qualifying for Gold Elite status requires staying 10 nights per year at IHG hotels or earning 10,000 Elite qualifying points per year.
However, if you care about elite status with IHG, know that the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card gives you automatic Platinum Elite status, with no prerequisite spending requirements.
How Does the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?
Comparing a card to similar offers is an important part of shopping for credit cards. This is because it gives you a sense of a card’s strengths and weaknesses. Below we have compared the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card to some of the top hotel and travel cards.
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card vs IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is the better card for those that can take advantage of its annual free night benefit. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card's annual free night we value at $256, which more than makes up for this card’s $0 for the First Year, then $89 annual fee. Anyone who can't use at least one free night at an IHG hotel each year shouldn't get an IHG credit card in the first place. If that describes you, we recommend a general travel card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
- 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.
- Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Review
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of our favorite travel cards and is better than the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card for anyone looking for a general use travel card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be transferred to a number of hotel and airline loyalty programs—including the IHG® Rewards Club.
While it does have a higher annual fee than the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card—$95—the increased rewards earned on restaurant and travel will make up for this if you can make over $5,410 in non-IHG purchases per year within these categories. If you can meet this spending threshold, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will be worth the larger annual fee—if not, you are better off with the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Points are transferable to many leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Review
The information related to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.