IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card: Should You Apply?

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card: Should You Apply?

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

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An OK hotel card, but for most consumers there are better options.

Good For

  • Earning rewards for IHG hotel bookings

Bad For

  • Non-IHG purchases
  • Transferring points to airline miles
  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Editor's Rating

?
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers.","showIcon":false,"tooltipLabel":"?"}

An OK hotel card, but for most consumers there are better options.

Good For

  • Earning rewards for IHG hotel bookings

Bad For

  • Non-IHG purchases
  • Transferring points to airline miles
  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Citi is an advertising partner.

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

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$0

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn 15 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
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Fourth Reward Night Free
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
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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 $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: 75,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account openingEarn 75,000 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 Brands

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
  • HUALUXE™
  • Crowne Plaza®
  • Kimpton® Hotels

Additional Benefits

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

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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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 $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.

Highlights:

  • Earn 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 125,000 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

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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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.

Highlights:

  • 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 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 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 and the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Cardhave been collected by ValuePenguin and have 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.

Bailey is a Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, covering insurance. He graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. Bailey's analysis has been featured by CNBC, the Houston Chronicle and the National Transportation Bureau Safety Board.

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
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