Updated Jan 22, 2021 | Published Jul 14, 2020 • 14 min read
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The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card boasts a high 25X points per dollar at IHG properties, and features useful perks like Platinum Elite status enrollment, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, and a complimentary fourth award night stay. The other rewards are pretty minimal, so it should only be considered by people who prefer staying with IHG.
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The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a great tool for anyone who prefers staying at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) properties.
Not only is it an incredibly rewarding card when used at one of IHG’s properties, it offers a slew of helpful perks like enrollment into Platinum Elite status and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit.
Ideally your rewards will accumulate quickly, depending on how often you stay with IHG, giving you plenty of opportunities for free night stays. And the annual fee ($89) is pretty negligible when you take the yearly free night into account.
While it does offer a high number of points and benefits geared at IHG properties, the other rewards are relatively minimal. So if you prefer a different hotel brand, it’s probably not the card for you.
There’s another card offered by IHG that has less impressive perks and rewards but doesn’t require an annual fee. You can compare the two below:
125,000 bonus points plus a Reward Night for spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening
Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card
Reap the rewards: You’ll earn a whopping 25X points per dollar on purchases at IHG properties, thanks to the card and your Platinum membership.
Aim high: If you manage to reach the welcome bonus of 125,000 bonus points plus a Reward Night for spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening, depending on where you’re headed, you’ll likely be able to get a few night stays. And, the bonus will be all the sweeter with the rewards you’ll earn along the way.
One of the elite: With Platinum Elite status, you’ll gain a few amenities aimed at making your hotel stint more comfortable. These include complimentary room upgrades when they’re available, priority check-in, and you’ll be able to opt for extended checkout.
Save your points: Whenever you redeem for four award nights or more, you’ll automatically get the fourth night for free. It would be a good idea to hold on to your points if you’ve got a trip coming up.
Use your yearly gift: Each year on your cardmember anniversary you’ll be gifted one free night, so remember to use it. You can redeem your free night at a hotel that has a night redemption value of 40,000 points or fewer. It must be redeemed within 12 months from date of issue.
Avoid some airport hassle: This card comes equipped with a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit of up to $100 every four years. Don’t forget to apply and get to your plane a little faster.
This is where the IHG Rewards Club Premier shines. You’ll earn 10X points per dollar from the card, and another 15X points from your Platinum Elite status for a combined 25X points per dollar at IHG.
So if you’re typically seeing a point value of 0.6–1 cent, assuming you’re earning in the 25X category, you’re looking at a cash back equivalent of 15%–25%.
25X points per dollar at IHG hotels and resorts:
10X Bonus points from the card
15X Base points from IHG Platinum Elite status
2X Bonus points per dollar at:
1X Bonus point per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
125,000 bonus points plus a Reward Night for spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening
The welcome bonus is large enough to get you a few free nights depending on where you stay, and if you travel frequently, it might not be too difficult to reach.
When it comes time to redeem your points, you have a few different routes you can take. The focus of the card is to redeem for reward nights at IHG properties, but you can do a few other things as well. You can:
Redeem your points for a wide range of merchandise and gift cards
Donate them to IHG’s disaster relief program
Gift them to other IHG members
Transfer your points to miles through one of IHG’s airline partners
Most point-to-mile transfers carry a 5:1 ratio, but others are less. A few airline partners have 40:1, 250:1, or even 400:1 transfer rates, so your best bet is usually to redeem your points for reward nights.
Here are IHG’s airline partners.
AIR MILES reward miles
Air New Zealand Airports
All Nippon Airways
American Airlines AAdvantage
Saudi Arabian Airlines
South African Airways
China Southern Airlines
TAP Air Portugal
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
El Al Israel Airlines
Velocity Frequent Flyer
How Do I Redeem My Reward Points for IHG Hotel Stays?
Just go to IHG’s website and you’ll be able to search for the hotel you want to stay at, and when. You can choose if you want to use your points for reward nights or if you want to find the best rate from the drop-down box.
In some cases, hotel properties are divided into categories determined by how lavish the rooms are, and your point values are typically similar for specific categories.
But IHG has recently adopted a dynamic point pricing system, which means the number of points it takes to get a free night will fluctuate like the cash price of the room would.
We ran through a few examples so you can get an idea of the kind of value you might see for your points. Here’s what a weekend stay could cost you:
Cash (per night, including tax and fees)
Points (per night)
Crowne Plaza Denver
Houston – Medical Center
Chicago Magnificent Mile
Los Angeles Downtown
So the point values aren’t always great, but they’re better than what you would likely see if you decided to transfer them to miles. And since you’re earning a whole lot of points per dollar, you’ll still get a pretty good deal even with a low point value. It appears you’ll find the best value for your points at the lowest and highest point requirements, but because it’s a dynamic point system, that may not always be the case.
As long as you’re planning your trip far enough in advance, you could check different hotels to compare where you’d get the better per-point value.
The benefits package is pretty good, with the most value coming from the free anniversary night, Platinum Elite status, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit. The rest mostly consist of basic shopping and travel protections.
Free night stay: Get a free stay each account anniversary year, starting after your first year. You can redeem your free night at a hotel that has a night redemption value of 40,000 points or fewer. It must be redeemed within 12 months from date of issue.
Fourth reward night free: When you redeem your points for four nights or more, you’ll get the fourth night free.
Platinum Elite status enrollment: You’ll automatically be enrolled into IHG’s Platinum Elite status, which provides a 50% bonus to Base points earned, complimentary room upgrades, priority check-in, and extended checkout.
Travel Accident Insurance: When you use your card to pay for travel, you and yours will be covered against accidental death and dismemberment by up to $500,000.
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: In a pinch away from home? Call the Benefit Administrator for help.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Decline the company’s offer and charge the full amount to your card and your rental will get secondary coverage against damage and theft.
Baggage Delay Insurance: If your luggage is delayed for more than six hours you’ll be reimbursed for up to $100 per day, for three days, so you can make essential purchases like toiletries.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement: If you or a family member suffers damage to your luggage or your bags become lost due to the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per person.
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance: If your trip is unexpectedly ended or upset by sickness, weather, or other covered situations, you’ll be reimbursed by up to $5,000.
Cell Phone Protection: Your phone is covered against theft and damage up to $600 per claim, and up to $1,000 per year, as long as you pay your phone bill with your card.
Purchase Protection: Your new purchases are covered for damage and theft for 120 days, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
Extended Warranty Protection: If you’ve got an eligible warranty for three years or less on a purchase, you’ll get an additional year from the card.
The Terms & Fees
Balance Transfer APR
Cash Advance APR
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Cash Advance Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Returned Payment Fee
Up to $39
Up to $39
The Bottom Line
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is best suited for people who frequently stay at IHG properties. It earns a high number of points that can be redeemed for award nights, and features a few useful perks like enrollment into Platinum Elite status.
Both of those benefits help mitigate the annual fee. If you’re getting a night’s stay that’s worth $200 or more, that covers your fee and then some.
And while the point values themselves may fluctuate, you’ll still see a strong cash back equivalent thanks to the 25X point multiplier.
How Do I Apply for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card?
Just follow the link below to apply. You’ll be directed to the credit card issuer’s site where you can securely fill out an application. You’ll typically hear back instantly if you’ve been approved or not.
What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card?
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is recommended for people with good credit.
If you’re within 670–739 for FICO or 700–749 for VantageScore, you’re considered to have good credit.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not within or above that range. While it is better if you are, there are other factors that credit card issuers take into account when deciding to approve you or not, as well. These can include things like income and where it comes from.
Sometimes people with lower scores than what are recommended can be approved. However, people with the appropriate credit scores can still be denied. In the end it all comes down to the credit card issuer’s discretion.
Qualifications and Requirements
Must be 18 to apply (19 in Alabama/Nebraska, 21 in Puerto Rico)
Personal identifying information: Birth date, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name
Address and contact information: Email, phone number, address, type of residence
Financial information: Total annual income, source of income
While the point values are a bit lower than the IHG Premier card, the per-dollar rewards are a bit higher. Hilton points are worth around 0.4–1 cent, while IHG points are worth around 0.6–1 cent. That means you’re looking at cash back equivalents of 12%–30% and 15%–25% respectively. So you have the potential of earning more with the Hilton card, but the cash back equivalent won’t be as consistently high as the IHG card.
They differ somewhat in their benefits, particularly in the yearly reward night. With the Hilton Surpass, in order to qualify for the annual free night you’ll first need to spend $15,000 in a calendar year. The IHG Premier card doesn’t require a spending limit for its annual free night.
The Hilton Gold Elite status you’re automatically enrolled in is slightly different than the Platinum Elite status offered by IHG. The bonus to Base points is slightly higher, you get free breakfast, and rather than receiving your fourth night free when redeeming for four nights or more, the Hilton card requires five nights for the fifth night free.
You’ll have a shot at a higher cash back equivalent, and will gain a larger Base point bonus and coveted airport lounge access. But it’s a bit more difficult to obtain free award nights, so you’ll have to weigh which perks are more important.
Annual Weekend Night Reward: You’ll get a free weekend night after spending $15,000 on purchases in any calendar year. A redeemable code will be emailed to you after meeting the threshold.
Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status: Cardholders get Hilton Honors Gold status, which is two tiers above the basic Member status. It comes with some nice benefits, like an 80% bonus on all Base points earned and complimentary room upgrades when they’re available.
Fast track to Hilton Honors Diamond status: Cardholders will be awarded with Hilton Honors Diamond status if purchases for a given year reach $40,000. Diamond status comes with better benefits than Gold, including a 100% bonus on Base points and a 48-hour room guarantee.
Priority Pass Select access: Cardholders get access to over 1,300 Priority Pass airport lounges around the world. This does not grant access to non-lounge Priority Pass experiences. 10 free lounge visits are provided per year. After that, the entry fee will be $32 per person. You’ll need to manually enroll in this benefit.
Complimentary ShopRunner membership: Get free membership with ShopRunner, which provides free two-day shipping and returns from some online retailers. Cardholders must enroll in this benefit.
Amex Offers: You’ll have access to increased rewards at a wide variety of merchants that changes from time to time.
Entertainment Access: This benefit, also called Membership Experiences, provides pre-sale tickets to a variety of sports, music, and cultural events, as well as access to certain exclusive experiences.
Travel protections: Global Assist Hotline, car rental insurance, and baggage insurance plan
Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty
Purchase APR: 15.74% - 24.74% Variable
No foreign transaction fee
Annual fee: $95
Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
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.
Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
$95 annual fee.
American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.
It features slightly fewer points per dollar than the IHG Premier card, but the point values are slightly higher. Typically, if you get a point value of 1–2 cents, you’d see a cash back equivalent of 17%–34% with the Marriott card, while the IHG sits at around 15%–25%. That means you could end up with a larger return on spend from the Marriott Bonvoy card.
The annual fee is slightly higher than the IHG card, but it still offers a free annual night which helps offset that. The automatic Silver Elite status offered is less impressive than the Platinum Elite provided by the IHG card. The Base point bonus is smaller, and there’s no opportunity for room upgrades.
So it can be a little more rewarding, and could be a great pick if you frequent Marriott Bonvoy properties.
Annual free night stay: You’ll get one Free Night Award every year, beginning after your first account anniversary.
Automatic Silver Elite status: As a cardholder you’ll get complimentary Silver Elite status with Marriott. Normally you’d need to spend 10 qualifying nights at Marriott properties for this status level. This grants you perks like a 10% bonus on Marriott Bonvoy Base points and priority late check-in.
Path to Gold Elite status: Cardholders get a fast track to Marriott Gold Elite status by spending $35,000 in an account year. Usually it would take 25 qualifying night stays to reach this level.
15 Elite Night Credits annually: You’ll receive 15 Elite Night Credits every year, on or before March 1. Elite Night Credits count towards your Elite status with Marriott.
Visa Signature Concierge Service: Call 1-800-953-7392 at any time to reach your personal assistant, who can help with non-emergency tasks.
Complimentary premium in-room WiFi: Cardholders get premium on-property WiFi internet access at participating locations. You must provide your loyalty member account number when checking in.
Premier Experience Events: Cardholders will occasionally get invitations to exclusive events through the Premier Experience Events program. There are a variety of events, like high-class dining and cooking lessons, rounds of golf, and meetings with exciting people.
Travel protections: Travel and emergency assistance service, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, and rental car insurance
Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty protection
Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
You’ll earn fewer points per dollar but the value of your Hyatt points will typically be higher than your IHG points. Your cash back equivalent for the card will sit at about 18% for hotel expenses, if your points are valued at 2 cents. That’s a little less than the IHG Premier’s 15%–25% cash back equivalent.
While both cards feature a free annual night, World of Hyatt cardholders can earn an additional free night by spending $15,000 in a calendar year.
The annual fee is a little higher, but you shouldn’t notice it too much thanks to the free night and the additional one you might earn. There is one significant difference in their benefits however: The World of Hyatt card doesn’t offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit. Other than that, they’re pretty comparable. In the end, it’ll come down to which property you’d prefer to stay with.
Free night award: You’ll receive a free night after the anniversary of your account opening, but you might have to wait 10 weeks after your anniversary date. You can use it to stay at any category 1–4 property.
Spend $15,000 for a free night: Make $15,000 in purchases in a calendar year and you’ll get an additional free night’s stay. You can use it to stay at any category 1–4 property.
World of Hyatt Discoverist status: You’ll get automatic Discoverist status which gets you a 10% point bonus, premium WiFi, and room upgrades when they’re available.
5 Tier-Qualifying Night Credits each year: These credits help you advance to the higher tiers of the World of Hyatt membership.
Additional Tier-Qualifying Night Credits: You’ll earn two additional World of Hyatt Tier-Qualifying Night Credits for every $5,000 you spend.
Travel protections: Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, and rental car insurance
Shopping protections: Purchase protection
Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
While it doesn’t offer as many points per dollar as the IHG card does, it will allow you to earn outside of any one hotel brand. You’ll get 5X points per dollar on Lyft rides and 2X points per dollar on travel and dining. So it’s more flexible than the IHG card.
Two of its best features are its point transfer options and redemption methods. It has a 1:1 transfer rate to Chase’s hotel and airline partners, where you could find a point value of 2 cents or more. That’ll give you a cash back equivalent of 10% from the 5X point category and 4% from the 2X categories. So it’s not nearly as much as you would get with the IHG card, but you’ll have a larger selection of hotels to choose from, as well as other travel services like airlines and rental cars. There’s also a 25% bonus when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
You won’t get any hotel memberships or free nights, but you will get the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection perk, which gives you special benefits at a wide selection of properties around the world. You’ll also get Chase Offers and Shop through Chase for some added value.
So if you don’t want to be tied to any one hotel, perhaps this is the route to take.
DoorDash membership: You’ll get a free DoorDash membership for at least a year, known as a DashPass. This gives you free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12, which could help you save quite a bit if you tend to order out.
Evan graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in journalism and creative writing. In his professional writing career, he strives for precision and comprehension in his work. He’s written news articles, blog posts, and copy, working across a slew of different mediums. With in-depth research and great care for accuracy and detail, he now works to bring you the most up-to-date credit information.
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