Details on Two New IHG Credit Cards and Their Bonuses

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Last week we talked a lot about the negative changes coming to the IHG credit card anniversary night. There was plenty to discuss, but I think we zeroed in so much on that one change that we (or rather, I) forgot to look at the two new Chase IHG credit cards. Now that the dust has settled a little on the anniversary night changes, let’s circle back and see what these new cards can offer.

Details on Two New IHG Credit Cards

As was rumored, there are indeed two new Chase IHG credit card products that are live and available – the $89 per year IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the $29 per year IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card. Both come with welcome bonuses, and not surprisingly the one with the higher annual fee provides more travel perks and benefits…as well as a higher bonus.

Learn more about Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

The $89 per year IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is offering a welcome bonus of 80,000 IHG bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first three months. If you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the first three months then you get an extra 5,000 points.

On an ongoing basis, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has the following benefits:

  • Earn 10 points per $1 spent at IHG properties
  • 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 an anniversary free night valid at IHG hotels up to a maximum of 40,000 points per night
  • Receive IHG Platinum status
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credit
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points per year with $20,000 charged each cardmember year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Save 20% on purchased IHG points
  • Redeem 3 award nights, get a 4th night free

If you are familiar with the previous IHG Rewards Club Select Card benefits you will note that the 10% rebate on redeemed points is gone on this card in favor of the 4th award night free benefit. This new version of the card also earns more points at IHG hotels at 10x points per dollar compared to 5x on the old card. However, the annual fee is also higher at $89 per year instead of $49, and we all know what has happened to the anniversary award night on both the old and new IHG card.

Use your anniversary Holiday Inn Resort Aruba

The $29 per year IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card has a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus IHG points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. If you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the first three months then you get an extra 5,000 points. The $29 per year card also has the following built-in benefits:

  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent at IHG properties
  • 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 Gold Elite Member Status with $10,000 spend in a calendar year
  • Redeem 3 award nights, get a 4th night free
  • Save 20% on purchased IHG points
  • No foreign transaction fees

The lower annual fee version of the card does not come with the annual award night, so if you are deciding between the two, really think long and hard if saving $60 on the annual fee is worth not getting the award night each year. The terms indicate that the bonuses are not available if you have the card or have received a new cardmember bonus for the card in the past 24 months. However, both are brand new cards, so it is unlikely that should be a problem for anyone unless they consider the old IHG card to be the same product as one of the new cards. The first few data points are pointing to that being unlikely. Early reports also point to the new cards not falling under the Chase 5/24 rules, which would be consistent with the old IHG card.

New IHG Credit Cards are Still Solid

I think that the big change with the IHG credit card anniversary night going from being unrestricted to limited to just IHG properties that cost 40,000 points per night or less put a big cloud over what is otherwise a decent enough hotel loyalty card. The annual fee on the Premier version of the card is higher at $89 rather than the old $49 per year card, but that fee puts it in line with other similar hotel cards. It will not be hard to get more value than that from the anniversary night certificate and other benefits for most people. Of course, the welcome bonuses ensure plenty of value in the first year, assuming you hit the spending requirements to earn the 60,000 – 80,000 bonus points.

While the loss of the 10% points rebate on the new cards is indeed a bummer, if you stay anywhere for four nights on points you will likely come out better with this new 4th award night free benefit. As our family has grown and our travel has slowed a bit, that is something that would have real value for us. A fourth award night free will allow you to stretch your points and not feel as rushed to keep hotel stays shorter to minimize costs.

As a side note, it seems that an application link to the old version of the IHG card is also still alive if you think that card and its perks would suit your needs best.

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below 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.

Comments

  1. I guess we are waiting to find out when our old cards will be converted? Both husband and I have a enough points that the 10 percent rebate was nice. Once we presumably are converted, we will probably just keep one card…sometimes the platinum status is useful. But I don’t think I want to prepay $89 twice for a night capped at 40,000 that expires.

    • They said that existing cardmembers will have an ‘exciting’ opportunity to upgrade starting in May, so perhaps not an auto conversion.

  2. If we hold the old card and acquire the new product, how will a 4th night award stay be reconciled? Would we get a 10% rebate AND a 4th night free?

  3. As usual, Summer, good stuff. Let me add our family’s thinking:

    My wife and I just used 165k [55k X 3] and my anniversary night to stay 4 nights in Paris. The new fourth night free would have given us the same result and we’d still have a 40k free night to spend somewhere else. Although my typical IHG stay hasn’t been at a 55k hotel or as long as 4 nights, I think we can adapt. I think we can make this change work.

    Strategically, (1) we need to stop limiting our free night thinking to “aspirational” properties and start thinking “one-night-stands” [in the 40k “nice motel-by-the-side-of-the-road” style].

    (2) Next, we need to plan 4+ night aspirational stays to take advantage of the 4th night free.

    Tactically, (3) I will keep the $49 classic; my wife gets the $29/$89 version as soon as her free night certificate for this year shows up. We’ll probably go for the $89 version since I think we can each use a 40k anniversary night. If not, we downgrade later to the $29 card and wasted $60 to learn it was a bad plan. If her new card is called an upgrade, fine; if Chase lets her have the 80k bonus, so much the better [same card? not same card? who can predict?]

    • Sounds like a good plan! We should know about the offers to ‘upgrade’ soon-ish and you can decide if that is good or whether applying for a new card outright makes more sense.

    • My thinking is similar. I have young children, so we aren’t going to be in the market for aspirational stays at 70K/night Kimpton or IC properties any time soon. I’m using this year’s free night + 90K points for a 4-night stay at a HIE within walking distance of Disneyland. Next year we’ll have two free nights to use since my wife got the card this year. I may upgrade one of our cards for the 4th night free benefit, or apply for the new card outright depending on what the “exciting” upgrade offer is.

  4. I am thinking, my wife and I both keep our current IHG cards, we both new cards adding each other as authorized users to get a combined new 300k IHG points. Keep the current IHG card and the $89 card to get FIVE free anniversary nights a year (with four cards with anniversary nights we use three to get one free and still have one more and yes we may need to use two anniversary nights and points for one to get the freebie but basically the math still works out the same) and then cancel the $29 card after the first year. With any luck the 300k points gets us 14 nights at 30k hotels: 10 nights at 30k each plus 3 more nights from the 3 for 4 and one more night for a 10% refund. So we would get 18-19 nights at 30K hotels in the next year which wouldn’t be bad for a total of $334 in credit card fees. What do you guys think?

  5. Can you still get the 80,000 bonus points if you are an existing card holder? Or do you have to reapply for the traveler card?

  6. I wonder if the anniversary free night can count towards the 4th award night free or if the first 3 nights have to be from points.

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