The Last Chance To Maximize Our IHG Cards & I’m Not Sure What To Do

by joeheg

One of the best co-brand credit card benefits ever was the IHG Select‘s uncapped free night that cardholders received every year when paying the card’s $49 annual fee. Unfortunately, the IHG Select card is no more; it’s being replaced by the IHG Rewards Premier card.

However, Chase and IHG have allowed past cardholders of the Select version to keep the $49 version of the card, which, like the Premier, gets a free night capped at 40,000 points. I miss that uncapped free night. We stayed at some great places for less than $50.

In early 2022, IHG announced changes to the IHG Rewards program. While details were sketchy besides the addition of an additional tier, we were told about changes to the IHG co-brand credit cards, which appeared to be positive.

However, I just read about a change that will affect those of us who still have the IHG Select card. While it’s not a common practice, some banks only allow you to hold one card in a card family at a time. For instance, you’re not able to apply for a Chase Sapphire Reserve if you currently have a Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Starting March 24, 2022, you will not be able to apply for an IHG Rewards Preferred card if you currently hold the IHG Rewards Select. This means that if we want to add another IHG card that has an annual free night to our wallet, I have 2 days to apply.

It would be a moot point if we weren’t under Chase’s 5/24 rule but since we are, I could apply if I wanted to.

I’m torn if I should apply for another IHG Preferred card or not.

Why should I apply for the card?

If you do some looking, there’s a signup bonus for 125,000 IHG Rewards points plus a 40K free night certificate for spending $3,000. 125K points are enough for 2 nights at one of the Kimpton Key West hotels which go for over $600 per night. If you can get 1 CPP value, the signup bonus is worth over $1,000. That’s not counting the value of the 40K certificate (which I just redeemed from another card at a HI Express in CA costing over $200/night.)

While not the most aspirational hotel points currency, I always seem to be able to find a place to use my IHG points.

Why should I not apply for the card?

I was convinced that I was going to pass on the offer until I looked at the benefits of signing up for the new card. But there are reasons not to get the card.

Getting the IHG card would put Sharon at 5/24 and keep her from getting another Chase card until the end of the year if a great offer shows up.

It’s also another $89 in annual fees we’d have to pay. Sure we’d be getting another free night but we’re starting to stay at more Hyatt properties and having another IHG free night is one more stay we’re not looking for a Hyatt.

We already earn three IHG free nights every year. Do we really need a fourth? I already get overlapping 4th night free and 10% redemption discounts on my IHG account so having another account with the same benefit doesn’t add much value.

Final Thoughts

We could have easily applied for the IHG Preferred card at any time over the last two years. It’s only because our ability to have both versions of IHG co-brand cards is going away that I’m being forced to make a now or never decision. I’m feeling the same way when I had to make the decision to get the IHG Select card before new applications went away forever.  At the moment, I’m leaning towards getting the card just for the signup offer and I’ll decide if I want to keep the cards for free nights at some time in the future.

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