Credit Card Review: IHG Rewards Traveler

by joeheg

It’s not often that you’ll find a no-annual-fee credit card that offers most of the same benefits as the base card that charges an annual fee. Sure, the Hilton AMEX and the Chase Disney Rewards Visa card have some decent benefits, but they are the exceptions to the rule.

There’s another co-brand card that gives some great benefits without charging an annual fee. The IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card.

I haven’t given much attention to this card since we have the no longer available IHG Rewards Club Select card that has a $49 annual fee and provides a free night at IHG hotels that cost 40,000 rewards points or less.

However, the only other card available to new applicants is the IHG Rewards Club Premier card which costs $89 per year. Maybe you don’t want to pay every year for a free night at a roadside Holiday Inn Express but want some of the other advantages a co-brand card offers. Here’s what you get if you have the Traveler card.

IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

Annual Fee

No Annual Fee

Sign Up Benefits

The IHG Rewards Club Premier card is currently offering 80,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  If you’d like to sign up for this card, we’d appreciate it if you use our referral link. We get bonus IHG points for each person who signs up, so why not help us out while helping yourself?

Spending Bonus Categories

The IHG Rewards Club Traveler earns 5X points on stays at IHG hotels. It earns 3x points on purchases at gas stations,  restaurants, utilities, cable, internet, phone, cell and select streaming services. The card earns two points per dollar for all other purchases.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

As you would hope for a card you can use at IHG hotels worldwide, the IHG Rewards Club Traveler doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees.

Free Reward Night On Four Or More Night Stays

When booking a reward stay for four or more nights, every fourth night is free. Another way to look at this benefit is that you get a 25% discount on four-night award stays, or multiples of four nights. Most other co-brand cards offer a fifth night free, so this is an industry-leading perk for the IHG card.

Save 20% on Purchased Points

The IHG Rewards Traveler card offers a 20% discount when you pay for IHG points with the card. I usually wouldn’t care about this, but I find that purchasing IHG points can be a good value. Unfortunately, you’re not able to use the discount during any of the IHG point promotions.

Elite Status

IHG Traveler cardholders automatically receive IHG Silver status, Each calendar year that you make purchases totaling $20,000, you’ll qualify for Gold Elite Status through December 31 of the following year.

Final Thoughts

While I’m not one to often recommend a base-level credit card, I can see a place where the IHG Traveler card can fit in a wallet. If you do not want to pay for a free night every year, you’ll still get the free night on four-night award stays.



MIchael R Karpiel June 16, 2021 - 9:32 am

Just to clarify the 20% discount on IHG points purchase only applies to regular pricing. If you buy points on sale (sometimes up to 100%) the 20% discount DOES NOT APPLY.

joeheg June 16, 2021 - 10:54 pm

Thanks for the information. I’ll look to see if there’s any official wording of that exception.


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