Credit Card Review: IHG Rewards Premier(Now With 175K Bonus)

by joeheg

The IHG Rewards Premier credit card from Chase is great to hang on to for the long term. If you’re eligible to get one under Chase’s 5/24 rule, I think it’s a better choice for those starting with points and miles than many other cards. It offers a solid sign-up bonus with a reasonable spending requirement and finding award rooms with your points isn’t too tricky. IHG also has hotels almost anywhere you look around the world.

Sure, the status you’re provided isn’t going to get you a huge suite upgrade in a fancy hotel and you’ll only get a “free night” at hotels costing 40,000 points or less. Before I go and destroy my argument about this being a great card, here are the details about the IHG Rewards Premier Mastercard by Chase.

a close-up of a credit card

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

Annual Fee – $99 per year

Sign Up Benefits – The IHG Rewards Premier is currently offering 175,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This is the highest bonus ever offered for this card.

If you’d like to sign up for a card, we usually ask you to use our referral linkHowever, our link only has a bonus of 140,000 points. You can Google the 175K offer and use a link from whatever site you want to support.

Spending Bonus Categories – The IHG Rewards Premier earns 10X points on stays at IHG hotels. It also earns 5X points on gas stations, travel and restaurant purchases. The card earns three points per dollar for all other purchases.

No Foreign Transaction Fees – As you would hope a card you can use at IHG hotels worldwide would, the IHG Rewards Premier doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees.

Automatic Platinum Elite Status –  Cardholders are upgraded to IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite status for as long as they remain a cardholder in good standing. This would typically require 40 stays at IHG hotels per year. It’s not the most beneficial level, but you get a 60% bonus on points earned when staying at IHG hotels and priority check-in. They also claim you’ll get complimentary room upgrades and extended checkout (subject to availability which means don’t count on hotels honoring those benefits).

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.

Global Entry, NEXUS or TSA Pre-Check Credit – You’ll receive up to a $100 credit every four years for application fees charged to the card. This is the only non-premium hotel card to offer this benefit. It also leaves one less excuse for not applying for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check.

Anniversary Free Night – You get an Anniversary Free Night valid at IHG Hotels with a current point redemption level of 40,000 points or less. If you want to stay at a hotel charging over 40K points, you can pay the extra points to book a room. There’s no limit to how many points you can add.

Free night stays must be redeemed, and the stay must be completed within 12 months from the date of issue.

$100 United TravelBank Cash – After registering your United MileagePlus account with IHG, you will receive $50 in United TravelBank cash twice a year. The cash does expire if you do not use it (but there’s a small window when you can combine both amounts.)

Final Thoughts

The IHG Rewards Premier is a solid co-brand hotel credit card. Benefits like automatic Platinum Elite status, a fourth night free on award stays, up to a $100 TSA Pre-check or Global Entry credit and $100 United TravelBank Cash make the card valuable even after the first year and the 175,000 points sign-up bonus. I value IHG points at 1/2 cent each, so the 40,000-point free night is worth at least $200. This is a card where you’re at least breaking even when paying the $99 annual fee.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


IHG Delays Unannounced Changes To Free Hotel Night Pricing - Your Mileage May Vary January 17, 2019 - 6:00 pm

[…] 38 hotels are going from 40,000 to 45,000 points (making them ineligible for the free anniversary night from the IHG Premier credit card.) […]

Carl WV November 18, 2019 - 5:52 pm

Did they change the free night use? When I used mine last time you had to book before expiration, but the actual stay could be after expiration. I stayed in Key West for two nights back in January – one on an “expired” certificate.


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