If you have upcoming travel to any of IHG’s brands — which include Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton, InterContinental and Hotel Indigo — these cards can save you hundreds of dollars year after year. And that’s not even factoring in the juicy welcome bonuses available.
Let’s take a look at these welcome offers and see which IHG Rewards card is the best fit for you.
IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card
Sign-up bonus: Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening. TPG values this bonus at $700.
Annual fee: $99.
Earning rate: 10 points per dollar on IHG stays, 5 points per dollar on all other travel, 5 points per dollar on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Why we like it: The card comes with a free night worth up to 40,000 points on each account anniversary. Other important perks include automatic IHG Platinum elite status (with a pathway to Diamond), up to $50 of United TravelBank cash per calendar year, reimbursement for your application fee to Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Nexus every for years and more — all for a $99 annual fee.
Factoring in the card’s fourth-night award perk (when you use points to pay for three nights and get the fourth as a bonus), you could get up to 20 award nights at IHG hotels with this one sign-up bonus. Reward nights start at just 10,000 points apiece, ranging from practical options in the U.S. to lodgings abroad in Berlin, Brazil and beyond.
For more details, see our full review of the IHG Premier card.
Official application link: IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card.
IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card
Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening. TPG values this bonus at $400.
Annual fee: $0.
Earning rate: 5 points per dollar on IHG stays, 3 points per dollar on utilities, internet, cable, phone and select streaming services, 3 points per dollar on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and gas stations, and 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Why we like it: IHG’s no-annual-fee card, the IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card, offers automatic Silver Elite status and the ability to get a fourth night free on bookings where you pay with points. Plus, the current sign-up bonus is solid for a card with no up-front, yearly cost.
For more details, see our full review of the IHG Traveler card.
Official application link: IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card.
IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
Sign-up bonus: Earn 165,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. TPG values this bonus at $825.
Annual fee: $99.
Earning rate: 10 points per dollar on IHG stays, 5 points per dollar on travel, dining, gas, social media and search engine advertising and at office supply stores, and 3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Why we like it: The IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card mimics many of the same great perks on the consumer version — the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card.
For instance, the annual free night award (worth up to 40,000 points) can also be topped off with an unlimited number of points, and you’ll also enjoy elite perks thanks to automatic IHG Platinum status. Cardholders will also receive an additional free night award worth up to 40,000 points (that can also be topped off with additional points) after spending $60,000 each calendar year.
For more details, see our full review of the IHG Business card.
Official application link: IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.
Reasons to get an IHG Rewards card beyond the bonus
Earning up to 165,000 points for adding a new card to your wallet is very enticing, but these three cards offer a lot of potential value beyond that initial haul of points.
Every IHG Rewards card offers some level of automatic elite status.
For example, IHG Rewards Premier and IHG Rewards Premier Business cardholders will earn automatic IHG Platinum Elite status. TPG currently values Platinum Elite status at $1,245 for those who earn it through stays. Obviously, that value is less for those who stay at IHG-branded hotels less frequently, but you should be able to recoup the $99 annual fee on the consumer or business version of the Premier card if you spend more than a few nights a year at IHG properties.
All IHG Rewards cardholders automatically get a fourth consecutive night reward. In short, when you redeem points for stays of four nights or more, the fourth night is complimentary.
This benefit’s value depends on your travel style. For travelers who only book short hotel stays, this isn’t very useful. But for travelers who stay long enough to utilize this perk, it can be incredibly worthwhile. And there’s no cap on how many points you can save with this benefit.
TPG values IHG points at 0.5 cents each. Thus, a single fourth-night reward stay at a 20,000-point property saves you $100 worth of IHG points.
The IHG Rewards cards help you rack up points fast, thanks to an expansion of bonus categories — including gas, which can be an expensive recurring purchase for many households.
But, it gets better than that. Since the IHG Rewards Premier and the IHG Rewards Premier Business both grant you automatic Platinum Elite status, you’ll also earn a 50% points bonus on IHG hotel stays. IHG Rewards members earn 10 points per dollar spent at most properties, so the 50% elite bonus provides 15 points per dollar at IHG properties. Add that to the 10 points per dollar you earn with the card and you’ll get (at least) 25 points total per dollar spent on the card on IHG hotel stays.
20% discount on buying points
Finally, if you need to top off your IHG points balance, you can get a 20% discount when you buy points with your card. Combined with the ability to top off free night certificates, this perk could be handy if you’re looking to save up your awards for aspirational stays.
You can have multiple IHG credit cards, but know that the IHG Rewards cards, like all other Chase cards, are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. This means if you’ve opened five or more personal credit card accounts across all banks in the last 24 months, Chase is unlikely to approve you.
Note that you also aren’t eligible if any of these exclusions apply to you:
- For personal cards: If you currently have a personal IHG Rewards credit card (which includes the legacy IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card that’s no longer available to new applicants) or if you received a bonus on any personal IHG credit card in the past 24 months.
- For the IHG Business card: You received a new cardmember bonus on this card in the last 24 months.
Even casual travelers can benefit from an IHG credit card thanks to the automatic elite status and free-night certificate you earn each year. And once you factor in these excellent welcome offers, now could be a great time to apply.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Benji Stawski and Ryan Smith.