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If you’ve been putting off applying for the IHG® Rewards Premier credit card, now might be the perfect time to get it, as it currently offers the best points offer we’ve seen.
New IHG Premier cardholders can now earn 175,000 bonus points After spending $3,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening. Those bonus points are worth as much as $875 at IHG hotels around the world, according to frequent flyer site The Points Guy, for an annual fee of just $99.
Plus, with the benefits of the IHG Premier Card, it’s easy to keep it in your wallet year after year to pay off the annual fee – even if you only stay at an IHG hotel once a year. So why is this card so useful?
While IHG Premier may not be the credit card you use for everyday shopping, it can save you tons of money and points throughout the year thanks to all of its perks and benefits, whether it’s during your first year with IHG Premier card people and others. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Beginning with your second year as an IHG Premier cardholder, you’ll earn a free night bonus on every cardholder anniversary. This free night certificate can be redeemed for up to 40,000 points for one night at any IHG hotel.
However, with the addition of a new set of benefits last year, you can now “top up” your IHG Free Night Certificate using points in your account so that it can be used at any IHG in the world, including Holiday Inns, Kimpton Hotels , Intercontinental Hotel, etc.
Depending on the time of year, some of the notable hotels that can redeem these certificates without using any additional points include InterContinental Lisbon, InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, and Hotel Indigo Santiago Del Mar, to name a few. But it’s now available with Account points make up the price difference, the choices are endless, and it is extremely simple to redeem free hotel vouchers.
Free Night Certificates expire one year after being deposited into your account – which means within a few weeks of your card’s anniversary date (or after meeting your minimum spend requirement in the case of the current welcome offer). This means you have to travel by that date, not just book by that date.
The IHG Premier Card entitles you to a free fourth night on all IHG Points bookings. This means that when booking accommodation, the cheapest night of a four-night (or more) stay will automatically be zeroed out. This is a huge discount and you can save thousands of IHG Points even if you stay just four nights a year.
For example, let’s say you find a property on your ideal travel date that typically costs 40,000 points per night. Instead of spending 160,000 points on a stay, you can redeem 120,000 points on the same booking—a 25% savings.
IHG Premier credit cardholders automatically receive free IHG Platinum Elite status. While IHG Platinum isn’t the best hotel class, it’s better to have some sort of elite class when you walk in the front door than no class at all.
One of the main benefits of holding an IHG Platinum membership is that your points never expire. Generally, IHG Points expire after 12 months of account inactivity. IHG is very strict about this policy, so not having to worry about your points expiring is a huge bonus.
In addition, IHG Premier cardholders have the opportunity to earn IHG’s top diamond elite status. By spending $40,000 on your card in one calendar year and making another purchase thereafter, you’ll be able to earn IHG Diamond benefits, including 100% bonus points earned on IHG stays, free upgrades (subject to availability) and Welcome gift (including complimentary breakfast at some hotels).
Earn Rewards Points at IHG Hotels and Beyond
Earn up to 10 points per dollar spent on IHG Premier at IHG Hotels, 5 points per dollar on gas, travel and dining, and 1 dollar on all other purchases 3 points.
While you earn more points on IHG Premier stays with IHG than any other credit card, you may earn more rewards in other reward categories and on everyday purchases with different cards.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns 3 points on travel (5 points total for flights and 10 points total for hotel and car rental points when booked through Ultimate Rewards) and 3 points per dollar spent on dining. But according to The Points Guy’s point valuation, Chase points are worth at least four times as much as IHG points, and possibly more, depending on how you use them.
Even with CNN Underscored’s benchmark credit card, the Citi® Double Cash Card, you can get 2% cash back — 1% back on purchases and another 1% back on repayments — on all purchases. According to The Points Guy, since IHG points are only worth 0.5 cents each, you can get 12.5% back on spending at IHG hotels with the IHG Premier card, but only 1.5% back on a non-category rewards purchase with the change in effect.
When you apply for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Trusted Traveler Programs, simply pay with your IHG Premier Card and your application fee of up to $100 will be fully refunded. The TSA PreCheck program gets you through TSA security at US airports faster, while Global Entry speeds up immigration when you return to the US from overseas.
Even if you already have one of these memberships, you can always use your IHG Premier to pay for a friend or family member’s application fee and you will still receive reimbursement – no need to match the name on the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application with the name on the credit card unanimous. And you can receive reimbursement for this expense every four years.
Another IHG Premier benefit is up to $50 in United TravelBank cash per calendar year. This TravelBank Cash can be used to purchase air travel on United and United Express flights. You can get up to $25 in credit every six months, with the first set of credits starting around January 1st. Once a year, the second time around July 1 every year.
Deposits for the first half of the year are due on July 15, and deposits for the second half of the year are due on January 15. next year on the 15th, so you won’t be able to deposit those credits for long. But as long as you typically fly United at least twice a year, it’s an easy way to offset the annual fee.
10,000 Rewards points and $100 statement credit
Plus, with IHG Premier, you’ll have the opportunity to earn 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit when you spend $20,000 in purchases each calendar year and make one additional purchase on the card.
However, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend spending that much on this card, since you can get more rewards with other credit cards, including other travel credit cards. But if you’re a staunch IHG fan, using the card regularly is a nice added bonus.
If you don’t stay at IHG properties often, IHG Premier probably isn’t for you as you won’t be able to enjoy its best benefits and treatments. If that’s the case, check out our guide to the best travel credit cards to find one that better suits your needs.
But between its benefits and sign-up bonuses, the IHG Premier card is worth a look even for occasional IHG travelers. In the first year only, if you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening, you’ll end up with 175,000 bonus points, plus up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursements, and up to $100 in United Travel Bank cash.
So if you’re planning some travel in 2023 and want to stay at least two or more IHG properties in the near future, the IHG Premier credit card’s generous rewards points can get you in the right way.
Learn more and apply for the IHG Rewards Premier credit card today.
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