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(Update 10/2 – I am being told that IHG is changing their offer on Wednesday 10/3 (tomorrow). I do not know what it will change to, though I would expect it to be down to maybe 80,000 points. So if you were planning on getting the card, you might want to consider signing up for it before Wednesday afternoon)
We talked a few months ago about the new IHG Rewards Club Premier card. The Premier card along with the IHG Traveler card replaced the old
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Let’s skip straight to the important stuff:
- Welcome offer: now an all-time high of 100,000 bonus IHG points after $2,000 spent in 90 days (sign up for this and other hotel cards here)
- Authorized User Bonus: Add an Authorized User and receive 5,000 Bonus Points for their first purchase
- Earning Structure: 10x on IHG, 2x on gas/groceries/restaurants, 1x on everything else
- Status: Platinum Elite Status as long as you have the card
- Points Purchase Discount: Save 20% when purchasing IHG points and paying with your IHG credit card
- No foreign transaction fees
- 4th Reward Night Free on any 4 night minimum stay booked with points.
- Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit of $100 every 4 years
- Free Anniversary Night (capped at 40,000 points)
- $89 annual fee (not waived the first year)
Hmmm…a lot has remained from the old IHG card. Platinum Elite status is nice, though now you’re paying $89 for it (instead of $49 with the old card). The sign-up bonus is now up to as high as we’ve ever seen it. You’ve also got no foreign transaction fees, and the earning structure on gas, groceries, and restaurants remain at double points.
What changed? The IHG Premier card will give you Global Entry credit (check out the comments, it looks like plenty of people still need it!). The 4th Reward Night free is new, and reminds me of SPG’s 5th night free on award stays…only better. Keep in mind though, you’re losing the 10% points bookings rebate, which is really valuable if you’re booking a lot of stays. I only stay 2-3 nights at one property typically, so the 4th night free provides virtually no benefit to my travel habits. One change for the better – 10x points on IHG stays now, instead of only 5x!
You’ll also still get the free anniversary night, but it’s capped at 40,000 points. I might be the only one saying this, but a free anniversary night is still a free night, even if it’s capped at 40,000 points. I hear you – no, it’s not as good as an unrestricted free night. But let’s be real guys, we all knew that had to come to an end eventually.
So, Should You Open the IHG Premier card?
Yes. I think the IHG Premier card still offers a decent value. BUT, don’t rush into it. For example, I wouldn’t let this card derail my application plans if I had a certain trip to work for. I certainly wouldn’t let this card get in the way of my 5/24 slots (if I had any left). This card does not appear to be subject to Chase 5/24 but it of course will count towards your 5.
I also don’t think this is a card you’re going to hold onto for very long. The previous IHG card, with its unrestricted free night, was a common “hold forever” card for our community. Now you’re paying $40 more every year for less benefit. No bueno. I will say though, if you have a particular IHG property under 40,000 points that you can use the night at, maybe somewhere you visit frequently, this card still earns a sock-drawer spot.
If you do plan to open the card, you can support the site through the top credit card offers link in the menu at the top of the site
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