There are 3 types of credit cards that it can make sense to apply for. Cards with good signup bonuses, cards that earn well with regular spend, and cards that have ongoing benefits that make the card worth having. I would say that most cards are worth getting for the signup bonus (though of course, some signup bonuses are better than others). There is an increased bonus on the Chase IHG card, from 70,000 to 75,000 points (by adding 5000 points for adding an authorized user and having them make at least one purchase)
While the top bonus on this card has been 80,000 points in the past (old post), there are no known working links for the 80k offer and the previous working offer had been 70,000 points. There have been reports that you can make a dummy booking on the IHG site and get an offer for 80k, so definitely try that first.
Chase IHG 75k card – one to hold
So the signup bonus for the Chase IHG 75k gives 70000 points after signing up plus an additional 5000 points after adding an authorized user. This signup bonus is good and definitely worth doing.
But the real value is in the anniversary night that you get each year on your anniversary. The Chase IHG card is one of the few cards that I will pay the annual fee on (especially since at $49 it’s on the low side). In exchange for that $49 annual fee, the Chase IHG 75k card gives you a free night at ANY IHG hotel in the world, even something like the Intercontinental Bora Bora which goes for over $1,000 / night sometimes!
If you are playing in “2 player mode”, I would recommend you and your significant other get the card at the same time, since that way you can sync up your free nights
Though sometimes I wonder if “free nights” are a good idea, Carolyn and I both have the Chase IHG 75k card, though some people might say we “wasted” our free nights last year. It’s important to note that you do NOT get a free night when you sign up (nor do you pay the annual fee – it’s waived the first year)
Chase IHG 75k everday spending – keep it in the wallet
Unfortunately, the earning levels for the Chase IHG card are pretty bad. You do earn 5 points at any IHG hotels, so I would probably put any IHG spend on this card, but only 2x at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, and 1x everywhere else. There are much better options out there!
You can apply for the card at Chase’s site, or if you would like to support Points With a Crew, you can find top hotel cards on our list of top credit card offers page (including this one). I do receive a commission if you apply for the Chase IHG 75k card through this link.
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I agree with you on the IHG, I just got that too, and I think the Club Carlson is also a great value with their 40,000 annual bonus points on the anniversary.
I liked the Club Carlson card a lot better before they eliminated the Bonus Award night! The problem I have with Club Carlson is that most of their properties are so expensive. It’s really 28K / night for just about anything, unless you can find Cat 1 or Cat 2 availability. At least IHG has Point Breaks!
Dan, are you aware of any comparable card (earning the bonus etc) which residents of the UK can get?
No unfortunately signup bonuses for non-US residents are pretty weak! I know there are a couple of other BoardingArea bloggers that are focused on the UK – you might check their sites!