(This post is about UPGRADING to the Chase IHG Rewards Premier card if you already have the old one. To look at the details of the Chase IHG Rewards Premier card and compare it to other hotel cards if you don’t already have one, click here. Currently offering an 80,000 point welcome offer after $2000 in spending, 5000 more points for adding an authorized user, and a free (capped) night on your anniversary. $89 annual fee)
As is typical for my neck of the woods, I received the mailer regarding upgrading my IHG Rewards Club Mastercard about three days later than the rest of the country. I think the USPS still employs a mule train to transport letters and packages here. Thank goodness for the internet so I can keep up to date with the travel world.
Anyway, it was still the same poor deal: upgrade your current IHG card to the new IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and get 5,000 IHG points after your first purchase. Am I supposed to be excited about this?
At face value, this is a pretty lame offer. I value 5,000 IHG point at about $30, so this is basically like offering you $30 to take a $40 increase in annual fee. The offer was nearly round-filed right on the spot.
But after giving it a little thought, I may actually pull the trigger on the offer, for one single reason.
The best benefit of the new IHG Rewards Club Premier card
The primary differences between the old and new products include a higher earning rate at IHG hotels (10x), a TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry credit, and a higher annual fee on the new product (SEE: Should you open the new Chase IHG Premier Credit Card). But there is one more benefit that I am actually excited about: the ability to get a fourth night free on rewards stays.
Currently, we don’t often stay four nights in any one location. Here’s why: if I’m trying to work four nights at a location into a trip, I almost always tack on a 5th night and book with SPG, Marriott, or Hilton, since that last night is free. It’s hard to convince myself not to maximize that benefit.
But we don’t always need to stay 5 nights in a given city. Four nights is a decent number, as it allows you three full days to explore, which will usually be plenty and won’t make you feel like you’re missing something major (I know everyone travels differently…this is just my general travel speed). Having this IHG option in my pocket would be nice.
Assuming we use this benefit only once per year at a hotel that 25,000 points means we’ve essentially just gotten another “free” night for the annual fee increase of $40. To make all things equal, I should subtract out the 7,500 IHG points I will no longer be getting via the 10% rebate. Still, this is ~$100 value for $40. Totally worth it in my opinion. Any additional stays are just gravy. I’ve tried to ensure I maximize my IHG Accelerate offers at least two quarters per year to ensure I always have a healthy stash of IHG points.
The one thing holding me back
The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger is the fact that the new product offers a free night that is capped at or below a value of 40,000 points per night. Chase and IHG walked back their changes to existing card members, allowing current IHG cardholders to receive one more uncapped night. This lame offer is likely IHG’s way of snookering people with an “upgrade” deal to prevent them from getting one more uncapped night.
The terms on the back of the mailer indicate that the annual free night offered with the card is capped at 40,000 points. I may call Chase to confirm that I would definitely not receive one more uncapped night next March if I product changed. My guess is that I’m understanding this correctly and it is an either-or choice here.
Ot maybe I shouldn’t be torn up about this. For the last two years I’ve used the free night at hotels that are 40,000 points per night or less anyway (SEE: Where I “wasted” my 2 IHG free night certificates).
I know this change won’t be for everyone. For many, keeping the current card with the uncapped free night will be the better deal. I’m definitely considering product changing, though, only to be able to take advantage of the fourth night free benefit.
Again, to look at the details of the Chase IHG Rewards Premier card and compare it to other hotel cards if you don’t already have one, click here. Currently offering an 80,000 point welcome offer after $2000 in spending, 5000 more points for adding an authorized user, and a free (capped) night on your anniversary. $89 annual fee)
What do you think of IHG’s offer and their new card? Will you be getting the new IHG Premier Credit Card?