IHG Credit Cards to Get Overhaul, Offering More Points and Perks

Jan 25, 2022

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Editor's note: IHG's revamped rewards program is now live. Check out our coverage here.


Co-branded credit cards of IHG Hotels & Resorts, parent of such hotel chains as Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites and Crowne Plaza, are getting a major makeover, including new ways to earn more loyalty points.

IHG said the revamp is the first of many loyalty-program changes that will be introduced in coming months that include a new elite status tier and bonus-point earning structure. The new program is designed to help members earn more points faster and have more ways to use them, IHG said.

The changes start March 24, 2022, for these three cards, issued by Chase:

No-fee card changes

IHG&® Rewards Traveler Credit Card
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IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card

Rewards

Bonus categories on non-hotel spending will change, losing the valuable category of groceries, but adding others. Just as important, the “everything else” category doubles in earnings, tempting users to make it an everyday card.

  • Currently: 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

  • On March 24: 3 points per dollar spent on restaurants, gas, utilities, internet, cable, phone and select streaming services purchases, and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.

The upcoming changes to the IHG loyalty program could change the value of IHG points, but for now, NerdWallet values points at 0.8 cent each.

Annual bonus points

  • Currently: None.

  • On March 24: Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year.

Elite status: Silver

  • Currently: None.

  • On March 24: Automatic.

Elite status: Gold

  • Currently: After spending $10,000 on your card in a calendar year.

  • On March 24: After spending $20,000 on your card in a calendar year.

Name change

Slight change from IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card to IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card, dropping the word “Club.”

Premium card changes

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
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IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

Annual fee

  • Currently: $89.

  • On March 24: $99 (effective 2023 for current cardholders).

Non-hotel rewards

The revamped card will offer a big boost in bonus categories, despite eliminating the useful “groceries” category. Triple points on “everything else” is exceptional if points hold their current value. That could make this card great for everyday spending.

  • Currently: 2 points per dollar spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants. Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

  • On March 24: 5 points per dollar spent on travel, gas stations and restaurants. Earn 3 points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Annual bonus points

  • Currently: None.

  • On March 24: Earn 10,000 bonus points and $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year.

Elite status

  • Currently: Automatic Platinum.

  • On March 24: Automatic Platinum with a path to Diamond. Earn IHG Rewards Diamond Elite status after spending $40,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year with the card.

Award night

  • Currently: Free night at an IHG property after your account anniversary every year, up to 40,000 points.

  • On March 24: Same free night each year but with more flexibility. Cardmembers can add unlimited points from their IHG Rewards account to redeem their free night at hotels above the 40,000-point redemption limit.

United TravelBank Cash

  • Currently: None.

  • On March 24: Up to $50 United TravelBank Cash each calendar year. Cardmembers can use TravelBank Cash on United Airlines purchases after registering their IHG Rewards Premier card with their United MileagePlus account.

Name change

Slight change from IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card to IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, dropping the word “Club.”

Nerdy tip: A different consumer card, the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card, still exists with a $49 annual fee for legacy cardholders. It is unaffected by the changes to the IHG other cards, a representative said.

Business card changes

IHG will consolidate its legacy business credit cards into a single one, IHG Premier Business Card, to be introduced March 24.

It will migrate existing cardholders to the new business card, which will go from an annual fee of $0 to $99. For existing cardholders, the new annual fee will not go into effect until 2023.

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