At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
This limited-time offer has expired, and there's a new sign-up bonus: Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
» Learn more: Find the best hotel credit card for you
However, the card still earns a whopping 25 points per dollar spent at IHG hotels. This includes 15 points per dollar from the card, 10 points per dollar from the regular points earning rate and 5 points per dollar from Platinum Elite bonus that comes with the card. Even though we currently only value IHG points at 0.8 cent each, this is still an unbeatable earning rate for a branded hotel card.
» Learn more: IHG Rewards: More value for the frugal traveler
The card also earns 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else. Those are pretty underwhelming numbers compared to other travel cards, making this card valuable for IHG purchases but suboptimal for other purchases.
» Learn more: Full review of the IHG Rewards Club Premier card
What does this mean?
This is one of the most highly specialized travel cards out there. Those 25 points per dollar spent make it a must for booking IHG stays, but the 1 to 2 points earned per dollar spent on everything else is lackluster at best.
For that reason, you probably shouldn’t make this your primary travel credit card. But if you often stay at Holiday Inns and other IHG properties, it’s a no-brainer for those bookings — and probably worth getting even with the lower sign-up bonus.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card