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For the past few months, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has offered an eyebrow-raising sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. This offer expires Oct. 9, 2019, so time is quickly running out to nab those points.
IHG points aren’t exactly the most valuable out there — we currently value them at 0.6 cent each. So don’t necessarily rush to get the card just because of all those zeros. Still, 125,000 points is worth $750 by our estimates. That’s not bad at all for a card with an annual fee of $89.
» Learn more: Full review of the IHG Reward Club Premier card
What’s the point(s)?
Although this sign-up offer is disappearing, the card will still offer 25 points per dollar spent at any IHG property during the first year. That’s an unheard-of earning rate, which doesn’t even take into account the points earned for actually staying at the property.
How does the math work? Let’s say you use the card on a night at a Holiday Inn that costs $100. You’ll earn:
2,500 points from the 25x bonus on the card.
1,000 points for the regular earning rate (10 points per dollar).
500 bonus points for the Platinum Status you automatically earn with the card.
That’s 4,000 points — worth $24 by our estimates — for $100 in spending. Simply put: You won’t find a better return on spend with even the most competitive alternatives.
Don’t pay to stay
Even though we don’t consider IHG points ridiculously valuable, 125,000 of them can be stretched a long way.
IHG posts regular PointBreaks promotions with properties offering award nights for as low as 5,000 points. Granted, these are often in lower-end hotels in less-than-fancy locations, but 125,000 points is nearly a month’s rent (25 days) in one of them.
You could also splurge on a higher-end property. A room at the Intercontinental Park Lane, London ran about $482, or 70,000 IHG points, when we checked. That’s 0.69 cent per point, a decent value and a quick way to burn through that sign-up bonus.
The card also offers a free anniversary night for any stay under 40,000 points. That’s up to $240 in value, though it doesn’t kick in until you’ve had the card for a year and paid two annual fees.
The bottom line
On the one hand, IHG has devalued its points in recent years to well below 1 cent apiece. On the other hand, they keep throwing gobs of them at us.
If you’re planning to spend money at IHG properties in the next year, you can’t beat the points-earning rate this card offers. And now is the last chance to get this gigantic 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 2019, 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 Visa® credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best hotel credit card for you Snag these hotel loyalty perks, even if you’re disloyal Earn more points and miles with these 6 strategies