Underrated Reasons Why You Need an IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Overlooked benefits like travel or cell phone protections can help you worry less about unforeseeable incidents.

JT GenterAugust 10, 2020
On a similar note...
On a similar note...

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The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is one of the few hotel credit cards that offer value to almost every traveler. The card comes packed with benefits. Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus you’ll get a free night each year and mid-tier elite status. While these perks alone are enough to justify the $0 intro for the first year, then $89 annual fee, there’s a lot more to this card than just these three marquee benefits.

The well-known reasons

Here’s a quick look at a few of the well-known benefits of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card:

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

  • Platinum Elite status: Cardholders get Platinum Elite status, which comes with valuable benefits like complimentary room upgrades when available, extended checkout, a welcome amenity and a 50% points bonus on stays.

  • Anniversary free night: Get a free night certificate each cardmember year valid toward a hotel night costing up to 40,000 points per night.

Underrated reasons

Fourth night free

It’s easy to underestimate just how valuable this one benefit can be. By booking a rewards stay of four or more nights, the price of the fourth night is automatically set to zero points. That’s true whether you are redeeming points for an extended stay hotel or an InterContinental resort.

Plus, this benefit is uncapped, so you can use it as many times as you want. In 2019 alone, my wife and I used this benefit 11 times and saved 185,000 IHG Rewards points. At NerdWallet’s valuation of 0.9 cent per IHG point, that’s $1,665 worth of savings.

The fourth-night free benefit is useful only when you can stay four nights or more. But just knowing you have this perk can change how you plan a long weekend. Rather than flying on peak travel days — when flight prices are high and award availability is tough to find — you can extend your stay an extra night for free.

Travel protections

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers an impressive suite of travel protection benefits just for charging your travel expenses to your card.

If you have to cancel your trip due to illness, severe weather or some other covered reason, the card’s trip cancellation/interruption insurance will reimburse up to $5,000 per person and $10,000 per trip for nonrefundable travel expenses.

Your card comes with theft and collision damage coverage on rental cars when you pay with the card and decline the rental company’s collision insurance. Note that this coverage is secondary to your personal insurance and doesn’t cover liability.

If your bag is delayed by at least six hours, you’ll be reimbursed up to $100 a day for three days for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing. If your bag is damaged or never found, you’ll receive up to $3,000 per passenger.

If you have a problem away from home, you can get legal and medical referrals and other emergency assistance for being a cardmember. In the worst-case scenario, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card will pay up to $500,000 in cases of accidental death or dismemberment.

Cell phone protection

The card’s protections aren’t just travel-related. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card card covers against theft and damage to your cell phone when you pay the bill with your card. This coverage goes up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year. There’s a maximum of two claims per 12 month period and a deductible of $50 per claim.

Global Entry / TSA Precheck

This isn’t the only credit card that reimburses Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fees. However, almost all of the cards that offer this benefit have an annual fee of $95 or (much) more. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is one of the credit cards with the lowest annual fee offering this benefit.

Anyone considering paying the $100 Global Entry application fee could cut that cost by signing up for this card, paying the $0 intro for the first year, then $89 annual fee and charging the Global Entry fee to the card. Plus, you’ll get all of the card’s other benefits too.

No foreign transaction fees

Some of our favorite low and no-annual-fee credit cards don’t waive foreign transaction fees. When you use your IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card in another country you don’t have to worry about paying an additional 3% on every purchase. Whether you’re paying for a hotel or picking up the tab at a cafe, the card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees.

The bottom line

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is currently offering an eye-catching welcome bonus. But the card’s benefits could make it a keeper for the long term. Cardholders will receive at least one free night a year and potentially a lot more if you maximize the fourth night free benefit.

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:

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