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Who doesn’t love an almost-free stay in a nice hotel? Well, there may not be a quicker way to earn just that than with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. With a tempting welcome bonus and category bonuses, it seems like an easy way to fill your pockets with points. But who can benefit the most from the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card? We’ll break it down for you in this article.
» Learn more: IHG Hotel Card review: Free nights on a silver platter
About the card
Right off the bat, new cardmembers can earn an impressive welcome bonus: Earn 125,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. That’s enough for up to five free nights at some participating hotels.
From there, you can earn even more points with regular spending. Earn 2x points per dollar spent on gas, groceries and restaurants. All other purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.
You can also rack up 25x points per $1 for every booking at an IHG participating hotel: 10x for using your card, 10x for being an IHG Rewards Club member and 5x for having Platinum status, which is one of the benefits of the card.
The card has an $89 annual fee.
» Learn more: Find the best hotel credit card for you
The card also comes with a slew of other benefits — we wouldn’t expect anything less from a travel rewards card! For starters, you’ll get a free night every year on your cardmember anniversary. Also, when you use points to book a stay of at least four nights, your fourth night is free.
If you manage to spend $20,000 on your card every year, plus one additional purchase, you’ll earn an extra 10,000 points.
And as long as you’re a cardholder, you’ll enjoy automatic IHG Platinum status, which means you get access to exclusive rates, bonus point earnings and dedicated customer service assistance. Additionally, expect these other perks with your status:
Free room upgrades.
Guaranteed room availability.
Priority check-in on arrival.
A welcome amenity.
Custom stay preferences you can set up online.
The ability to earn extra points for deferring housekeeping (A Greener Stay).
Minibar credit at Kimpton Hotels.
$30 in-room spa credit at participating Kimpton Hotels.
The ability to earn IHG Rewards® points on IHG Rewards® Club Dining, OpenTable & Grubhub.
2 Amazon Kindle ebooks per quarter.
You can also expect 50% bonus earnings on every booking on top of base points, as well as elite rollover nights. There are no blackout dates, and points don't expire as long as you’re a member.
If you ever need to top off your account by buying points, you’ll get a 20% bonus. Cardholders also receive a statement credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, which is worth $85 or $100, respectively.
Who can benefit the most from the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Naturally, those who would benefit the most from the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card are those who travel often and spend most of those travel nights in participating hotels.
However, the welcome bonus alone may make this card worth it for many, especially if you’re planning a trip soon. After all, the $89 annual fee is less than you would pay for one night at most hotels. So as long as you earn enough points annually to book one or more hotel nights, the annual fee is likely worth it.
Add in the ability to jump right into Platinum status and your point earnings have the potential to multiply rapidly. Reward nights also build toward your next elite status (Spire Elite), so keep that in mind.
However, while the number of points you can earn seems high, keep in mind that they are only worth an average of half a cent. So the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card welcome bonus should ideally get you at least $400 worth of travel.
The bottom line
If you’re looking for a travel rewards card that earns you free nights fast, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card may just be your ticket. The welcome bonus is generous, and hotel availability is vast. But unless you book stays in participating hotels frequently or put the annual free night to good use, the benefits of the card may wane after the first year, making it less valuable than some other travel rewards cards in its class.
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