The points on this card aren't worth as much as the points in some other hotel programs — but you can earn a lot of points per dollar. IHG is relatively generous with free nights, too.
High rewards rate
Automatic elite status
Has annual fee
Rewards have limited flexibility
Compare to Other Cards
21.49%-28.49% Variable APR
17.24%-28.24% Variable APR
0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Detailed review: IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card
If it's free nights you want in a hotel card, the IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card delivers.
With a generous sign-up bonus and rewards rate and a free night after each account anniversary — plus a free reward night when you meet redemption and length-of-stay requirements — you could be counting sheep in an IHG-branded property faster than you can count what you saved on the bill.
The IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card, issued by Chase, also grants you Platinum Elite status, which means premium perks like complimentary room upgrades when available, and bonus points on every booking.
The main question to ask yourself before applying is whether you'll be satisfied with your options within the IHG portfolio, whose brands include Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton, EVEN Hotels and Indigo Hotels. Someone seeking greater flexibility or different hotel options might fare better with either a general-purpose travel credit card or a different co-branded hotel card.
IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card: Basics
Card type: Hotel.
Annual fee: $99.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
26 total points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Those points break down like this:
10 points for paying with the IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card.
10 points from your free IHG Rewards Club membership — you'll be automatically enrolled when you are approved for the card if you previously were not a member.
6 points from Platinum Elite Status, an automatic benefit of card ownership.
5 points per $1 spent at gas stations, travel and restaurants.
3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Perks and other benefits:
Get a free night at an IHG property after your account anniversary every year.
Get the fourth reward night free when you redeem points for a stay of four nights or more. Terms apply.
Earn an additional 10,000 bonus points plus a $100 statement credit each account anniversary year during which you spent at least $20,000 and made at least one additional purchase at least one day after you reach the $20,000 threshold.
Automatic Platinum Elite status, which, among other things, gives you 60% bonus earnings on top of the base points you earn through your IHG Rewards Club membership, a guaranteed reservation when booked at least 72 hours in advance, and a room upgrade, based on availability.
A path to Diamond status: Earn IHG Rewards Diamond Elite status after spending $40,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year with the card.
Global Entry, TSA Precheck or NEXUS fee credit. (Details below.)
Get up to $50 United® Airlines TravelBank Cash each calendar year; registration required.
Travel and purchase protections, including baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, purchase protection and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 21.49%-28.49% Variable APR.
Foreign transaction fee: None.
Premier vs. Traveler
IHG offers another credit card — the IHG® One Rewards Traveler Credit Card — for an annual fee of $0. But if you're committed to IHG, consider the extra value you'd get from the IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card. The free night every year can more than make up for the annual fee all by itself, you'll rack up more points per dollar on hotel stays, and you'll enjoy the additional perks of Platinum Elite status automatically.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the two cards:
IHG® One Rewards Traveler Credit Card
IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card
Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Fourth night free when redeeming rewards for four or more nights.
Earn Gold status when you spend $10,000 or more on your card in a calendar year.
Free anniversary night each year (up to 40,000 point value).
Fourth night free when redeeming rewards for four or more nights.
Automatic Platinum status.
Foreign transaction fees
Benefits and perks
Valuable sign-up bonus
The card comes with a generous offer: Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That sign-up bonus alone could get you a nice long stretch at a hotel.
Eye-popping rewards rate
You'll earn 10 points per $1 spent just by using your IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card to book a stay at an eligible IHG property, plus an additional 10 points per $1 for being an IHG Rewards Club member (which, if you weren't already a member, enrollment is automatic upon signing up for the card). You'll get yet another 6 points per $1 spent from the Platinum Elite status you're automatically granted with card ownership, swelling your potential earnings with each IHG booking to a sky-high 26 points per $1 spent.
More free nights
The IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card offers you an "Anniversary Free Night" each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels. Note that the free night award is valid only for rooms that cost 40,000 points or less per night and has to be used within 12 months of the date of issue. Beyond that, you'll also be eligible for a free award night when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights at the same property.
Platinum Elite status
The additional points boost that comes with Platinum Elite status is hard to beat. Earnings aside, Platinum Elite status also means perks like priority check-in, late checkout, complimentary internet access, complimentary room upgrades (when available) and a dedicated customer service phone line.
Application fee credit for Global Entry, TSA Precheck or NEXUS
You'll get up to $100 every four years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card.
Drawbacks and considerations
Lower point value
A low individual point value isn't necessarily bad if you earn enough points per dollar to make up for their lesser value. But it's still something to keep in mind when comparing hotel loyalty programs. This card can earn you a pile of points, but they may not go as far as the points from other hotel rewards programs or general travel rewards cards.
Limited earning/burning reward options
With any co-branded hotel card, you have to be willing to stay within the hotel group's brand family whenever you travel if you want to maximize your point-earning and -redeeming potential. This could be limiting if there isn't an IHG hotel convenient to your destination, or if the available hotels don't suit your needs. Although IHG does offer airline transfer partners, the value of points in transfers is far less than when you redeem points for hotel stays. You can also use your points for merchandise, gift cards and donations, but the transfer rate is also subpar.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
If you value flexibility over brand loyalty, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can also get you free nights — or flights — fast. The card earns bonus rewards in a variety of popular spending categories, including dining and travel. It, too, offers a rich sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, when you redeem for travel booked through Chase, your points have a value of 1.25 cents each. In this case, that makes a Chase Ultimate Rewards® point worth more than twice as much as an average IHG point. The annual fee is $95.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
If you're a frequent traveler but the IHG portfolio simply doesn't work for you, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card might be a better fit. It also offers a free hotel night once a year and automatic elite status. And, thanks to the sheer size of the Marriott Bonvoy umbrella, you'll have no shortage of redemption options. The card's annual fee is $95.
You can visit NerdWallet's roundup of best credit cards to get to see how these options stack up.
If you're concerned about finding IHG hotels in your desired locations to earn or redeem points, consider the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The Marriott family of hotel chains has more than 7,000 locations, from basic lodging options to ultra luxury brands. IHG, by comparison, has more than 5,000 hotels.
How to decide if it's right for you
The IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card can earn you free nights fast, as long as you can stay loyal to hotels within the IHG portfolio and don't mind doing a little work to make sure you're maximizing your point value.
But beyond the upfront incentives, consider whether this card will be a good fit for the long haul. If you want to use your rewards for nights and flights, a general travel credit card will likely be a better option.