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The 6 Best Credit Cards for IHG One Rewards Loyalists [2024]

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Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

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Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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The IHG One Rewards program makes it easy to earn free hotel nights and receive elite benefits during all your stays, even at its budget brand properties. One reason IHG-branded credit cards are popular is that they work harmoniously with the IHG One Rewards program. Anyone with an IHG-branded card and frequents IHG properties knows this partnership’s value.

If you are an IHG loyalist but don’t have an IHG-branded credit card, we’re happy to share many reasons why you should consider partnering a card with your IHG Rewards membership.

Let’s look at how cards from IHG, Chase, and American Express can elevate earnings, provide valuable redemption options, and deliver additional benefits you can use.

Spoiler alert: It’s easy for avid IHG patrons to decide which card is the best.

The 2 Best IHG Personal Cards for IHG Loyalists

Here’s how the 2 personal cards offered by IHG stack up against each other when it comes to earnings, free hotel nights, and core card features. We’ll expand on the additional travel and shopping benefits that come with both cards shortly.

Card Summary

SCROLL FOR MORE

 

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit CardIHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

Welcome Bonus

Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Earning

  • Up to 26x earnings per dollar spent at IHG properties
  • 5x points on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants
  • 3x points on all other purchases
  • Up to 17x earnings per dollar spent at IHG properties
  • 3x points at gas stations and restaurants
  • 3x points on utilities, select streaming, internet, cable, and phone service
  • 2x points on all other purchases

Complimentary Elite Status With IHG Rewards

Platinum Elite status with Diamond Elite status granted after spending $40,000 on the card each calendar year

Silver Elite status with Gold Elite status granted after spending $10,000 on the card each calendar year

Free Hotel Night Each Card Anniversary

Yes

No

Earn 10,000 IHG Rewards Bonus Points

Yes, after spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year + 1 additional purchase; also qualifies for a $100 statement credit

Yes, after spending $10,000 on the card in a calendar year + 1 additional purchase

Annual $50 United TravelBank Credit

Yes

No

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Statement Credit

Yes

No

Fourth Reward Night Free 

Yes

Yes

20% Discount on Purchasing IHG Points

Yes

Yes

Annual Fee

$99$0

Foreign Transaction Fees

None

None

Bottom Line: Even if you stay occasionally at IHG properties, the IHG Premier card is the winner for maximum earnings, complimentary Platinum Elite status, an annual fee hotel night, and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit. The IHG loyalist staying frequently at IHG properties will receive even higher earnings that can be used for additional free hotel nights. 

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The perfect card for IHG fans, offering a free night every year, automatic Platinum Elite status, and your fourth night free on award stays.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
The perfect card for IHG fans, offering a free night every year, automatic Platinum Elite status, and your fourth night free on award stays.
Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
140,000 points
$700
$99
21.49% - 28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

If you regularly visit IHG hotels throughout the year, then the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is probably a perfect card to have in your wallet.

The IHG Premier card offers a great bundle of perks and benefits, including automatic Platinum elite status, an annual free night certificate, and travel protections.

Pros
  • Up to 26x points per $1 on IHG stays
  • 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants
  • 3x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $99 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable points
  • Earn 140,000 Bonus Points
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Plus, enjoy a fourth reward night free when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG® hotel stay.
  • Earn up to 26 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier cardmember
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG One Rewards Bonus points are redeemable at Hotels & Resorts such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49% - 28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

The best IHG-branded personal credit card is the IHG Premier card. We can say this with great enthusiasm because although it charges an annual fee, it delivers value for the IHG loyalist that can far exceed that annual outlay.

Let’s look at the earnings, redemption options, and how the card works well with the IHG One Rewards program.

Generous Welcome Offer

Welcome credit card bonus offerings change, but you can generally expect to receive a welcome offer good for several free hotel nights after meeting minimum spending requirements within the 3 months after card approval. Check our informational table above for the most current welcome offer.

We’ll talk about benefits shortly, but if IHG is your brand of choice and you have an upcoming visit, securing the IHG Premier card before your hotel stay could be a smart move. Paying for the stay with your new card could help you meet the minimum spending requirement to earn your welcome offer while you also enjoy the benefits of the elite status that come with the card. Plus, you’ll receive elevated earnings (up to 26x) for those IHG purchases.

Elevated Earnings

Purchases you make at IHG properties (including Mr & Mrs Smith properties) with your card will earn the most rewards points per dollar spent. However, the IHG Premier card earns points on every purchase you make, including elevated earnings on everyday bonus category purchases.

If you want to learn more ways to earn IHG One Rewards points, we have lots of ideas to share, but here’s a look at the basic earnings on the IHG Premier card:

  • Up to a total of 26x IHG One Rewards points per dollar spent on the card at IHG properties
  • 5x points on travel, at gas stations, and at restaurants
  • 3x points on all other purchases

This is not the whole story when it comes to earning IHG One Rewards points, however. Combining the IHG Premier card with your IHG One Rewards membership allows you to earn much more, up to a total of 26x points for each dollar spent.

Let’s look at how the combination increases your earnings at IHG properties.

IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite Status

To achieve IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite level status would normally require you to stay 40 nights in a calendar year or earn 60,000 rewards points. Fortunately, you’ll receive complimentary Platinum Elite status with the IHG Premier card.

Here are some of the benefits you can expect with Platinum Elite status:

  • Bonus points earnings on IHG stays
  • Room upgrades when available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Spa, dining, or minibar credits
  • Priority check-in and late checkout
  • A welcome amenity at check-in

As an IHG One Rewards member, you’ll earn 10x points per dollar spent at IHG properties. You’ll earn an additional 10x points per dollar spent by paying for your stay with your IHG Premier card and an additional bonus of 6x points per dollar spent for having Platinum Elite status.

That’s a total of up to 26x points per dollar spent when staying at IHG properties, having complimentary Platinum Elite status, and paying with your IHG Premier card!

Free Annual Hotel Night

Each year at your IHG Premier card anniversary, you will receive a free hotel night certificate that can be redeemed for a hotel night that would normally cost 40,000 points or less. As an IHG Premier cardholder, you’ll also have the privilege of adding points from your account if the hotel night you select is greater than 40,000 points.

10,000 Bonus IHG One Rewards Points

When you spend $20,000 on your IHG Premier card in a calendar year, plus 1 additional purchase, you’ll receive 10,000 IHG Rewards bonus points plus a $100 statement credit.

$50 United TravelBank Credit

When you link your United MileagePlus account with your IHG Premier card, you’ll receive 2 $25 credits during a calendar year deposited into your United TravelBank account.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Statement Credit

Pay for your Global EntryTSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fee or renewal and receive a statement credit, equal to the expense, once every 4 years.

Bottom Line: The IHG Premier card offers up to 26x earnings at IHG properties plus 5x earnings on travel, gas stations, and at restaurants (including takeout and delivery). Add in a free hotel night at each card anniversary and the Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS credit and the card benefits can more than offset the annual fee. 

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Earn up to 17x when you stay at IHG hotels, 3x on monthly bills, at gas stations, and restaurants, and 2x on all other purchases.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
Earn up to 17x when you stay at IHG hotels, 3x on monthly bills, at gas stations, and restaurants, and 2x on all other purchases.
Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
80,000 bonus points
$400
$0
21.49% - 28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

If you’re someone who is looking to enhance your IHG stays by earning more points and benefits, without paying an annual fee, then the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card might be the perfect fit for you.

In this guide, we will provide a detailed view of what the card can offer so you can decide if it makes sense to add to your wallet.

Pros
  • Up to 17x total points per $1 on IHG stays
  • 3x points per $1 on monthly bills, at gas stations, and restaurants
  • 2x point per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
    • Not as rewarding as the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn up to 17 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on purchases on monthly bills, at gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Redeem 3 Nights, Get the 4th Night Free
  • IHG One Rewards Bonus points are redeemable at Hotels & Resorts such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49% - 28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

IHG Rewards Loyalty Program Review

When spending at IHG properties, the earnings with the IHG Traveler card are not quite as stellar as with the IHG Premier card, but for a no-annual-fee card, you’ll find an earning structure that allows you to earn free hotel nights quickly:

  • Up to 17x points per dollar spent at IHG properties
  • 3x points on monthly bills, gas stations, and restaurants
  • 2x points on all other purchases

The IHG Traveler card does not offer a free night at the card anniversary nor a Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS statement credit. However, the card does come with complimentary IHG One Rewards Silver Elite status and the option to spend $10,000 on the card each calendar year to receive Gold Elite status.

The card’s best feature is that it charges no annual fee, yet it offers additional earning opportunities and travel/shopping benefits.

Hotel-branded Personal Credit Card Comparison

If you’re wondering how the IHG Premier card stacks up against similar hotel-branded cards, this snapshot comparison may offer the answer to that question.

Let’s take a look at overall earnings and the hotel-related benefits delivered by each card.

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Hotel-Branded Credit Card

Earnings

Hotel Benefits

IHG Premier card

  • Up to 26x points at IHG
  • 5x points on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants
  • 3x points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status with the option of Diamond Elite status after spending $40,000 on the card each year
  • Free hotel night certificate at each card anniversary good for up to 40,000 points
  • Fourth reward night free
The World of Hyatt Credit Card
  • Up to 9x points at Hyatt
  • 2x points at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting, and on fitness club and gym memberships
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status
  • Explorist status after spending $50,000 in a calendar year
  • Free hotel night certificate each card anniversary, good for Category 1-4 properties
  • Additional free hotel night after spending $15,000 in a card anniversary year
  • 5 elite-tier qualifying nights each calendar year
  • 2 additional elite-tier qualifying nights for each $5,000 spent on the card each calendar year
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
  • Up to 17x points at Marriott
  • 3x on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining
  • 2x points for all other purchases
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • Gold Elite status after spending $35,000 in a calendar year
  • Free hotel night certificate worth up to 35,000 points at each card anniversary; plus earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards elite status for every $5,000 you spend on the card
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
  • 12x points at Hilton
  • 6x points at gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets
  • 4x points at eligible purchases on U.S. online retail purchases
  • 3x points on all other purchases

The Best IHG Business Card for IHG Loyalists

IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The IHG Premier Business card is the perfect option for business travelers who regularly stay at IHG hotels.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
The IHG Premier Business card is the perfect option for business travelers who regularly stay at IHG hotels.
Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
140,000 points
$700
$99
21.49% - 28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)

IHG Rewards and Chase have teamed up to offer the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Card, a compelling option for those who travel often for their business and stay at IHG hotels.

In this review, we will cover all of the benefits of the card, including earning rates, perks, fees, and more to help you determine whether the card is a good fit for your travel goals.

Pros
  • Up to 26x total points per $1 spent on IHG Hotels and Resorts
  • 5x points per $1 spent on travel, at gas stations, select advertising, and restaurants
  • 3x points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cons
  • $99 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Plus, enjoy a fourth reward night free when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG® hotel stay.
  • Earn up to 26 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels and Resorts
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, select advertising, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier Business cardmember
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG One Rewards Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49% - 28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

If you have a business, even a small business, and you stay at IHG properties, you’ll want to consider the IHG Premier Business card. Packed with bonus earnings on several common business purchase categories, you’ll find it easy to earn free hotel nights quickly.

Let’s look at how you’ll earn on the IHG Premier Business card:

  • Up to 26x points per dollar spent at IHG properties
  • 5x points on travel, gas stations, select advertising, and restaurants
  • 3x points on all other purchases

You’ll also earn more by spending on the card.

  • Spend $20,000 in a calendar year + 1 additional purchase and receive 10,000 IHG One Rewards points plus a $100 statement credit
  • Spend $40,000 in a calendar year + 1 additional purchase and receive IHG One Rewards Diamond Elite status
  • Spend $60,000 in a calendar year + 1 additional purchase and receive 40,000 IHG One Rewards points

In addition to the card’s robust earning structure, you’ll receive card benefits such as IHG Platinum Elite status as long as you have the card, an annual free night certificate (up to 40,000 points), and special redemption privileges that allow you to use points to supplement the free night certificate’s value.

Cardholders also receive the fourth consecutive reward night free and 20% off IHG One Rewards points purchases.

Bottom Line: The IHG Premier Business card comes with a lot of the features and benefits of the IHG personal cards, but has additional bonus earning categories such as online advertising and office supply purchases. The card also offers additional incentives for higher levels of spending.

Additional Features and Benefits of IHG-branded Cards

So far, we’ve focused on the stellar earning capabilities of IHG-branded cards. Let’s continue with more information on IHG-related benefits, your options at redemption time, and the additional travel/shopping benefits you’ll find on the IHG Premier card, IHG Traveler card, and IHG Premier Business card.

Fourth Night Free

Enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 3 or more nights. You can use this benefit more than once during the same stay. For example, book 8 nights and receive the fourth and eighth night free.

20% Discount on Point Purchases

Need some points to top off your account because you’re just short of enough for an award redemption? Receive a 20% discount on your points purchase.

Redeeming Your Points

Regardless of the card on which you earn your IHG One Rewards points, you’ll have the same basic redemption options. The best value for redeeming your IHG points is for free hotel nights, but there are additional choices:

  • Free hotel nights (starting at 10,000 points per night)
  • Combine Points & Cash for free hotel nights
  • Purchase gift certificates and gift cards
  • Transfer to airline partners
  • Redeem for TSA PreCheck
  • Use to purchase merchandise
  • Redeem for InterContinental Ambassador membership
  • Digital rewards — digital downloads of music/games/software start at 400 points
  • Donate to charity

In addition to redeeming points for free hotel nights, the IHG Premier card and IHG Premier Business card allow you to supplement your annual free hotel night certificate with your IHG One Rewards points when a hotel costs more than the 40,000-point value of the certificate.

Not all redemption options are a good value. Those that involve redeeming points for free hotel nights generally deliver the best value.

A redemption option that yields just 0.5 cents per point is poor value and 1 cent per point or more can be considered a good redemption.

For our recommendations on great redemption values for your IHG One Rewards points, check out our article on the topic.

Bottom Line: While you’ll have several options for redeeming your IHG One Rewards points (including transferring them to airline partners), you’ll receive the most value when redeeming your points for free hotel nights. 

Travel and Shopping Benefits and Protections

Your IHG-branded card not only makes staying at IHG properties more rewarding, but both consumer cards also come with a long list of useful benefits and protections:

Travel Benefits and Protections

  • Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation — Pay for your trip with your card and receive up to $5,000 per person, $10,000 per covered trip, for qualifying non-reimbursable prepaid expenses.
  • Auto Rental Car Collision Damage Waiver — Decline the rental car agency’s coverage and receive secondary car rental insurance when your entire rental of 31 days or less is paid for with the card. Secondary coverage requires that you file a claim with your own insurance company first.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — Take your card traveling as you will not incur fees on your foreign purchases.
  • Lost Luggage/Baggage Delay — Coverage of up to $3,000 is provided if your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged. Baggage delayed 6 hours or more may qualify for a $100 per day reimbursement (up to $500) for incidentals.
  • Travel Accident Insurance — If there is a serious covered injury or death, you could receive a benefit of up to $200,000.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services — Receive referral assistance 24/7 when you’re traveling. Referrals include help finding English-speaking doctors, legal referrals, assistance replacing a passport, plus more.

Shopping Protections

  • Purchase Protection — With coverage of up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, the eligible item purchased with your card will be covered for damage or theft for up to 120 days from the purchase date.
  • Extended Warranty — An eligible item, purchased with your card, will have the manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less, extended by 1 year.

Bottom Line: IHG-branded cards come with the same good-value redemption options for free hotel nights and several travel/shopping benefits and protections. The IHG Premier Card and IHG Premier Business card offer the additional benefit of using points to supplement the annual free night certificate beyond the 40,000-point value. 

IHG One Rewards Elite Status

All IHG-branded credit cardholders receive complimentary IHG One Rewards elite status with an option to earn higher status by spending on the card.

Cardholders of the IHG Traveler card receive complimentary Silver Elite status and can earn Gold Elite status after spending $10,000 on the card each calendar year.

IHG Premier card and IHG Premier Business card members receive complimentary Platinum Elite status and the option to earn Diamond Elite status after spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Let’s glance at an overview of what it takes to qualify for IHG One Rewards Elite status and what some of the benefits look like at each level.

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Elite Status Tier

Silver Elite

Gold Elite

Platinum Elite

Diamond Elite

Nights/Points Required Annually

10 nights

20 nights or 40,000 points

40 nights or 60,000 points

70 nights or 120,000 points

Bonus Earnings on Top of Base Points

20%

40%

60%

100%

Elite benefits include things like elite rollover nights, 2 p.m. late checkout, room upgrades, free breakfast, and guaranteed room availability.

For elite member award redemptions, reward nights count towards elite status, there are no blackout dates for reward nights, and points don’t expire.

Bottom Line: Every IHG-branded card comes with IHG One Rewards elite status with an option to receive higher elite status by spending on their IHG-branded credit card. 

Alternative or Additional Cards for IHG Loyalists To Consider

If you travel frequently, you’ll realize additional benefits when selecting a travel rewards credit card that can partner with an IHG-branded credit card.

Travel rewards cards can deliver benefits such as elevated earnings for travel purchases, lounge access, elite status, and statement credits. These additional benefits can help you create a full package that supports all your travel activities.

Here are some of our top choices for a travel rewards credit card and why we like these options for IHG loyalists:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

GREAT TRAVEL CARD
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a great welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
A fantastic travel card with a great welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
60,000 points
$1,200
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card ranks as one of our favorite travel rewards cards. You’ll earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar you spend on the card and have several flexible redemption options when it comes time to utilize your points.

In addition, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers benefits and protections that can save you money, such as primary auto insurance, trip insurance, purchase protection, and an extended warranty.

Why We Like the Card for IHG Loyalists

  • Earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3x points on dining, and 2x points on all other travel purchases
  • Redeem points for 1.25 cents on travel via the Chase travel portal
  • Transfer points to the Chase travel partners (including IHG One Rewards)
  • Trip cancellation, interruption, and trip delay coverage
  • No foreign transaction fees

Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Preferred card makes a worthy companion to any hotel rewards card, including the IHG-branded cards.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

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The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR. Carrying a balance will incur interest. Eligible charges can be included in the Pay Over Time balance, up to the Pay Over Time Limit. Pay Over Time only applies to eligible charges meeting minimum transaction amounts.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR. Carrying a balance will incur interest. Eligible charges can be included in the Pay Over Time balance, up to the Pay Over Time Limit. Pay Over Time only applies to eligible charges meeting minimum transaction amounts.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 125k (or 150k) points with the Amex Platinum. The current public offer is 80,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)

For frequent travelers who enjoy luxury travel benefits, the Amex Platinum card deserves your attention. The card excels in providing luxury benefits such as worldwide lounge access, hotel elite status, statement credits for purchases, and much more.

Why We Like the Card for IHG Loyalists

Frequently, we find that a single travel rewards card does not cover all your travel needs for earning maximum rewards and delivering benefits. Selecting the best combination involves matching your own personal travel preferences.

With that in mind, you’ll want to review our list of the best travel rewards cards to find the perfect card for supplementing your IHG-branded card.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

100K-POINT OFFER
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.
Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel
100,000 points
$2,000
$95
21.24%-26.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a powerhouse for earning lots of points from your business purchases, especially for business owners that spend regularly on ads.

Plus the card offers flexible redemption options, including access to Chase airline and hotel transfer partners where you can achieve outsized value.

Business owners will also love the protections the card provides like excellent cell phone insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and more.

Pros
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on up to $150,000 in combined purchases on internet, cable and phone services, shipping expenses, travel, and ads purchased with search engines or social media sites
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase protection
Cons
    • No elite travel benefits like airport lounge access
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel℠
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Round-the-clock monitoring for unusual credit card purchases
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Travel℠
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24%-26.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Business owners, even small business owners, can benefit from having a Chase business credit card. Every purchase you make earns valuable rewards that can offset business expenses or fund a personal vacation.

One of our favorite business credit cards is the Ink Business Preferred card due to it earning valuable and flexible Ultimate Rewards points.

Why We Like the Card for IHG Loyalists

  • 3x points earned for travel purchases, internet/cable/phone, shipping, and advertising purchased through select social media and search engines (maximum $150,000 in purchases per year)
  • Ultimate Rewards points earned on the card can be transferred to IHG, however, the ratio is 1:1 and not a good use of your points (an exception might be to top off your IHG account for a specific redemption)
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip interruption/cancellation/delay coverage
  • Cell phone protection

While you won’t receive any direct IHG benefits from having the Ink Business Preferred card, the business traveler will reap plenty of benefits from earning and redeeming Ultimate Rewards points. Plus, the travel protections on the card can offer great value.

Hot Tip: To learn more about how much rewards points and frequent flyer miles are worth, our article breaking down the relative values has a wealth of information on the topic.

Final Thoughts

IHG Hotels & Resorts, its associated IHG One Rewards program, and an IHG-branded card can provide exceptional value, even for the occasional traveler. If you’re a road warrior, a family weekend traveler, or travel primarily domestically, you’re likely to find even more reasons to consider the combination.

With its Holiday Inn Express brand, for instance, you can anticipate a clean, well-located hotel with an adequate breakfast for your family. You may also be able to secure free nights for as few as 10,000 points at that IHG brand (and others).

International travelers may also find value with IHG. Several IHG brands can offer essential airport locations, comfortable city budget lodging, or centrally located mid-level accommodations.

Benefits at properties such as InterContinental for IHG-branded cardholders can be more elusive. Neither breakfast nor lounge access will be provided for having an IHG-branded card or the complimentary Platinum Elite status.

Regardless of the level of your relationship with IHG, IHG One Rewards and an IHG-branded card undoubtedly can offer value, and it doesn’t take a high level of exposure to the brand to benefit from the combination.

For the trip cancellation and interruption insurance and trip delay insurance benefits of The Platinum Card® from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees for The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the IHG Premier card worth it?

Yes, the IHG Premier card is worth it, even with the $99 annual fee.

With 26x total earnings at IHG properties, a free hotel night each card anniversary year, Platinum Elite status with IHG One Rewards, and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS credit, the value is there for those who can use even some of these benefits.

How many IHG points do I need for a free hotel night?

Free nights generally start at 10,000 points and high-end properties can be as high as 100,000 points per night.

Fortunately, when you book rewards nights, you will receive the fourth night free, which can be significant savings.

How does the fourth night free work?

The fourth night free is a benefit of having an IHG-branded credit card.

When you book 4 or more consecutive rewards nights using your IHG One Rewards points, you will receive the fourth night free.

You can use the benefit more than once during your stay. If you book 8 consecutive rewards nights, for example, you will receive the fourth and eighth nights free.

Does the IHG card get me hotel lounge access?

Unfortunately, having an IHG-branded credit card or the accompanying Platinum Elite status does not grant lounge access at IHG properties such as InterContinental hotels.

Do IHG-branded credit cards come with cell phone protection?

No. Cell phone protection was eliminated from IHG-branded cards on January 1, 2022.

Christine Krzyszton's image

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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