The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is a popular card with many types of travelers. With nearly 6,000 properties worldwide and a strong domestic footprint in North America, the IHG Hotels & Resorts brand appeals to both world travelers and local road warriors alike.
The IHG One Rewards loyalty program is excellent with a simple path to elite status, engaging promotions for earning extra IHG One Rewards points, and plenty of ways to redeem those rewards points.
The combination of the IHG One Rewards loyalty program and the IHG Premier card is a match where the sum is greater than the 2 parts. The card supports the rewards program with exponential earnings at IHG properties, a reward hotel night at each card anniversary, and complimentary elite status. If you stay at IHG properties even a few times a year, you’ll seriously benefit by having the card.
Here’s a list of all the key benefits of the IHG Premier card so you can decide if this card is a good match for you.
Lots of Ways To Earn IHG One Rewards Points
1. A Generous Welcome Offer
When you are approved for the IHG Premier card, you have the opportunity to earn a generous welcome offer after meeting minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval.
The welcome offer jump-starts your earnings, allowing you to start booking reward hotel nights anywhere in the world as soon as the bonus is deposited into your IHG One Rewards account.
Welcome offers vary, however, you’ll always find the bonus worth several free hotel nights. For example, a 140,000-point welcome offer could be redeemed for as many as 14 free hotel nights (or more during special promotions). It’s a fantastic way to boost your points immediately after you’re approved for the card.
Find the most current welcome offer in the table above.
2. Earn Big at IHG Hotels and Resorts
Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel and use your card to pay.
3. Earn on Purchases You Make Every Day
Use your IHG Premier card every day for purchases and earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, and at restaurants.
4. Earn on Every Purchase
Every purchase you make with your IHG Premier card will earn at least 3 points per dollar spent.
5. Earn Bonus IHG One Rewards Points Each Anniversary Year
Spend $20,000 on your card within a year and receive 10,000 additional IHG One Rewards points.
6. Save 20% on Point Purchases
You’ll earn lots of IHG One Rewards points on your IHG Premier card, but if you’re short of a redemption goal, you can purchase points and receive a 20% discount if you purchase the points using your card.
IHG One Rewards offers several promotions throughout the calendar year with opportunities to earn tens of thousands of points. When you sign up for the IHG One Rewards program, you’ll receive emails alerting you to the latest promotion.
One common requirement for earning bonus points during the promotions is to book and pay for your hotel room with your IHG Premier card, making it an easy way to score some extra IHG One Rewards points.
It’s worthwhile to register, as some of the promotions can be lucrative and simple to achieve.
Reward Hotel Nights and IHG One Rewards Elite Status
8. Annual Reward Hotel Night
Each year on your card anniversary, you’ll receive a reward night certificate good for a room of your choice worth up to 40,000 points. The certificate can be used worldwide.
This benefit alone is worth the annual fee on the card.
9. Use Reward Points To Supplement Your Free Night Certificate
Your annual free night certificate can be redeemed for a free hotel night that costs up to 40,000 points. If you find a room that requires more points, you can redeem points to make up the difference as an IHG Premier cardholder.
10. Fourth Night Free Reward
Book 4 or more consecutive award nights and you will not be charged points for the fourth night. There is no limit to how many times you can use this benefit, and you can even use it multiple times in a single stay.
For example, book 8 consecutive award nights and you will receive the fourth and eighth nights as reward nights without charge. It’s easy to book the reward nights online as the reward night is automatically calculated during the booking process.
11. Complimentary Elite Status
IHG Premier cardholders receive automatic complimentary Platinum Elite status for as long as they hold the card. Platinum Elite status, which normally requires staying 40 hotel nights annually or 60,000 earned points, comes with benefits that include:
- Bonus earnings on IHG stays
- Complimentary room upgrades
- Free Wi-Fi
- Late checkout
- Welcome amenity upon check-in
12. Spend Your Way to Higher Elite Status
Spend $40,000 on your card in a calendar year and receive top Diamond Elite status with IHG One Rewards. Diamond Elite status normally requires staying 70 nights or earning 120,000 points in a calendar year.
Travel Benefits and Protections
You’ll find a nice list of travel benefits and protections that come complimentary with your IHG Premier card.
13. $50 United TravelBank Credit
Link your IHG Premier card with your United MileagePlus account and receive $25 deposited into your United TravelBank account twice each calendar year in January and July.
14. Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck Credit
Receive up to $100 when you pay your Global Entry ($100), NEXUS ($50), or TSA PreCheck fees ($85) with your IHG Premier card. This benefit is valid for one statement credit every 4 years.
15. Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
If a trip you paid for, in full or in part, with your IHG Premier card is interrupted or canceled, you could receive up to $5,000 per covered trip, per person. There is a maximum of $10,000 per trip and $20,000 per 12-month period for each coverage.
16. Travel Accident Insurance
Charge even a portion of your trip to your IHG Premier card and receive a benefit if there is a severe injury or death on a common carrier or another type of travel accident during your travels. Depending on the injury or loss, the benefit provides up to $500,000 for the common carrier benefit and $100,000 for a 24-hour accident benefit.
17. Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
At any time, make just 1 call to reach emergency or travel assistance. Receive help with emergency transportation, legal and medical referrals, trip assistance, translation services, and much more. There is no charge for the referral service, but cardholders are responsible for the actual services of the providers.
18. Lost Luggage Reimbursement
If your luggage is lost or stolen during your trip, you could receive up to $3,000 per person, per covered trip.
19. Baggage Delay Insurance
When your baggage is delayed, you may need to purchase necessities. Baggage delay insurance provides up to $100 per day for 5 days when your luggage is delayed 6 hours or more.
20. Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Simply decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your IHG Premier card. Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S and abroad. Protection is valid for rental terms 31 days or less and is secondary to your own auto insurance in the U.S.
21. No Foreign Transaction Fees
Take your card on vacation with you as you won’t incur any foreign transaction fees, ever.
While many credit card issuers are eliminating some shopping protections, the IHG Premier card still offers these valuable protections.
22. Purchase Protection
Pay for your eligible item with your Premier card and receive 120 days of protection for theft and damage from the date of purchase. Coverage is limited to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
23. Extended Warranty Protection
For eligible products purchased with your card, U.S. manufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less will be extended for an additional year.
24. Lots of Ways To Redeem the Reward Points Earned on Your Card
You can redeem your IHG One Rewards points for just about anything, but keep in mind that not all options result in a good value for your points. Here’s a look at the choices you’ll have at redemption time.
Redeem for Reward Hotel Nights
With nearly 6,000 IHG properties worldwide, it’s easy to redeem your reward points for hotel nights. Reward nights can cost as few as 10,000 IHG One Rewards points per night (or less during promotions) and are an excellent use of your points.
Use Cash and Points
If you don’t have enough IHG One Rewards points to completely book your reward stay, you can use a combination of points and cash.
Move Up to InterContinental Ambassador
The InterContinental Ambassador program comes with a complimentary “buy one get one” weekend night certificate, complimentary room upgrades and hotel credits, late checkout, and bonus IHG One Rewards points each year when renewing your Ambassador status.
To purchase your InterContinental Ambassador membership, you can redeem 40,000 IHG One Rewards points or pay $200.
Redeem for Airline Miles
If you’re short on airline miles for a specific award redemption, you could transfer your IHG One Rewards points to any of the many airline transfer partners available.
Most transfer rates are 10,000 IHG One Rewards points to 2,000 airline miles, although there are a few exceptions. This translates to needing 100,000 IHG One Rewards points to equal 20,000 frequent flyer miles, so this is not the best option or value for your points.
It’s possible to receive 1 cent in value or better per point when redeeming IHG One Rewards points for e-magazine subscriptions. Subscriptions start at just 200 IHG One Rewards points.
There are dozens of choices when redeeming your points for gift cards, but you may receive less than 0.5 cents per point, so this isn’t the best use of your hard-earned points.
Spend your IHG One Rewards points on digital downloads such as movies, music, eBooks, games, and software. Prices start at just 367 IHG One Rewards points.
Redeem for Shopping
Using your IHG One Rewards points for shopping is not a good idea or good value. For example, you could spend 50,000 IHG One Rewards points for a personal translator device or use the 50,000 points for 2 nights at a posh InterContinental hotel and buy a personal translator for less than $100 on Amazon. However, the option is available when shopping on the IHG shopping portal.
Redeem for Access Experiences
Use your points for concerts, amusement park admission, and more with IHG One Rewards Access Experiences. You can also bid on unique VIP experiences such as backstage passes, better seats at concerts, weekend getaways, and other VIP events.
Redeem for TSA PreCheck Fee
You could use 30,000 IHG One Rewards points for a certificate good for $85 towards TSA PreCheck. Since you get a statement credit for the TSA PreCheck fee when charged to your IHG Premier card, as detailed above, don’t spend your points on this benefit.
Donate to Charity
Donate as little as 2,500 IHG One Rewards points to charities such as the American Red Cross, CARE, Goodwill, Prince’s Trust, and the Youth Career Initiative.
Bottom Line: You can redeem IHG One Rewards points for just about anything, but that doesn’t mean you should. Aim to receive at least 0.5 cents per point in value, and consider 1 cent per point or better an excellent redemption.
The IHG Premier card is a solid hotel rewards card for earning free hotel nights. Even if IHG is not your primary hotel brand of choice, the brand can serve as a convenient backup when you’re stranded or can’t find your preferred brand in a city you’re visiting.
The diversity of the properties offered in the IHG portfolio serves both the local traveler and the world adventurer. There’s always an affordable Holiday Inn Express around the corner when your family needs a place to stay during the holidays, as well as a posh InterContinental sitting in the center of a grand international city when you’re traveling for a much-needed vacation.
It’s easy to earn IHG One Rewards points and even easier to redeem them. Plus, getting a reward hotel night at each card anniversary seals the deal.
Remember that Chase has a 5/24 rule that can affect your approval chances for their cards. You’ll want to brush up on this rule before you consider applying for the IHG Premier card.