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The 24 Best Benefits of the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

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Christine Krzyszton
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Christine Krzyszton

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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 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

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

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

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.

7. Promotions

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

Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel
The best value for your IHG One Rewards points is for free hotel nights. Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel. Image Credit: IHG

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

Man with unique suitcase
Enjoy the peace of mind of travel protection that comes with the IHG Premier card. Image Credit: Danila Hamsterman on Unsplash

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 ($78) 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.

Shopping Protections

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

Intercontinental Bali Resort
Redeem your rewards points and relax at the luxurious InterContinental Bali Resort. Image Credit: IHG

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.

Magazines

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.

Gift Cards

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.

Digital Rewards

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 $78 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. 

Final Thoughts

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

If the IHG Premier card worth it?

Yes, the IHG Premier card is worth it if you will use the reward anniversary hotel night each year. The value of this certificate more than offsets the annual fee.

Because IHG One Rewards points are easy to earn, points add up quickly and so will your ability to book reward nights.

The IHG footprint throughout the world is expansive, so you’ll always find a property convenient for your travels.

The card comes with Platinum Elite status with IHG One Rewards, the ability to earn 26 rewards points per dollar spent at IHG properties, and a fourth reward night free benefit.

The IHG Premier card is good value for a hotel rewards card with an annual fee under $100.

Can I transfer my IHG One Rewards points to airlines?

Yes, you can transfer your IHG One Rewards points to any one of the many airline transfer partners.

However, the transfer ratio isn’t a good value. In most cases, you will need to transfer 10,000 IHG One Rewards points to receive 2,000 airline miles.

The best value for your IHG One Rewards points is to book reward hotel nights with very few exceptions.

Do IHG One Rewards points expire?

IHG One Rewards points that are earned on your IHG Premier card are transferred to your IHG account at the end of each statement period.

Your points will not expire as long as you hold IHG elite status.

How many IHG One Rewards points do I need for a reward hotel night?

The number of IHG One Rewards points you need for a reward hotel night varies, but it’s possible to book reward nights starting at just 10,000 points. Occasionally, IHG One Rewards will run promotions where you can secure a free hotel night for even less.

If you don’t have enough points in your IHG One Rewards account, however, you can use a combination of cash and points to make your booking.

One additional benefit that can lower the cost per night is the fourth night no-charge reward night option. Book 4 consecutive rewards nights at the same property and receive 1 of those nights as a no-charge reward night.

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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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