IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card — Full Review [2021]

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IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card — Full Review [2021]

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"Get More IHG Free Nights!"

The card allows you to earn points in lots of common categories, while also giving you at least 1 free night per year and Platinum Elite status!

Learn More (at Chase's secure site)

The information regarding the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, there’s nothing like a comfortable room waiting for you at the end of the day.

With over 4,900 hotels in nearly 100 countries, IHG hotels has the rooms you want when you need them.

Plus, if you like earning points for access to a variety of great benefits, you’ll want to check out the Chase IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card.

Card Snapshot

The Ideal Cardholder

Relax at Hotel with Family and Use Chase IHG Club Rewards Select
If you’re planning some travel with the family or for work, you may want to consider the IHG Select card. You can earn more points and build up for a rewards trip for your next vacation! Image Credit: dotshock via Shutterstock

Sign-Up Bonus, Add a User, and Points

Sign up for the IHG Select card and get sign up bonus points after spending the required amount in the allotted time (see above card summary table for details).

Stay at IHG hotels and earn 5 points for every $1 you spend. Plus, earn 2 points per every $1 you spend at grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants.

All other purchases get you 1 point per $1 spent. The card will cost you $49 per year, but this fee is waived for the first year.

Bottom Line:  The IHG Select card earns 5x points at IHG hotels, 2x points at grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants, and 1x points everywhere else!

IHG Select Card Benefits: Points Rebates and Elite Status

There is no shortage of benefits with the IHG Select card.

First, you automatically start out with Platinum Elite status, and you keep this status for as long as you remain a cardmember.

Platinum Elite members receive a 50% bonus on all qualifying stays, complimentary room upgrades, and more.

Move up to the next tier (Spire Elite) to get a 100% bonus on stays. You’ll need 75 nights or 75,000 points during the calendar year to qualify.

Plus, as a card member, you get a 10% rebate on point redemptions. When considering this, your annual earnings rates are effectively increased by 10%.

For instance: spend 20,000 points on a room, get 2,000 back. Spend 30,000 points, get 3,000 back…all the way up to a maximum of 100,000 points back each year.

And that’s not all: you’ll pay no annual fee for your first year as a cardmember. After that, the fee is only $49/year.

Bottom Line: Platinum Elite status, redemption rebates, and no annual fee the first year are all part of the package for getting the IHG Select card!

IHG Rewards Club Membership: Earning Loyalty Points

If you enroll in the IHG Rewards Club during a stay at any IHG hotel worldwide, you earn 1,000 points for that stay.

In the future, you earn 5 or 10 base points per $1 depending on the property. See the following table for a list of properties and their point rate.

HotelBase Points per $1
Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts10
Hotel Indigo10
Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts10
Holiday Inn Express10
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts10
Staybridge Suites5
Candlewood Suites5

You also earn 2,000, 1,300, or 600 points per qualifying stay at ANA partner hotels.

Free Night Stay Every Year, With 1 Caveat

You get a free night every year just for signing up for the card, and it includes luxury hotels anywhere in the world.

That’s right: each year, you will receive a Chase Anniversary Free Night certificate, valid at any IHG property worldwide pending availability. This benefit alone is worth the annual fee of $49 that you’ll incur after the first year.

Redeeming the certificate is easy. Just follow the link to ihg.com printed on the front. Note that your first free night is not earned until after the first full year, unfortunately.

Bottom Line: The IHG Select card offers a free night every year on your anniversary, but you won’t get your first free certificate until your first full year is complete.

Great Card If

  • You stay at IHG hotels frequently
  • You don’t want to pay transaction fees when traveling internationally
  • You will take advantage of the free hotel night each year

Don't Get If

  • You want a travel card with tons of perks
  • You don’t want to pay an annual fee (after the first year)
  • You want to earn a lot of (valuable) points for everyday spending

IHG Select Card — Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $0 Intro for the First Year, then $49
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Interest Rates
    • 17.99% - 24.99% Variable
  • Balance Transfers
    • 17.99% - 24.99% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 26.99% Variable

Best Way To Maximize IHG Reward Points

There are plenty of different ways to utilize your IHG Select card in order to earn points and get closer to your next free night.

Here are some tips to get you started earning more IHG points:

Tip #1: Earn your sign up bonus by spending the required amount in the allotted time as detailed in the card summary table.

Tip #2: Always pay for stays at any of the 4,900 IHG hotels with your card to earn 5 points for every $1 you spend. Plus, as a Platinum Elite member, you get a 50% bonus on IHG stays.

Tip #3: Work to accrue 75 nights or 75,000 points to reach Spire Elite status, and get a 100% bonus on IHG stays.

Tip #4: Make all of your regular purchases with the card to earn 2 points for every $1 you spend at supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants, and 1 point per $1 for everything else.

Tip #5: If you can’t fly United, fly one of the Star Alliance members so you can earn United Elite Qualifying and Award Miles.

Tip #6: Keep an eye out for IHG Rewards Club promotions throughout the year. You can use these deals to earn bonus points for stays as well as bonus points on top of your normal earnings rates!

Keep an Eye Out for IHG Bonus Rewards
Keep an eye out for IHG bonus rewards offers! You can earn bonus points for stays on top of your normal earnings rates. Image Credit: Sunny studio via Shutterstock

Best Way To Redeem IHG Reward Points

There are many ways to redeem points with the IHG Select card. The trick is to get the best rewards for the fewest points.

Points & Cash Redemptions

If you don’t have enough points for your desired reward, you have 2 options:

  • Use your existing points and purchase 5,000 more points for $40 to total the required points
  • Use your existing points and purchase 10,000 points for $70 to reach the required points

The following table shows the cost per point when you buy points this way:

Existing PointsPoints PurchasedPoints PricePrice/Point

*One-Night Stay: 50,000 Points

Points to Miles Redemptions

Whenever possible, we try to examine the transfer of points to airline travel partners, as they tend to be the most valuable.

You can redeem increments of 10,000 points for miles with one of the IHG partner airlines. While there are no blackout dates, the redemption value is about 30% less than that of hotel stays.

The following table shows the redemption awards for many of the IHG airline partners. You can redeem points for airline miles but cannot convert miles back to points, as with most hotel loyalty programs.

Also note this will prevent you from taking advantage of the 10% IHG Rebate.

Airline10,000 pts=
Aeromexico2,000 miles
Air China2,000 km
Air France2,000 miles
Airberlin Topbonus2,000  miles
Alaska Airlines2,000 miles
All Nippon Airways2,000 miles
American Airlines AAdvantage2,000 miles
Asia Miles2,000 miles
Asiana Airlines2,000 miles
British Airways2,000 Avios
Delta SkyMiles2,000 miles
El Al Israel Airlines40 El Al Points
Emirates2,000 miles
Etihad Airways2,000 miles
Hawaiian Airlines2,000 miles
Japan Airlines2,000 miles
JetBlue TrueBlue2,000 miles
KLM2,000 miles
LifeMiles2,000 KM
Lufthansa Miles & More2,000 miles
Malaysia Airlines1,500 miles
Qantas Airlines2,000 miles
Saudi Arabian Airlines2,000 miles
Singapore Airlines2,000 miles
South African Airways2,000 miles
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus2,000 miles
United Airlines2,000 miles
Virgin Atlantic2,000 miles
Virgin Australia2,000 miles

Find the full list of Redeem for Miles-IHG Rewards Club Partner Airlines here. Note that some rewards can take 4-6 weeks to go through.

Other Redemption Options: Gift Cards, Merchandise, and More

IHG allows you to redeem points for various gift cards such as Lands’ End, Gap, Bath & Body Works and much more. Be careful, because the value can be up to 30% less than that of hotel stays!

For example, a $200 Best Buy gift card requires 77,000 points, while a $50 Walmart gift card requires 20,000 points. Your point value will only be $0.0025-$0.0026 redeeming this way, and we want to aim for $0.01 at the bare minimum.

Click here for a complete list of gift cards.

You can also redeem points for Catalog Awards (jewelry, electronics and more), Digital Awards (eBooks, games, software, and more), purchase points as a gift, and transfer your points to another member’s account.

Finally, if you’re feeling generous, you can donate points to the IHG Shelter in a Storm disaster relief program, which is a great way to help a good cause while getting rid of extra points.

IHG has many travel partners worldwide, including the following companies, all of which help you earn points.

IHG Global Brands: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Resort, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, InterContinental, KIMPTON*. EVEN, and HUALUXE

*KIMPTON is not yet a member of IHG Rewards Club

IHG Rewards Club Partners: IHG Rewards Club Cruises, Ground Link, Hertz, Uber

Alternatives to the IHG Select Card

The biggest complaint people have about the IHG Select card is that it’s difficult to earn points. While it’s true that you earn 5x the points for IHG hotel stays, it’s not as easy to earn valuable points for other purchases.

For instance, members earn 2x the points for every $1 spent at grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants.

In comparison, the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express awards 5x points at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants.

While the IHG 2x earning rate compares in number to say the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the points are much less valuable. Therefore, to get the same rewards you need many more points.

As an example, you can transfer each point earned on a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to a travel partner at a 1:1 rate. That means 2 points is 2 miles. For IHG, you can only transfer to travel partners at a 5:1 ratio or less in equivalent value.

That means you’d need to earn 10 points per $1 to earn an equivalent amount for travel partners. When considering your points earned directly through IHG, this may be worth it.

In general, using points for IHG stays is much more valuable than transferring to travel partners.

Bottom Line: You may find more value with other hotel or travel rewards cards, as some find it tough to earn a lot of points with the IHG Select card.

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know

The card is pretty basic, so there aren’t many details to worry about. Your annual fee is waived for year 1, you get 10% rebates when you use your points for redemptions, and a free night every anniversary year.

Note that “anniversary year” means 12 months after you open the card, and then every 12 months afterward.

There are no foreign transaction fees, and you’ll get Platinum Elite status as long as you’re a cardholder. This status gives you a 50% bonus on points earned when staying at IHG, room upgrades, and more.

One bonus at IHG is you can earn 500 points for waiving housekeeping services during your stay.

Other Unique Features

Here are some details on the benefits of the IHG Select card. Note that there are no insurance or other protections that come with this card, unlike some of the other Chase Travel Rewards cards.

Anniversary free night (valid for properties up to 40,000 points/night starting from May 1, 2019) – After your first 12 months of being a cardholder, you will receive a voucher for 1 free night at an IHG property. This previously was valid at any IHG property.

For certificates issued starting from May 1, 2019 this will be capped at properties where reward nights cost 40,000 points/night or less. IHG has published a list of currently excluded properties and, frustratingly, it even includes some 40,000 point properties.

Availability for any of these versions of the certificates requires the property have a standard award night available for you to book with a certificate. There may be additional limitations and blackouts.

10% point rebate – When you book an award with an IHG property, you will receive 10% of the points it cost to book that award back as a rebate. So if you spend 10,000 points on a room, you’ll get 1,000 points back.

Other Discounts at IHG:

Seniors: Members 62 years of age or older get a special senior discount.

Auto Club: Auto Club members enjoy extra savings at IHG hotels.

Frequently asked questions

Why get a IHG Select card? Is it worth it?

The card allows you to earn extra points toward award nights at IHG hotels when spending at gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants, and IHG hotels.

You will earn 2x points for the first 3 categories and 5x points at IHG hotels. You will earn 1 point per dollar for all other purchases.

The card is worth it if you will utilize it for all of your spending. At our model family levels of spending, you could earn anywhere from $158 to over $1,738 in room value over the course of a year.

If you utilize these spending categories and stay at IHG hotels frequently, this card would definitely be worth it!

What are the IHG Select card benefits?

There are only 2 benefits that come with the card, but they can be valuable if utilized fully. First, you will get a 10% rebate for all redemptions on rooms at IHG hotels.

This means that a 20,000-point room will only end up costing you 18,000 points because you will get 2,000 points deposited back into your account after redeeming.

The other benefit is Platinum Elite status in IHG. With this benefit, you’ll get a 50% bonus on all base points earned during your stay at IHG, complimentary room upgrades, and access to Elite Rollover Nights.

Compared to some other travel rewards cards, you don’t get very many benefits, but this card also has a low annual fee.

When do IHG Select card points expire?

IHG points will expire after any period where there is no earning and redeeming activity on the account for 12 months or more.

What is the IHG Select card annual fee?

The card costs $49 per year, but that fee is waived during the first year.

Is there a foreign transaction fee on the IHG Select card?

Nope! There are no foreign transaction fees with this card, so you can use it at any foreign property without incurring additional charges.

What is the IHG Select card login?

You manage your credit card finances through Chase.com. Manage all the IHG points you earned and redeem your points through the IHG Rewards Club account portal.

Which is better, the IHG Select card vs. Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card?

Both cards earn points in slightly different categories. The IHG credit card earns bonus points at supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, and of course at IHG properties.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card earns 6 points per dollar at Marriott properties and a solid 2 points per dollar everywhere else.

Depending on your spending categories, you may find one or the other a better choice. In general, Marriott points provide a slightly higher value than IHG points.

Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

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