There is a newish IHG card offer around the corner – the Chase IHG Premier Rewards Card. The offer is targeted as of now, but Chase is actively removing the links to the old 60,000-point offers, so it’s likely to materialize any day now.
Click the image above if you want a non-affiliated old offer. It can stop working any time now.
- $89 annual fee
- 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in 3 months
- Free anniversary night at one of the eligible (!) hotels every year
- 10x points when you stay at an IHG hotel
- Fourth night free when booked with points
- 20% discount on points purchases (a better feature than you might think)
- Platinum status
- Global Entry or TSA Pre
Is this card worth it? Depends on who you get to ask. Free-quent Flyer says “no,” as in:
I’m leaning toward “probably yeah…” But with a qualification.
Sign up for the old IHG card offer first, and sign up your spartner too.
I haven’t had the Chase IHG card for over 2 years, but I certainly benefited from it back in the day. Some of the best uses of an annual free night were IC Hong Kong, IC Willard in Washington, DC, and IC in New York, which I used to surprise my wife on her birthday. Of course, the atrocious devaluation of the IHG Rewards program in the last 3 to 4 years doesn’t help, but can you honestly name even one program that hasn’t screwed its members in a similar way (OK, other than SPG)? You’ve got what you’ve got with this card — enough points for one night at most IHG hotels in the world and one free nigth at any IHG hotel worldwide annually. You might argue that the latter might be a very short-lived feature, but to me it’s not an argument, but just one more reason to get it while you can.
Let’s compare the most important features for both cards, the old and the new. Seemingly, the new card has a bigger appeal, but look closely.
|Cards||The Old Chase IHG Rewards Card||The New Chase IHG Premier Rewards|
|Annual Fee||$49 annual fee (waived 1st year) V||$89 annual fee|
|Spending Requirement||$1,000 in 3 months V||$2,000 in 3 months|
|Statement Credit||$50 V||None|
|Anniversary Night||Free V||Free at an eligible hotel (danger!)|
|10% Rebate on Point Redemptions||Yes V||No|
|Sign up Bonus (after adding AU)||65,000 points||85,000 points V|
|Points Purchase Bonus||No||20% V|
|Free 4th Night (Redemption)||No||Yes V|
|Earning at IHG Hotel||5X||10X V|
|Global Entry or TSA Pre||No||Yes V|
The Annual Fee
The annual fees difference is almost a wash considering other factors. Sure, you get 20,000 points more with the new card, but you pay $90 more too: $40 for the difference in annual fees and $50 for the statement credit you’ll never get. Are 20,000 points worth more than $90? Perhaps, slightly, but it’s not a big difference.
Free Annual Night Certificate
The most important benefit of this card for me and, I’m sure, many others is the free annual night at any IHG property worldwide. The old IHG card doesn’t qualify for it, while the new one says “free at an eligible hotel.” Now, eligible can mean anything at all, but we can presume with a healthy dose of skepticism that it’s not going to be harmless. After all, other Chase cards are not so generous.
- The Hyatt annual night certificate is for 1-4 category hotels.
- The Marriott annual night certificate is for 1-5 categories.
20% Points Purchase Bonus
This is an interesting feature. IHG often sell points with a 100% bonus, so you can basically get 1,000 points for $5.75. If the new card gets you an extra 20%, that means you will be able to get points for $4.70. And using the card at 1X will yield you ~ another 5 cents off, so you pay ~ $4.65. Which should work out to ~ 0.47 cents per point – not too shabby for those new 10,000 – 15,000 PointBreaks, if you can find something to your liking.
Then again, you’d be stupid to use the Chase IHG Rewards card to get 1X on the points purchase (no, you won’t get 5X for buying points). I only brought it up as a theoretical exercise. 🙂
Of course, you will miss the old 10% redemption rebates you could have with the old card unless… you get them both.
Can you have both IHG cards?
I surely hope so. It is a new product after all (note the word Premier), and you should be able to apply for both cards and receive both bonuses.
If that’s the case, I would apply for an old card first because the links are going to disappear for good. Then I would apply for the new card as it becomes available. The IHG card is not a part of the 5/24 rule, so you should be good to go as long as you haven’t received the bonus within the last 24 months.
If you do have a spartner, you could eventually get 290,000 IHG points, 4 annual nights at any IHG property in the world (provided our fears don’t materialize), and $100 statement credits, all for $178. And if you won’t be able to get the new card, I believe the old one is still a better deal.
What do you think? Yes, no, maybe?