The Chase IHG Premier Card is an underrated hotel card. It’s a special card in Chase’s lineup because it is currently the only MasterCard issued by Chase. Furthermore, it comes with a plethora of benefits that could make stays even better. There is also the potential to earn multiple free nights every year. This card is great for professionals on to go who don’t want to stay at more lavish hotels. It’s also nice for families and travelers on a budget.
The Chase IHG Premier Card has a sign-up bonus worth 80,000 IHG points. All you have to do is spend $2,000 in the first three months to earn the points. However, this card’s bonus has been as high as 125,000 points for $3,000 minimum spend.
The IHG Premier Card earns 10x IHG points per $1 spent on IHG hotel purchases. It also earns 2x points on Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, and Restaurants, as well as one point on all other purchases. This structure makes it best for IHG purchases because there are better cards for the 2x categories.
This card has an $89 annual fee (NOT waived the first year).
The easiest way to use IHG points is for free hotel nights. Points can be redeemed at the following IHG properties:
- avid Hotels
- Candlewood Suites
- Crowne Plaza
- EVEN Hotels
- Holiday Inn (including Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Express, and Holiday Inn Resorts)
- Hotel Indigo
- InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
- Staybridge Suites
Points & Cash
If you want to stretch the value of your points, this is an alternative to straight hotel redemptions. Your mileage may vary here, but sometimes the cash and points combo is a better deal than only the points.
Other options for redemption include gift cards, digital downloads, or transferring to airline miles. None of these options compare favorably to the hotel redemptions or points & cash options.
The Chase IHG Premier Card has some excellent benefits that will justify the annual fee. Free nights and Platinum Status are the highlights from this mid-tier card.
You will receive one free anniversary night each year you renew your card. This free night is limited to rooms costing 40,000 points or less. Fortunately, rooms costing more than 40,000 points are at luxury hotels. This means that most rooms are eligible for using the free night.
And if you book a room for at least four nights, you get your fourth night free. The catch is that you must use points to pay. You won’t get the fourth night free benefit if you use cash or your IHG Card.
Free nights like these can help justify the annual fee, making this card a potential long-term keeper.
Platinum Elite Status & 20% Points Discount
You also can earn IHG’s second-highest status just by holding the card. Platinum Elite Status gives you a 20% discount when purchasing points with your IHG card. Platinum Status also offers complimentary room upgrades, priority check-in, and late check out.
Global Entry / Pre-TSA Credit
This benefit is normally given with more premium credit cards. But the IHG Premier is a rare mid-tier card that offers these credits. The credits give you a $100 Global Entry / $85 Pre-TSA membership fee credit. Membership to either service renews every 4 or 5 years.
I suggest going for the Global Entry membership because it includes Pre-TSA membership.
No Foreign Exchange Fees
You will save 3% on all purchases made outside the United States with the card.
Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance
This benefit gives you up to $10,000 per trip for non-refundable expenses if you need to cancel your trip because of an unexpected event. Plane tickets, hotel rooms, and tours are included.
Trip Delay Insurance
This benefit covers you up to $500 per ticket if your plane, train, or other common carrier is delayed at least 12 hours. It also kicks in if you require an overnight stay as a result of a delay. The $500 helps cover expenses that were not reimbursed, such as meals and lodging.
Baggage Delay Insurance
This benefit gives you $100 per day up to 5 days if your luggage is lost or delayed. If your luggage is delayed for more than 6 hours, you can redeem for toiletries, clothing, and other essentials.
Cell Phone Protection
Starting on November 17, 2019, Chase is adding Cell Phone Protection as a perk for IHG cardholders. Cardholders are covered for up to $600 per claim and up to $1,000 per year against theft or damage to your cell phone.
What if the IHG Premier Card is not for you? Here are some alternatives that might suit your needs:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase’s flagship mid-tier travel card lets you earn and transfer Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. IHG is one of Chase’s many travel partners. That means this card (and the whole Chase UR “ecosystem”) a good substitute for the IHG Card.
The Sapphire Preferred earns 2x UR points for Travel and Dining purchases. It also earns 1x points for everything else. This card also has a slightly higher annual fee at $95. It also offers a sign-up bonus worth 80,000 UR points. You can earn this bonus by spending $4,000 within the first three months.
The IHG Premier Card also comes with the free nights and Platinum Status while the Sapphire Preferred doesn’t.
American Express Hilton Surpass
The Amex Hilton Honors Surpass is a great alternative for Hilton hotel lovers. It also has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year) and comes with more perks than the IHG Premier.
This mid-tier card from Hilton and American Express earns 12x Hilton HH points on Hilton purchases (not including the membership or Gold Status points bonuses). It also earns 6x points on Dining, Groceries, and Gas, and 3x points on everything else. This structure makes it a better overall earning card than the IHG Premier.
The Surpass Card also offers automatic Hilton Gold Elite Status, which is more valuable than IHG Platinum Elite Status. You will receive an 80% points bonus for Hilton purchases including room rates and gift shop purchases. Plus, you will receive free breakfast and complimentary room upgrades (up to Executive Level rooms).
After really looking into the Chase IHG Premier Card, I can understand why any IHG loyalist would love it. The potential to earn multiple free nights is unlike many other hotel cards. Platinum Elite Status will also get you room upgrades and priority check-in and checkout. These benefits alone are enough for many people to keep this card long term.
Apply Today: Chase IHG Premier Card