This article only reviews the IHG One Rewards Premier card. We may get compensation if you visit partner links on our site. We may not cover every available offer. Our relationship with advertisers may impact how an offer is presented on our website. However, our selection of products is made independently of our relationship with advertisers.
Rates and bonus offers checked as of February 8, 2024.
The IHG One Rewards Premier credit card is offering a great sign-up bonus for new cardholders: earn 165,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account. That's worth about $1,150 when spent on travel.
You may never have heard of IHG, but chances are you have stayed in one of their 6,000 hotels if you travel frequently. Their brands include budget stays like Holiday Inn and luxury hotels like Klimpton, for example.
As bonuses for rewards credit cards go, this is one of the best Kiplinger editors have seen recently. Just be sure that you can spend at least $3,000 in three months and understand how travel rewards credit cards work. And be sure to compare this deal with other credit card offers. Still, with a value of about $1,150, the welcome bonus more than offsets the $99 annual fee.
IHG One Rewards Premier overview
This is a solid personal credit card from Chase Bank and the IHG hotel chain with over 19 hotel brand partners. The current welcome offer is very generous and more than offsets the $99 annual fee. Here's the limited time offer: earn 165,000 bonus points (worth up to $1,150) when you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening the account. You can also earn one anniversary free hotel night, and a fourth night for free after you redeem points for a consecutive four-night stay. Redemption options are limited, however, so be certain you will be happy redeeming most or all of your points for hotel stays.
- Best for: This card is best for frequent travelers with good to excellent credit. There is no foreign transaction fee, so the card is useful for international travel. There are hotel locations and amenities tailored to military servicemembers and contractors.
- Sign-up points bonus, limited time offer: Earn 165,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Free hotel stays: 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.
- Membership status perk: Automatic Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier cardmember.
- Interest rate: 21.49% to 28.49% variable APR for purchases and balance transfers.
- Annual fee: $99
- Rewards rate: Earn up to 26 points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels and Resorts. Earn five points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations and restaurants. Earn three points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Travel benefits: 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.
- Redemption: Points don't expire, and there are no blackout dates. Redeem IHG points for hotel rewards nights, merchandise and gift cards, airfare, digital rewards and charity. You can convert IHG hotel points to frequent flyer miles on 41 different partner airlines, including Delta and United Airlines. But the redemption rate is only 2,000 miles for every 10,000 IHG points for most airlines.
- Limitations: There are two limitations on who can get the card. First, you are not eligible if you already have a personal IHG One Rewards credit card. Second, if you received a new cardmember bonus for any personal IHG One Rewards credit card in the last 24 months — even if you no longer are a cardmember — you’re also ineligible.
What is the value of IHG rewards points?
Valuing rewards program points or miles is rarely cut and dry, but it is useful to understand how much you can expect from points.
According to WalletHub, you'll need on average 37,500 points for a free night in an IHG hotel, and each point is worth about 0.7 cents. In this case, the bonus reward will get you on average four free nights at a hotel, or it is worth about $1,150. You can, of course, get more nights by staying at more affordable hotels.
Although points are worth less than a dollar, they are easy to earn if you are a frequent traveler. You can earn up to 26 points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn five points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations and restaurants. And earn three points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
New cardholders for Platinum Elite Status, which includes free room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out and free internet. And Platinum Elite members earn an extra 60% worth of bonus points on qualified hotel stays. Allow up to eight weeks for your Platinum Elite Status to go into effect.
Where can you stay with IHG points?
There are 19 IHG hotel brands, including budget hotels like Holiday Inn and Avid Hotels. IHG also includes luxury resorts like Intercontinental, Klimpton, and Six Senses and mid-tier properties like Even hotels.
IHG hotels have properties in over 6,000 locations worldwide. The card has no foreign transaction fee, so it is ideal for travel abroad.
Are you or someone in your immediate family an active duty servicemember? IHG Army Hotels provide hotel rooms for military and contractor personnel near or on Army bases. And as a Platinum Elite member, you'll earn an extra 4.8 points for each hotel stay.
Rewards cards dos and don'ts
As with any rewards credit card, be sure to weigh these benefits against fees — a $99 annual fee in this case — and make sure you understand how to use the card effectively. That said, $99 is a relatively small price to pay if you max the benefits.
In addition, while reward credit cards are great if you use them wisely, always pay them off in full each month to avoid interest, which can dwarf the gain. And don't spend any more than usual to hit any trigger; otherwise, rewards cards can be a false economy as you’d be overspending.
How to apply for the card
If you decide to apply for the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card and you are uncertain how it might affect your credit score, be sure to think through your strategy. Applying for a new credit card may temporarily lower your credit score, so if you plan to take out a mortgage or car loan in the next few months, you might want to skip this offer.
On the other hand, if you have a good credit score and are likely to book several hotel stays a year, then this may be the credit card for you. Read through the credit terms, compare the card to its competitors and follow the prompts on the card offer page.
Other cards to check out
If you are looking for a more flexible travel card, a few other offers are worth checking out. See our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, which provides a bonus worth $750 when redeemed for air, hotel and other travel. And the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card, which also offers a bonus worth $750 when redeemed for travel.
If you own a small business or travel frequently for work, the IHG One Rewards Premier Business Card provides a 140,000 bonus point offer. Just keep in mind that cardholders are limited to only one bonus deal within a 24-month period.
If you travel frequently, this card might be a great fit for you, especially with the current bonus offer. Just make sure you can qualify for the bonus with adequate spending, and be sure to review how to get the most out of a travel rewards credit card.
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Launches $750 Bonus Offer
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Launches $750 Bonus Offer
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As an independent publication dedicated to helping you make the most of your money, the article above is our view of the best deals and is not the opinion of any entity mentioned such as a card issuer, hotel, airline etc. Similarly, the content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of those entities.
Ellen writes and edits personal finance stories, especially on credit cards and related products. She also covers the nexus between sustainability and personal finance. She was a manager and sustainability analyst at Calvert Investments for 15 years, focusing on climate change and consumer staples. She served on the sustainability councils of several Fortune 500 companies and led corporate engagements. Before joining Calvert, Ellen was a program officer for Winrock International, managing loans to alternative energy projects in Latin America. She earned a master’s from the U.C. Berkeley in international relations and Latin America.
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