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Lots of folks are jumping on the limited-time increased welcome bonus on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which now comes with up to 120,000 IHG points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements. The offer expires May 1, 2019.
That’s the highest public offer we’ve ever seen on the card, and enough for multiple nights at terrific IHG brands including InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, and Hotel Indigo.
However, there’s an $89 annual fee, and it’s not waived the first year. So you may wonder – is the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card worth it?
Let’s just say I’ve kept the very similar previous version of the card (no longer available to new applicants) in my wallet for over 6 years, and have no plans to get rid of it. The benefits you’ll get from the Chase IHG Premier make it well worth the annual fee, in some cases many times over!
Let’s have a peek at what makes the Chase IHG Premier so valuable as a long-term keeper card.
Is the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card Worth It? You Bet!
Apply Here: IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Read our review of the Chase IHG Premier card
1. The Chase IHG Premier Bonus Is Worth Over $1,000
For a limited time until May 1, 2019, you can earn an all-time-high welcome bonus of up to 120,000 IHG points when you meet tiered minimum spending requirements on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.
- 80,000 IHG points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- An additional 40,000 IHG points after spending another $3,000 on purchases ($5,000 in total) within the first 6 months of account opening
The card has an $89 annual fee, NOT waived the first year. But just from the welcome bonus alone, you’ll get a value many many times more than the annual fee cost.
For example, 120,000 IHG points is enough for a splurge on 2 nights (60,000 IHG points per night) at the stylish Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel in Boston, where paid rates often exceed $650 per night. By redeeming your bonus here, you could get a stay worth over $1,300, which is an excellent deal from a single credit card welcome offer.
Or, for a family-friendly stay, you could redeem your welcome bonus for 4 nights at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort in Orlando. It costs 40,000 IHG points per night, but when you have the Chase IHG Premier, you’ll get the 4th night free on award stays of 4+ nights. So for 4 nights, you’d only shell out 120,000 IHG points (3 nights X 40,000 points plus the 4th night free).
My kids loved the multiple pools and lazy river when we stayed here using points a few years ago. A standard award “room” is actually a 2-bedroom villa that sleeps up to 8 guests! It’s ideal for larger groups or families, and if you booked 4 nights you’d get a stay worth over ~$1,200 after taxes.
So what about the rest of the benefits that come with the Chase IHG Premier? They’re what make the card worth keeping for the long haul.
2. Annual Anniversary IHG Free Night
Each year on your card anniversary with the IHG Premier Card, you’ll earn a free night certificate valid at any IHG hotel that costs 40,000 points or less. THIS is the perk that makes the card a no brainer to hang onto year after year.
It’s easy to see why. You’ll get a free stay that is bound to cost more than than the $89 annual fee each year (even if you redeem at a more budget-friendly hotel). And if you use your certificate at a pricey hotel, you could get a stay worth hundreds of dollars. For example, the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa costs 40,000 IHG points per night, so you can use your anniversary night certificate there. Paid nights during peak season cost over $400.
You don’t have to travel halfway around the world to get a big bang for your annual fee with the anniversary free night. Here’s a night at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites: Seattle City Center, which costs 40,000 points per night. You could redeem your free night certificate for a stay worth $270 here – that’s triple the annual fee cost.
But don’t forget to use your anniversary night! They expire 12 months from the date of issue.
3. Automatic Platinum Elite Status
- Complimentary room upgrades (when available)
- Guaranteed room availability (given 72 hours notice)
- Extended check-out (when available)
- Priority check-in
- Complimentary internet
- Welcome amenity
- IHG points never expire
- 50% bonus earnings on top of base points
- 2 free Amazon Kindle ebooks per quarter
You’ll also get some nifty brand-specific benefits, like a $10 Raid the Bar and $30 in-room spa credits at certain Kimpton hotels.
4. Save Time at the Airport With TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
With the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card, you’ll get a statement credit for the Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) application fee once every 4 years. Having membership in either of these trusted traveler programs means you’ll skip long lines at the airport and save time.
While other cards also come with a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, most of them have much higher annual fees. Getting it with the Chase IHG Premier card is a good value.
Global Entry is the better choice for most folks because it comes with TSA PreCheck privileges, plus you won’t have to wait in long immigration queues when you return to the US. It’s a must have if you’re at all a frequent traveler.
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is an excellent pick for anyone who likes IHG hotels, and more so even now with the limited-time welcome offer through May 1, 2019. You’ll earn up to 120,000 IHG points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements – easily enough for a stay worth $1,000+.
Is the Chase IHG Premier worth it beyond the welcome bonus? Absolutely! Many folks pay the $89 annual fee year after year just because they can get much more value from the annual anniversary free night at IHG hotels up to 40,000 points. Plus, the card comes with perks like automatic Platinum elite status and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every 4 years.
For more on IHG points, check out these posts: