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But because this card has an $89 annual fee, it is natural to wonder if the card is worth paying the fee each year. For many folks, the card is well worth keeping year after year, just for the terrific perks it comes with.
Let’s break down the best perks of this card so you can tell if this card is worth the annual fee for YOU.
Our Favorite Card Perks That Justify the Annual Fee
Apply Here: IHG Rewards Club Premier
This card has an annual fee of $89 which is NOT waived the first year. But, with the many benefits that this card has, the annual fee is well worth paying for many if you can take advantage of the perks!
Stay up to 10 Nights at an IHG Hotel With This Easily Attainable Welcome Bonus
The IHG Rewards Club Premier offers a 4th free night perk on award stays. When you book an award stay of 4+ nights, you’ll get the 4th award night free! You don’t need to pay upfront for the 4th night, so any award stay lasting 4 days will only cost you the points for 3 nights. This is an awesome perk that helps your points stretch even further.
IHG award stays start at just 10,000 IHG points per night, which means for as little as 30,000 points you can stay for 4 nights at some IHG hotels. This means you could stretch the welcome bonus to up to 10 nights of award stays (2 stays of 4 nights each = 60,000 points + 2 nights at 10,000 points each = 80,000 points).
This welcome bonus requires spending only $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account (~$667 spending per month), which is very easy to attain for most people. This is even better considering the overall value of this welcome bonus, because it earns you as many as 10 free nights at an IHG hotel. This high-value bonus is surprisingly easy to earn.
Free Night Stay Each Year
Each year when you renew your card, you will earn a free night certificate. You can redeem it at any IHG hotel that costs 40,000 IHG Points or less, and it expires 12 months after it is issued.
For most folks, this one benefit alone is worth the annual fee of the card. Most of these hotel stays are worth more than the $89 annual fee, making it an easy choice to keep paying the annual fee and taking all the other card benefits as the cherry on top.
Don’t let the 40,000 IHG point limit bother you, because there are plenty of great IHG hotels that are within this limit. I recently showed you how you can stay at the InterContinental Hotel Saigon, which is a 5-star hotel in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for free with an anniversary free night certificate (it costs 35,000 IHG points /night).
Enjoy Elite Status Just by Keeping the Card Open
Just for keeping this card open you will earn automatic Platinum Elite Status at IHG. There is no minimum spending to achieve this perk, unlike the IHG Rewards Club Traveler card which requires $10,000 minimum spending per year for Gold Elite status (one step lower than Platinum Elite).
Platinum Elite Status benefits include:
- Complimentary room upgrades (subject to availability)
- 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
- …and more
I like knowing that just keeping this card open (and paying the annual fee) allows you these benefits at IHG hotels. There are also some fun resort-specific benefits not mentioned above, like the $10 raid the bar and $30 in-room spa credits available at Kimpton hotels.
Speed Through Security & Customs With Global Entry (or TSA PreCheck)
The IHG Rewards Club Premier offers a Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) statement credit once every 4 years to enable you to enjoy the benefits of these security programs at no additional cost for you. While this is a benefit found on many cards, we usually see this perk on premium travel cards that have annual fees of ~$400+.
In fact, the application fee for Global Entry is $100 (what I recommend applying for, because it also includes TSA PreCheck), which is more than a single annual fee of $89 on this card! There is no obligation to keep this card for a full 4 years to get it again, so this benefit can really make sense for folks looking to cover a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee with a credit card.
Is the annual fee worth it for the IHG Rewards Club Premier? If you like IHG hotels, absolutely!
The free night certificate that you earn every cardholder anniversary is almost always worth more than the $89 annual fee that this card charges, making this one benefit alone worth having this card.
In addition to the free night stay, you can enjoy Platinum Elite status just for keeping the card open each year, meaning your points never expire, 50% bonus points earnings, complimentary room upgrades, extended check-out, and more. The 80,000 IHG point welcome bonus after a low minimum spending requirement, and the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credits further add value to the Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier.
Folks who stay at IHG hotels even once or twice a year can get terrific value from the IHG Rewards Club Premier while paying the annual fee. It’s a keeper!
What’s your favorite IHG Rewards Club Premier perk?