New Chase IHG Card Offers Hotel Rewards
If you're a fan of InterContinental Hotels, Hotel Indigo, Crown Plaza Hotels, Holiday Inn or one of the many other brands under the IHG hotel umbrella, you might be interested in its two new credit cards: The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card.
Issued by Chase Card Services, these new Mastercard rewards credit card offer points on your purchases that are good to use for free nights at your choice of over 5,200 IHG properties around the world.
Both cards offer a tiered points earning system. The Premier card gives ten points per dollar spent at IHG hotels; two points per dollar spent on gas, grocery and restaurant purchases; and one point for dollar spent on all other purchases. The Traveler card has the same category buckets, but it only gives five points per dollar spent on IHG hotel stays. The other two categories still earn two and one point, respectively.
The two cards are also different in the other benefits they offer, and, of course, they vary in their annual fee structure.
The Premier card is the higher end of the two, and it offers a free night at eligible hotels once you hit your card's annual anniversary. It also gives you Platinum Elite IHG Rewards Club member status; a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check fees; and 10,000 IHG bonus points if you spend $20,000 by your anniversary date. Other benefits include trip cancellation/interruption insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and purchase protection.
The Traveler card gives you Gold Elite IHG Rewards Club member status for spending $10,000 in a calendar year, but none of the other unique Premier card benefits.
Both cards offer a fourth reward night free when you use points to redeem hotel rooms for a four- or more night stay; a 20 percent discount when you use your card to purchase more points; and no foreign transaction fees. Both cards also give access to an experiences program called "Behind the Scenes," which offers unique food, sports and entertainment events.
The difference in annual fees? The Premier card costs $89 a year, while the Traveler card costs $29 a year.
"We’re continually evolving our IHG® Rewards Club program to meet the changing needs of our members and, with these cards, members will not only earn more points but also get access to new benefits that make their travel experience easier," said David Canty, vice president, Global Loyalty Programs, IHG, in a statement. "We’re pleased to give our members even more ways to earn and enjoy rewards all over the world."
The Premier card is also offering a limited-time special sign-up bonus for new cardholders, giving you 80,000 points after using the card to spend $2,000 in purchases within the first three months your account is open. You can also earn 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and make your first purchase within three months of opening the card.
The bonus offer on the Traveler card is 60,000 points after spending $2,000 on the card within the first three months it's opened.
Reading the fine print, the purchase and balance transfer APRs for both cards are a variable 17.49 to 24.49 percent, based on your creditworthiness. The cash advance APR is 26.49 percent. Balance transfer fees are $5 or five percent of the transfer amount, whichever is greater. Cash advance fees are similarly structured, but are either $10 or five percent. Late payments cost up to $15 if the balance is under $100; up to $27 if the balance is between $100 and $249; and up to $37 if the balance is $250 or more.
For IHG hotel loyalists who really want to rack up points, the Premier card could be a good option, as it doesn't have an exorbitantly high annual fee. While the Traveler card annual fee isn't high compared to other cards, you might be better off getting a no annual fee card that offers basic travel points. On both, however, the interest rate is pretty high, so if you're prone to carrying a balance, these cards could end up costing you.