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IHG Rewards Club Premier Review

IHG Rewards Club Premier Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Dec 11, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you frequently stay at InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) properties, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card should be on your radar.

Along with free night stays at more than 5,000 IHG Hotels and Resorts — including InterContinental Alliance Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites and more — the card offers a generous sign-up bonus and rewards rate at IHG Hotels and Resorts.

In this article:

Cardholders earn 125,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

To earn the maximum rewards rate, you must be an IHG Rewards Club member with Platinum Elite status (note, you will automatically receive Platinum Elite status upon card approval).

Points can be redeemed for hotel stays, merchandise, IHG Rewards Club access, cash, magazine subscriptions, gift cards, digital entertainment and charities. You can also transfer points to a number of airline transfer partners, including British Airways, Delta SkyMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue and United Airlines.

In this review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, as well as show how it compares to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card.

Where the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card stands out

Rewards rate. Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Plus, from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, 2020, eligible cardholders can earn 5 total points per dollar at grocery stores and gas stations on up to $1,500 per month. Note, you will receive an email notifying you if you are eligible to opt in to the limited time offer.

Sign-up bonus. Cardholders earn 125,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening

Annual bonus. Get 10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 and make one additional purchase with the card each account anniversary.

Free night awards. With the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you’ll receive one free night at IHG Hotels worldwide after each account anniversary year. Additionally, receive a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights.

Additional IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card benefits

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit of up to $100 every 4 years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Automatic upgrade to Platinum elite status
  • Travel protections, including baggage delay insurance, lost luggage insurance and trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance
  • Purchase protection

Where the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card falls short

Poor rewards transfer rate. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers a variety of travel transfer partners; however, your points will transfer at a rate of 5:1 or worse. For example, if you transfer 10,000 IHG points to American Airlines, Delta SkyMiles or United Airlines, they will only be worth 2,000 miles.

High spend requirement to earn the annual bonus. To earn the 10,000-point annual bonus, you will be required to spend $20,000 and make one additional purchase with the card each account anniversary year — for an average of $1,667 in charges per month for a year.

Compare it with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

If you prefer to stay at Marriott Bonvoy properties over IHG Hotels and Resorts, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is a great alternative. Along with offering a free night award each year after your account anniversary, the card lets you earn a generous rewards rate.

Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2X points on all other purchases.

See how these cards compare side by side in the table below.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card vs. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Annual fee $89 $95
Regular purchase APR 15.99% - 22.99% Variable 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Sign-up bonus Earn 125,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Rewards rate Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2X points on all other purchases.
Foreign transaction fee $0 $0

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers a considerably higher sign-up bonus than the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. However, you can squeeze more free night stays from the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card’s sign-up bonus.

With the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, hotel redemptions start at 5,000 points for an off-peak night at a category 1 hotel and 7,500 points for a standard night. This means that the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card’s sign-up bonus can get you 15 off-peak nights or 10 standard nights at a category 1 hotel, like the SpringHill Suites Houston Northwest in Houston.

On the other hand, hotel redemptions for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card start at 10,000 points per night. So, for example, the card’s current sign-up bonus can get you eight free nights at the Candlewood Suites Houston Park 10 in Houston.

The bottom line

If you are an IHG loyalist, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a great option. The card offers a large sign-up bonus and generous rewards rate, which can be used toward free hotel stays. Plus, cardholders receive a free reward night after each account anniversary year, as well as a free night when they redeem points for any stay of four or more nights.

But, if you are partial to Marriott Bonvoy hotels, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card will be your best bet. In addition to receiving a free night award each year after your account anniversary, you can redeem the card’s sign-up bonus for up to 15 free night stays.


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