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IHG Credit Cards 2022

ToP reviews the recently revamped Chase IHG credits cards.
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IHG Credit Cards 2022

ToP reviews the recently revamped Chase IHG credits cards.

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

IHG doesn't get the same attention as Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton. However, IHG has announced upcoming changes to their Rewards Club program, and a lot of us are curious about what will change. In the meantime, Chase and IHG have revamped the Chase co-branded IHG credit cards. As of March 24, 2022, both the new IHG Traveler Credit Card and the IHG Premier Credit Card will offer stronger earning structures and better benefits. Also, Chase has introduced a brand new IHG Premier Business card. Below, we review the changes to both personal cards and the new business card.

Current Offers

The IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card currently offers 120,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. This card does not have an annual fee.

The IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card offers 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.  The card comes with an annual fee of $99 (up from $89 as of March 24, 2022).

The IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card offers 140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.  The business card has a $99 annual fee.

For reference, award rates vary from 10,000 to 70,000 points per night depending upon the property. You can actually hold all three IHG credit cards at the same time. Before doing so, however, consider your 5/24 status and assess whether the two personal cards are worth 2 valuable 5/24 spots.

Earn Rates

Both cards' earning rates have generally improved with the recent changes. The IHG Traveler card now earns:

  • Up to 17x at IHG hotels (5x from the card, up to 10x for being an IHG Rewards member, and up to 2x from Silver status,which comes with the card)
  • 3x on utilities, internet, cable, phone, and select streaming services purchases
  • 3x at restaurants and gas stations
  • 2x on all other purchases

The IHG Premier card now earns:

  • Up to 26x at IHG hotels (10x from the card, up to 10x for being an IHG Rewards member, and up to 6x from Platinum status, which comes with the card)
  • 5x on travel, restaurants, and gas stations
  • 3x on all other purchases

Meanwhile, the IHG Premier Business card earns:

  • Up to 26x at IHG hotels (10x from the card, up to 10x for being an IHG Rewards member, and up to 6x from Platinum status, which comes with the card)
  • 5x on travel, restaurants, and gas stations
  • 5x on social media and search engine advertising & office supply stores
  • 3x on all other purchases

Benefits

The IHG Traveler card now offers the following benefits:

  • Complimentary IHG Rewards Silver status
  • The ability to earn IHG Rewards Gold status after spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • 10,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Fourth night free on award stays of 4 or more nights
  • No foreign transaction fee

The IHG Premier card now offers the following benefits and perks:

  • Anniversary free night certificates (can be redeemed at properties costing up to 40,000 points per night). As of March 24, 2022, you can combine additional points to the certificate to redeem for more expensive properties.
  • Complimentary IHG Rewards Platinum Status
  • The ability to earn IHG Rewards Diamond status after spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • $50 in United TravelBank Cash each calendar year (registration required)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit of up to $100 every 4 years
  • 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Fourth night free on award stays of 4 or more nights
  • No foreign transaction fee

The IHG Premier Business card offers all of the benefits and perks of the IHG Premier, plus:

  • The ability to earn an additional free night certificate after you spend $60,000 on purchases and make one additional purchase each calendar year
  • Additional employee cards at no cost

Our Analysis

Overall, the changes to both cards are quite good, and we welcome the introduction of an IHG business card. The IHG Premier and IHG Premier Business cards are generally stronger cards than the IHG Traveler card, even with their higher annual fee. The $99 annual fee for the IHG Premier and the IHG Premier Business is a no-brainer for IHG fans, since it gets you a free night certificate after renewal and Platinum Elite status. The $50 United TravelBank credit is an easy-to-use benefit that helps offset the card’s annual fee, though it does expire fairly quickly (6 months or less).

The 10,000 bonus points and $100 statement credit after $20,000 in spend is not a benefit worth targeting, since there are much better ways to maximize that much in spend. For $20,000, you could meet the minimum spend on many new credit cards. Similarly, the additional free night after spending $60,000 with the IHG Premier Business card is simply too much spend. By comparison, the Chase World of Hyatt card offers a free night certificate after just $15,000 in spend in a calendar year.

We think it makes little sense to hold both the IHG Premier and the IHG Premier Business cards long-term. Both cards have nearly identical benefits. The business card does have one extra bonus category, which is 5x on social media and search engine advertising & office supply stores. The introduction of a business card is great news for those who want to dip into the IHG program without adding to their 5/24 count.

The ability to add additional points to more easily use the free night certificates is generally a positive change. But on the other hand, with IHG’s dynamic pricing for award nights, this can be seen as IHG admitting that the certificates now have such low value that users are required to combine them with points to get any value out of the certificates. 

Meanwhile, the IHG Traveler card carries much fewer perks. Like the Premier, the Traveler card offers fourth night free for award redemptions. Beyond that, the card does not offer much. IHG Silver status is not very useful under the current program. As such, we can certainly think of better Chase cards to take up a 5/24 slot. But without an annual fee, the IHG Traveler card is a nice downgrade option for the IHG Premier credit card.

Final Thoughts

The recent changes to the IHG cards and the introduction of a brand new business card are overall positive. IHG loyalists should easily find value in the IHG Premier Card, which offers many perks. The IHG Premier Business card offers folks the opportunity to get an IHG card without affecting their 5/24 status. And while the IHG Traveler card is less impressive, but it's nice to see Chase and IHG offer a no-annual fee option.

What do you think of the changes to Chase’s co-branded IHG credit cards? Share your thoughts in our Facebook group.

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