Chase’s New IHG Credit Cards Now Available – How They Stack Up

Man, this week has been one filled with disappointing card launches. Adam wrote about the Barclays Arrival Premier card yesterday, which carries a $150 annual fee with mediocre benefits and no sign-up bonus. Today, Chase has officially launched two new IHG credit cards: the IHG Premier and the IHG Traveler cards.

Chase's new IHG credit cards: the Premier and Traveler cards.

Chase’s new IHG credit cards: the Premier and Traveler cards.

These two new cards essentially replace the current IHG Rewards Club Select credit card, which costs $49 a year but comes with key benefits such as Platinum status, as well as an annual free night certificate (which was recently devalued and capped). The new cards will cost $29 and $89, and come with different benefits.

The cheaper IHG Rewards Club Traveler card comes with a $29 annual fee, and offers the following:

  • 5 IHG Points per $1 at IHG properties
  • 2 IHG Points per $1 at restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations
  • 1 IHG point per $1 on all other purchases
  • IHG Rewards Club Gold status
  • 4th night free with reward redemptions
  • 20% discount when purchasing IHG points

Meanwhile, the more expensive, IHG Rewards Club Premier card comes with a $89 annual fee, and offers the following:

  • 10 IHG Points per $1 at IHG properties
  • 2 IHG Points per $1 at restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations
  • 1 IHG point per $1 on all other purchases
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status
  • 4th night free with reward redemptions
  • 20% discount when purchasing IHG points
  • Annual free night (for properties that cost up to 40,000 points/night)

Here is how the benefits compare between three IHG cards:

IHG Traveler Card IHG Select Card IHG Premier Card
Annual Fee $29 $49 $89
Bonus at IHG Properties 5x 5x 10x
Bonus at Restaurants, Grocery Stores, Gas Station 2x 2x 2x
Status Gold Platinum Platinum
Anniversary Free Night (up to 40,000 points) No Yes Yes
Rebate on Reward Stays 4th Night Free 10% Back 4th Night Free
20% Points Purchase Discount Yes No Yes
Other Perks Global Entry Rebate (once every 5 years)
10,000 bonus points with $20,000 annual spend +1 purchase

Basically the only new, unique benefits to the new cards is the 4th night free rebate and a 20% points purchase discount. For the former, every 4th night in a single reward stay booked with points would be free (e.g. if you stay for 8 consecutive nights at the same hotel booked with points, you would be charged 0 points on nights 4 and night 8).  If you make a lot of longer stays that come in multiples of 4 nights, I can see the 4th night free benefit being valuable. The value of the 20% points purchase discount remains to be seen, but with continued devaluation that IHG has been making, I think buying their points is pretty risky.

Of course, these new cards continue to offer poor value in terms of spending, since even a 10x bonus at IHG properties amount to a 5 – 6% cash back, depending on how you value IHG points. The annual spend bonus is terrible, since you are basically getting another 0.5x if you spend $20,000 a year on a low-earning credit card. The Global Entry credit is of course nice, though it’s hardly a unique benefit and wouldn’t alone justify the higher annual fee.

What do you think of Chase’s new offering of IHG credit cards?

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Comments

  1. Glad I got the old one when I did, I should be grandfathered in for at least 1 free night at any hotel. Will I keep it anyway? Who knows. I def. wouldn’t get one of the new ones though.

  2. I wonder if we have the Select will we be allowed to get one of the new cards with the bonus points after meeting the spend requirements. I might be inclined to switch to one of the newer cards now that they have restricted the free night.

  3. Both new cards suck. $29 one is worthless and should have no fee. $89 is only worth considering if you sometimes/often have 4 night stays at IHG properties. I have done that…let’s see….never– since they offer no elite benefits to Plats in most properties. Especially now that IC properties are sky high on points and not worth redeeming in most cases… and let’s face it, who wants to spend 4 nights in a HIE? And the points purchase discounts don’t interest me since there are so many other ways to get IHG points cheap/free. Now that my temper has died down on the devaluation, I would say we will stick with our $49 a year cards, based on the free night (still worth more than the fee, though much less attractive than before), 10% rebate and (FWIW) Plat status. None of these cards are rewarding for every day spend (they’d have to double or triple earning rates for that) but okay for IHG properties. But I’m turning down any “upgrade” offer and sticking with the old card as long as they offer it.

    • I hear that. And now that IHG has the higher Spire level they’ve left card holders in the wind, they should offer an option that gets you to Spire.

  4. I am glad that I have the original card, and hope that as they have stated that I am grandfathered in with it so that I can keep Platinum and my free Anniversary day, devalued as it is. The 4th day free is a nice benefit but I don’t travel enough anymore to earn enough points to be able to use that benefit too often. If I were to lose the original card and had to choose, I would go with the new Premier card to keep the free day.

  5. Chase sucks with all the restrictions and now they’re downgrades of the IHG card ,the 5/24 rule is crippling too many, I hope they hurt themselves by limiting the amount of cards that people can get from them and eventually drop the 5/24 rule

  6. Can current IHG Select credit Card members apply for either of these new cards and still get the sign-up bonus?

    Most Chase cards usually have a 24-month restriction on earning dig up bonuses with a single product…

    … so I guess my question is, ‘Does Chas consider the Select card and the Traveler / Premier separate “products”?’

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