I’ve opened a lot of credit cards in my day… The first 500 times (hyperbole, btw), it was really exciting to open my mailbox, whip open the envelope, and let that new credit card smell waft through the air. Mmmmmmmm.
But, as these things go, that magical feeling only lasts so long, and I find myself not caring so much about opening new cards. I get the card, rack up the points, throw it into my wallet, and forget about it.
But… every once in a while, I stumble upon a unicorn; a creature so beautiful that it brings tears (of joy) to what was a previously subdued and emotionless face.
I’m talking about the Chase IHG ® Rewards Premier Credit Card.
We talk about lots of great credit cards, but I haven’t been THIS excited about one in a very long time, so I wanted to tell you about it, because you my not realize just how powerful this card is…
First of all, the welcome offer is currently 140,000 IHG points after spending $3,000 in the first three months after account opening.
Did you read that?? 140,000?? That’s crazy! Especially considering the extremely reasonable annual fee of $99.
To blow your mind quickly, that is enough to book as many as 44 nights at IHG hotels, since some properties cost as little as 5,000 points per night.
Because 5,000 x 44 = 220,000
Yes, that number 44 is correct. That’s because one of the perks of holding this card is that you get every 4th night free when booking stays with IHG points, which I personally think is one of the most valuable perks offered by any hotel credit card.
The real reason to get this card, though?
That, my friends, is the Anniversary Free Night worth up to 40,000 IHG points.
Every year on your account anniversary, you’ll receive one of these certificates that can be used for tons of different properties around the world, like the Intercontinental in Doha, which only costs 34,000 points.
This hotel would otherwise cost as much as $400 per night, so the fact that you can book it for free by holding a card with a $99 annual fee is valuable.
What’s great about IHG Free Night Certificates, though, is that you can top them off with an unlimited amount of points.
That means that if you wanted to book the Kimpton in Toronto (an amazing, luxurious hotel), which costs 48,000 points per night, you could offset that with the free night certificate and only pay 8,000 points.
And if you think the benefits end there, think again.
By holding this card, you will also have IHG Platinum Status, which entitles you to meaningful benefits like suite upgrades, bonus points, late checkout, welcome amenities, and more.
And finally, let’s talk about how many points you’ll earn by spending with this card:
26x points on IHG Hotels and Resorts
5x on travel, gas stations, and dining
3x points on everything else
That 26x is broken down as follows:
10x from spending on the credit card
10x for being an IHG member
6x for having IHG Platinum status (which is a perk of the card)
That earning rate is pretty amazing for a $99/year card, and you definitely won’t find anything better.
If you’re a United fan, there’s some good news for you, too.
Every year, you’ll receive up to $50 of credit to use toward United Airlines flights.So even if you only fly United once per year, you can shave $50 off of the annual fee of this card.
FYI, United has tons of flights around the U.S. for $50-70 one-way, so this credit could actually really come in handy and pretty much cover an entire flight if you use it right.
So here’s the bottom line:
I am really excited about this card and am surprised it isn’t getting more buzz. Even without the insane welcome offer, this card would be one of the most powerful hotel cards with the best perk-to-annual fee ratio.
Throw in the 140k bonus points and it becomes a must-get card, in my humble opinion.
If you’re an IHG superfan, you probably applied for the card after the first few sentences.
If you aren’t, there has never been a better time to change allegiances or become loyal to a hotel chain than right now.