If you are a traveler, you will want to consider applying for an IHG credit card. IHG, the International Hotels Group, can be used at a number of familiar, brand name hotels including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and Candlewood Suites. There are points galore to be earned by using the card, plus a number of other great features, so let’s look at what this card is offering.
1. There are two levels of benefits you can attain.
There is the IHG Rewards Club Premier card and the IHG Rewards Club Premier World Elite card. Both are credit cards with different annual fees. The Premier card is $29 a year while the Elite card jumps up to $89 annually. The card you choose will depend on whether or not you are a frequent flyer to justify the extra $60.
2. An account opening bonus of 100,000 points.
To earn this bonus you will have to spend a minimum of $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days after you open the account, not receive the card. This is a little nuance that you need to pay attention to, and make sure you get your card as soon as possible after opening your IHG account.
3. Point rewards have 3 tiers.
You earn the following based on where you use your card:
- 10 points for every $1 spent staying at any of IHG’s more than 5,200 hotels anywhere in the world
- 2 points for every $1 spent on buying every day items at gas stations, grocery stores, even your favorite restaurants
- 1 point for every $1 spent on any other type of purchase
4. The IHG Anniversary Special.
This reward is one of the nicer touches to having the card, as every year you have the card you get a free night stay at one of their hotels. It’s a great one day getaway on IHG. You will want to check which hotels qualify for the free stay.
5. An Anniversary Year point special.
You can get as many as 10,000 Bonus Points once you spend at least $20,000 on purchases of any kind, then simply follow up by making one additional purchase each account anniversary year. That is a feature that is aimed at the frequent flyers, but it’s nice to know if you have an exceptionally busy travel year you can still grab the Bonus Points. Just remember to make the additional purchase.
6. Automatic elevation to Platinum Elite status
Unlike many cards where you have to apply for a new card or let them know you want a higher rewards program card, IHG automatically moves you up to the next level. All you have to do is to keep your Premier Card membership intact and of course, pay the annual fee each year.
7. Adding an authorized user puts points in your pocket.
You get 5,000 Bonus Points just for adding someone to your card. However, this only applies to the first person you add even if you add 3 or 4 people to your account, so you max out at 5,000 points regardless of the number of users you add. Once added, they have to make at least one purchase in the first 90 days of being added to the card for you to get the points.
8. Their Reward Night is perfect for vacations.
IHG has a Fourth Reward Night Free program. Though many hotel cards offer this feature, it is ideal for spending one of those 2 weeks of annual vacation from work. To earn the freebie, you need to redeem your points for any stay as long as it is 4 or more nights. Stay 4, pay for 3.
9. No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
Many cards add on assorted fees for travelers doing business of vacationing out of the country. Using either IHG card will avoid being nickel and dimed every time you use the card.
10. You can buy Bonus Points with cash.
You don’t have to always stay at a hotel or use the card to get Bonus Points. There are times when the points will be more valuable than paying cash (and safer). IHG gives you a 20% Points Purchase discount every time you buy points.
After seeing all these features, it is clear that IHG wants you to not only use their card, but get rewarded with points as an incentive. The average American has 8 credit cards in their wallet. With the IHG card you may find it is one of the few you need to carry virtually anywhere.