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Why you should think twice before upgrading to the Chase IHG Premier Card

Jan. 26, 2020
3 min read
Why you should think twice before upgrading to the Chase IHG Premier Card
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new upgrade offers. It was originally published on March 1, 2019.

In 2018, Chase released the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card, to replace the IHG Rewards Club Select card (no longer open to new applicants). While it includes some nice features like a fourth night award perk and better bonus categories, it also comes with a higher annual fee.

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You can get a lot of value from the IHG Premier card, especially now that it's offering an all-time high sign-up bonus of up to 125,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. However, if you currently have the old IHG Select card, you might have gotten a new upgrade offer in your email.

Right now, select IHG Select cardholders are being targeted with a 10,000-point upgrade offer after you make your first purchase with your new card.

While it might be tempting to jump on this upgrade and score a few easy points, there's a good reason not to take this offer.

Don't forfeit the sign-up bonus

It's no accident that the IHG Select was a popular card. For just a $49 annual fee, many of us keep the card for the long term because of the annual anniversary certificate it offers, valid at IHG hotels that cost up to 40,000 points per night.

While the new IHG Rewards Premier has a higher $89 annual fee, it also comes with an anniversary certificate and improved benefits. And it's currently offering an all time high sign-up bonus of 125,000 IHG points, worth $700 based on TPG's valuations.

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If you take the 10,000-point upgrade offer, you'll be forfeiting your chance to get a sign-up bonus 14x larger, since the terms and conditions of the application say the following:

"This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months."

If the perks of the new card really interest you that much and you're under 5/24, you should just apply for it directly and earn that new sign-up bonus instead of leaving 130,000 points on the table.

Related: IHG Premier credit card review

Bottom line

There are plenty of reasons to consider getting the IHG Premier if you are a frequent traveler who stays at IHG properties often. But if you have the old IHG Select card and take an upgrade offer, you'll be giving up a substantial chunk of points.

Sign up for the IHG Premier to get 125,000 bonus points after qualifying purchases

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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