IHG cards add cell phone protection, eliminate price protection benefits

Oct 15, 2019

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IHG credit cardholders are gaining cell phone protection benefits, but losing price protection benefits effective Nov. 17, 2019. Cardholders of both the IHG Rewards Club Select (no longer accepting applications) and the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card received similar emails this morning. TPG reporter Katie Genter got this email for her IHG Premier:

The information for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

This isn’t exactly unexpected, as Mastercard announced network-wide changes to its World and World Elite Mastercards back in April that we’ve seen mirrored across cards ever since. However, it’s still a blow for cardholders who relied on the benefit when purchasing pricey ticket items that could go on sale — especially with holiday shopping season around the corner.

Chase eliminated price protection across its other cards a while back, but the IHG Rewards Club Select and IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card had held onto that benefit through Mastercard. With IHG cards now chopping price protection, it’s even rarer to find this benefit on credit cards. Navy Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo and HSBC all have select cards that still offer a price protection benefit, but it’s possible we’ll see those cut moving forward as well.

To offset the loss of some benefits, Mastercard did add perks such as cell phone protection, which IHG cards will begin offering on Nov. 17. On the IHG Select, you’ll get $600 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection. That is slightly higher at $800 per claim and $1,000 per year on the IHG Premier.

Related reading: Credit cards that cover cell phone loss and damage

Even though these cards now offer cell phone protection, you’re still better off using the Ink Business Preferred or Citi Prestige® Card (which both offer cell phone protection) to pay for your cell phone bill each month. With both IHG cards, you’re only getting 1x points per dollar spent on your bill and those points are only worth .5 cents each — just a 0.5% return.

The Ink Business Preferred offers the best value with 3x on your bill at 2 cents each (a 6% return). The Citi Prestige only offers 1x on your bill, but ThankYou points are worth more than IHG points, at 1.7 cents each.

Bottom line

These IHG cards are only the most recent in a long line of cards to cut perks. Barclaycard has removed select perks across many cards and Citi has slashed most benefits from its cards as well. It’s disappointing to see so many valuable benefits being cut from credit cards, even if issuers claim they aren’t regularly used.

While the addition of cell phone protection is nice to have, that isn’t an incredibly valuable benefit for these cards in my book. The best cards to use on your cell phone bill will continue to be cards that offer both a high return on your bill each month and cell phone protection benefits. While that’s a rare combo at present, the Ink Business Preferred is one card that offers the best of both worlds.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined spending on travel, shipping purchases,  internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
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  • No foreign transaction fees
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  • $95 Annual Fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 22.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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