Here’s how you can earn 150,000 points and a waived annual fee with the IHG Premier card

May 27, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) has a varied portfolio of brands with over 6,000 properties worldwide.

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IHG’s cobranded cards are worth considering whether you occasionally stay at their properties — those include Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton, InterContinental and Hotel Indigo — or if you’re a frequent IHG guest. Thanks to its solid earning rates at IHG hotels and valuable perks, the cards can easily save you hundreds of dollars year after year. 

Recently, IHG points switched to dynamic award pricing, causing a stir in the points and miles world. But it’s still very possible to get great value from IHG points.

Let’s take a closer look at the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and its latest offer — 150,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, with a waived annual fee for the first year (then $89).

Apply here for the IHG Premier credit card.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • Annual fee: $89, waived for the first year

If you don’t already have the IHG Premier card and haven’t earned a sign-up bonus on it in the past 24 months, you can get a 150,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening your new card.

Factoring in the card’s fourth-night award perk available (when you use points to pay for three nights and get the fourth at a bonus), you could get up to 20 award nights at IHG hotels with this one sign-up bonus. Reward nights start at just 10,000 points a night, ranging from practical options in the U.S. to options abroad in Berlin, Belgrade, Brazil and beyond.

Even if you don’t go chasing the extreme deals, you should be able to secure TPG’s valuation of 0.5 cents per IHG point. That means you should be able to get at least $750 worth of award stays from this sign-up bonus. But it’s the perks of the card that make it worthwhile to keep.

Related: The award traveler’s guide to IHG Rewards Club

Reasons to get the IHG Premier card beyond the bonus

Elite status: The IHG Premier Card grants cardholders IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status. TPG values this status at $880 for those who earn it through stays. Obviously, that value is going to be less for those who stay at IHG-branded hotels less frequently, but you should be able to recoup the card’s ongoing $89 annual fee from this perk if you spend more than a few nights a year at IHG properties.

Fourth award night benefit: IHG Premier cardholders automatically get a fourth consecutive night reward. This benefit’s value is going to depend on your travel style. For travelers who only spend one to three nights in a hotel, this perk isn’t useful. But for travelers who stay around long enough to utilize this perk, it can be incredibly valuable. And there’s no cap on how many points you can save with this perk.

Again, this is a benefit that can justify the ongoing $89 annual fee by itself. TPG values IHG points at 0.5 cents each. So one fourth-night reward stay at a 20,000-point property saves you $100 worth of IHG points.

Related: The incredibly easy way of redeeming IHG’s fourth-night reward

The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Annual award night: Upon renewal of your card each anniversary year, you’ll earn an award night certificate good at any IHG property that charges 40,000 points or less for an award night stay. While award prices vary night to night, we currently see availability on some nights for 40,000 points per night or less at IHG properties such as cool hotels such as the Kimpton Van Zandt in Austin, Kimpton Muse Hotel in NYC, Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach in Miami and even the Holiday Inn Resort in Aruba.

Hotel Van Zandt in Austin (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Those 40,000 IHG points are worth $200 at TPG’s valuations, so you should be able to save more than the $89 annual fee by using this reward night.

Category bonuses: The IHG Premier Card earns a respectable 10 IHG points per dollar spent at IHG properties.

But it gets better than that. Since the credit card grants you Platinum Elite status, you’ll also earn a 50% bonus on IHG hotel stays. IHG Rewards members get a base earning rate of 10 points per dollar spent at most properties, so after the 50% elite bonus, you’ll earn 15 points per dollar spent directly from IHG Rewards. Add that to the 10x earning on the card, you’ll get (at least) 25 points total per dollar spent on the card on IHG hotel stays.

At TPG valuations, 10x earnings on the credit card spend is a return of 5% on your IHG hotel purchases. That’s a solid return. Even the $550 annual fee that you get from Chase Sapphire Reserve’s 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for travel spending amounts to just a slightly better 6% return.

The IHG Premier Card also earns 2x at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1x on everything else. As TPG only values IHG points at 0.5 cents each, that’s only a 1% return on gas, groceries and restaurants, so you’re able to get a better return with other cards for groceries and gas purchases.

Related: Best credit cards for restaurants and dining out

Global Entry or TSA Precheck application credit: You’ll receive up to $100 reimbursement when you apply for either Global Entry or TSA Precheck every four years. This is another excellent way to justify paying the ongoing $89 annual fee.

20% discount on buying points: This perk was heralded in the card’s rollout, but unfortunately, it didn’t pan out as we expected. The discount can’t be combined with any other promotion. So, while this benefit will save you a little if you need points in a pinch, it doesn’t move the value needle for most potential cardholders.

Read our full IHG Rewards Premier credit card review.

Application rules

You can have multiple IHG credit cards but know that the IHG Premier card, like other Chase cards, is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. This means if you’ve opened five or more personal credit card accounts across all banks in the last 24 months, Chase is unlikely to approve you.

Use IHG points to relax at the Kimpton Seafire (Photo by Scott Mayerowitz / The Points Guy)
Use IHG points to relax at the Kimpton Seafire on Grand Cayman. (Photo by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

With a bonus of 150,000 points, the fourth award night benefit, an opportunity to earn up to 25x total points on IHG purchases and IHG Platinum Elite status, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card makes a solid case for itself — especially with just an $89 annual fee that’s waived the first year.

While we don’t recommend it as your everyday spending card, it fits well in a credit card portfolio as a specialty card for the perks and the annual award night each card anniversary.

Here’s the link to apply now for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card with a 150,000-point bonus and waived annual fee for the first year.

Featured photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon. 

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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