Are you a fan of Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, or any of the other establishments under the International Hotel Group’s 5,200-hotel umbrella?
If so, consider an IHG credit card to get the most out of your stays in 2018 and beyond.
As of April 2018, the IHG Rewards Club Traveler credit card from Chase has a cushy sign-up bonus: 60,000 points after you spend $2,000 in your first three months as a new cardholder, as long as you haven’t already earned this bonus in the last 24 months.
This card also rewards you with 5 points for each $1 spent at IHG hotels: 2 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and restaurants; and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
A more exclusive version, the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card, offers 80,000 points after you spend $2,000 in your first three months as a new cardholder.
This higher-level card offers 10 points per $1 spent at IHG hotels and the same rewards in other categories as the Traveler card.
IHG Credit Cards Fees & APRs
Aside from the annual fee, the pricing is identical for both cards.
The Premier card has an $89 annual fee, while the Traveler card has a $29 annual fee.
Some cards will waive the fee for the first year, but unfortunately the IHG credit cards charge these fees from day one.
The IHG credit card has a purchase APR and balance transfer APR of 17.24% to 24.24% variable based on the prime rate.
Within that range, the better your credit score, the lower your rate will be.
The cash advance APR is 26.24% variable regardless of your credit score.
The cash advance fee is $10 or 5% of each transaction, whichever is more.
The balance transfer fee is $5 or 5%, whichever is more.
The card has no foreign transaction fee — a logical benefit that most have come to expect from a travel credit card.
The late payment fee is $15 to $37, depending on your balance. Returned payments cost $37.
Additional IHG Credit Card Benefits
The points you earn from your credit card get automatically transferred to your IHG Rewards account at the end of each billing cycle.
Points don’t expire as long as you have IHG Rewards Club program activity every 12 months.
The IHG Premier credit card grants you automatic platinum elite status in the IHG rewards program, which means you’ll get 50% bonus earnings on top of base points for hotel stays, along with complimentary room upgrades and guaranteed room availability with 72 hours advance notice.
The Traveler card gets you automatic gold elite status, which means you’ll get 10% bonus earnings on top of base points and priority check-in.
Keep in mind point redemptions start at 10,000, but you’ll also get your fourth reward night free with either card.
There are no blackout dates, and if you don’t have enough points to pay for your stay, you can combine them with cash.
For a card with a valuable sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards for frequent hotel guests, either IHG Rewards credit card could be a good choice for you in 2018.