Intercontinental Geneva

I’ll admit it. This offer caught me by surprise…

When Chase launched a sign-up bonus of 120,000 IHG points on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card with a minimum spend of $5,000 in 3 months, I figured we’d seen the peak for this card. Well, I was wrong. Today, Chase launched a new sign-up bonus offer of 125,000 IHG points.

Why should this matter to you?

Well, too often we see people focus on IHG’s Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands and forget about the amazing Intercontinental properties they have across the globe. Of course, there’s a place for just about all hotel brands, but with the IHG Premier Card, there are some clever ways you can book some awesome luxury stays at a fraction of the price.

Let’s take a look at you how you can do this.

Sign-Up Bonus: 125,000 IHG Points

Let’s start with the obvious, the sign-up bonus. The bonus with the IHG Premier Card has fluctuated between 80,000 and 120,000 points but 125,000 points is a new one. To earn the 125,000 IHG points, you’ll need to spend $3,000 within the first 3 months with the card. Notice that that’s actually less than the minimum spend requirement that was attached to the 120,000-point offer. Sounds good to me.

If the IHG Premier Card has been on your radar, this is the time to give it some serious thought if you want to earn the most points possible.

25X At IHG Hotels

Additionally, during your first year with the card, you’ll earn 25X on IHG hotel stays which is 15X more than the usual 10X. Now, Chase advertises this as 40X on IHG stays but that factors in the points you earn with IHG regardless of which credit card you use to pay plus the bonus you receive from Platinum Elite status — which comes with the IHG Premier Card. Either way, that extra 15X IHG points is a nice boost.

4X On Everything

The IHG Premier card typically earns 2X on three bonus categories:

  • Gas
  • Groceries
  • Restaurants

All other purchases earn a measly 1X though. As part of the sign-up bonus, all purchases get a bump to 4X for during your first year with the card. That’s significantly better for spend that doesn’t fall into a bonus category. It wouldn’t make me skip using the Chase Sapphire Reserve on dining purchases, but it’s certainly a nice boost.

IHG Premier Card Benefits

The IHG Premier Card comes with several perks that are worth considering. However, you might be surprised that the best perks might not even be the bonus categories.

Free Night Certificate

Intercontinental Mauritius

On your account anniversary, you will receive a free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property that requires no more than 40,000 IHG points per night.

When you think about how expensive hotels are in some cities — London, I’m looking at you, you can get some serious value out of this perk. You can easily book a night at a hotel that would normally cost over $300 per night.

Now, consider the fact that the annual fee is $89. Wouldn’t you trade $89 for a $300 hotel night? If you like to travel, and we assume you do since you’re here, we’re betting the answer is yes.

4th-Night Free Award Stays

Intercontinental Geneva Room

When it comes to award stays, the IHG Premier Card makes 4-night stays the ideal length thanks it’s 4th-night free perk. It’s hard not to love using points for 3 nights to and receiving a bonus night on the house.

Think about it, if you wanted to book an award stay at the Intercontinental Genève, you’d need 45,000 points per night. With the 4th-night benefit, you could book 4 nights for 135,000 IHG points instead of 180,000 points. That means the welcome bonus alone would put you close to enough points.

20% Discount When You Buy IHG Points

IHG 20% Discount On Points

If you’re running a bit short on the points required for an award stay, you can receive a 20% discount when you buy IHG points. This is a great option if you’re ready to book and there isn’t an IHG points promo at that time.

Think about the example above. If you wanted to use the 4th-night free perk, you’d need an additional 10,000 IHG points which you could buy for $108 thanks to the 20% discount.

When you consider that rooms at Intercontinental Genève often go for over $350 per night — sometimes even $500, paying $108 to top off your IHG account is a great way to go.

Even when factoring in the cost of buying some points, you could still get over 1 cent per point in value on a stay at this luxury property. When you consider IHG points are generally worth about 0.5 cents each, this is a killer deal.

The only downside to this perk is that it cannot be combined with promotional IHG points sales.

Bonus Categories

If you plan on booking cash stays at IHG properties, you can earn 10X points when paying with the IHG Premier Card. This is a very good return on an IHG stay that can be even better if you have a Reward Nights Faster bonus for using your IHG card.

Reward Nights Faster

If you’re wondering what Reward Nights Faster is, it’s the new branding of the Accelerate offers. The concept remains the same, hit certain targets with IHG and earn bonus points.

Additionally, the IHG Premier Card earns 2X at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. However, there are several cards that earn more — and more valuable — points on these categories.

Platinum Elite Status

While IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite status doesn’t provide lounge access or free breakfast, it doesn’t hurt to have it. If nothing else, you’ll earn some bonus points on your cash stays. You can even earn Spire Elite by spending on the IHG Premier Card. To earn Spire Elite, you need to earn 75,000 IHG Points in a calendar year. That can take a while between cash stays and earning 2X and 1X on the IHG Premier. However, it’s quite a bit easier to your first year with the card when you’re earning 4X on everything.

Global Entry Or TSA PreCheck Statement Credit

Additionally, you’ll also receive a credit for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four years. Since many credit cards offer this perk these days, you might consider using it for a friend or family member to improve their travel experience.

Are You Eligible For the IHG Premier Card?

Since the IHG Premier Card falls under the purview of the Chase 5/24 rule, you’ll want to make sure you haven’t opened 5 personal cards and any Capital One or Discover business cards in the last 24 months. If you haven’t, you’ll be eligible.

We’d still prioritize getting Chase Ultimate Rewards cards first but this could be a great complementary card to add to your wallet.

Final Thoughts

While our focus is usually how to earn the most points possible at all times, some cards have perks that make them worth keeping even if you don’t spend on them regularly. The IHG Premier Card comes with a few perks that fit that bill.

Now, the challenge can be IHG award stay rates. With many luxury properties requiring 70,000 points per night that’s something to consider. However, if you’re looking for an extended stay at a Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza, you can get quite a few nights in a lot of places with this bonus. You might even be able to book a luxury Intercontinental property for a few days if you play your cards right.

Spencer Howard

Spencer Howard is a credit card rewards and award travel expert. He’s living proof that points and miles can unlock many of the greatest travel experiences and uses his skills to tick off new bucket...

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  1. Does the $3,000 initial spend count towards the $18,750 (4x for 75k within 1st yr) to earn Spire Elite?

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