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I’ve written in the past about the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which I’d argue is the single most compelling hotel credit card to keep long term. As I’ve explained before, the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card comes with a 70,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 within three months of account opening, provided you haven’t received the bonus in the past 24 months. The annual fee on the card is $49, though it’s waived the first year.
What’s important to note is that this sign-up bonus is marketed as expiring on May 31, 2015. So you only have until Sunday to be assured you’ll get this increased sign-up bonus.
As I’ve explained in the past, here are five things which make this card awesome:
Annual free night at any property
One thing that makes many hotel credit cards worth holding onto is the annual free night certificate you receive just for having the card. For example, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers an annual free night at any Category 1-5 property just for having the card. The Chase Hyatt Credit Card offers an annual free night at any Category 1-4 property just for having the card.
But the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card offers an annual free night certificate at any property worldwide. This is something incredibly valuable to almost anyone, given that:
- IHG Rewards Club is the world’s largest hotel chain, so chances are they have a hotel where you want to stay
- There are no category caps, so you can even redeem your free night at a property like the InterContinental Bora Bora or InterContinental London
Redeem your free night certificate at a hotel that would cost ~$450 per night
The best value annual fee of any hotel credit card
Given that the card offers an annual free night at any property in the world, you’d think it would have an annual fee at least as high as the cards which have caps on the categories free night certificates are valid at.
But it doesn’t. The card actually has the lowest annual fee of any hotel credit card with an annual reward. The annual fee is waived the first year, and just $49 per year after that. Compare that to the $95 annual fee on the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card or $85 annual fee on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, both of which are still extremely rewarding cards.
Platinum status just for having the card
You receive IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card. Now, truth to be told it’s not the most valuable hotel status out there, but as of now it’s as good as it gets at IHG properties.
I don’t stay at IHG properties often, but to give an example, I received a suite upgrade without asking at the Crowne Plaza Doha recently, just for being a Platinum member.
10% off award redemptions
Just for having the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card you get 10% off award redemptions, up to 100,000 points back each year. That means for the first million points you redeem each year you get a 10% discount.
IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks
Arguably the single best promotion in the hotel industry is IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks, whereby select hotels are available for just 5,000 points per night. Given that IHG Rewards Club points can be indirectly purchased for 0.7 cents each, that’s a way to get hotel rooms for 5,000 points per night.
Why does that matter in the context of this credit card?
- You get a further 500 point rebate when you have the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, given that you get a 10% refund on redemptions
- You get Platinum status for those stays, so hopefully get room upgrades, etc.
That adds even more value to what’s already arguably the most lucrative promotion in the hotel industry.
Every hotel credit card has a different selling point depending on what you’re looking for. That being said, at the very least, the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card is worth keeping long term. I’ve had the card for a while, and while I don’t spend money on the card day-to-day, I’ll hold onto the card for a long time. The free night certificate more than justifies the annual fee, and the top tier elite status and 10% award rebate is the icing on the cake.
Also keep in mind that keeping some cards open long term helps your credit score since it increases your average age of accounts, and this is a card that contributes positively to that for me, since I don’t see myself canceling the card anytime soon.
If you haven’t yet picked up the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, I’d recommend doing so by this weekend to be sure you qualify for the limited time sign-up bonus.
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.