Approved For The IHG Credit Card… At Last

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Update: The below links for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express are expired, but you can learn more about best available offers here.

I consider the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card to be the single most well rounded hotel credit card out there. The card has only a $49 annual fee (which is even waived the first year), and offers the following:

  • An anniversary free night certificate every year, which is valid at any IHG property worldwide, pending availability; given IHG’s global footprint, that should justify the card for just about anyone
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card, which gets you bonus points, room upgrades, etc.
  • A 10% rebate on points redemptions, for up to 100,000 points back each year

To me, the annual free night certificate is hugely valuable. It gets you a free night at any IHG hotel in the world, and best of all, you only have to book by the expiration date, though can stay on a subsequent date. This is the only hotel credit card that gives you a free night annually with no “caps” on the category of hotel you can redeem at.

IHG-Free-Night-2

Given IHG’s huge global footprint of hotels, I think just anyone can get outsized value from that. I recently used my annual free night certificate on the card at the InterContinental Hong Kong.

InterContinental-Hong-Kong - 17

One way to really get more value out of the free night certificate is to have your significant other/friend/travel companion get the card as well. If you both get an annual free night certificate, then you can use the certificates for back-to-back stays, and I know two night stays are more useful to many than one night stays.

Up until now, Ford hasn’t had the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, though I figured it was time for that to change. Just last week Ford applied for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express, and was instantly approved. So we figured he might as well apply for a second card.

Keep in mind that the IHG Card isn’t subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so you’re eligible for the bonus on this card even if you’ve opened more than five accounts in the past 24 months.

So he applied for the IHG Card online, and got a message saying that he’d be notified of their decision in writing. Unfortunately I find that Chase approvals often aren’t instant nowadays, though they do often go through automatically. They just take some time to process.

Three days after he applied for the card he received an email saying that his application was approved — no further verification was required.

Awesome! If you don’t yet have the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, it really is the most well rounded hotel credit card out there, in my opinion. It’s also not subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so while approvals may not be instant, the card is easy to get approved for, and often it just takes a few days to process.

I look forward to us being able to combine our free night certificates in the future, so we can use them towards a back-to-back stay.

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Comments

  1. Yep, the wife and I both have this card. Staying 2 nights on certs at the Intercontinental Hong Kong this summer for the 3rd time. Not worth putting any substantial spend on it, but the certs are well worth $49. 😉

  2. I had the same problem when I applied. In two days, I was able to see the IHG card under my Chase account before I got the written notice. Chase ended up decreasing the credit limits slightly on my two other cards (BA and UA) which I don’t use. It doesn’t really matter with me since I don’t use those airline cards any more.

  3. No biz version of this, I presume? I’m starting to spit “f’ing 5/24” like a bitter old man whenever I see a good offer like this 😛

  4. @Rick — all personal cards count toward 5/24, but having 5/24 does not count toward getting the IHG and a few other Chase cards.

  5. @Tim, gotcha, and thanks for that clarification. Oh well, I’ve been extremely conservative about applying for personal cards and feel this one is worth it.

  6. You talked about using the anniversary night a few weeks ago, how did you get the night without having the card? Something is off…

  7. @ David — As stated in the post, this was Ford’s application. I’ve had the card for years.

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