In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!
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.
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.
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.