Can You Get The IHG Card Even If You’re Already An Authorized User On It?

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As I wrote about a few days ago, there’s an increased sign-up bonus on the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which I consider to be one of the all around most compelling hotel credit cards out there. The card has a sign-up bonus of 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $1,000 on the card within the first three months, plus an additional 5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user and having them make a purchase within the same timeframe.

The card has a $49 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

There are three reasons that this card should be a no brainer for just about anyone:

  • 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

This is the lowest annual fee hotel card to offer an annual free night certificate, and it’s also the only hotel credit card to offer an annual free night certificate without a cap on the days of the week or category of hotel where you can redeem. So just for paying the $49 annual fee you’ll get an annual free night certificate that can be used at the world’s top InterContinental properties.

Reader David L asked the following question regarding the sign-up bonus on this card:

So my wife has the card now and in an authorized user. Can I apply and get the card with the 80k signup bonus?

The kicker is that we have separate residences in two different states. Legitimately.

This is something that’s worth clarifying with the IHG Card, though the answer is the same for all cards. When a sign-up bonus on a card isn’t open to existing cardmembers, that doesn’t include authorized users. In other words, as long as you aren’t the primary cardmember on an account, you’re eligible for the bonus on the card.

The IHG Card is one where you absolutely want to be the primary cardmember, unlike with some other cards. This isn’t just about the sign-up bonus, but also about the annual free night certificate. Every primary cardmember gets an anniversary free night certificate, so if you and your spouse both have the card, you can potentially get two free nights every year, which you can use for back-to-back stays.

Lastly, keep in mind that this card isn’t subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so you’re eligible for it even if you’ve opened more than five new accounts in the past 24 months.

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Comments

  1. I wrote an answer but unfortunately it did not post, so I have to rewrite it.

    Additional users just count toward the primary users’ expenditure, but the activity does not count toward their credit score. Additional users are also not legally responsible for the activity on the card. Even if the primary user has an agreement between the two people that he or she would be self responsible, if there is a dispute, the card company will go after the primary user.

    AmEx divides users giving them a slightly different credit card number and divides the activity on the bill, for security and convenience purposes. Visa and MasterCard lump all of the activity together and the additional user has the same card number.

    The benefits are an important part to discuss. Additional users are entitled to some benefits, but not others. The primary user will receive any special bonuses and similar benefits that the supplementary users engage in. Some benefits are per individual such as Priority Pass membership, while other benefits are only for the primary card holder such as complementary club access with the Ritz Carlton card. If you are a supplementary user, in some cases you can get the benefits and have it not count against the primary holder’s usage depending on your negotiation with the decision makers, such as at a hotel. Most of the cash related benefits that credit cards give such as the travel allowance is to share.

  2. 1) By “anniversary free night”, does it mean I can only redeem it during the anniversary of my card? Or is it once a year anytime?
    2) Can I convert IHG Rewards Club points to Chase points (not sure what the Chase points are called) as both are Chase cards? I am planning to get Chase Sapphire, but want to check if the points are transferable.

  3. @ js — Starting on your first anniversary you’ll get a certificate valid for 12 months, so you can redeem it whenever you want to stay. You can convert Chase Ultimate Rewards points into IHG Rewards Club points, but not the other way around. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  4. Excellent! Thanks Lucky.
    Just one question, are you replying to me while you are in air?! 😉 if so, which airline! haha

  5. How long does this signup bonus promotion go for? I don’t see an end date listed on their application page.

  6. Hello,
    if I spend $1000 a week after I just open account so
    can I qualify for Free anniversary Night for next 2-3 weeks because we have plan to travel on this month
    or I need to wait after three months to get Free anniversary?

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