Why You Should Get The IHG Credit Card

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Yesterday I wrote about the big value you can get from The Hyatt Credit Card. In addition to a huge sign-up bonus, the card has a $75 annual fee and offers an anniversary free night certificate that’s valid at any Category 1-4 Hyatt property. You also get Discoverist status for as long as you have the card, and can earn Explorist status when you spend $50,000 on the card in a calendar year. The card is a no brainer for anyone who is eligible and stays at Hyatts at least once in a while.

On that post, reader JJ left the following comment:

Hi Lucky,

What do you think about IHG card which annual fee is $49 and the annual free reward has no cap that you can use anywhere in the world. I have Hyatt card already and love it but I’m also interested in getting IHG card and want to know what do you think about that card.

Thank you.
JJ@OC

It has been a while since I’ve written about the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card. If this is a card you don’t have, you absolutely should get it. There are three great long term perks to having this card:

  • 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 simplify this as much as possible, being able to earn an anniversary free night certificate for $49 per year is a no brainer. I’m not otherwise an IHG loyalist, but I’ve consistently gotten outsized value with this perk. I’d argue the value of the anniversary free night certificate has recently just gone up in relative terms, as IHG increased the cost of redemptions at their top properties from 60,000 points to 70,000 points per night, and the free night certificate can still be used at those properties.

For example, last week I needed to spend a night in Geneva, which isn’t a cheap city. I managed to redeem my IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card anniversary free night certificate at the InterContinental Geneva, which would have retailed for $400+ per night. Booking that using a certificate on a $49 annual fee card was a no brainer.

This card isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, meaning you can get approved even if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. You also want to open this card as soon as possible, because the longer you wait, the longer until you get your first anniversary night certificate.

Even for someone who isn’t loyal to either brand, I think having both The Hyatt Credit Card and the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card makes a lot of sense.

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Comments

  1. Does anyone know how much activity needs to go on this card for it to not be closed. I don’t regularly charge to this card and am wondering if the annual fee is sufficient to keep it open?

  2. @Michael. I try to use it once a year and I have not any issues in all the years I have had it. Many years its for ancillary items I get on an IHG hotel stay.

  3. @Lucky. I clicked on the link to apply, and noticed that the signup bonus is 60K points. Just out of interest: what was the highest bonus ever offered? Thanks

  4. I’m waiting for it to go back up to 80K or more. Been watching it closely. Very interested in the card. Even after doing dummy booking it only offers 60K + $50 credit. Kinda stinks that as of right now, the sign up bonus isn’t even enough to stay at one of their top properties. Anyone have any historical data points that might suggest when we might see higher sign up bonus?

  5. Thanks for the tip; the Hyatt card doesn’t make sense to me since there aren’t much of them where I travel to but there are tons of Holiday Inns so this card would make great sense.

    I promptly applied but I had forgotten that I had credit freeze enabled on all the agencies, oops.

  6. @Nawaid Ladak. Thank you for the info! I think I will wait until (hopefully) the signup bonus gets back to that level.

  7. @PJ I just booked a room at their Crowne Plaza hotel in Copenhagen for 25K points. I know that minimum is going up to 30K. Their wonderful IC Hotel in Porto, Portugal is available for 45K points and that place is immaculate. The Crowne Plaza in Porto is also 25K right now. Just a couple of thoughts…

  8. Does anyone know about the 10% rebate on points redemptions, for up to 100,000 points back each year. Do I must use this card? Or any other cards will work?

  9. Absolute best cc out there. If you and a SO both have the card, that’s 2 nights in hotels that retail for $300 to $400 a night for a total of $98. And unlike some certificates (I’m looking at you Marriott) it’s good at their top properties for an entire year.

  10. My wife and I used it in Bora Bora to get 2 nights in an over-water bungalow a few years back. This is the absolute best deal out there.

  11. On January 19th I tried using my annual free night at the Z Ocean South Beach. An agent told me that they won’t honor it and not because of availaility, but because they wanted it to be charged or paid in cash. I stayed at the Hampton Inn instead.
    Two years ago I stayed there using the free night and got an upgrade.

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