Big Changes May Be Coming To The IHG Credit Card — Apply Now!

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I’ve written many times about how the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card is probably the all around most valuable hotel credit card. The card has a $49 annual fee (waived the first year), and in addition to the sign-up bonus it offers several long term perks that more than justify the annual fee, the most valuable of which are:

  • An anniversary free night certificate every year, which is valid at virtually 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, and more
  • A 10% rebate on points redemptions, for up to 100,000 points back each year

What it boils down to on the most basic level is that you get an anniversary free night certificate valid at virtually any IHG hotel worldwide in exchange for a $49 annual fee. This is such a no brainer, as you can redeem this at all kinds of great Kimpton and InterContinental properties that would cost hundreds of dollars per night. The past three years I’ve used my certificate at InterContinental hotels in London, Hong Kong, and Geneva.

I’ve gone so far as to say that the benefits on this card are almost too good to be true, though there are several credit cards where that’s the case. If you’ve been waiting on applying for the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, now is the time to apply. Why? Because it looks like this exact card may no longer be open to new cardmembers starting soon:

  • For a while there have been rumors of new IHG cards being introduced (a more basic version and a premium version), and based on what we know, neither of these cards includes an anniversary free night certificate
  • The IHG Card has been completely removed from Chase’s website, and the application links that were on Chase’s website no longer work

However, the card links through some other sources, including my referral link, continue to work for now. If you don’t have the card but have been considering it, I think it’s absolutely worth applying ASAP.

Since Chase and IHG aren’t discontinuing their relationship, my guess is that existing cardmembers would continue to receive the same benefits, and just that going forward new cardmembers wouldn’t get these perks anymore.

Getting an anniversary free night certificate every year for just paying a $49 annual fee is an incredible value. If you’ve been waiting to apply for the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, now is the time to do it.

The sign-up bonus on the card isn’t available to those who currently have the card, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months. Furthermore, this card isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, meaning you can be approved even if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months.

(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)

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  1. Tnx. Just went ahead and applied and insta approved. I don’t stay at IHG properties that often but the free night for $49 is definitely worth it (and sign up bonus isn’t bad for free either)

  2. @ Jordan — Nope, like all Chase card applications, this would count as a card towards the 5/24 limit.

  3. Is this likely going to be a response to what Hilton has done with AMEX? Will we see 3 cards with different statuses/perks?

    I can’t imagine anyone possibly paying $450 for a card that gives Spire status when Platinum ==> Spire is nowhere close to Gold ==> Diamond.

  4. @ Lucky, I’ve had this card for a few years and plan to keep it forever. We just applied through your link for my wife as well… Is there any risk of the key benefits (free night, platinum status) being removed from current cardholders after they introduce the new cards? I’d probably cancel if so (literally don’t even spend a penny on this card haha)

  5. WAIT?! You say in bold print that “This card isn’t subjuct to the 5/24 rule”, yet you respond that “like all Chase cards it would count” ???? I just signed up for IHG Membership and applied to the Card, and got the “We need to review and will send a Letter w/in 30 days” …
    Which means a BIG FAT NO.

  6. @ Surfdolfin — You can be approved even if you’re over the 5/24 limit. The question I was asked above is if applying for this card would count as one of the cards towards the 5/24 limit. In other words, if you currently have four cards and apply for the IHG Card, would you be at the 5/24 limit. The answer to that is yes.

    I wouldn’t assume that the 30 day message means that you’ll be denied. I’ve gotten approved plenty of times with that. Sorry for any confusion. 🙂

  7. Hi Lucky caught this by accident and was waiting for a better targeted offer but on a hunch i went back to my email and checked the last time they had sent me an offer. Two weeks ago was supposed to be good until 3/30. I actually applied through your link so maybe this is why but the link from my email that should have been good for another 4 days said offer unavailable. Just thought i would support your theory. The link through your OMAT worked but not the targeted one in my email.

  8. @ Evan — As far as I know they’d have to provide notice of any major changes that they’re making. Long term there’s a chance they might make some changes, though personally there’s no reason to believe they’d eliminate the existing card for current cardmembers. So long term anything can happen, but personally I wouldn’t be too worried.

  9. @ Nawaid Ladak — Personally I don’t think they’ll go that premium, but rather they’re probably just trying to lower the cost of the card by not offering the anniversary free night.

  10. Approved. Thanks for the heads up. I had been waiting for another 100k bonus offer but glad to get this given the circumstances. My 5/24 reset is now pushed back another two months.

  11. I couldn’t send a referral using the Chase site or my app, but it was still ostensibly an option via a link from my Accelerate page. It said referral had been sent but we’ll see.

  12. Was recently (last couple of months) downgrade to Gold with IHG, and I have this card. Has this happened to anyone else? And there was no warning about it, just showed up as Gold on a reservation one day. May be incorrect to claim it comes with Platinum Elite status still

  13. Do you get the free night the first year? It doesn’t appear so, just after the first anniversary… Am I reading this correctly?

  14. @ altadoc — Correct, you just get the anniversary free night certificate starting on the first anniversary (a year after you get the card), and every subsequent year.

  15. @ AdamR — That’s definitely not supposed to happen, it sounds like there’s a problem with your account. Maybe your IHG account and credit card aren’t linked correctly? I’d recommend calling IHG.

  16. Dang. I’ve had this card on my radar for a while, but I’m 4/24 and really want to get the WN card again to help with companion status. Plus I want to get the Delta Amex offer as well. Now this. Tempting to apply for all three, but not sure how wise that would be.

  17. I got an email last week from Chase saying my “new” card was on the way to replace a card I have that had the same last 4 digits as my IHG. This card isn’t anywhere near expiration, no suspicious activity or other reports from me that would get me a new card, but the email did say I might be getting it because “We are sending you a new card with updated features or benefits.” Very interesting

  18. Update – doh!

    The Accelerate link was only for the Rewards program, not the card. So *not* even ostensibly.

  19. Thanks @Lucky. I keep thinking that one day they’re going to downgrade me from Platinum. I speculatively transferred points right before they left Amex Rewards. They made me Plat based on the points and I’ve been Plat ever since with a few stays a year at Intercontinentals. It’s a nice status for me few stays and glad to spend $49 (and get a free night to secure that).

    Got instant approval and a stupid credit limit. I’m astonished as to the amount of credit Chase is willing to give me, even when they own my appalling mortgage! (don’t judge. It’s expensive here and I have a small house)

  20. In a post last month, you said you have to book within 1 year but can stay past then. I just got my first one and the terms say book and stay within 1 year. Is that a change, then?

    Mine expires 4/5/19 and I was hoping to use in Paris in June 2019.

  21. @Cindi
    You can book and stay after the expiry date with the Caveat – once your cert has passed the expiry date, you can NOT change or cancel the existing booking – if you touch it, your cert would be gone, you would not get a new cert.

    So if you are 100% sure of your June 2019 stay, then book it BEFORE your cert expires in Apr 2019 – BUT you would not be able to change the reservation or to cancel the reservation – you will lose the cert if you touch the booking made for stay after the cert expired.

  22. Was also waiting for sign on bonus to increase to 80,000 but just signed up. Got response:
    “Thank you for your request.

    We need to review your request a little longer. We will let you know of our decision by U.S. mail. This could take up to 30 days.

    Thank you for choosing IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card.”

    Others say they were instantly approved…hmm??

    Lucky, do you think those of us who get the card now will be grandfathered into the program where you get a free night a year, or no?

  23. Just another revenue scheme created by Lucky. What evidence do you have that they won’t offer the annual night cert with the new cards? Maybe they will offer 2 nights! How do you know people applied today will get grand fathered in? Radisson removed the benefit even for older members.

  24. @ Travelingnewyorker — Sometimes people get instantly approved and sometimes they don’t, I wouldn’t read too much into it. Personally I’d imagine they’d grandfather people in, so I see no reason the current benefits would change for current cardholders (or those who apply under the current terms).

  25. Received an 80,000 point offer + 5000 bonus after first transaction which actually expired 3/23. Called IHG Rewards Club who put me through to Chase. For some reason that process is important. Chase honored and approved old deal immediately with no problem. Thanks for the prompt to do this!

  26. Details according to FrugalTravelGuy:

    “Apparently, Chase is discontinuing the current version of the IHG Credit Card with a $49 annual fee and replacing it with two new cards: one with a $29 annual fee and another with an $89 annual fee.”

    “The details of the card with the lower fee include: 60,000 IHG Rewards points for a sign-up bonus 5X points per dollar spent at IHG properties $29 annual fee.”

    “The details of the card with the higher annual fee include: 80,000 IHG Rewards points for a sign-up bonus 10X points per dollar spent at IHG properties 10,000 bonus points after spending $20,000 on the card annually 4th night free on award stays Anniversary free night at eligible hotels Platinum Elite status Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit every four years 20% discount on point purchases $89 annual fee.”

  27. i just applied for his yesterday along with sapphire reserve and i just sm’d chase and they matched my ihg with 80k points with 2k in spend.

  28. @Chi most likely not granting complimentary stays at Intercontinental anymore for the new card members.

  29. I think it is more than a little likely they will roll people into one of the new card products at some point. It’s pretty obvious chase isn’t going to hand out certs every year that can be used anywhere and a $49 AF. I wouldn’t app for this card unless you just don’t care and want to gamble. For people trying to get under 5/24 They could end up setting themselves back for what becomes a subpar card. They certainly aren’t going to be issuing two different kind of certs going forward.

  30. This is a disproportionately generous card – we pay twice the fee and have to make £10,000 of spend before getting the same free night cert plus no points rebates. This leads to further and further points inflation.

  31. Lucky, any update or further news on this? Seems like the card (with anniversary night) is back up on the chase website…

  32. FYI I have had this card for years and just got a letter that after May 1, 2018, the free anniversary night is only worth up to 40,000 points – no longer good on properties that are more than that per night

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