[Now Live] IHG Card Changes: New Biz Card, Higher Earning, Top Up Certs With Points & More

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Update: The card changes described below and the new IHG Rewards Business card are now live. Welcome offer information has been added below.

IHG has announced some upcoming changes to their credit card lineup and, dare I say it, the changes are exciting.

Perhaps the best development will be the ability to top up IHG free night certificates with points to book more expensive properties, but increased earning opportunities, big spend bonuses and a brand new Business card could also be of interest for people who stay at IHG properties.

It’ll now be possible to use certificates at the Kimpton Seafire Grand Cayman, even when nights cost more than 40,000 points

All these changes will be taking took effect from March 24, 2022. Here’s a look at everything that’s new and/or changing.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Card

Card Offer and Details
Chase IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
140K points
140K points $3K spend in 3 months

$99 Annual Fee

This card is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule (click here for details).

Recent better offer: 125K + free night certificate [Expired 3/22]


Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Brand
10X
(6%)

Earning rate: 10X IHG ⚬ 5X travel, dining, and gas stations ⚬ 3X on all other purchases

Big spend bonus: 10K bonus points + $100 statement credit after you spend $20K in a calendar year + make one additional purchase ⚬ Diamond status after $40K in purchases + one additional purchase in a calendar year

Noteworthy perks: Annual free night e-certificate good at IHG properties up to 40K points per night ⚬ Ability to add an unlimited number of points to a free night certificate to book a higher-level hotel ⚬ Fourth night free on award stays ⚬ 20% discount on points purchases ⚬ Platinum elite status ⚬ Up to $50 in United TravelBank cash per year (must register your card with your United account)

Bonused Spend Categories

At present, the IHG Premier credit card has the following earning structure:

  • 10x – IHG stays
  • 2x – Gas stations, grocery stores & restaurants
  • 1x – All other spend

That’s made the card a good option when paying for IHG stays, but nothing else. However, the bonused spend categories will get more interesting from March 24:

  • 10x – IHG stays
  • 5x – Travel, gas stations, dining and restaurants
  • 3x – Everywhere else

As you can see, they’re increasing the 2x categories to earn 5x and adding travel as an additional eligible category. However, they’re removing grocery stores from earning 5x which is a shame because at 5x that might’ve made sense for some people, especially considering some of the other spending bonuses on offer (more about those in a moment).

Earning 3x everywhere else is also a vast improvement from 1x. While I still wouldn’t want to put regular spend on my IHG Premier card, it makes it a not-so-terrible proposition for people who would do that.

Top Up Certificates With Points

The IHG Premier card comes with a free night certificate each year on your card anniversary. Those certificates can be redeemed at properties costing up to 40,000 points per night.

From March 24 you’ll be able to top up IHG Premier certificates with points to book a property costing more than 40,000 points. That’s a fantastic development which is similar to Marriott’s upcoming change, but it’s even better than Marriott’s setup.

The reason it’s better is because Marriott will only let you top up with up to 15,000 points. That means 35,000 point certificates can still only be redeemed at Marriott properties costing up to 50,000 points, whereas IHG certificates will be bookable at any property worldwide no matter the cost provided you co-pay with the requisite number of additional points.

Update: IHG free night top-ups are live, limited to Premier card (and Business card).

You’ll need to top up with many points to book a stay at the Six Senses Laamu, Maldives

$50 United TravelBank Cash

Update, please see: IHG Premier United TravelBank credit live and disappointing.

IHG Premier cardholders will also receive $50 in United TravelBank cash each calendar year after registering their card with their United MileagePlus account. I’m not sure at this point in time if simply linking your card will automatically add $50 to your TravelBank or if you’ll need to purchase $50 of TravelBank Cash for which you’ll receive a $50 statement credit.

Either way, it’s a great additional benefit seeing as the annual fee on the card is only $89 (for now) and already comes with the free night certificate.

The United Club Infinite card comes with a couple of IHG benefits – IHG Platinum status and a $75 statement credit for stays at IHG properties. It’s therefore interesting to see a somewhat reciprocal benefit for United on an IHG card, especially seeing as the United Club Infinite annual fee is $525 rather than only $89 (soon to be $99). I’m curious if this United/IHG partnership will be developed even further given Marriott’s existing relationship with United or if these card-related benefits are coming about more on Chase’s initiative.

$100 Statement Credit & 10,000 Bonus Points After Spending $20,000

In addition to the increased 3x and 5x earnings on the IHG Premier credit card, these new benefits make the prospect of putting spend on your card more viable.

The exact terms of this benefit are a little strange (my bolding):

Cardmembers will now earn both 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year, starting in 2022.

If you’re already spending $20,000 on the card, I’m not sure why you then need to make one additional purchase.

Getting a $100 statement credit means you’re effectively earning 0.5% cashback when spending exactly $20,000 while also earning an effective 0.5x IHG Rewards bonus points per dollar.

Spend Your Way To Diamond Elite Status

The IHG Premier card comes with Platinum status automatically. Once these changes come into play on March 24, cardholders will be able to earn Diamond Elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year along with one additional purchase.

The value of this benefit remains to be seen as Diamond status is a new tier in the IHG Rewards program and they’ve not yet released details of what benefits you can expect to receive at that level. The fact that they’re introducing the ability to spend your way to this status makes me hopeful that it’ll have some meaningful benefits.

Holiday Inn Roanoke IHG

Redeem 3 Nights, Get The 4th Night Free Benefit Remains

The IHG Premier card offers every 4th night free on award stays which can provide some excellent savings based on the way that it’s calculated. This benefit will remain on the card.

Increased Annual Fee

It probably shouldn’t be too surprising that the annual fee on the IHG Premier credit card will be increasing.

It’s not terrible news though. For starters, the change won’t be taking effect until 2023. The fee will also only be increasing from $89 to $99 – a $10 increase. Even if you only valued the $50 of United TravelBank Cash at 20%, that benefit pays for the increase and so I’ll have no qualms about renewing the card for both myself and my wife.

IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card

Card Offer and Details
Chase IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card

FM Mini Review: This would be a great companion card for anyone who still has the old $49 per year IHG card because the 4th night free from the card would stack with the 10% rebate with the other card.


Card Type: Mastercard World

Base
Dine
Gas
Phone
Brand
Other

Earning rate: ⚬ 5X IHG ⚬ 3x dining, gas stations utilities, cable, Internet, phone, and select streaming services ⚬ 2X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: 10K bonus points after $10K in purchases and one additional purchase each calendar year. 10X IHG ⚬ Gold status after $20K in purchases and one additional purchase each calendar year.

Noteworthy perks: Fourth night free on award stays ⚬ 20% discount on points purchases ⚬ No FX fees

Bonused Spend Categories

Similar to the Premier card, the IHG Rewards Club Traveler card will get some improvements to its spending categories. Here’s what they are currently:

  • 5x – IHG stays
  • 2x – Gas stations, grocery stores & restaurants
  • 1x – All other spend

From March 24, 2022 the spending categories will be as follows:

  • 5x – IHG stays
  • 3x – Utilities, internet, cable, phone, select streaming services, dining/restaurant and gas
  • 2x – All other spend

Although it’s good to see an improvement in the card’s earning structure, it’s not really enough to make it worth putting spend on it unless it happened to be your only credit card.

Silver Status

The Traveler card doesn’t currently offer any status in the IHG Rewards program unless you spend $10,000, at which point you earn the fairly meaningless Gold status.

From March 24 the card will come with automatic Silver status. That might well end up being meaningless too, but Silver status benefits haven’t been announced yet. One positive aspect of this is that holding Silver status should mean your points won’t expire if there’s no point activity on your account.

Spend Your Way To Gold Elite Status

The IHG Traveler card will retain the ability to spend your way to Gold status, but the spending requirement will be doubled from $10,000 to $20,000 with an additional purchase being required after hitting that $20k spend.

That’s a hefty increase, but it remains to be seen if that increased spend requirement is justified. That’s because the new Gold status looks like it will be different from the existing Gold status, so perhaps there’ll be something about the new version of the status that’ll warrant spending that much. It’s doubtful though, especially seeing as you can get automatic Platinum status with the IHG Premier card.

10,000 Bonus Points After Spending $10,000

When IHG Traveler cardholders spend $10,000, they’ll earn 10,000 bonus points. That makes putting spend on the card a little more viable, but still not a great option.

Redeem 3 Nights, Get The 4th Night Free Benefit Remains

Similar to the IHG Premier card, the IHG Traveler card offers every 4th night free on award stays which can provide some excellent savings based on the way that it’s calculated. This benefit will remain on the card.

IHG Kimpton Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, California

IHG Premier Business Card

Card Offer and Details
Chase IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Office
Brand
10X
(6%)

Earning rate: 10X IHG ⚬ 5X travel, gas stations, restaurants and dining, social media and search engine advertising, office supply stores ⚬ 3X on all other purchases

Big spend bonus: 10K bonus points + $100 statement credit after you spend $20K in a cardmember year + make one additional purchase. ⚬ Diamond status after $40K in purchases + one additional purchase in a calendar year ⚬ Free night certificate (up to 40K points) after $60K in purchases + one additional purchase in a calendar year

Noteworthy perks: Annual free night e-certificate good at IHG properties up to 40K points per night ⚬ Ability to add an unlimited number of points to a free night certificate to book a higher-level hotel ⚬ Fourth night free on award stays ⚬ 20% discount on points purchases ⚬ Platinum elite status ⚬ Up to $50 in United TravelBank cash per year (must register your card with your United account)

In addition to the changes on the two personal IHG cards mentioned above, Chase is issuing a brand new IHG Premier Business card.

Card Benefits

The IHG Premier Business card will have a similar earning and benefits structure as the personal IHG Premier card:

  • Bonused Spend Categories
    • 10x – IHG stays
    • 5x – travel, gas stations, dining/restaurants, social media and search engine advertising & office supply stores
    • 3x – All other spend
  • Automatic IHG Rewards Platinum status
  • Spend Your Way To Diamond Elite Status – Requires $40,000 spend plus one additional purchase each calendar year
  • $100 Statement Credit & 10,000 Bonus Points After Spending $20,000
  • Anniversary Free Night – Can be redeemed at properties costing up to 40,000 points, with the ability to top up the certificate with points for properties costing more than 40,000 points
  • Redeem 3 Nights, Get The 4th Night Free
  • Additional Free Night After Spending $60,000 – This is based on spend in a calendar year and requires one additional purchase. The certificate can be redeemed at properties costing up to 40,000 points, with the ability to top up the certificate with points for properties costing more than 40,000 points
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit – Valid on up to $100 every four years
  • Up to $50 United TravelBank Cash – This is available every calendar year
    [Update: IHG Premier United TravelBank credit live and disappointing]
  • Annual Fee Of $99

The bonused spend categories are similar to the personal Premier card, although the business card will also offer 5x on social media and search engine advertising spend as well as at office supply stores.

Having those bonused spend categories could make one or more of the high spend bonuses attractive for some cardholders too. Earning $100 and 10,000 bonus points after $20,000 spend could be good, as could spending your way to Diamond Elite status depending on what benefits are ultimately offered for that status.

If you’ll be spending $40,000 on the card in order to earn Diamond status, spending an additional $20,000 to get a second free night certificate might be worth it too. If you’d be staying at a property costing 40,000 points or more, that effectively means you’d be earning an additional 2x points per dollar on that additional $20,000 spend. That final $20,000 of spend would therefore make this an effective 7x card in many categories; while that’s certainly not going to be for everyone, for people who can generate high spend and enjoy staying at IHG properties it could make sense.

Legacy IHG Business Card Conversions

It’s been many years since IHG had a business credit card (you can find details of the old cards here). There are apparently still some businesses that have continued renewing that card, so after March 24, 2022 those cards will be converted to the new IHG Premier Business card and thus will be charged the $99 annual fee.

InterContinental The Clement Monterey
InterContinental The Clement Monterey

IHG Rewards Club Select Card

Many readers still have the old IHG Select credit card which comes with a $49 annual fee, free anniversary certificate and 10% points rebate on award stays.

This card won’t be seeing any changes on March 24, nor will cardholders be forced to product change to the IHG Traveler or IHG Premier card at this point in time. That unfortunately means that the free night certificate from this card won’t be able to be topped up for more expensive award nights.

Final Thoughts

These are some very positive changes on the IHG credit card lineup. Having a whole host of new benefits and bonused spend categories along with a new business card opens up some interesting possibilities, especially if the soon-to-be updated IHG Rewards program ends up being as good as I’m hoping.

Those program changes are due to come into effect at some point in March 2022, but no official date has been given yet. However, the fact that these IHG credit card changes are taking effect on March 24 leads me to believe that the other IHG Rewards changes will take effect on the same day, although that’s still to be confirmed.

While the annual fee on the IHG Premier card is increasing by $10 in a year’s time, that cost is more than made up for by the $50 in United TravelBank cash that you’ll get each year. The introduction of the ability to top up free night certificates with points is an even better enhancement.

I’ve long said that IHG Rewards can be a great program when redeeming for award nights but not at all for loyalty. Hopefully they’ll soon be a great program on both fronts.

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Hank

Doc of Credit article on these new cards indicates that the new Biz card does not count toward 5/24 since it is a Biz card. Can you confirm either way? Thanks.

Greg The Frequent Miler

That’s true with all of Chase’s business cards: you won’t get approved if you’re over 5/24 but if you are under and get approved, it won’t add to your 5/24 count

Pam

I plan on applying for the Biz card but want the free night cert to align with my Ambassador cert which expires 4.1 annually. How long does IHG take to post the free anniv night cert from their credit cards (after passing the anniv date)? Or since it’s Chase, forever? (like WOH)

Deng

No credit card rewards are worth dealing with Chase. They will cheat you.

Frank

I am hoping to get the Biz card very soon and perhaps try for the Aeroplan card before 3/31/22 and get that 10K added bonus. Although Chase may balk at 2 cards in a week.

Another Jeff

Applied under the old 125k offer + FNC and got approved. (today 3/24/22)
They are not presently allowing me to upgrade my old Traveler card 🙁 Hopefully they will allow tomorrow once everything gets updated.

Last edited 1 month ago by Another Jeff
Tom

If the 140K points SUB is really their opening offer on this revamp, I can’t help but be really disappointed. I figured for a grand relaunch and brand new biz card, they’d at least match what was their current offer of 125K + FNC.

I guess I’m just disappointed theres no FNC in year one. I’m finally 4/24 and was planning on going for the new biz card, but I might wait for a better offer. In the meantime, the hilton biz still with a (uncapped) FNC in year one is looking more enticing.

Sco

I have a reservation for May that I booked a month ago with points at 46,000/night. I need to call in to try to get them to change it to apply my free night cert + 6000 points. Is there any reason to try to do this right away, or is it better to give them a week or so for phone reps to learn about the new changes?

(The hotel is no longer showing points availability on my dates, or else I would just try to do it myself online.)

Jules

Good luck dealing with the IHG call center!

Nessa

I wanted to do the same as well but afraid of losing my booking.

Sco

Well, I spent an hour on the phone between two agents and a supervisor and wasn’t able to get it done. Eventually got the same answer from all of them that they can’t switch it to use my certs because the hotel no longer has points availability on those dates. (Sounds like they would just be doing the same thing I would do online – make a new reservation with the certs and cancel the old one.)

With the current sale, there are a couple other hotels available at about the same points price that are actually nicer, but farther away from where I need to be. I might just switch to one of those so that I can at least use my free nights. And maybe see if an available room pops up that I can grab when I cancel my reservation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sco
Nessa

Thanks for the update.

Eric

One question I thought of this morning…since the Select card won’t be changing, would spend on it still be elite qualifying?

I doubt I’d seriously consider putting much spend on it to try to reach Diamond, but it’s a thought.

TIm

How do we get the United credit? Anyone done this yet?

Arny

FYI, I just this minute applied for the Premier card as a Select cardholder, so for anyone who wants to get their foot in the door, you may still have a few minutes before the transition to the new card and policies go into effect (as in not qualifying for the Premier card if you have the Select). Also, I’m under 5/24, so nothing unusual there.

Dan

If I have the old select card, can I get the new premier card or the business card? I never had the premier card before, I’m under 5/24, and I’ve had the old select card for several years. Thanks!

Dave Hanson

Yes on business card; yes for now on Premier, but will not last (see post above yours). I would apply for Premier now if you want it.

Borys100

If i have old $49 select card, and cannot get new premium card, i am over 5/24, if i product change select to premium, will i be able to top “free night” from select card, that i currently have, when i product change to premium?

Larry K

I’m not sure but I think the answer is no. I have a select free night and premier free night right now in my account and it seems to account for them differently. When you go to book a free night you have to say which you want to use and then it will show you properties and the select does not show top up properties.

I no longer have the premier. I downgraded it to traveler. But the free night cert that I earned before I downgraded still can be used with top up feature, but my select free night cannot.

Sam

About time IHG becomes relevant again. Looking forward to some positive changes, as I hold both Select and Premier cards.

Larry K

I have a select free night and a premier free night and it appears that IHG can indeed tell the difference, and topping up is only allowed on the latter.

Stephen W

I was thinking about getting the IHG premier but should I wait?

  1. Will the new UA $50 credit apply to existing card holders or will they have to wait until their next anniversary like with the Sapphire Preferred $50 hotel credit?
  2. I just missed the 150K signup bonus due to the 5/24 rule. Will they likely have a better bonus again for this revamp?
  3. Finally, am I giving up any perk or points by waiting for the IHG business card? It seems to have everything of the Premier plus a bit more.
tod

cell-phone insurance is returning?

Lukas

Glad to see the business card option. I’m 4/24 and I’ve been wanting the personal Premier card but not willing to burn the final slot on an app. This will fit perfectly into my plan for having both 10% off and 3-for-4 strategy. Thanks Chase!

Andrew

Bloggers love to dump on IHG but my wife and I love their Intercontinental properties at international destinations and have gotten great deals & value redemptions there. It’s all the better since I earn the points at holiday inn expresses along highways in small towns while on reimbursable trips.

Being able to top up the certs is huge. Keeping the 4th night free and the old 10% redemption rebate is even better.

I’d go for a the business card but already have 6 chase personal cards and 3 chase business cards… :-/

Frank

That’s funny, Andrew, I have the same number of Chase personal and business cards as you do.But I plan to get this new IHG business card. I like a lot of the Interconental hotels in Europe and we also stay at Holiday Inns near airports for first or last night in a place (in normal years).

Frank

I mean I will get the business card if the sign-up bonus is decent.

Larry K

Bummer about select not being able to top up the 40k cert. I downgraded premier to traveler last year and now have traveler and select and I’m not sure whether this news will make me change anything.

Don

Any idea what the sign up bonus for the biz card might be?

tod

will the travel-cancellation insurance remain?

Jess

Is there any way to use IHG points to book suites? It seems from various property searches like IHG is most beneficial if you’re ok with standard rooms, and suites are cash rates only. Since I am almost always traveling with my partner+kid, I typically favor other brands (mostly Hyatt) where we can book suites with points.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jess
Aloha808

Thanks Stephen! The new biz card looks very interesting.

Scott

@Stephen I agree with almost all of your points except for the suggestion that IHG will be better on the loyalty side. I say this because IHG executives have told hotel owners that their loyalty costs will be LOWER than the current program. Idk how that’s possible as the current program gives you jack, so it’s not a great sign. 2 final points, I would be on the lookout for details around restrictions to UA travel cash and I also hope this means that UA travel cash is permanent and not going away in the foreseeable future?

Last edited 3 months ago by Scott
John

I don’t suppose you can combine topping up certificates with the 4th night free deal? So, if I use 3 certificates and top them up to stay at the Seafire in GCM, do I still get the 4th night free?

Jeff W.

It almost definitely will not work this way unless they change how certs are used in general. Currently, you have to book each night separately when using chase free night certificates. Free night certs are different than point reward nights. The search category is even different.

paul5795

I dont think 4th night free works with certs. I believe it only works if you book the first three nights using points.

Jeff

I tried to do this and could not

dizzy

I’m a fan. IHG are generally the most useful points to me (Choice probably would be even more so, but I don’t have any of their cards). If you aren’t looking for luxury you can find great value. Last summer we redeemed for most places at over 1cpp on a CO road trip

Grant

Hi Stephen, these are exciting news, both on the Premier and Select CC. In my 2022 predictions post, I wrote:

“* Hyatt or IHG will allow you to use a cash copay or points copay to book rooms at higher category hotels than what free night certificates will allow.
* IHG Spire Elite Members will get free parking and waived resort/destination fees on stays.”

First one is coming true, let’s see what the old Spire / new Diamond status looks like in a few weeks 🙂

James

Two things I like specifically…
1) A business card that won’t (or shouldn’t) count to Chase’s 5/24.
2) Topping up free night certs with more points if needed. It’s listed as a benefit of the cards, but is there any chance that this will be an IHG program change that won’t depend on which (or if) card that you have?

BML

I also only have the Select Card and really hope the Top up would apply to that cert as well, seems simpler for them to treat all certs the same 🙂

Wes

Regarding the ability to top up free night certificates, is this ability limited by the type of free night certificate? E.G. IHG Premier/ IHG Business Premier certificates can be topped up, but a certificate from the old school $49 IHG Rewards Club Select cannot?

John

Given the FNCs are all worth 40k points regardless of which card they came from, I’d be surprised if IHG limited the old school one. Further, their IT department can’t even get their website to work correctly, much less delineate between FNC types….

Points Adventure

On the IHG app, the certs are organized by “Premier IHG Rewards Credit Card Anniversary Night” and “Select IHG Rewards Credit Card Anniversary Night”. So, yes, they can already distinguish.

Hank

If the motivation for these new offerings is to drum up additional customer loyalty business, I strongly suggest that IHG also invests in upgrading their customer service support. It has been abysmal for some time. If not, I see failure in launch.

Matthew

The top up is exciting. Having the older card I really want the Premier so I can do 4th night free plus 10% back. Right now I rarely do IHG stays since it’s hard to find good value. I have been pleasantly surprised how low points rates have been, but it is winter. Still not traveling a ton, but the travel I’ve done has been more inspirational stays, which would become way better by double dipping. I think the certificate can’t be combined with 4th night free right?

Matthew

Gotcha, missed that one. Thanks for the clarification. I pulled the trigger on using my cert in December for an HI that was only around 12k I think. Felt bad, but thought it was really expiring soon. Regretted it later for sure when IHG started offering points. The hotel accidentally printed the receipt with IHG compensation, only $28.

Alan

Can I top off my certificate from my Select card? That would be great!

Beth B

Will the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card still have the Global Entry/TSA Credit every four years that it has now, or is that going away?

Larry K

I have the $49 legacy IHG MasterCard. Any word yet on whether you’ll be able to spend $40,000 on that card to earn Diamond?

Brands

5x gas and $50 Travelbank cash are really nice improvements. Combining the Select and Premier cards is a great combo already, especially when you can buy points for .5cpp. Topping off certs is huge, sometimes I think IHG is playing games with me when I see a hotel that costs 41,000 for the night I need. Let’s see how the new tiers look, I’ll bet they announce that soon, as well…