IHG Premier Increased To 140k With Annual Fee Waived First Year, IHG Traveler 100k

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During yesterday’s Ask Us Anything, one of the questions we received was whether a reader should apply for the 100,000 point bonus on the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card or wait to see if a better offer appeared on the Hyatt or IHG cards.

I mentioned that the IHG Premier card was worth considering even at the 125,000 point level which is where the bonus was at yesterday, but it’s worth considering even more now because Chase has increased that to 140,000 points with the annual fee also being waived in the first year. The no annual fee IHG Traveler card has had its welcome offer increased to 100,000 points too.

Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City
Intercontinental Los Angeles Century City (image courtesy of IHG)

The Basics

Chase IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
140K Points
140K after $3K in the first 3 months

No Annual Fee First Year, Then $89

FM Mini Review: Good signup bonus. Keep only if you value the 40K annual free night and/or 4th night free awards.


Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand

Earning rate: 10X IHG ⚬ 2X gas, grocery, and restaurants.

Big spend bonus: 10K bonus points after you spend $20K in a cardmember year + make one additional purchase

Noteworthy perks: Annual free night e-certificate good at IHG properties up to 40K points per night ⚬ Fourth night free on award stays ⚬ 20% discount on points purchases ⚬ Platinum elite status.

Chase IHG® Rewards Club 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
Grocery
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 5X IHG ⚬ 2X gas, grocery, and restaurants

Big spend bonus: Gold status with $10K spend in a calendar year

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

Are You Eligible?

To get these cards, you must not be a current IHG Premier or IHG Traveler cardholder, and at least 24 months must have passed since you last received a new cardmember bonus for the IHG Premier or IHG Traveler card.  Plus, you must be under 5/24.

Chase’s 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

Quick Thoughts

Chase has offered a 140,000 point bonus on the IHG Premier card once before, but if my memory serves me correctly the $89 annual fee wasn’t waived that time. That means this latest offer is the best there’s ever been on the IHG Premier card which definitely makes it worth considering.

Notwithstanding the 140k bonus, it’s a great card to own if you ever have paid stays at IHG properties seeing as it earns 10x. It’s also great for award stays as one of the benefits is that you get every 4th night free when redeeming points. Not only that, but if you have the old IHG Select credit card which gives a 10% rebate on redeemed points, the two benefits stack with each other.

For example, we recently stayed four nights at the Candlewood Suites Virginia Beach Town Center. Thanks to IHG’s newly introduced dynamic pricing, the price during our stay was 15,000 points per night (although the number of points required for other dates was higher). With the 4th night free benefit on the IHG Premier card, that meant what would have cost 60,000 points only cost us 45,000 points. Also having the IHG Select card meant we got a 4,500 point rebate, reducing the total cost to 40,500 or only 10,125 points per night – a great redemption for a one bedroom suite with a full kitchen.

Candlewood Suties Virginia Beach Town Center kitchen

The 100,000 point offer on the IHG Traveler card is also a fantastic offer for a card which never has an annual fee and which also comes with the 4th night free benefit. It only earns 5x when paying for IHG stays, but if you rarely pay for hotels then that lesser earning rate isn’t as important.

Despite being a great offer for the Traveler card, it doesn’t really make sense to actually apply for it instead of the Premier card seeing as the annual fee is waived for the first year on the Premier card. Provided you can meet the extra $1,000 in spend required, it makes more sense to get the additional 40,000 bonus points, then product change to the Traveler card at renewal if you don’t want to pay the $89 annual fee.

Note that the $89 annual fee also gets you a free night certificate good at any property costing up to 40,000 points, so it might still be worth keeping the IHG Premier card at renewal. IHG sometimes ends up being generous with the free night certificates too by allowing you to redeem them at properties which actually cost more than 40,000 points on the night you want to book. Dynamic pricing has reduced the cost of many properties due to COVID, so there are currently far more properties in the 40k and under range than in the past couple of years. For example, when doing some research a few months ago, I found that every single InterContinental property in the US could be booked for 40k points or fewer.

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