Why Readers are Getting and Keeping the IHG Rewards Club Credit Card

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I’ve said that there are 6 reasons you should get the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card.

  1. Signup bonus. The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card is now offering new cardmembers 80,000 bonus points after $1,000 spend on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

    You also get 5000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the same three-month period.

    That’s more than enough for 2 nights at most IHG hotel properties (e.g. Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn). In fact it gets you 3 nights at most of their property — and as many as 17 nights for PointBreaks hotels.

  2. Annual free night. Cardmembers receive an annual free night at any of their thousands of hotel properties (and this includes even expensive Intercontinental hotels).

  3. Elite status. You get Platinum elite status as long as you’re a cardmember.

  4. 10% rebate when your redeem your points. As a cardmember you get 10% back on each redemption. Spend your 85,000 points from meeting minimum spend (80,000) and adding an authorized user (5000) within 3 months of cardmembership and you have 8500 to spend again. Keep doing that with all your points, up to 100,000 points back each year.

    Put another way, earning 85,000 points as your signup bonus — once redeemed and redeemed again — is really like 94,350 points.

  5. Low cost. There’s a $0 fee the first year, and a $49 fee thereafter. That’s lower than most rewards cards. It’s also a great deal considering the annual free night that isn’t capped but valid at over 5000 IHG Rewards Club properties.

  6. 5/24 Doesn’t Apply. Readers report success getting approved for this card even if they have had 5 or more new card accounts opened in the last 24 months.

When there was a smaller signup bonus, with a higher spend requirement, and before 5/24 took other Chase cards off the table for many (in other words, before the case for this card become even more compelling) here’s what readers were saying about the experiences with the card.

Christian writes,

    I’ve had the card for a couple of years, and continue to get exceptional value out of the free annual night. To each their own of course, but it’s not particularly tough to get more than $49 worth of value from the card on an annual basis. Without much effort, I’ve gotten a consistent value of $200+ per usage.

Robert Barron writes,

    [Y]ou can’t beat this card with a stick. For three years now, my One Free Night benefit has saved me $150-$100 per year….and I don’t think that’s anything to sneeze yet. I agree with the point to not use this card for everyday spend- and I don’t. But when you combine the Pointbreaks offers- which saved me $375.00 last summer- with the multiple promotions IHG offers throughout the year, and the point bonuses you get when you pay for your stay with this Card…it’s just a no-brainer.

TheAJ writes,

    Agree with the Robber Barron, this is the most lucrative card there is. You are getting about $300 value off the bat, and than $100 (MINIMUM) every year. The best part is, you never have to use it – and that’s what makes it so lucrative. You are basically purchasing a $49 option right to any IHG hotel room every year. Just store it away somewhere. What card offers anything comparable?

Harry writes,

    …AND on top of that you get Platinum status. Sometimes that is worthless but sometimes it is not, like the time I used the annual voucher in a European Intercontinental and got upgraded to a sea view suite with Executive lounge access thrown in for free, just for asking nicely! The Executive lounge benefit translated into a full board arrangement for me and my wife in a great hotel with a spectacular view all for a lousy $49!

James writes,

    This one used to fly under the radar.. Even if you redeemed your night at an airport Holiday Inn Express you’d profit off a $49 annual fee, let alone at the Intercontinental Singapore (just redeemed mine today!).

    Throw in the 10% rebate on redeemed points, better-than-nothing Platinum status, which at least earns you extra points, and I flat out love this card. Even if I never put spending on it except when I’m staying with IHG

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. I listened to bloggers selling this card before. Had it for 3 years. I cancelled mine. Never used the annual free nights. Rarely found an opportunity to redeem on IHG.

  2. @ABC – Then you’re a fool. How could you not even use a night at an IHG hotel near you for a staycation? I mean seriously… 3 nights in 3 years and you couldn’t use it? C’mon man… that’s not on the bloggers, that’s on you.

  3. @ABC – if you don’t travel at all, then you probably shouldn’t have applied for the card. It’s hard to beat the free annual night (for $49 annual fee) – even a Motel 6 stay generally costs more.

    @Christian – IHG points expire after a year of non-activity. You don’t have to have the card as long as you use/earn IHG points at least once a year.

    I’ve used my annual free nights on Intercontinental in Hong Kong and Kansas City, as well as Holiday Inn at Monterey, CA and Ocean City, MD at the peak of summer season.

  4. @ABC-It boggles the mind why you would blame this on blogger’s. I would be embarrassed if I posted a comment such as yours.

  5. Yes, Christian, this card gives Platinum status, which includes the benefit of exemption from expiry. Even if they change that rule someday, earning of points by small spending will prevent expiry.

    I used my free night of 2013 at the Intercontinental of Cannes, France in August (high season) when the rate was over 800 euros/ US$1100 a night! Security made my buddy & me show our room keys when entering, possibly because we did not look rich enough to belong there!

    I agree with Robert that 1 pp$ is way too little to make me spend on this card, so it stays in my sock drawer unless I go to an IHG hotel or need a few top-off points.

  6. @Pete,

    As a fellow blogger with credit card links, I can promise you that there is absolutely no reason to push this card because of the referral fee. It is one of the worst.

    In terms of the card, it is one of the best for that free night. The 10% points rebate is nice and Platinum status on IHG is mostly useless, but the free night at any hotel for the price of a $49 credit card is unbeatable. I have this card, even though I almost never actually use it.

    There is one other reason to get this card, even if it’s only tangential. A few times per year, IHG does some version of its “Accelerate” program, and one or two of the “tasks” for CC holders always relate to using the credit card somewhere. It’s one of the easiest tasks to complete and gets you that much closer to a quarterly bonus.

  7. I have had the card for 3+ years and love it. We travel frequently and can’t beat a night at a night IHG property. Mid to high-end accomodations!

  8. IHG also has other Reward programs. I recently signed up for the Shell promotion and save $.05/gallon and I can use any cc for that, not just the IHG card. You sign up and create an ALT ID which you punch in at the pump. They also offer incentives every couple of months – 2 fill ups and your next fill up is $.10/gallon saved. The most recent was 4 fill ups (at least 8 gallons) and one the next fill up receive $.25/gallon savings. That’s also remarkable considering I use the Shell down the street across from a 7-11 so the rates are competitive and I’m getting better fuel.

    I plan on using the free night in Austin or Houston in the near future. I was recently in NYC, but didn’t have the card with me on that trip otherwise I would have probably used it there.

  9. Warning. I already have the IHG card. So with the 100k offer I signed up my wife but instead of opening a new IHG point account for her I just specified my existing IHG account. The card was approved but today we got a letter from Chase that the offer was only good for new accounts.

    I’ve used this same approach with AMEX and the Hilton cards so this is unique to Chase.

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