Points and Pixie Dust points out that the new card on offer appears to be an IHG Rewards MasterCard.
IHG Rewards promotes it here.
Here’s the offer:
This is one of those cards that is ‘good to have but not very good for spending money on’ and never hits the top of my list because IHG Rewads points – while very easy to earn through stays – frustrate me to actually use .. not because of availability but because there’s no option to use points for better than a base room, and because while some hotels may go above and beyond the terms and conditions of the program do not require most elite benefits to be honored when using points (or other free nights).
The card has a $0 fee the first year and offerings 60,000 points after $1000 spend within 3 months, a bit more than a free night at top hotels and which of course can be stretched further. I value IHG Rewards points at a bit less than 0.6 cents apiece so this bonus is effectively worth ~ $350.
It comes with an annual free night on cardmember renewal (subsequent years after year one are $49), 10% back on points redemptions, IHG Rewards Platinum status, as well as no foreign transaction fees.
Earning is 5 points per dollar at IHG Rewards hotels (I’d much rather earn 2 Chase points from Sapphire Preferred Card by a long distance), 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants (which are worth less to me than one airline mile), and 1 point everywhere else (which is better than earning nothing but I’d never put a non-bonused charge on this card).
What’s interesting is that the new IHG Rewards card is a MasterCard while Chase predominantly issues Visas, and has been moving away from MasterCard with products that have been of that flavor in the past.
Chase and Visa are closely aligned. But what I only really understood fully a year and a half ago is that each product is a negotiation between the issuing bank, between the payment network (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), and between the co-brand partner.
It’s not that Visa or MasterCard picks the benefits, but they want to attract the charge volume from the card so are part of negotiations and will give a break on their transaction fees as part of a deal.
I imagine that MasterCard wants to keep its (small) foothold with Chase, and so was willing to go out of its way to cut a very good arrangement here.
(Note that cards the IHG Rewards card does not offer any credit to me at the time of this writing, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card does. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)