Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Review

  • Annual fee: $89

  • Intro Bonus: 125,000 bonus points, after $3,000 in spend within the first three months

  • Earn an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user.

  • Spending Multipliers:

    • Earn 40x points per $1 when you stay at IHG hotels for the first 12 months

      • After that, 25x points at IHG hotels

    • Earn 4x points on all other purchases for the first 12 months of account opening

      • After that, earn 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants

  • One free anniversary night every year (up to 40k points)

  • Platinum Elite status

  • Fourth award night free

  • Save 20% on points purchases

  • $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit every four years

Free anniversary night

When your card membership renews each year, you'll receive a free anniversary night.

The free anniversary night is now restricted to properties of 40,000 points or less. Learn more about where you can redeem the free anniversary night in this post. 

How much are IHG points worth?

An interesting observation is that since the free anniversary night change happened, some properties that were impossible to book with points are now easily accessible. 

To see how much value you would receive from the sign-up bonus, take the retail price and divide the point cost to get the cents per point value.  CPP will vary for people since everyone has a different destination in mind.

$ cost / point cost * 100 = cents per point (CPP)

For example:

  • $500 / 60,000 points * 100 = 0.83 CPP

  • $100 / 40,000 points * 100 = 0.25 CPP

More examples of CPP valuations from other bloggers:

  • 0.6 CPP = US Credit Card Guide

  • 0.6 CPP = The Points Guy

  • 0.8 CPP = Ask Sebby *

 * I only use points if I get outsized value and happily shop around / will stay at Airbnb if it's "optimal"

Return on spend

Using the different CPP valuations from above, a standard 80,000 point sign up bonus is worth up to $640 in value.

If there’s an increased intro bonus, be sure to adjust the numbers accordingly.

0.8 CPP

  • 80k IHG * 0.8 CPP = $640 in value

  • $640 / $2,000 min spend = 32% return on spend (ROS)

0.6 CPP

  • 80k IHG * 0.6 CPP = $480

  • $480 / $2,000 = 24% ROS

Authorized user bonus

Another factor to keep in mind is that if you add an authorized user and they make a purchase with the card within the first three months, you'll earn an extra 5,000 points. The extra points will post to your IHG account, not the authorized users. 

5,000 points for adding an authorized user:

  • @ 0.6 CPP = $30

  • @ 0.8 CPP = $40

At the 0.6 CPP valuation, the authorized user bonus is valued at $30, and at 0.8 CPP, it's valued at $40.

Important: If the authorized user is interested in applying for the Chase IHG Premier card in the near future, do not add them. Otherwise, it will preclude them from receiving the sign-up bonus when they apply. 

Fourth award night free

When you book a standard room reward night of 4 or more nights, every 4th night is free. The fourth-night free benefit only applies to 4 or more consecutive nights at the same property.

Cardmembers can utilize the fourth-night free benefit on an unlimited number of stays annually. 

Important: This benefit does not apply to paid stays or points + cash bookings.

If you plan on buying points at 0.6 CPP, 4th night free means 25% off (4 paid * 0.75 = 3 paid).

  • 0.6 CPP * 0.75 = 0.45 CPP

10,000 Points for $20,000 in spend

Earn 10,000 points when you spend $20,000 on purchases and make one additional purchase each account anniversary year.

For most people, I don't think you should put $20,000 of non-category spend on the card. Even if you're generous and value IHG points at 1.0 CPP, the 10,000 points are only worth $100. 

  • 10k IHG * 1.0 CPP = $100

  • $100 / $20,000 spend = 0.5% return on spend

TLDR: Don't aim/try to get the 10k IHG for $20,000 spend bonus. If you get there by spending at IHG normally, great!

If you spend $20,000 on IHG properties:

  • 10x at IHG (standard multiplier)

    • at 0.6 CPP = 6% back

    • at 0.8 CPP = 8% back

Compared to using the Chase Sapphire Reserve:

  • 3x UR

    • at 1.5 CPP for UR = 4.5%

    • at 2 CPP for UR = 6%

Exception: If you qualify for the increased limited time offer to earn 40x on IHG hotels, it’s worth considering.

Increased 40x IHG multiplier (special/limited time offer):

  • at 0.6 CPP = 24% back

  • at 0.8 CPP = 32% back

Save 20% on points purchases

When you purchase IHG points with your Chase IHG Club Premier or Traveler card, you can save 20% on points purchases.

From my interpretation of the terms, it seems like you will only receive the discount when you buy points directly on the IHG website, and not for points + cash bookings.