New benefits added to IHG credit cards

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Chase is bringing good news to its IHG credit card holders today by adding several new perks to its two current personal cards, the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card and the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, and will soon be introducing a new IHG business credit card as well.

IHG includes many familiar hotel brands, such as Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Kimpton, Crowne Plaza and high-end Intercontinental Hotels, to name just a few. These new benefits, which will come into effect on Mar. 24, 2022, means both personal IHG credit cards will earn more points on everyday purchases as well as offer better elite status opportunities, the option to earn bonus points and more flexibility to use the IHG Premier’s annual free night certificates.

Let’s start with the IHG Traveler card — IHG’s no-annual-fee credit card — which will undergo a minor name tweak and become the IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card. Starting on Mar. 24, both new and existing card holders will have access to several new bonus categories:

  • 5 points for every dollar you spend at IHG Hotels & Resorts worldwide, in addition to points earned by being an IHG Rewards Club member (no change)
  • 3 points per dollar on utilities, internet, cable, phone and select streaming services (currently 1 point)
  • 3 points per dollar on dining/restaurant and gas purchases (currently 2 points)
  • 2 points per dollar on all other purchases (currently 1 point)

The IHG Traveler card will also come with automatic IHG Silver elite status, with the opportunity to earn Gold elite status — which is a brand-new IHG elite tier that will come with a 40% bonus on points earned from IHG stays and other yet- to-be-announced perks — after you spend $20,000 on purchases and make one additional purchase after that within the calendar year. This is in lieu of earning Elite Qualifying Points (EQPs) on purchases made with the card, which is one benefit that will be discontinued.

You’ll also earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 on the card and making one additional purchase throughout the calendar year. And the IHG Traveler card will maintain all its other existing benefits, including the ability to get the fourth night free on reward redemptions, a discount on purchasing points and no foreign transaction fees.

Get the fourth night free on reward redemptions with the IHG Traveler card.

The IHG Premier card will also get a minor name change to the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card, and will have several new benefits. It will also see a slight increase in its annual fee from $89 to $99 per year, though existing card holders won’t be charged the higher annual fee until 2023.

When the changes go into effect starting on Mar. 24, both new and existing IHG Premier card holders will start to earn additional points in these purchase categories:

  • 10 points per dollar at IHG Hotels & Resorts worldwide, in addition to points earned by being an IHG Rewards Club member (no change)
  • 5 points per dollar on travel (currently 1 point)
  • 5 points per dollar on purchases at gas stations and dining/restaurants (currently 2 points)
  • 3 points per dollar on all other purchases (currently 1 point)

In addition to earning more points, the IHG Premier card is getting a major enhancement to its annual free night certificate, which traditionally arrives at the beginning of the second year of being a card holder and every year thereafter.

Currently, this certificate can only be used at an IHG property costing 40,000 points or less. However, once the changes go into effect, IHG Premier card holders will be able to add an unlimited number of points from their IHG Rewards loyalty account to the 40,000-point certificate to redeem it at any IHG hotel for any night available at over 40,000 points .

Additionally, IHG Premier card holders will continue to get automatic IHG Platinum elite status with the card but will also have the opportunity to earn IHG’s recently announced new top-tier Diamond elite status. By spending $40,000 on purchases in a calendar year on the card and making one additional purchase after that, you’ll be able to reap the new Diamond benefits, which will include a 100% bonus on points earned on IHG stays, along with other perks to be announced. Again, this replaces the card’s existing ability to earn Elite Qualifying Points (EQPs) on purchases.

Other new IHG Premier card benefits will include $50 in United TravelBank Cash each calendar year and the opportunity to earn 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase on the card each calendar year.

All of these new perks are in addition to the existing IHG Premier benefits, which include the fourth night free on reward redemptions, a discount on point purchases and up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credits. However, card holders should note that, while not related to today’s announcement, the IHG Premier card lost its cell phone protection benefit on Jan. 1, 2022.

Get an annual free night certificate at the start of your second year with the IHG Premier card.

A brand-new IHG Premier Business card

Additionally, Chase will be adding a brand-new business credit card to its suite of IHG cards — the IHG Premier Business Card. The card will have a $99 annual fee and will also debut on Mar. 24, 2022.

The new card will look very similar to the IHG Premier, but with a few differences. The new card’s bonus categories include some common business-related expenses that should appeal to small-business owners:

  • 10 points per dollar at IHG Hotels & Resorts worldwide, in addition to points earned by being an IHG Rewards Club member
  • 5 points per dollar on travel and at gas stations, dining/restaurants, social media and search engine advertising, and at office supply stores
  • 3 points per dollar on all other purchases

Similar to the personal IHG Premier, you’ll earn automatic IHG Platinum elite status and the opportunity to earn Diamond elite status after spending $40,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year on the IHG Premier Business. The card also comes with the same 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year.

Also, like the IHG Premier, you’ll get a free night on every account anniversary (starting with your second year as an IHG Premier Business card holder), the fourth night free on award redemptions, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit ( up to $100 reimbursement every four years) and $50 in United TravelBank Cash annually.

Aside from the bonus categories, the main difference between the IHG Premier Business card and the personal IHG Premier is that with the business card you’ll have the opportunity to earn a second free night. With the IHG Premier Business, after spending $60,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year, you’ll earn a free night certificate that can be used at any hotel costing 40,000 points or less, Or, you can add points from your IHG account to redeem the certificate at any hotel of your choice that costs more than 40,000 points.

Finally, if you have one of the old IHG business cards, you’ll want to note that all legacy IHG business card holders will be migrated to the new IHG Premier Business card when it launches, though the effective annual fee increase for legacy holders won ‘t go into effect until 2023.

If you stay at IHG hotels on a regular basis, having one of the IHG credit cards can be useful to get elite status and perks at the hotel chain. With these changes, the cards look likely to become even more valuable, especially since the IHG Traveler will continue to have no annual fee, and the annual fee on the IHG Premier is only increasing by $10. The new IHG Premier Business is also a nice addition for those with a small business and looking to earn points — and receive benefits — on business purchases.

However, IHG is in the process of rolling out a revamped IHG Rewards loyalty program, and the jury is out until all the details of that new program are clear. But as of now, these new perks look like a nice added bonus for IHG Traveler and IHG Premier card holders.

Learn more and apply now for the IHG Traveler credit card.
Learn more and apply now for the IHG Premier credit card.

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