New IHG card will carry free night, but higher fee

This morning, Greg reported that today might be your last chance to get the $49-annual-fee version of the Chase IHG card (see: Last call for $49 IHG card. The single best rewards card to have and to hold.). Spencer Howard at Straight to the Points now shares a screen shot of the new IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card offer that’s coming (see his post for the image, the details of which are outlined below). The new card will still carry a free night according to the image (Update: Angela points out in the comments that the offer states the free night is good at “eligible” hotels worldwide, indicating that this may be somehow limited)  and will have some other key benefits, albiet for a higher annual fee. At this point, we don’t have any firm details on a rumored launch date, and keep in mind that details could certainly change. However, if true, the new card looks interesting. That said, I’d still prefer the $49 version, so if you don’t yet have that you will probably want to pick it up ASAP. Details of the new card to follow

The new IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (rumored) key card details include:

  • 80,000 point signup bonus after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • 10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 and make one additional purchase each cardmember year
  • Annual free night certificate at “eligible” hotels worldwide
  • Earn 10X at IHG hotels
  • Earn 2X at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • Automatic Platinum Status
  • 20% discount on purchases of IHG points
  • 4th night free on award stays
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit of up to $100 every 4 years
  • 5,000 bonus points if you add an authorized user within 3 months of opening the card
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $89 annual fee

I’ve bolded what I find to be the standout details above and summarize them below.

Still a free annual night

The offer still includes an annual free night certificate good at any IHG hotel worldwide.

Update: As pointed out by Angela in the comments, the offer states that this card comes with an annual free night good at “eligible” hotels worldwide. No word yet on what constitutes an “eligible” hotel. Does IHG intend to limit the use? It looks like this new free night certificate may not be as generous as the annual certificate that comes with the current version of the card.

That’s still a good deal at $89, though obviously not as exciting as $49 each year.

20% discount on IHG point purchases

On the other hand, the 20% discount on purchases of IHG points could be very interesting. It was recently possible to buy points for 0.5 cents per point (See: (EXPIRED) Buy IHG Rewards Club Points With 100% Bonus – Pay Less Than 0.5 cpp). Saving an additional 20% would drop the cost down to 0.4 cents per point, which is certainly below the Reasonable Redemption Value for IHG points. Will this also apply to points purchases made through cash-and-points bookings? It’s hard to say for sure, but it might given the way IHG processes cash-and-points bookings.

No more 10% rebate on redemptions?

Unfortunately, I do not see the ability to get 10% back on point redemptions (a current benefit of the apparently soon-to-be-defunct IHG Rewards Club Select card) — so that 20% discount on point purchases may not be quite as generous as it initially sounds.

It looks like this will no longer be a benefit on the new card.

4th night free on award stays

The other key benefit that jumps out to me is the 4th night free on award stays. That amounts to a 25% discount on award stays of 4 nights, which more than makes up for the 10% rebate if you regularly book stays of 4 nights (or even a bit longer). Combined with cheap points purchases, this could make for some relatively inexpensive 4-night stays in expensive cities. For example, there are a number of properties in New York City that cost 50K points per night. If you were able to buy points for 0.4 cents per point, that would mean award nights would cost $200 per night. If you’re then able to take advantage of a 4th night free booking, that brings the per-night cost down to $150 per night. Paying $150 per night all-in for a hotel stay in New York City can be a steal at many times throughout the year. In cities where hotels cost 30K per night or less, 4-night stays would come down to under $100 per night.

However, that relies on being able to buy super cheap points and making 4-night stays and being able to find award availability. I don’t usually have trouble finding IHG award rooms, but neither do I always stay in 4-night increments. For me, the 10% rebate on one-night stays (even cash-and-points bookings) is more valuable.

There is still a rumored $29 card

At this point, there is still a second IHG card rumored to have a $29 annual fee, but we’re not yet sure what to expect. It will amost certainly have a lower earning structure and lack of most of the other key benefits above. I wouldn’t expect that card to be very interesting apart from the signup bonus if it is not subject to 5/24.

Bottom line

We haven’t yet seen a working link for this offer, nor do we have a firm launch date, but we will continue to keep an eye on this as it develops. In the meantime, if you’d like the $49 card, time may be extremely limited on that offer. See the earlier post: Last call for $49 IHG card. The single best rewards card to have and to hold. We will continue to monitor the links on our Best Offers page and IHG Rewards Club Select page to maintain a working offer as long as possible — though that offer is probably living on borrowed time.

H/T: Straight to the Points

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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22 Comments on "New IHG card will carry free night, but higher fee"

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[…] Update: Details about a new IHG card have leaked out. As I expected, the higher-end card ($89) will offer an annual free night.  Still, personally I’d prefer the $49 card.  See: New IHG card will carry free night, but higher fee. […]

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[…] See this post on Frequent Miler for more leaked details. Short recap: free night stays, so does Platinum status, annual fee will be $89, no 10% rebate on […]

CaveDweller
Guest

I’ll b Glad to pay $89 then look @ the 4th Free stuff .A KEEPER @ $89 ..Maybe their trying to deal with the Citi Presitge card

Angela
Guest

Note it says free night at “eligible” hotels, not “any” hotel…

CaveDweller
Guest

We will find out my annual is like 12/1 if no deal just cancel I only need 2 cards not 14 like I have HaHa…

CHEERs

MTH
Guest

wonder if this is a new product and can you have both cards?

Anastasia
Guest

Well, I’m glad I got this card years ago. I’ll be holding onto it like gold now! The $49 night at their Intercontinental hotels that retail for $500 is a STEAL. Especially now that they’ve added Kimptons. I too also rarely stay four nights in a row, so that’s not quite as valuable to me – I prefer the 10% rebate.

OR97
Guest

“10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 and make one additional purchase each cardmember year.” Clarification here – aside from the spend bonus, is that a 10000 point bonus each year for a single purchase?

Seth
Guest

If the benefits are combinable and 5/24 doesn’t apply, I’d seriously consider keeping both cards. Two annual free nights (though I agree, “eligible” raises my eyebrow) for $138 plus 4th award night free plus 10% points back plus cheap point purchases (depending on how they get applied) sound like a fantastic combination.

Jon
Guest

Any word on whether it will be possible to have this new card AND the existing $49 card at the same time? I was planning to cancel my $49 card this Friday, as I am 2 years out from my last bonus (and the AF just posted, which I’d like to get back, since the free anniversary night posted as well), so was prepping to reapply within the next couple months.

If the $49 card is going away, and both can be held, then I would just hold it instead of cancel. Hope to get some clarity before Friday.

Abe
Guest

Should we wait to apply for this card bec of the higher sign up bonus, or go for the lower annual fee version instead?

meathead
Guest

hmmmm, 4th night free, 20% discount on points purchase and 10x on IHG spend? So when exactly does the devaluation start? I’m going to go spend what I have right now.

Lank
Guest

A devaluation happened very recently, possibly with the release of this new card in mind. For IHG fans, having both the 49 and 89 versions could bring a lot of benefits.

Fresh
Guest

For someone that does not have a mastercard, does noting that the card is a world elite mastercard give you any other benefits just like having visa infinite/signature?

Ruth R
Guest

I just applied and was approved for the $49 card. The annual fee is waived for the first year which I hadn’t seen mentioned but maybe just overlooked it

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[…] New IHG card will carry free night, but higher fee […]

Dave
Guest

Will people the $49 card have their cards be converted? Or will we be grandfathered in?

Geoff
Guest

Are they planning to convert the old cardholders to this new one, or can I keep my IHG Rewards Club MC with current benefits?

Dean
Guest

Does anyone know if you can get the New card signup bonus ,{80,000 points} if you already hold the older $49.00 annual fee card?