Depending on how frequently you travel, either IHG credit card might make sense for you.
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To help you rack up IHG points and get to your next reward night faster, Chase offers two co-branded IHG credit cards – the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card. Whether you are looking for a less expensive card to help you earn more points or are willing to pay a bit more for extra hotel perks, there is an option for you. Plus, both cards offer generous sign-up bonuses that are enough points for a free night in a high-end IHG property.
IHG credit cards: At a glance
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
|Sign-up bonus||60,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months|
|Estimated yearly rewards value ($15,900 spend)||$221||$426|
|Who should get this card?|
The two IHG Rewards Club cards are very similar, but they have a few key differences.
- Sign-up bonuses – For the moment, the sign-up bonus on the Club Premier card makes it the better option. You can earn 80,000 bonus points just by spending at least $2,000 in the first six months on the Premier card, worth more than $400 in hotel nights. The bonus on the Rewards Club Travel card is less generous, though still competitive with similar rewards cards.
- Annual fee – The biggest feature separating these two cards is the annual fee. The Premier charges $60 more per year than the Traveler, and neither card waives the fee in the first year.
- Elite status – With the Premier card, users are granted automatic Platinum Elite status. The Traveler card, on the other hand, doesn’t come with automatic status. While you can earn Gold status by spending $10,000 on the card in a calendar year, this is a big drawback for frequent travelers.
- Anniversary free night – Only the IHG Premier card comes with an anniversary free night award. If you can use this perk every year, it should more than make up for the larger annual fee.
Best for users who don’t want to pay a large annual fee: IHG Traveler card
If you don’t travel frequently and elite benefits like room upgrades aren’t as important to you, you might want to avoid shelling out for a more expensive card. The IHG Traveler card still comes with a good rewards rate on IHG hotel stays and can help infrequent travelers stockpile rewards to use every once in a while. You’ll earn points on gas, grocery and restaurant purchases in addition to IHG hotel stays.
Best for users hoping to rack up rewards quickly: IHG Premier card
The IHG Premier card has a much better rewards rate than the IHG Traveler card when it comes to IHG hotel stays, on top of extra benefits like an anniversary free night award and up to $100 as a statement credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck. Frequent travelers have plenty to gain from the cards additional perks, that can more than make up for a slightly higher annual fee.
IHG Premier cardholders also earn Platinum Elite status just for signing up. In addition to valuable benefits like complimentary room upgrades and two free Amazon Kindle eBooks per quarter, Platinum status members earn a 50 percent point bonus on IHG hotel stays. If racking up points is your goal, the IHG Premier card is the easiest way to get there.
If you frequent IHG hotels, either of these cards is a good option. If you travel occasionally and can’t justify a high annual fee for a few extra perks, stick with the IHG Traveler card. If you’d rather enjoy benefits like an anniversary free night, TSA PreCheck and automatic elite status, the IHG Premier card might be worth a slightly higher annual fee.
See related: IHG® Rewards Club guide: The best ways to earn and use IHG points, How much are IHG points worth?, 8 ways to earn IHG points, Best ways to redeem IHG points, The benefits of IHG Rewards Club elite status