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IHG Rewards Club Premier’s 120,000-point sign-up offer: Is it worth it?

If you're loyal to any of IHG Rewards hotel brands, the points can be valuable – but other cards might offer a better deal

Summary

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is currently offering up to 120,000 bonus points if you sign up for the card and spend up to $7,000 in the first six months. Is the offer worth it? Read on to find out.

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This offer is no longer available as of May 1, 2019.

Dear Cashing In,

I just saw an offer from Chase for a card with 120,000 points when you sign up for the card. It’s for something called an IHG card, which I don’t know anything about. Is it worth it? – Fernando

Dear Fernando,

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a co-branded hotel credit card. It’s always tough to remember which hotel brands are affiliated with each card, and especially so with IHG. The best-known hotel brands in the IHG Rewards Club are Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza and Kimpton.

Check out all the answers from our credit card experts.

Ask Tony a question.

See related: Earn up to 120,000 bonus points with IHG Rewards credit cards

Sign-up bonus offer from IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

In February, IHG announced it was upping its sign-up bonus on the card to an eye-popping 120,000 points.

You receive two-thirds of that amount (80,000 points) after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first three months, and the remainder (40,000 points) after spending an additional $3,000 in the first six months.

A few other details on the card:

  • Its annual fee is $89.
  • You earn 10 points per $1 at IHG hotels, two points per $1 at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, and one point per $1 on everything else.
  • You earn a free hotel night each anniversary year, plus a fourth reward night free when booking a four-night hotel stay on points.
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry/TSA Precheck every four years.

How much IHG Rewards points are worth

Now, 120,000 points is a lot. The sign-up bonuses on other reward cards are much less.

However, remember that hotel points tend to be worth a lot less than airline frequent flyer miles and bank-program points. That is, it costs a lot more points to earn rewards comparable to those other programs.

For instance, if you are looking for a hotel in New Orleans in mid-May, one option is the Holiday Inn-French Quarter for 45,000 points. However, if you paid money for that stay, it is only $105. That means each point is worth about 2/10 of a cent.

Another option is to stay at the Intercontinental Hotel in New Orleans for 50,000 points or $179. At those values, each point would be worth nearly 4/10 of a cent.

Those are pretty low values for points. In contrast, frequent flyer miles and bank points can be worth 1 to 2 cents per point and occasionally more.

Is the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offer worth it?

Therefore, it is important to consider that while 120,000 points sound like a lot, it might actually be no better than an airline card with 40,000 miles as a sign-up bonus because of the difference in value between the points/miles.

As to whether the Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card is worth it, as usual, the card will be valuable to some people and less desirable for others.

If you travel a lot and stay at IHG hotels, then the card will make more sense for you than for somebody who rarely travels or prefers Airbnb.

The earning rate of 10 points per $1 spent at IHG hotels could rack up points quickly if you spend money there. And the yearly free hotel night could add some value, too, especially if you use it at one of the chain’s nicer locations.

The points might have less value than the points of other cards. But frequent travelers who stay at Holiday Inns, InterContinentals and other IHG brands could make it worth their while.

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