|Rewards Rating:||4.1 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||4.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience||4.0|
In a Nutshell:
The IHG One Rewards Traveler card is a decent card for IHG loyalists, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of perks.
Chase Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, 4th night free on reward night stays of four or more nights, gold elite status every year you spend $10,000, save 20% when you purchase points with your card
While the IHG One Rewards Traveler card comes with a decent rewards rate on IHG hotel stays, the card doesn’t pack in nearly as many extra benefits as the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card. Despite having a decent sign-up bonus and no annual fee, the IHG One Rewards Traveler card falls far short of higher-tier IHG cards.
Updated sign-up bonus
The IHG One Rewards Traveler card recently tweaked its sign-up bonus. New cardholders can now earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first three months.
This is down from one of the card’s recent high bonuses of 120,000 bonus points with the same spending requirement. Still, it offers solid value considering the card charges no annual fee.
Based on Bankrate’s hotel point value estimates, we value IHG points at around 0.7 cents apiece, giving this bonus a potential value of around $560 in IHG stays.
Decent rewards rate on IHG hotel stays
If you frequently stay at IHG brand properties – such as Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza – the IHG One Rewards Traveler card offers a decent rewards rate on these purchases. You’ll earn up to 17 points per dollar on IHG stays – 5 points per dollar if you pay with the IHG One Rewards Traveler card, plus an additional 10 points per dollar as an IHG One Rewards Club Member (if you’re not already a member, you’re automatically enrolled upon approval) and an additional 2 points per dollar with Silver Elite Status. Plus, the IHG Traveler card awards users for other common purchases, offering 3 points per dollar on monthly bills, gas and dining and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.
Unfortunately, IHG points are not worth as much as the average rewards point. When redeemed for reward nights, we value IHG points at around 0.55 cents per dollar. So while the 80,000-point sign-up bonus and up to 17-points-per-dollar total IHG stay rewards rate sound impressive, they may yield less value than the bonuses and ongoing rewards offered by some competing cards.
If you redeem your points for something other than a rewards night, such as a digital download, travel purchase or merchandise, you’ll get even less out of your points.
Fast track to elite status
Unlike many hotel rewards cards, the IHG Traveler card does not automatically grant cardholders elite status with the chain. However, you only have to spend $10,000 a year to qualify for Gold Elite status. This status comes with benefits such as early check-in and a $30 spa credit.
If you opt for the pricier IHG One Rewards Premier card, you’ll automatically be granted Platinum Elite status.
Large hotel network
IHG has plenty of available properties, with more than 5,600 locations. While not quite as large as networks like Hilton or Marriott, IHG still has hotels in cities around the world – ranging from midlevel hotels to luxury resorts. No matter your budget, IHG One Rewards cardholders can find a property that meets their needs.
Few extra perks
The IHG One Rewards Traveler card doesn’t come with many perks for travelers. The IHG One Rewards Premier card, on the other hand, offers benefits such as statement credits for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, an anniversary reward night and automatic elite status for $89 per year. Keep in mind, however, that the IHG One Rewards Traveler card charges no annual fee.
You can still earn plenty of hotel rewards points at a decent rate with the IHG One Rewards Traveler card, but frequent travelers who can take advantage of extra perks are better off biting the bullet and paying an annual fee for the IHG Premier card.
Why get the IHG One Rewards Traveler card?
- You frequently stay at IHG brand hotels and want to earn rewards points.
- You want to earn elite status with IHG faster.
- You want a hotel rewards card with a good sign-up bonus.
- You want a hotel rewards card with no annual fee.
How to use the IHG One Rewards Traveler card?
- Spend at least $2,000 in the first three months to earn the sign-up bonus.
- Use the card for all IHG purchases in your first 12 months to earn the statement credits.
- Redeem points for reward nights to get the most value.
- Book reward stays of four nights or longer to get the fourth night free.
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