IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card review

Published: October 24, 2019

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Published: October 24, 2019

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
2.7 rating
2.7 rating
2.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.5
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.8
Rewards Flexibility: 4.1
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 3.6

In a Nutshell:

The IHG Rewards Club Traveler card is a decent card for IHG loyalists, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of perks.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 15 points total per dollar on IHG hotel stays
  • 2 points per dollar on gas station, grocery store and restaurant purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
60,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months

Annual Bonus

None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$221

APR
17.74-24.74% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

Pros

  • Points don’t expire as long as card is active every 12 months
  • No blackout dates
  • Redeem for reward nights, merchandise, gift cards, travel purchases and charitable donations
  • Pay with points plus cash at any hotel

Cons

  • Redemption options other than rewards nights have poor value
  • Generally expensive rewards chart that gets devalued every year
  • Limited rewards inventory

Customer Experience

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 Rewards Club Traveler card comes with a large sign-up bonus and decent rewards rate on IHG hotel stays, it doesn’t pack in nearly as many extra benefits as the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Despite having no annual fee, its perks fail to impress.

Good sign-up bonus

The IHG Rewards Club Traveler card comes with a pretty good sign-up bonus – 60,000 points if you spend $2,000 in the first three months. This is a pretty easy spend threshold to reach, and the bonus is enough for a reward night in a high-end IHG property.

While this is not the largest bonus you can find on a hotel rewards card, it is very competitive for a card with no annual fee.

Decent rewards rate on IHG hotel stays

If you frequently stay at IHG brand properties – such as Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza – the IHG Rewards Club Traveler card offers a decent rewards rate on these purchases. You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on IHG stays if you pay with the IHG Rewards Club Traveler card, plus an additional 10 points per dollar on IHG stays as an IHG Rewards Club Member (if you’re not already a member, you’re automatically enrolled upon approval). Plus, the IHG Traveler card awards users for other common purchases, offering 2 points per dollar on gas, groceries and dining.

Inflated points

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 60,000-point sign-up bonus and 15-points-per-dollar total IHG stay rewards rate sound impressive, they are actually worth less than similar rewards 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, a $30 spa credit and one free Amazon Kindle book per quarter.

If you opt for the pricier IHG Rewards Club 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 Rewards Club cardholders can find a property that meets their needs.

Few extra perks

The IHG Rewards Club Traveler card doesn’t come with many perks for travelers. The IHG Rewards Club Premier card, on the other hand, offers benefits such as statement credits for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, an anniversary free night reward and automatic elite status for $89 per year. Keep in mind, however, that the IHG Rewards Club Traveler card charges no annual fee

You can still earn plenty of hotel rewards points at a decent rate with the IHG Rewards Club 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 Rewards Club 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 Rewards Club Traveler card?

  • Spend at least $2,000 in the first three months to earn the sign-up bonus.
  • 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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