IHG Credit Card Reviews with Pros and Cons
If you’re looking for a hotel rewards card for 2018, the IHG credit card is an excellent option. What better way to start 2018 than by getting the IHG credit card and joining the IHG rewards club? This card has several huge perks for its cardholders, and we’ll be talking about them. However, the IHG credit card has disadvantages just like every credit card does. In order to give you a fair review, we’ll cover those as well. By the end of this article, you’ll know if the IHG MasterCard is right for your lifestyle.
IHG Credit Card Pros – Advantages
The IHG credit card gives cardholders a huge welcome bonus for trying it. When you get this card, you’ll get a 60,000 welcome bonus. Also, when you redeem it, you’ll at 10% back for an additional redemption. This totals out to 66,000 points, or around $539. If you go by the average hotel room rate of $116, you’ll get four free nights with points to spare. This is a very good incentive to give this card a try.
Keep the IHG credit card for a year and get an anniversary gift from the lender. You’ll get one free night at a hotel of your choosing. You don’t have to go away from home to claim this reward, and this is another bonus. Living in a larger city and staying at a hotel with a $300 fee means that the annual fee pays for itself. If you don’t have the money or time to go on a multi-stay vacation, this could be a short getaway. There are restrictions on this perk, but they’re usually minimal.
The IHG credit card makes it easy to earn points toward your free hotel stays. For every $1 cardholders spend at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores, they get 2 reward points. If you’re a rewards club member, you’ll get an additional 5 to 10 points. Additionally, you’ll get 5 points for any on-property purchases and reservations. This rate means you’ll get more rewards at a faster rate, and you’ll get more hotel stays.
Low Annual Fee
Even though the IHG MasterCard is a rewards card, it comes with a low annual fee. This is huge, as many rewards cards have a high annual fee. Cardholders will have a $49 annual fee, and the lender waives this for the first year. When you pair this with the large welcome bonus, it makes the IHG MasterCard appealing. This card is a bargain, and everything you get in the first year only adds more money to your pocket. Additionally, if you earn one free stay per year, you’re already justifying paying the annual fee.
This card gives its cardholders complimentary Platinum Elite status just for having it. You’ll get complimentary room upgrades, several smaller parks, and a 50% bonus on hotel stays. When you realize that this complimentary status costs around $5,000 a year in hotel stays, the annual fee is nothing. Additionally, cardholders keep this status for as long as they have the card. This is one of the bigger IHG rewards you get with this card.
Consistent Redemption Rate
If you’ve ever tried to redeem your points at different hotels, you’ll quickly realize they fluctuate. This can make it very hard to find out exactly what you’re getting unless you put it into dollar rates. With other cards, one hotel may redeem at 0.01, and the other may redeem at half of a penny. This fact means that the IHG rewards some of the most consistent across the board. They redeem at 0.78 on the average, when you redeem them for a free stay. This puts this card on a more valuable level than several other hotel rewards cards.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
If you travel and stay at a lot of hotels, you don’t want to pay a foreign transaction fee. With the IHG credit card, you won’t have to worry. There is no foreign transaction fee with this card. This sets it apart from many other rewards cards or normal credit cards. You’ll use your card as you need it, without paying an additional 2% or 4%. This adds up to savings.
Large Reward Redemption Pool
Once you have this card, you have over 5,000 locations you can use your rewards at across 100 countries. The IHG hotels include Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, EVEN Hotels, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express. You can also stay at Hotel Indigo, Hualuxe, InterContinental, and Resorts and Staybridge Suites. IHG rewards cannot be redeemed at Kimpton Hotels at the time of this article. There are talks to include Kimpton Hotels in the near future. Nonetheless, there are so many IHG hotel properties available for hotel reward redemption. This means you won’t have to worry as much about where you can redeem your free stays.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card Update January 13, 2018: Just as suspected IHG rewards can now be used for Kimpton Hotel stays. Early signs show that typically more points are needed to be used for Kimpton stays. With this in mind, you may not want to allocate as much as 70,000 reward points for a Kimpton stay. You can, however, use your anniversary stay at Kimpton, and that may be a better use of your hotel rewards.
IHG Credit Card Cons – Disadvantages
Welcome Bonus Fluctuates
Although the card comes with high IHG rewards, they fluctuate. This means that you may not get the highest rewards possible when you sign up. The welcome sign up bonus has been around 80,000 points before, and its currently around 60,000. However, 60,000 is still a very generous welcome bonus by any card standard. So, you shouldn’t wait to apply for it in hopes of getting a welcome bonus.
When you use this card, you want to pay it off every month. This is one way to avoid the higher APR rate. The IHG credit card has an APR rate of 16.99%, and it’s a variable APR. This means it fluctuates by your credit, and it can go up if you miss a payment. But when you compare this to many other rewards cards, it has a lower APR as most cards start at 18.66%. So if you have a balance each month, you will pay more, but it’s still less than many other cards.
No Introductory Rate
Many credit cards offer introductory APR, but this card does not offer this perk. This means that you’ll pay the higher APR from the start. If you tend to carry a balance, this can add up quickly. As people are trying to get as many perks as they can, they’ll most likely spend faster. So this could be a slight drawback depending on how much you spend and carry over month to month.
Lower Earning Rate
The base rate for points is $1 per point for redemption. Whether it is one point, one penny, or one mile, $1 is standard. With the IHG credit card, you get around 0.78 per dollar spent. Unless you spend at participating gas stations, grocery stores, or dining out. This may make it take slightly longer to gain rewards than you would with other cards.
Bottom Line on the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
The IHG credit card is a solid option for people who frequently stay at hotels. Its huge introductory offer coupled with its Platinum Elite status and its anniversary gift make this an excellent card. You can easily justify the annual fee, and your rewards should stack up quickly. All in all, the IHG MasterCard is a good option to look into for 2018.