IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
Although it’s not always the flashiest hotel chain, IHG offers a solid credit card in partnership with Chase. We’ll look at why the IHG Rewards Club Select is a card that just about everyone should have. Its solid annual free night perk, low annual fee, great earnings rates and other excellent benefits make the IHG card a contender for any points enthusiast.
While this card sometimes offers an amazing sign-up bonus, IHG Rewards points tend to get a bad rap due to the high number that are sometimes needed for redemptions. But at the same time, there are thousands of hotels located worldwide, so finding an IHG property is typically quite easy. Plus, there are some great deals to be had as redemption rates can vary dramatically, and the additional benefits that come with this card are best in class.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card offers and the value of the Chase IHG® Rewards Club points you earn.
The standard sign-up bonus for the Chase IHG Rewards card is 60,000 points after spending just $1,000 in the first three months of opening an account. You can also earn an extra 5,000 points by adding an authorized user to your card. They must use the card within the first 90 days to receive the bonus. That’s so easy to score some extra points!
Another nice bonus that you only get by being a cardmember is 10 percent of your points back if you redeem them for a free hotel night. This feature is automatic, and you can get up to 100,000 points back per year (if you’re able to redeem 1,000,000 points per year, that is). Considering the high cost in points for certain hotels, this is a nice perk to reduce those costs.
But the best benefit of this card doesn’t kick in until the second year. After you pay your first annual fee, a free night certificate is applied to your IHG account and can be used at any of IHG’s 5,200 hotels around the world. Interested in Paris? Stay at the Hotel Indigo at the Paris Opera House. How about Sao Paulo? You can stay at the Staybridge Suites. Then there’s the ever-popular InterContinental on Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. Or you can stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Paducah, Kentucky. It’s totally up to you.
What You Get
- 60,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months
- 5,000 points for adding an authorized user
- Annual free night certificate
- 10% of your points back if you redeem for a hotel stay
- Complimentary Platinum Elite status with IHG
- 5 points per dollar for IHG purchases
- 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
Your points will expire after 12 months of inactivity. However, it’s easy to extend the life of your points as long as you earn or redeem at least once per year. Simply put, if you make at least one purchase each year with this card, your points will never expire. Or, if you stay at least one night a year in one of IHG’s thousands of properties, you’ll earn points too, and extend the life of your balance.
What is the value of the IHG® Rewards Club Points?
IHG points are best redeemed for free hotel nights at one of their many hotel brands across the globe. While you can transfer them to airlines or redeem in other ways, the value of your points will greatly diminish. Like other major hotel chains, the amount of points needed for a free night can vary greatly from budget hotels off the highway in the middle of nowhere to high-end luxury properties in some of the most glamorous cities in the world. Generally, fancy hotels require more points for free nights, so you can stretch your points further by staying at less ritzy properties.
What is CPP and How is it Calculated?
Cents Per Point (CPP) is a way to measure the value of points. It tells you how many cents you get for each point you redeem by dividing the cash price of the hotel room by the number of points of an equivalent award stay costs. This can be a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the stay in both cash and points fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPP:
The Best Ways to Redeem IHG Points
IHG Rewards Club works like most hotel loyalty programs. Within their portfolio of properties, there are hotels that cost as little as 10,000 points per night or as much as 60,000 points per night. That is a very big range! With your 60,000 points sign-up bonus, that could mean as many as eight nights or just one night. And like all the big hotel chains, hotels move up and down in categories each year, so your favorite hotel could cost more or less in points in the future.
Candlewood SuitesDTC Meridian, Englewood, CO · Category 2Points price15,000pointsDollars price/Night$84.6
Holiday InnSan Francisco Airport · Category 7Points price40,000pointsDollars price/Night$128.04
Holiday InnMount Prospect - Chicago, IL · Category 1Points price10,000pointsDollars price/Night$78.96
Holiday InnHelsinki - West Ruoholahti · Category 2Points price15,000pointsDollars price/Night$138
Holiday Inn ExpressHong Kong Mongkok · Category 4Points price25,000pointsDollars price/Night$101.73
Holiday InnWarwick Farm, Australia · CategoryPoints price20,000pointsDollars price/Night$130.67
Other ways you can redeem points
Hotel Stays12 partners12 part.
IHG points are best redeemed for hotels within their group and include popular brands such as Holiday Inn, Kimpton, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental.
Car Rental3 partners3 part.
Got extra points after your hotel booking? You can also redeem them toward car rentals.
Gift Cards3 partners3 part.
Although the redemption values are low, it is possible to redeem points for gift cards to retailers like Starbucks, Toys R Us and Bath & Body Works.
With your IHG credit card, you can earn points on every purchase each and every day, as well as bonus points on popular categories you probably use every month. When you stay at an IHG property, you’ll earn five points for every dollar spent on your reservation. At restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores, you’ll earn two points for every dollar spent. And lastly, you’ll earn one point on everything else.
- IHG purchases
- All Other Purchases
The travel bonus category with the Chase IHG card is limited to hotel properties within the IHG portfolio. But remember, that’s close to 5,200 properties across the world, so you can almost always find an IHG hotel in practically any city you might be interested in visiting. Plus, if you bill extra services to your room (like spa treatments, dinner at a hotel restaurant or sundries from the gift shop), you’ll earn five points per dollar on those purchases when you settle up at the end of your stay.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
No additional fees will be added to purchases made while you’re traveilng outside the U.S., potentially saving you some serious dough.
Get 10% of your points back (up to 100,000 points each year), when you redeem for free nights at IHG hotels.
Get complimentary Platinum Elite status with IHG just by keeping your card active.
Earn Elite Status Fast
Another great benefit of the Chase IHG Rewards Club Select card is that you get automatic Platinum Elite status through IHG. Regardless of how much you spend on your card, you’ll retain this status every year you renew your card and pay the annual fee. How great is that? Status gets you 10% of your points back when you redeem for free stays and a free night annually.
- Cardholders get instant Platinum Elite status with IHG
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
You would need to earn 6,282 points each year to offset the $49 annual fee. In our example, let’s assume IHG points are worth 0.78 cents each and you’re earning points at the base rate of one per dollar. You would need to make $6,283 in purchases each year to offset the annual fee. If you spend about $2,000 each month, you’ll have paid off the annual fee in just over three months. Or, you could spend about $524 every month to cover this cost.
Another way to consider the cost of the card is in relation to the sign-up bonus. Let’s assume that you earn the base 60,000 points sign-up offer, and we are valuing the points at 0.78 cpm. Those points would be worth $624, which equals over 12 years’ worth of annual fees. That’s a pretty impressive value.
- Annual Fee
- $0 first year, then $49
- Balance Transfer Fee
- Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $15 if the balance is less than $100; up to $27 if the balance is $100 to less than $250; up to $37 if the balance is $250 or more
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $2,095 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
The Chase IHG card has many great benefits, including the massive sign-up bonus and the annual free night certificate. Let’s examine the Top 5 benefits of this card.
- Big Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a huge sign-up bonus of 60,000 points. That’s worth approximately $468 in IHG award stays based on our estimates.
- Annual Free Night Certificate: Starting in your second year of card membership and every year after, you’ll earn a free night that can be used at any IHG hotel worldwide. That’s incredible!
- Great Earning Potential: In addition to earning one point per dollar on every purchase, you’ll earn double points at the grocery store, gas station and when going out to eat. Plus, you’ll earn a total of five points per dollar when you pay for your IHG hotel room with this card.
- Low Annual Fee: Compared to other major travel cards, the IHG card’s annual fee of $49 is very reasonable. And best of all, it’s waived the first year!
- Redemption Discount: Get 10 percent of your points back after you complete your reward stay, up to 100,000 points back each year.
Should You Get the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card?
This hotel credit card is a good all-around option for almost anybody. While IHG points aren’t the most valuable travel currency out there, the annual free night makes this card worth getting for just about anyone. Even if you don’t stay often in IHG hotels, having a full year to use their annual free night will certainly come in handy as they have hotels and resorts all over the place.
In addition, the Platinum Elite status can come in handy and being able to keep your IHG points active with a single purchase on your IHG credit card each year can go a long way. And when you do decide to redeem some points, you’ll get 10 percent of them back. Getting all of that for just $49 a year is pretty hard to beat, so this should be a card you consider keeping for a long time.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Absolutely! This annual night certificate is the most generous hotel credit card perk out there because you can pick positively ANY hotel in the entire world to redeem your free night. This is not an exaggeration.In fact, this is where you can truly maximize this perk and get the most out of the $49 annual fee. Unlike other hotel cards that limit your free night to lower level hotel categories, you can redeem this benefit at luxurious InterContinental properties or any of IHG’s other 11 brands.
- Every quarter, IHG releases a new list of hotels throughout the world where you can stay for only 5,000 points per night. Normally, free nights cost at least 10,000 points and can go much higher.The catch is that the participating hotels change regularly and you have a short window where you can stay at one of these properties. But, IHG always announces and publishes this benefit in advance, and it is another amazing way to stretch your IHG points.
- No! Chase has many great credit cards and many of them subscribe to Chase’s unofficial policy whereby you won’t be approved for a new card if you’ve opened five or more credit cards (with any bank) in the last 24 months. So, if you’re a heavy credit card churner, you won’t be declined for the IHG card based purely based on the number of new cards you’ve obtained in the last two years.
- Yes, you can. When logged in and booking your IHG hotel online, their website makes it very easy to see the regular room rate compared to redeeming some miles (in 5,000 points increments) along with some cash in order to stretch that sign-up bonus or simply discount your stay.
I heard if I pay through Points & Cash and need to cancel my reservation, I won’t get my money back. Is that true?Yes and no. Although booking a Points & Cash room is quite easy to do, IHG’s refund policy on these types of bookings is unique. If you make a P&C booking and need to cancel, you’ll get your points back as if you hadn’t spent them, but instead of getting a refund of your cash, you’ll be given additional IHG points worth the amount of cash you paid. So, you’re not really losing money, but you’re not getting a cash refund. Keep in mind that if you make a straight points reward booking or book a refundable cash rate, you’ll get the full value of your points or cash back in the event you need to cancel.
All major U.S.-based hotel chains offer co-branded credit cards, and several of them partner with Chase. They all offer a nice sign-up bonus and an annual free night too, but let’s take a closer look.
Other Chase Hotel cards
|Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card||The Hyatt Credit Card|
|Sign-up bonus||80,000 points||60,000 points||40,000 points|
|Annual Fee||$85||$0 first year, then $49||$75|
|APR On Purchases||16.99% to 23.99% Variable±||16.99% to 23.99% Variable±||16.99% to 23.99% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$221||$187||$401|
Although these cards are similar, the IHG card does stand out. It’s the only card in this group that waives the annual fee the first year, and it’s the only card which comes with a free night that can be used at any hotel in their portfolio.
The advantage to the Marriott card is that those points can be redeemed at a larger number of hotels. Additionally, with Marriott’s pending merger with Starwood, you can convert your Marriott points to Starwood Preferred Guest points for even more redemption options (including their popular bonus transfers to dozens of airlines).
Hyatt has the fewest number of hotels around the world, but loyalists swear they’re among the best. Additionally, the Hyatt sign-up bonus of just 40,000 points isn’t as lucrative as it used to be. The bonus was once worth two free nights at any property across the globe.
With all these cards, it really comes down to your personal preferences for where you like to travel and what type and category of hotel you prefer to stay in.
Compare the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card to Other Cards
Hotel co-branded credit cards are very popular. And with the variety of hotel chains out there, it’s good to compare your options. The following group of cards offers similar benefits, including the ever-popular free nights.
The most obvious difference in these hotel cards is that they’re offered by different banks, so if you like to spread out your loyalty, you can. Both the IHG and Hilton cards offer nice sign-up bonuses, while the Wyndham card offers a lower bonus, though it’s still enough for a free night.
All the cards offer bonus categories, but the Hilton card offers a minimum of three points per dollar for all purchases. Keep in mind, however, that more points are typically needed to redeem for a free night with Hilton hotels.
That leads us to the biggest difference with the Wyndham card. All hotels that are part of this chain can be redeemed for only 15,000 points per night. This can be a great deal, while the Hilton and IHG properties have different categories, meaning you need a different number of points depending on the property. Thus, you may need to spend more money to earn more points for a free night.
Another different is that the IHG card is the only one with an annual fee. Now granted, it’s just $49, but it’s worth noting. That $49 can easily be offset by redeeming your free night at any of the hotels in the IHG chain. When deciding amongst these cards, it’s probably best to consider which hotels you stay at most often.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this MasterCard card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 16.99% to 23.99% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 21 days
- Purchase Protection:
- New purchases are covered for up to 120 days in the event of damage or theft. Good for up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Price Protection:
- Shop confidently knowing you have 90 days from the time of purchase to get up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year back if you find a lower advertised price in print or online for your new purchase.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 25.99% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
The IHG Rewards Club Select card comes with all of Chase’s standard security features.
- Account alerts:
- Through Chase’s website or mobile app, you can set up account alerts to be notified of large transactions, unauthorized withdrawals or when your payment is due.
- Monitoring Your Account On the Go:
- You can keep up with your account and transactions with the Chase mobile website and app available for Apple and Android.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Like more and more credit cards, this card comes with chip technology that can be used at merchants in the U.S. and abroad that use chip-enabled terminals.
Chase offers a mobile banking version of their website as well as a mobile app for Apple and Android so you can always monitor your account wherever you are. You can check your account balance, transaction activity, and even pay your bill straight from your smartphone.
- Mobile Wallet:
- This card can be set up on your smartphone to use with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
The IHG card by Chase is a World MasterCard, and because of this, you’re entitled to certain benefits. Travel confidently when using your card knowing that certain perks are built in if things go wrong.
Master Card Travel Benefits
- Baggage Delay Insurance:
- Did you arrive but your bags didn’t? Get reimbursed on certain essentials like clothing or toiletries, up to $100 per day for three days, if bags are delayed over 6 hours.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- If you or your immediate family members have their baggage lost or delayed by the airline, you can get up to $3,000 per passenger.
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance:
- Need to cancel or shorten your trip due to illness, bad weather or other similar situations? Get reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for prepaid, non-refundable expenses like airfare, hotels, tours and more.