Get Up to 100K with the New IHG Rewards Card Offer

Chase has just upped the standard public offer for the IHG Rewards Credit Card from 60,000 to 80,000 points. The IHG card is one of the few cards that is a definite keeper due to its low annual fee and great free anniversary benefit. And now with a chance to earn up to 100,000 points, it definitely is worth considering.

Here’s a look at the new offer:

The offer

  • 80,000 sign-up bonus after only $1,000 in spend 
  • 5,000 bonus points when you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase in the first three months from account opening
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status
  • $49 annual (that’s waived the first year)
  • Free anniversary night that’s good for any IHG property
  • 5X per $1 spent at IHG properties
  • 2X per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores & restaurants
  • Automatic 10% point rebate on redemptions
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • NOT affected by Chase 5/24

Signup bonus

  • 80,000 sign-up bonus after only $1,000 in spend

80,000 is the new sign-up bonus offer but many applicants have had success getting matched to the new targeted offers of 100,000. This offer is not very rare and will likely be back within a reasonable amount of time so if you were eyeing other cards, don’t feel a lot of pressure to jump on this card, especially since it’s not subject to the 5/24 rule.

To get matched to the higher 100K offer, send s secure message through your online Chase account and request to be matched to the higher offer. Applicants have had success with getting matched to the 100,000 offer even when they originally applied for the 60,000 offer.

A couple of things to keep in mind. You need to submit this request within 90 days of opening up the account. Also, Chase might require you to spend $1,000 more to get the bonus.

 

InterContinental Tokyo Bay, Japan
InterContinental Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Redemptions for IHG properties start at 10,000 points. If you’re planning on staying in a major city, especially with prime location within the city,  expect to spend around 30,000 to 40,000 for a decent Holiday Inn and 50,000 to 60,000+ for a luxury property like the InterContinental. So if you get the 100,000 bonus it’s much like getting two free nights at one of the

Platinum Elite status

Platinum Elite status is the mid-tier status for IHG and will offer you the following benefits:

  • Free Internet Access
  • Priority Check-In
  • 50% Bonus Earnings on Top of Base Points
  • Elite Rollover Nights (if you go over the minimum of nights required for Platinum or Spire elite status, those nights can count toward the next year but will expire after that year)
  • Complimentary Room Upgrades (not known for giving the best upgrades)
  • Platinum Elite and Spire Elite members are guaranteed one guest room for personal use for reservations made at least 72 hours prior to the date of arrival (exceptions apply)

IHG Platinum status might be the easiest mid-tier status to earn and because of that I believe it’s been a little devalued and doesn’t offer a lot. Unlike Hilton or Marriott mid-tier, there’s no breakfast perk or even lounge access. The 50% bonus on base earnings is really nice but there’s not much else.

IHG doesn’t have a great reputation for offering upgrades for Platinum Elites and it usually just means a nicer room. You can tell this by checking out the terms and conditions, which read:

Platinum Elite and Spire Elite members will be offered a complimentary upgrade, as determined by the hotel, which might include rooms on higher floors, corner rooms, newly renovated rooms, or rooms with preferred views. The upgrade will be offered at time of check-in, based on availability, and will only apply to the member’s personal guest room. The hotel is not required to upgrade members to suites or specialty rooms. Upgrade benefits will not apply to rooms booked as a Reward Night reservation.

It’s a bummer that upgrade benefits don’t officially apply to rooms booked as reward nights, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. For example, in Japan at the InterContinental Tokyo Bay, I was upgraded to a Deluxe Corner Room from a standard room on an award stay.

InterContinental Tokyo Bay, Japan
Upgraded room at the InterContinental Tokyo Bay, Japan.

What’s nice about the Platinum status is that you can use it to help you make your way to top-tier Diamond status with Hilton Honors. Read about how I did that here.

Annual fee

This card comes with a low annual fee of $49 and for this offer it’s waived the first year. This is one of the lowest annual fees for any hotel card from a major chain, so that’s a big plus for the card.

Free anniversary night

If there’s only one perk that makes this card worthwhile then this is it.

There’s no restriction for redeeming your free night certificates for certain categories so this is one the most valuable free night certificates available, especially since it only requires a $49 annual fee. All you need to find is standard award availability and you can book a free night.

This presents with you many opportunities to come out way on top. For example you could stay at a hotel like the InterContinental Bora Bora, where rates can approach $1,000 a night!

The free night will be available for redemption on your account renewal anniversary date (after you pay your annual fee) and is valid at any of the hotels in the IHG Rewards Club Family of Brands but must be redeemed (and the stay must be completed) within 12 months from date of issue.

Also, it’s a great card for each partner in a relationship to get their hands on (preferably around the same time), since you can then cash out big time on a two night trip while only paying $98 a year.

Bonus categories

  • 5X per $1 spent at IHG properties
  • 2X per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores & restaurants

These bonus categories are pretty standard for a hotel card. If I were in need of IHG points, the 2X at gas stations and grocery stores might be tempting but given the value of IHG points, I wouldn’t put my spend on those categories just for the sake of earning IHG points.

No foreign transaction fees

Pretty standard for hotel rewards cards to do away with these now.

Not affected by 5/24

One of the biggest features of the IHG card is that it is NOT affected by Chase 5/24 rule. This makes it a lot easier to seek approval for this credit card and makes it more appealing in my opinion.

At the same time this could be a reason to pass on this card. If you’re under 5/24, I’d first look into other Chase cards and then think about going for this card after you’ve opened 5 or more accounts.

Final word

Overall, the IHG Rewards Credit Card is a solid hotel card and the chance to earn up to 100K is very appealing. What this card lacks in elite status perks offered, it makes up for with a valuable free anniversary night, solid sign-up bonus, and low annual fee. I think this card is a keeper that should earn a permanent place in many wallets.

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