IHG Rewards Club Select Visa Credit Card Review

IHG Rewards Club (formerly Priority Club) manages the following hotel brands: InterContinental, Hualuxe, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, EvenHotels, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites. It is the world’s largest hotel company by rooms, with 4,600 hotels in over 100 countries.  As such, their brand is an incredibly powerful one to have in your points arsenal, since many of their properties are in smaller markets.  The IHG Rewards Club Select Visa is a great option for those who love the InterContinental product, versatility of the hotel chain, and/or receiving a free night each anniversary year.  Let’s check it out!

Benefits  For starters, the current sign-up bonus for the IHG Rewards Club Select Visa is 60,000 IHG points.  This is handed over to you after you meet the minimum spend requirement of $ 1,000 in the first three months of card ownership.  At about 0.6 cents of value per point, that comes out to about $ 360 in value.  Not the best sign-up bonus out there, but certainly valuable.

Using your card, you’ll earn five (5) points per dollar on all IHG Hotel purchases, two (2) points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and one (1) point per dollar on everything else.  Obviously, if you will be spending a lot of money at IHG hotels, this card makes a lot of sense, and the two points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants will add up nicely.

The annual fee of $ 49 is waived for the first year.  This annual fee is a bit lower than other Chase cards, so that does take a bit of the hurt out of card membership.  And, with the additional benefits detailed below, the $ 50 is well worth it.

Each anniversary year (and it’s given to you on your anniversary date, not on January 1), you’ll receive as a card member a free night to any IHG hotel worldwide.  You’ll need to call in at 1-888-211-9874 to make the room reservation, and the free night expires after 12 months.

Many Credit Cards levy a fee of three percent (3%) on all transactions done outside the United States.  Not this card.  The card will not charge any fees for use overseas, but be careful on relying on a Credit Card too much when traveling abroad.  Many companies are still highly cash-dependent, or require “chip” technology, rendering your credit card useless.

As a cardmember, you’ll also receive Platinum Elite Status, which is yours to keep as long as you are a cardmember.  As a platinum member, you’ll receive points bonuses, upgrades, and late checkout.  Be warned, though, in my experience using award nights with IHG, you do not receive elite benefits when staying at the hotels.  This is a policy that has kept me from staying at IHG hotels more regularly.

This means that while you’ll have to pay the full point value for your stay (say, 20,000 points for a night), you will receive, in 4-6 weeks, 10% of the used points back into your account.

As a Visa Signature card, you’ll get Emergency Card Replacement and Emergency Cash Disbursement, Purchase Security, Zero Liability Fraud protection, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside dispatch, auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, and emergency help when traveling.

The Nitty Gritty For this card, interest rates hover at 15.24%.  The penalty APR is 29.99%, and transaction fees for balance transfers and cash advances are $ 5.00 or 3% of the total amount, whichever is greater.

Conclusion While not the best Chase credit card out there for frequent travelers, loyal customers to IHG need this card.  With its free anniversary night, bonus points for spend at IHG, Platinum status, and 10% rebate on IHG Rewards Club point redemptions, it’s a no brainer.  But with Chase offering so many other stellar products (like the 100,000 point sign-up bonus on its Britsh Airways card right now), there are better options available to the casual traveler.  It’s all about looking to see how you travel, and what you value when you travel.

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