The information related to the Chase IHG Rewards Club Select credit card has been collected by Money Crashers and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card from Chase is a hotel rewards credit card with a $49 annual fee which is waived in the first year of membership. It’s ideal for frequent travelers who regularly stay with InterContinental Hotel Group brands, which includes thousands of Holiday Inn, Staybridge Inn, and Candlewood Suites properties in the U.S. and around the world. Every purchase with this card earns points that can be redeemed for hotel stays at nearly 5,000 IHG properties worldwide, usually at rates ranging from $0.005 to $0.01 per point. Cardholders in good standing also get a host of useful perks at IHG hotels, including 1 free stay per year and automatic upgrade to Platinum Elite status, which accelerates point earnings and entitles members to complimentary room upgrades.
If you’re interested in alternatives to IHG Rewards Club Select, look to hotel-specific rewards cards such as Chase Marriott Rewards Premier and Citi Hilton Honors Reserve. It may also be worth considering airline-specific credit cards such as United MileagePlus Explorer and British Airways Visa Signature, or general-purpose travel cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred and Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®.
- Sign-up Bonus. When you spend at least $2,000 within 3 months of opening your account, you earn 70,000 IHG Rewards points. That’s good for up to $350 in stays at select InterContinental Hotel Group properties, including most Holiday Inn locations.
- Rewards & Redemption. Every $1 spent at IHG properties earns an unlimited 5 points. Purchases made at restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores earn an unlimited 2 points per $1. All other purchases, including hotel stays at non-IHG hotels, earn an unlimited 1 point per $1. Points can be redeemed for free hotel stays at IHG properties, starting at a minimum of 10,000 points for lower-tier properties and 50,000 points for the highest-tier properties. If you don’t have enough points to pay for a full night’s stay, you can purchase up to 10,000 additional points at $0.007 apiece ($70 maximum) through IHG’s Points & Cash option. At redemption, point values usually range from $0.005 to $0.01, sometimes more or less. Every hotel stay redemption comes with a 10% rebate, with the rebated points deposited back into your account after redemption. Points don’t expire as long as you redeem any or earn more – through card purchases or hotel stays – within any 12-month period.
- Anniversary Free Night. Every year, you get 1 free hotel night, good for use at more than 4,900 properties worldwide. Redeeming your free night doesn’t cost any points, but you don’t earn any additional points for the stay.
- Platinum Elite Status Upgrade. As long as you remain a cardmember in good standing, you enjoy IHG Platinum Elite status. You do have to formally apply for this status after you receive your card, but it doesn’t cost anything to do so. Platinum Elite status confers numerous benefits, including priority hotel check-in, complimentary room upgrades whenever available, guaranteed room availability with at least 72 hours’ advance notification, and a 50% point-earning bonus for all IHG hotel stays (for instance, a stay that would have earned 2,000 points earns 3,000 with Platinum Elite status).
- Important Fees. The $49 annual fee is waived in the first year, and there are no foreign transaction fees. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 5% and cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%.
- Credit Required. This card requires excellent credit.
- Easily Attainable Sign-up Bonus. The 70,000-point sign-up bonus is easily attainable – it simply requires you to spend $2,000 within 3 months of opening your account. The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card requires $3,000 spent within 3 months, while the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card requires $3,500 spent within 4 months.
- Automatic Platinum Elite Status Upgrade. The IHG Rewards Club Select Card comes with an automatic upgrade to Platinum Elite status, IHG’s second-highest frequent traveler status. Platinum Elite entitles you to 50% faster point earnings when you stay at IHG hotels, complimentary room upgrades whenever available, 72-hour guaranteed availability, and other perks. This benefit doesn’t cost anything extra, and its value is potentially huge for frequent travelers. By contrast, Marriott Rewards Premier cardholders only earn Silver Elite status, a lower frequent traveler level that doesn’t include complimentary room upgrades, guaranteed room availability, or 50% faster point earnings.
- Annual Fee Waived in the First Year. This card’s $49 annual fee, which is already modest compared to some of its peers, is waived during the first year – giving you a 12-month grace period to accumulate points without worrying about the fee. The Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card’s $95 annual fee isn’t waived in the first year. Nor is the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card’s whopping $395 annual fee.
- Nice Redemption Rebate. Whenever you redeem your points for a free hotel night, you get a 10% rebate, no matter how many or how few points you redeem. As an example, a 10,000-point redemption produces a 1,000-point rebate, resulting in a net use of 9,000 points. Marriott Rewards Premier, Expedia+, and Expedia+ Voyager all lack redemption rebates.
- 2x Points Categories Are Broad. The IHG Rewards Club Select Card’s categories that reward 2 points per $1 spent cover broad, everyday expenses: gas, groceries, and restaurants. By contrast, Marriott Rewards Premier only earns 2 points per $1 spent on car rental and airfare purchases – good on trips, but not so much on non-travel days. Gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases happen on travel and non-travel days alike.
- No Foreign Transaction Fee. IHG Rewards Club Select cardholders don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees. That’s great news for cardholders who regularly travel abroad. By contrast, Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature has a 3% foreign transaction fee.
- Sign-up Bonus Isn’t Worth as Much as Some Competitors’. This card’s sign-up bonus isn’t worth as much as that of some competing travel cards. Assuming a median point value of $0.007 at redemption (which is what IHG charges for purchased points), the bonus is worth about $420. That compares with Chase Sapphire Preferred‘s $625 bonus (when redeemed for travel – $500 otherwise) and the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card’s 2-free-night bonus, whose value approaches $1,000 when redeemed for stays at higher-end properties.
- Inflexible Redemption Options. While you can redeem your IHG Rewards Club points at nearly 5,000 hotel properties worldwide, there’s not much else you can do with them. You can’t redeem them for merchandise, statement credits, gift cards, or even incidental purchases at participating hotels. Citi Hilton Honors Reserve allows you to redeem for hotel incidentals, while U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards allows you to redeem for general merchandise and cash equivalents, such as gift cards and statement credits, in addition to travel purchases.
- Limited Travel and Experience Benefits. Although it does come with an automatic upgrade to Platinum Elite status, the IHG Rewards Club Select Card offers few travel and experience benefits not directly related to IHG hotels or the rewards system. For instance, it doesn’t have a concierge service, travel protection insurance, or exclusive/VIP event access (these things aren’t included in Platinum Elite status). By contrast, Citi Hilton Honors Reserve comes with 24/7 travel booking assistance and exclusive access to a raft of special events, such as concerts and sports contests.
- Potentially Low Point Values at Redemption. Although the value of IHG Rewards Club points varies based on the monetary cost of the hotel stay for which they’re redeemed, the range generally works out to $0.005 to $0.01, and IHG charges $0.007 per point when purchased through Points & Cash. U.S. Bank FlexPerks points are reliably worth $0.02 apiece, and points accumulated with Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth up to $0.0125 when redeemed for travel at Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal.
InterContinental Hotel Group isn’t a well-known name, but some of its hotel brands certainly are. If you’ve ever stayed at a Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, or any other related property, you’ve stayed at an IHG hotel. Depending on how often you travel and how frequently you encounter IHG-branded properties along the way, this could be a powerful rewards card to keep in your wallet – even if you use another product, such as an airline rewards or cash back rewards card, as your primary card.
On the other hand, the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card isn’t great for infrequent travelers, cardholders who prefer not to deal with annual fees, cardholders who prefer more flexible rewards programs with a wider variety of redemption options, and travelers looking for value-added perks such as concierge service and VIP access. Of course, if you prefer another hospitality family – say, Hilton or Marriott – there’s sure to be a suitable card for you as well, as many other hotel rewards credit cards are available.