IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card Review
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is the parent company of well-known hotel brands such as InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and more. It also issues a branded credit card in partnership with Chase. The IHG® Rewards Club Select credit card is designed for frequent travelers who spend nights at the hotel properties under the IHG umbrella.
Main card benefits of the IHG® Rewards Club Select card are:
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
- 5 points per $1 spent at IHG hotels
- 2 points per $1 spent on purchase at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
- 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
- Free anniversary night
- Automatic IHG® Rewards Club Platinum Elite Status
IGH® Rewards Club Select is Great for Hotels and Everyday Spending
The IHG® Rewards Club Select credit card allows you to earn 5 points for every dollar you spend at IHG hotels and properties. Additionally, with the card, you earn 2 points for every dollar spent at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores as well as 1 point per dollar spent on all other transactions and purchases.
The high rewards rate on IHG hotels is expected, but the double points on common everyday spending gas station, restaurants, and grocery stores is very attractive. It encourages you to also carry the card with you on a regular basis. You’re not just using the card when you want to book a hotel.
Rewards Include Hotel Nights, Airline Miles, Shopping, and More
The points earned are saved under the IHG Club rewards program. The points can be used for free nights at more than 4,900 properties around the world -- starting at 10,000 points per night. The program provides hotels aimed at both the busy family and the upscale traveler, and you can also use your points for stays at all-inclusive properties.
Note: You also earn a base rate of 10 points per dollar spent if you are a member of the IHG Club hotel loyalty program.
While the IHG® Rewards Club Select credit card is a smart option if you enjoy staying at IHG properties, it might not be the one for you if your travel goals include staying at a wider range of hotels and resorts.
Points can also be redeemed for travel, merchandise, gift cards, digital rewards, and charitable donations.
Through certain airline partners, the points can also be converted to miles under their frequent flyer programs. Partners include American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, and more. However, the points don’t convert to miles at a 1:1 ratio. Therefore, it is best to use this reward option when you’re missing a few miles to get a free flight.
As an IHG® Rewards Club Select cardholder, you also get 10% of the points back when you use them for redemption.
Large Sign-up Bonus for Free Nights
There is also a sizable sign-up bonus that allows you to earn bonus points after you've spent a certain amount on purchases within the first three months of opening the account.
Depending on the specific terms and conditions of the bonus at the time of sign-up, these additional points could be worth several free nights at certain IHG hotels. That’s hundreds of dollars worth of hotel stays.
Automatic Platinum Elite Status
As a cardholder, you will receive automatic Platinum Elite status in the IHG program as long as your card account is active and good standing. On the surface, this status might not seem like a big deal since it nets some obvious perks such as complimentary room upgrades, priority check-in, and free Internet.
However, this is the second highest level of status in the loyalty program behind Spire Elite, and you are entitled to receive a 50% bonus on your base point earnings. For instance, assume you book a $200 room with your IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card for the night at Crowne Plaza. On this transaction, you would receive:
- 10 base points per dollar for being a member of the IHG® Rewards Club = 2,000 points
- 5 points per dollar for using your IHG® Rewards Club Select credit card = 1,000 points
- 50% bonus on your base points earning = 1,000 points
In this scenario, you would ultimately receive a total of 4,000 points -- a very impressive rate on a one-night stay, especially if you consider the fact that you’re eligible to redeem as soon as you hit 10,000 points. As a result, this card’s automatic Platinum Elite status is considered to be one of its most valuable features.
Free anniversary night is worth the annual fee
The IHG® Rewards Club Select credit card come with an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, and then cardholders pay $49 every year after that. Although $49 per year is relatively low compared to some other travel rewards credit cards out there, is it worth it?
One of the biggest benefits of the card is an anniversary free night at any IHG hotel. Since you earn a free night each year just for having the card, it’ll more than likely compensate for the annual fee. Furthermore, all other rewards and benefits that you get from the card will only help to increase the value of the card.
Swipe Internationally Without Foreign Transaction Fees
Foreign transaction fees are typically charged when you use your credit card internationally. For most credit cards, the fee is 3% of the purchase amount.
Many travel credit cards, such as the IHG® Rewards Club Select card, will waive this fee, which means significant savings for shopping abroad.
Like most branded credit cards, the IHG® Rewards Club Select card keeps the best rewards rate and redemption options to the brand’s products and offerings. If you’re looking for a travel credit card that offers more flexible redemption options, a general travel rewards credit card makes more sense.
However, if you find yourself staying at IHG properties frequently, the IHG® Rewards Club select card is an obvious choice. Since the card offers a number of perks, including Platinum Elite status and a free night in a hotel of your choosing each year, it’s not a bad card to have in your wallet.