About IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff Published on: Mar 20, 2017

The IHG Rewards Club Select Сredit Сard from Chase gives cardholders up-front points and plenty of rewards that can be used to book free hotel nights within the IHG chain.

The IHG network of hotels includes luxury and basic hotel brands:

  • Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
  • HUALAXE Hotels and Resorts
  • Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts
  • Hotel INDIGO
  • EVEN Hotels
  • Holiday Inn (Hotel, Express, Resort, Vacation)
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Candlewood Suites

As you can see, the IHG brand has all sorts of hotels – more than 5,000 – and each one of those properties is accessible through the IHG Rewards program.

If you sign up for the IHG Rewards Club Select card, you’ll be registered for this program and any points you rack up will be automatically deposited to your Rewards account.

Ready to pack your bags? Well, before you head out the door for your IHG vacation, it’s good to know the basics and some of the details about Chase’s IHG Rewards Club Select card:

  • What are the up-front and long-term benefits of the card?
  • How much are IHG’s Rewards points really worth it?
  • What are the rates and fees for the Chase IHG card?
  • What are other people saying about the Chase IHG card?

We’ll cover each of these topics, then end with some of our thoughts about who this card is good for and what other options are out there.

The Benefits of the IHG Rewards Club Select Card

Finding the right credit card is pretty much like buying something from a vending machine. You can’t actually sample anything in there, so you go with the one that looks the most interesting.

To make their cards interesting, hotels and credit card issuers offer short-term rewards that are meant to grab your attention and make you want to apply.

The Chase IHG Rewards Card’s Short-Term Perks

The main bonus of signing up for this card is the 65,000 IHG Rewards points you can get if you do two things: spend at least $1,000 in three months (60K points), and sign up an authorized user and pay for something with their card (5K points).

As we mentioned earlier, these points will be deposited to your IHG Rewards account. In most cases, though, it will take about 6-8 weeks to show up.

Like many hotel rewards credit cards, the bonus points are one of two up-front rewards. The other? No annual fee the first year (more on that later).

The main strength of the IHG card is its long-term benefits, which we’ll cover next.

The Chase IHG Rewards Card’s Long-Term Benefits

As you think about which hotel rewards card you want, it’s important to weigh the long-term benefits of the car. Yes, there are plenty of hotel rewards cards out there showing off shiny points bonuses, but once those points disappear, what do you have left?

Travel & Purchase Coverage

Because the IHG Rewards card is part of the Chase network, you automatically get certain benefits pertaining to shopping and travel. Here are just a few:

  • Reimbursement for delayed luggage
  • Reimbursement for lost luggage
  • Extended warranties on purchases
  • Reimbursement for certain returned purchases
  • Reimbursement for certain lost or damaged items
  • Zero liability for fraudulent charges
  • Free rental car insurance (CWD)

You can only take advantage of these benefits if you made the purchases with your IHG Rewards card. Also, each type of protection or insurance has its own exclusions and rules. The common rule is that you’ll only be reimbursed up to a certain point for the situations listed above.

If you decide to go with the IHG Rewards Club Select card, you can read more about these various details in the Guide to Benefits Chase will send you with your card.

Permanent Platinum Elite Upgrade

One of the things we think is important about a hotel credit card’s benefits is the concept of tier upgrades.

You see, hotel rewards programs are split up into different tiers, and each tier has its own set of benefits.

For example, the IHG Rewards Club has four levels: Club, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite and Spire Elite.

Anyone who signs up for the IHG Rewards Club gets Club status. From there, you can work your way up the rewards ladder by staying 10 nights (Gold Elite), 40 nights (Platinum Elite) or 75 nights (Spire Elite) in one year.

You can also earn these tier upgrades by racking up points: 10K for Gold, 40K for Platinum and 75K for Spire.

The beauty of the IHG Rewards Card is that you get automatic Platinum Elite status for as long as you own the card and keep up on your payments (if you close your account or default on payments, you’ll lose it). Here are some of the perks this upgrade gets you:

  • Late check-out
  • Free internet
  • Priority check-in
  • 50% bonus on redeemed rewards points
  • Complimentary room upgrades
  • Guaranteed availability

This is a pretty hefty reward considering it would take the average person 40 nights to reach Platinum Elite, and they’d have to hit that mark every year to keep their Platinum status.

Free Nights and Points

Another one of the great perks you get with the IHG Rewards card is a free night every year on your cardmember anniversary. You can redeem this night at any IHG hotel.

Now, a free night on your anniversary isn’t unique. However, IHG is the only hotel chain that lets you redeem that night at any property.

The Hyatt Visa, for example, gives you a free reward night every year, but you can only redeem it a Category 1-4 hotels.

In addition to the free night on your anniversary, you also get points every time you make a purchase with your IHG card:

  • 5 points per dollar spent at IHG properties
  • 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else

Based on our calculations, these rewards rates will probably get you at least 25,000 points a year if you have a family – more people, more purchases. Also, IHG will send out promotions for additional spending in certain categories throughout the year.

Now, 25,000 or 60,000 might sound like a lot of points, but all of it is relative. For example, a hotel card could give you 1 million points for signing up for their card, but if a one-night stay in their chain costs 1 million points, there’s not a lot of value there.

How much are your IHG Rewards Club points worth? That’s what we’ll cover in the next section.

The True Value of Your IHG Rewards Club Select Bonus Points

One of the best ways to understand how much your points are worth is to read a hotel’s rewards chart.

These charts include the type of hotel, usually classified as Category 1,2 3, etc. The lower the number, the lower combination of quality and location the property has to offer.

IHG has been notoriously mum about releasing a rewards chart, but we do know that the program has nine categories of hotels that range in price from 10,000 to 60,000 points.

As you can see, your points won’t get you many stays at a Category 9 hotel, but, if you’re looking for budget/bargain travel, you can get six nights at a Category 1 IHG hotel.

Based on our research, we think the IHG Rewards Club Select card’s 60,000-point bonus presents good value for you.

You can use your points to shop or buy gift cards through IHG’s shopping portal, but most consumers choose to redeem their points for hotel stays.

Rates and Fees for the IHG Rewards Club Select Card

While the benefits you get from a card are a good way to find reasons why you should sign up for a card, rates and fees can be a good way to find out why you shouldn’t get a card.

Here is a list of the fees for the IHG Rewards Club credit card:

  • APR: 16.49-23.49%, depending on your credit score
  • Annual fee: $49, but free first year
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Balance transfer fee: 5%
  • Late payment fee: Up to $37

This card’s fees and rates are standard for Chase credit cards.

One thing we think is important to point out is the low annual fee; the IHG Rewards Club has the second-lowest annual fee of the seven cards we reviewed in our Best Hotel Rewards Credit Card of 2017 article.

What Other People Are Saying About the IHG Rewards Club Select Card

The reviews of this card we read were, for the most part, positive. Most experts agree you get good value out of this card because of the free anniversary night, Platinum Elite status and the 60K points bonus.

However, those are just numbers. Great rewards don’t mean much to you and me if a company’s customer service or horrible or trying to redeem points is torturous.

So, we turned to customer reviews from WalletHub to get a sense of what your fellow consumers are saying about this card.

Of the 168 people who left reviews on the site, 84% gave the card either four or five stars.

The card also has a small following on Reddit, mainly because of how much use you can get out of the introductory points.

One Redditor’s post gives a great breakdown of how you can use your points. The poster said they were able to take advantage of the sign-up bonus and various promotions to rack up 117,000 points the first year.

They used those points to stay six nights in Hong Kong over the course of two trips. Total savings? Around $1,000.

In general, both the experts and consumers like the IHG Rewards Club Select.

Our Final Thoughts About the IHG Rewards Club Select

The introductory points bonus you get with the IHG credit card is one of the best you’ll find in the world of hotel credit cards.

As we pointed out earlier, you can use those 60,000 points (65K with an authorized user) to book six nights in a Category 1 hotel.

And when you cash in those points, you get the added luxury of late checkout, free internet, and free upgrades because of your complimentary Platinum Elite status.

If there’s one thing we’d warn you of, it’s that you have to spend $1,000 in the first three months you won the card. It’s important to keep in mind that the three-month timer starts the day you’re approved for the card, not the day you get it in the mail.

When compared to other hotel cards, the IHG holds its own but doesn’t finish near the top, in our opinion.

The Hilton HHonors Surpass Amex, the Hyatt Visa, and the Marriott Rewards Premier finished higher because of a variety of factors.

However, that doesn’t mean the IHG card isn’t right for you. If you’re a family who travels a lot and is looking for a functional room over a fancy one, this is a great card for you.

IHG’s Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge, and Candlewood properties offer big rooms with great amenities.

If it’s luxury you want, IHG’s Kimpton and Intercontinental properties have good reputations. However, the points you’ll spend on these locations will exhaust your sign-up bonus.

All in all, our belief is that you’ll enjoy the benefits this card offers.

If you want to do more research about hotel credit cards or travel rewards credit cards, head to our Best Credit Cards of 2017 page, where you’ll find individual reviews of credit cards as well as Best Of articles for various hotel categories.

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