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Earlier this year, IHG Rewards gave its Premier Credit Card a refresh to make it much more attractive to new cardholders. But in case you needed even more incentive to apply, it’s now offering an elevated welcome bonus, too.
For a limited time, new cardholders can earn 140,000 bonus points plus a free night worth up to 40,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, representing one of the best introductory offers IHG has ever rolled out for this card.
Between the bonus points and the free night, the offer is enough to cover several nights at an IHG property, depending on where you’d like to go. Let’s take a closer look at the card’s benefits, who should consider applying, and ways travelers can use the welcome bonus.
IHG Rewards Premier card benefits
This past March, IHG vastly improved the Premier’s earning structure. Cardholders now earn 5x points per dollar on travel, up from 1x; 5x points per dollar on dining and gas station purchases, up from 2x; and 3x points on all other purchases, up from 1x. The changes made it much easier to earn enough free points for a stay: By spending the $3,000 to meet the welcome bonus, for example, you’ll earn at least an additional 9,000 points to put toward your next trip.
But that isn’t all. IHG also added several new benefits, such as the ability to earn 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year. And the card already came with a free reward night worth up to 40,000 points for each cardmember anniversary, as well as IHG Platinum status, which comes with perks including complimentary upgrades, welcome amenities, and early check-in.
Other Premier benefits include a $100 statement credit every four years for Global Entry, TSA Precheck, or Nexus application fees, plus the ability to earn 26 points per dollar on IHG stays charged to your card (10x points per dollar for using the card, 10x points per dollar for the stay as an IHG Rewards member, and an extra 6x points per dollar as a bonus for Platinum members).
Who should consider the IHG Premier?
Like most attractive travel cards, the IHG Premier does come with an annual fee, which jumped from $89 to $99 with the card’s March revamp. Still, it’s an affordable pick in the world of hotel cards—and a no-brainer for anyone who plans to stay at least a couple times a year at an IHG property. The free anniversary night alone should easily offset the annual fee, and that’s not to mention the welcome bonus or the slew of other perks the card offers.
How to use the welcome bonus
140,000 points can go a long way in the IHG portfolio whether you’re looking for basic lodging in a popular area, design-forward urban digs, or a luxury beach getaway. The InterContinental Presidente Cancun Resort, for example, has rooms available for just 25,000 points per night this December, while you can score a stay at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites: Oakhurst-Yosemite Park for 28,000 points per night, or the InterContinental Buenos Aires for 31,000 points per night. Plus, IHG offers every fourth night free on award stays of four nights or more.
The 40,000-point certificate also opens up a slew of options, including a night at the InterContinental Lisbon. While the certificate won’t cover IHG’s highest-tier properties, cardholders have the ability to use points to top it up, putting free nights at chic hotels like the Kimpton Armory Hotel Bozeman, which can go for 56,000 points, or Denver’s Kimpton Hotel Born, at 58,000, within reach.
Condé Nast Traveler has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Condé Nast Traveler and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.