The old Chase IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card is no longer available for new applicants. But Chase and IHG team up to introduce two new Chase IHG Credit Cards:
  • Chase IHG Premier Credit Card
  • Chase IHG Traveler Credit Card 

Both IHG credit cards do offer a good sign-up bonus and have a few hotel perks that are worth mentioning. 

I want to go over the differences first between the 3 credit cards, then I'll make an honest recommendation based on a few scenarios.

Photo Credit: InterContiental Bali Resort
Table of Contents  [show/hide]

    IHG Credit Cards Comparison


    Card Benefits

    IHG Rewards Club Select (Discontinued)

    IHG Rewards Club Traveler

    IHG Rewards Club Premier

    Best Sign-Up Bonus Not available for new applicants.
    Annual Fee $49 $0 $89
    Points Earning 5x points at IHG properties.
    2x points on gas, grocery, and restaurants
    1x point on other purchases
    5x points at IHG properties.
    2x points on gas, grocery, and restaurants
    1x point on other purchases
    10x points at IHG properties.
    2x points on gas, grocery, and restaurants
    1x point on other purchases
    IHG Elite Status Complimentary IHG Platinum Elite Spend $10,000 on the card in a calendar year to earn IHG Gold Elite status Complimentary IHG Platinum Elite
    Free Night Anniversary Yes, capped at 40,000 points or lower hotels.  No free night.  Yes, capped at 40,000 points or lower hotels.
    10,000 Bonus Anniversary No  No After $20,000 purchases on the card.
    4th Reward Night Free No  Yes Yes
    10% Rebate on Reward Night Redemption Yes No No
    20% Discount on Points Purchase No  Yes
    Buy IHG Points
    Yes
    Buy IHG Points
    $100 Global Entry Credit No No Yes
    Foreign Transaction Fees None None None

    Analysis & Recommendation: Which IHG Credit Card Is Best?

    Chase IHG Traveler Credit Card alone is pretty good as a no annual fee credit card. 
    • The card also offers one of my favorite IHG card benefits - the 4th IHG Reward Night Free benefit. If you are not staying at one place for at least 4 nights, then this card really has no value. However, given this is a no annual fee card, it's worth keeping when in case you will be using the 4th IHG Reward Night Free benefit in the future. 
    • The 20% discount on points purchase benefit is not a good perk because you cannot use it when IHG has sales on points such as a 100% bonus. 
    • Moreover, you have to spend at least $10,000 in a calendar year on the card to earn the mediocre IHG Gold Elite status.

    On the other hand, if you are not holding any Chase IHG Credit Cards and considering getting one, my recommendation is to get the Chase IHG Premier Credit Card
    • Aside from the sign-up bonus, the card earns 10x points per $1 spent at IHG properties. 
    • It also gives you automatic complimentary IHG Platinum Elite status that comes with a complimentary room upgrade, 50% bonus points on top of your base points, etc. 
    • The card also gives you the 4th IHG Reward Night Free benefit and, 
    • An IHG Anniversary Free Night when the annual fee of $89 is due. Although the free night is capped at 40,000 or lower points IHG properties, I'm confident that you will find good use of that free night that's worth more than the card's $89 annual fee. 
    • Other benefits such as $100 Global Entry and anniversary 10,000 bonus points are just icing on the cake because nowadays there are many premier credit cards out there that already offer the $100 Global Entry (GE) credit. 
    • The 20% discount on points purchase benefit is not a good perk because you cannot use it when IHG has sales on points such as a 100% bonus. 

    If you are holding the old discontinued Chase IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card that has the $49 annual fee. You can double dip the benefits of that old IHG Select credit card with one of the new Chase IHG Credit Cards. See: Can you stack the 4th reward night free with the old discontinued IHG Select Card 10% points rebate? 

    It's worth noting also that Chase does offer an opportunity to upgrade to the Chase IHG Premier Credit Card from the old Chase IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card. My recommendation is to keep the old IHG Select credit card and do not upgrade it. If you want the new IHG credit card, consider the following:
    • New Card's Sign-Up Bonus: You can get the new IHG credit card's sign-up bonus despite the fact that you have the old IHG Select credit card. 
    • Free Night Anniversary: If you are in for the IHG Anniversary Free Night, the old IHG Select credit card also has an anniversary free night benefit that's capped at 40,000 or lower points IHG properties. Therefore, if you have the old IHG Select credit card and you get the new IHG Premier credit card that also offers the anniversary free night benefit, you will end up with 2 free nights every year. But you will have to pay a total annual fee of $138 (old card $49 + new premier card $89).
    • 4th Reward Night Free: If you do not care about the 4th IHG Reward Night Free benefit and you are likely to stay at one IHG property for at least 4 nights, then get the IHG Traveler credit card with no annual fee in addition to your old IHG Select credit card. Your overall IHG card's annual fee will be only $49, which is still much cheaper than the IHG Premier credit card's $89 annual fee. 
    • But that is not all, the old IHG Select credit card has one of the benefits that the new ones don't have - a 10% Rebate on Reward Night Redemption. If you stack this benefit with the 4th IHG Reward Night Free, you really maximize your IHG points to their potentials.