Credit card bonuses come and go, even as they get better over time. Every travel card has a base offer when you sign up for a card, but most of them offer an extra bonus every so often. IHG Rewards, the program for hotel brands such as InterContinental and Holiday Inn, however, has been a holdout for a while.
An Extra Credit Card Kicker
But they finally gave in. The card, which normally offers 60,000 points to sign up, will now give you 80,000 for a limited time. You’ll only need to spend $1,000 over the first three months to earn the bonus, so it’s not a particularly difficult threshold to hit.*
I have the IHG credit card. I use it exactly once per year to make sure that my IHG points don’t expire. That’s it. It’s a lousy card for earning points, and IHG points aren’t worth a heck of a lot to begin with. So why bother?
The card has one benefit that nobody else can match. In exchange for paying your $49 annual fee, you get a free night at any Intercontinental property, starting on your first card anniversary. Several other hotel cards offer a free night or two every year, but they are only at certain category hotels. With IHG, you can book at any category, meaning that a hotel room that would normally cost $500-$600 is yours for the price of the annual fee. That’s one of the best ongoing bonuses out there.
Sure, the card does have other benefits, such as Platinum Elite status (which gets you next to nothing) and a 10% rebate on all your award redemptions (up to 100,000 per year). And hey, those 80,000 points are also good for a free night anywhere, since IHG awards max out at 60,000.
You may never use the card, but it’s worth it, just for your free night anywhere.
*Beginner’s Hint: Credit cards will usually make you spend a bit before giving you your giant sign-up bonus, just to ensure that you actually use the card. Note that the spend that you need to achieve is for the entire period. In other words, you need to spend $1,000 over the three months, not $1,000 each month.
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