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Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade To The IHG Premier Card

In 2018, Chase launched the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (review) and there are lots of great reasons to pick up this card.

When the IHG Premier Card was introduced it replaced the old IHG Select Card, and there has been quite a bit of confusion regarding who is eligible for the IHG Premier Card, especially for those have the old IHG Select Card.

Are You Eligible For The IHG Premier Card If You Have The IHG Select Card?

You are eligible for the IHG Premier Card (including the welcome bonus) even if you have the IHG Select Card. When you look at the terms of the card, you’ll see this spelled out:

This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.

As you can see, the welcome bonus restrictions apply specifically to whether you’ve had “this credit card,” and it doesn’t list any other IHG cards.

To further support that, I applied for the IHG Premier Card in late 2019 (when it was offering 125K bonus points), and the points posted even though I also have the IHG Select Card.

If you also have the IHG Select Card, you absolutely should get the IHG Premier Card by applying outright for it, rather than upgrading to it.


The IHG Premier Card is offering a welcome bonus of 140k points

Just to be thorough, it’s also worth noting that the no annual fee IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card (review) is considered a separate product as well, so you’d be eligible for that card regardless of which other IHG product you had.

Comparing Benefits Of The IHG Premier & IHG Select Cards

On the most basic level, the IHG Select Card ($49 annual fee, no longer open to new applications) offers:

  • An anniversary free night certificate valid at any IHG hotel retailing for up to 40,000 points per night
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card
  • A 10% refund on redeemed points, for a total of up to 100,000 refunded points per year

For the IHG Premier Card ($89 annual fee, waived for the first 12 months), I consider the most valuable benefits to be:

  • An anniversary free night certificate valid at any IHG hotel retailing for up to 40,000 points per night
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card
  • A fourth night free on award redemptions, which can be used an unlimited number of times
  • A TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit once every four years


Redeem your anniversary free night award at the Crowne Plaza Changi

Deciding Which IHG Card Is Better For You

On the surface, the old IHG Select Card is probably an all-around better value. The card has an annual fee of only $49, and offers the same anniversary free night certificate and Platinum status for as long as you have the card.

The other biggest benefit on both cards is the extra value you get when you redeem points — the old IHG Select Card offers a 10% rebate on redeemed points (up to 100,000 points per year), while the new IHG Premier Card offers a fourth night free on award redemptions.

The fourth night free on award redemptions has the potential to be more valuable, since it could offer up to 25% off. However, that requires redeeming in increments of exactly four nights.

If that matches your typical redemption patterns, then I’d say that benefit is more valuable, while otherwise, the 10% rebate is likely to be more rewarding, since it applies to all redemptions.

Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade To The IHG Premier Card

While I think the IHG Premier Card is potentially more valuable for some (specifically, those who often redeem in increments of four nights), I wouldn’t recommend upgrading from one card to the other.

Why? Because you can have both cards, and you don’t want to cancel a card that you can never apply for again, especially one that has benefits that are this good.

You can continue to have the old IHG Select Card for the anniversary free night certificate and 10% refund on redeemed points, which is well worth the $49 annual fee.

Then you can complement that with the IHG Premier Card, which has a welcome bonus of 140,000 points after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of card membership. Then you can also benefit from the additional free night certificate and fourth night free on award redemptions.

The best part is that you can stack those benefits. If you have both cards:

  • You get two anniversary free night certificates per year
  • You can combine the fourth night free on award redemptions with the 10% refund on redeemed points, which gets you maximum value; if you redeem in increments of four nights, that’s the equivalent of up to 32.5% off redemptions, which is excellent


By having both cards you can save up to 32.5% on award stays

Bottom Line

While many people are tempted to upgrade their existing IHG Select Card to the new IHG Premier Card, I highly recommend against this. You’d be giving up a card that you’ll never be able to apply for again, and that has a lower annual fee and a unique 10% refund benefit on redeemed points.

I’d much rather keep the IHG Select Card, and then apply for the IHG Premier Card, which has useful benefits that you can stack, and a big welcome bonus (which you’re eligible to earn, assuming you don’t have the card).

The post Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade To The IHG Premier Card appeared first on One Mile at a Time

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