The Chase x IHG Rewards Club card pays for itself. I’m not saying that it pays its own Annual Fee, because it’s free to own the first year. I’m saying that you can earn 100%+ back what you spend on it.
IHG points are in and of themselves a half-cent apiece. The IHG website sells them for a whole cent each at $10 for 1000/$40 for 4000 and more limitedly, at $565 for 100k points. My sweet, sweet Splurgists, don’t fallback onto points-buying unless the circumstances are dire.
The IHG Rewards Club Select credit card offers a 80,000 sign-up bonus after $1000 spend within 3 months and waives the $49 Annual Fee the first year. Earnings, benefits and fees are as follows:
- 5x per dollar at IHG
- 2x per dollar on Gas, Groceries and at Restaurants
- 1x per dollar towards All Else
- 10% rebate on points redemption
- Platinum Elite status for the duration of card membership.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- $49 Annual Fee waived first year
Platinum status elevates base earn by 50% which is 15x base earn per dollar at InterContinental, Crowne, Indigo, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express and 7.5x base earn per dollar at Staybridge and Candlewood. And 4000, 2600 or 1200 points per qualifying stay at ANA partner hotels.
The $1000 spend is easily met when staying 4 to 5 nights at a domestic InterContinental. That is
($1000 spend x (15 base + 5 card earn) + 80k sign-up) x .005 valuation x 1.1 rebate =
worth $550 in rewards or a 55% reimbursement towards additional stays. If you’re meeting the $1000 qualifying spend in food and gas essentials, it’d be
(($1000 spend x 3 card earn) + 80k sign-up) x .005 valuation x 1.1 rebate =
$457 or 48% reimbursed and still a formidable rewards amount considering the annual fee is waived.
The Anniversary Free Night is given to you after the first year, and at $49 it is worth >$550 depending on how and where you redeem. The stay must be completed within 12 months of receipt and can/should be complemented by the $450 to $550 worth of points earned the previous year. The Chase IHG card can reimburse you over 100% of the $1049 spend requirement through hotel stays.
The card sign-up bonuses can be re-redeemed 24 months after you’ve last earned them if you want to keep cycling in IHG points at 100,000 increments (80k sign up, 20k card earn).
Should you elect to hold onto the card, the $49 annual fee buys you a free night’s stay at any location (and while value can be upwards of $500, you’re susceptible to availability and the stay must be completed within a 12-month timeframe).
Let’s freaking GO already!!