Chase’s credit card chefs have served up a fresh IHG credit card menu and released the new IHG business card. If you recently dipped under 5/24 and are hungry for a hotel card, the IHG cards might look tasty. Which one should you pick?

Let’s satiate your hotel card appetite by looking at all three IHG cards offered by Chase.

About IHG

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is one of the largest hotel groups in the world. It boasts a collection of about 6,000 hotels between its 17 brands. IHG’s swath of products cover the gamut, from extended-stays at Staybridge Suites to luxurious full-service experiences at Crowne Plaza or Regent.

While the hotel offerings range wildly, so do the redemption prices. For instance, you can stay a night in Paris at the Holiday Inn Express Paris – CDG Airport for 26,000 IHG One Rewards points or at the InterContinental Paris – Le Grande for 93,000 points.

Paris at the Holiday Inn Express Paris – CDG Airport - using IHG points
InterContinental Paris – Le Grande - using points

It’s safe to say, whatever your travel style, IHG has a hotel that fits your needs.

Chase offers three IHG branded cards: the IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card, the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card and the IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. Although they’re similar, each has unique benefits.

Let’s dig into the details of each card and see which IHG card you should put in your wallet.

IHG® Rewards Traveler Card

The IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card is a $0 fee IHG card. You’ll earn 2X on all purchases and the following rates in select categories:

  • 5X on IHG purchases
  • 3X at gas stations
  • 3X on utilities, cable, internet, phone, cell and select streaming
  • 3X at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery

Simply by keeping the IHG® Rewards Traveler Card open, you’ll maintain automatic Silver Elite status with IHG, the first loyalty level.

As a Silver Elite member, you’ll receive the following perks:

  • Free internet
  • Priority check-in
  • 2 p.m. checkout
  • Points don’t expire
  • 20% bonus points on stays

Although you can reach Gold Elite status by staying 20 nights at IHG properties or earning 40,000 points, the IHG® Rewards Traveler cardmembers earn Gold Elite status by spending $20,000 on the card.

Gold Elite status members receive the same perks as Silver Elite members plus the following benefits:

  • Rollover nights for following year’s status
  • 40% bonus points on stays

The IHG® Rewards Traveler cardmembers also receive:

  • 20% discounts on the purchase of IHG points
  • 10,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 plus one purchase

The IHG® Rewards Traveler Card is the Chipotle of IHG cards. With no annual fees, there’s no reason not to pick up this card, unless you have plans for other Chase cards in the foreseeable future. Kind of like the decision to get Chipotle is more a question of “Why not?”

In addition to earning the welcome bonus after meeting the minimum-spending requirements, you’ll benefit from Silver Elite status, free internet and prevent your IHG points from expiring in the future. Unless there are better cards on our Best Credit Cards Under 5/24 list, why not add some guac?

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card kicks it up a notch in terms of perks, but the extra benefits come with a $99 annual fee. Instead of 2X on purchases, you’ll receive 3X points in addition to higher rates on select spending categories:

  • 10X on IHG purchases
  • 5X on travel and dining
  • 5X at gas stations

Opting for the IHG® Rewards Premier Card allows you to jump two status tiers by receiving automatic Platinum Elite status with IHG. Platinum Elite status includes all the benefits of Silver and Gold status plus the following benefits:

  • Early check-in
  • Guaranteed room availability
  • Complimentary upgrades
  • Welcome amenity
  • 60% bonus on points earning
  • Discounts on award nights

If you spend $40,000 in a year on your IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, you’ll earn Diamond status, which adds the following perks to the ones already mentioned:

  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Five Star membership
  • Dedicated Diamond support line
  • 100% bonus on stays

This card includes some extra garnishments, including:

  • Anniversary free night certificate: Good for one night at any IHG property worth up to 40,000 points.
  • $50 United TravelBank cash: A $25 credit every six months totalling $50 per year to your United TravelBank account. Use these credits in conjunction with other payment forms to book United flights.
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck or Nexus: A single credit up to $100 every four years for either Global Entry, TSA Precheck or Nexus enrollment.
  • Trip cancellation insurance: Refund up to $5,000 per person or $10,000 per trip for accommodations or travel canceled due to a covered event.
  • Rental collision coverage: Secondary coverage for damage to a rental vehicle that you’re driving.

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is fancier than Applebee’s on a date night. With high-tier status, a free night certificate and most of the perks expected out of a premium travel card, this card easily makes the $99 annual fee worth it.

IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

The IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card and the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card for consumers are like Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Switch the signs and replace cheddar biscuits with breadsticks, and can you really tell the difference?

You’ll find the IHG® Rewards Premier Business Card familiar. Just like with the IHG® Rewards Premier Card, you’ll pay a $99 annual fee and receive 3X on all purchases with these bonus categories:

  • 10X on IHG purchases
  • 5X on travel, dining, gas stations
  • 5X on social media, search engine advertising, office supplies

Like with the personal version of the card, you’ll receive automatic Platinum Elite status (Diamond status after $40,000 annual spend) and a free night certificate valid for rooms worth up to 40,000 points.

You’ll also retain the following benefits with a few slight twists:

  • Additional free night certificate: You’ll earn an additional free night after spending $60,000 on your card in a given year.
  • $50 United TravelBank cash: A $25 credit every six months totalling $50 per year to your United TravelBank account. Use these credits in conjunction with other payment forms to book United flights.
  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck or Nexus: A single credit up to $100 every four years for either Global Entry, TSA Precheck or Nexus enrollment.
  • Trip cancellation insurance: Refund up to $1,500 per person or $6,000 per trip for accommodations or travel canceled due to a covered event.
  • Rental collision coverage: Primary coverage for damage to a rental vehicle that you rent for business purposes.

Which IHG Card Should I Get?

Before you dive into the IHG card buffet, remember that you need to be under the 5/24 card count to apply. If that’s the case, ensure you aren’t missing out on better opportunities by checking our Best Cards Under 5/24 list first.

If you determine that an IHG card is right for you, you’ll have to pick your entree. The IHG card welcome bonuses are available only to applicants who don’t currently hold either rewards card and haven’t received a bonus within the last 24 months. This doesn’t apply to the business version of this card.

If you can qualify for a business card, the IHG® Rewards Premier Business Card is the move for you, as long as you’ll be able to use the annual free night certificate. Because business cards won’t count against your 5/24 count, you can qualify for the card without taking a precious slot.

You can then qualify for one of the other personal cards as well. If you can’t qualify for the business card or already have it, consider the following factors to choose between personal cards.

Travel benefits: Travel insurance and TSA Precheck are invaluable tools for any traveler. However, if you already have these benefits with another card, paying for them through the IHG Rewards Premier Card doesn’t make sense. Consider your other cards and decide whether you’ll gain needed benefits by paying the annual fee.

Annual free night: If you think you’ll find yourself in an IHG property at least once this year, there’s no reason to avoid the IHG® Rewards Premier Card. The $99 annual fee is essentially prepaying for a night stay at up to a 50% discount. For instance, you can use a free night certificate at the Holiday Inn Express Waikiki that goes for $196 per night, nearly doubling what you’ve already paid for the annual fee.

Holiday Inn Express Waikiki using points
Holiday Inn Express Waikiki using cash

Welcome bonus: The welcome bonuses for these cards change, but they tend to be comparable enough that it wouldn’t make sense to pay the annual fee simply for the higher bonus. If you’re simply looking to snag a quick bonus and don’t think you’ll carry the card long-term, the IHG Rewards Traveler Card is the right card for you.

BenefitIHG Rewards TravelerIHG Rewards PremierIHG Rewards Business Premier
Everyday Earning Rate2X3X3X
Bonus Category Rate3X gas stations, utilities, cable, internet, cell phone and select streaming, restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery5X travel and dining, gas stations5X travel, dining, gas stations, social media, search engine advertising, office supplies
IHG Earning Rate5X10X10X
Annual Fee$0$99$99
Automatic StatusSilver ElitePlatinum ElitePlatinum Elite
Additional Benefits● 20% discounts on the purchase of IHG points
● 10,000 bonus points after spending $10,000 plus one purchase
● Anniversary free night certificate
● $50 United TravelBank cash
● Global Entry/TSA Precheck or Nexus
● Trip cancellation insurance
● Rental collision coverage (secondary)
● Anniversary free night certificate
● Additional free night after $60,000 spend
● $50 United TravelBank cash
● Global Entry/TSA Precheck or Nexus
● Trip cancellation insurance
● Rental collision coverage (primary)

Final Thoughts

Chase packed enough benefits into the IHG® Rewards Premier Card to make it worth sampling. The free night certificate alone makes it superior to its sugar-free cousin, so don’t be afraid of the annual fee.

Don’t forget to apply for the IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card first because it won’t take a 5/24 slot.

When the dessert tray arrives, you can only pick one. Whether you opt for the no-fee IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card or choose the richer IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, you’ll get a solid card with a side of free hotel stays.