Best Credit Cards for Staying at IHG Hotels Around the World
Disclaimer: Some of the offers described below may no longer be available.
IHG Hotels features twelve of the most recognizable worldwide brands, including Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, and Crowne Plaza. With over 744,000 guest rooms in the world, chances are you've stayed at one in the past. If you're a frequent guest, you may have considered boosting your points earnings with a credit card-- here are the best cards for IHG Hotels.
The Best Credit Cards for IHG Hotels
1. The Chase IHG Rewarss Club Premier Credit Card
The Chase IHG Credit Card currently has a limited time bonus of 80,000 points when you spend $2,000 within 3 months of account opening. You'll also earn 5,000 points if you add an additional cardholder and make a purchase on that card within 3 months. We've detailed what 80,000 points can get you in IHG's rewards program in the past, but recent devaluations have made it harder to use at top-tier properties.
The card used to have an annual free night at any IHG hotel worldwide. Now, it's a benefit that can be used at most hotels, except for 330 of IHG's top-tier properties. This benefit alone is still worth the $89 annual fee; it's just not as useful as in the past.
When you stay at IHG properties, you'll have Platinum status, just for having the card. Keep in mind that unlike other brands, IHG properties offer limited elite benefits when staying on points or free night certificates, which irks me and keeps me from being loyal to them for my normal travels.
The card also earns 10 IHG points per dollar on all IHG purchases. If you're focused on earning IHG points by staying at IHG hotels, this is the best card for spending. You'll also earn 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores. While this card is good for earning at gas stations and grocery stores, if you're focused on earning IHG points, see below for a better card for restaurant earning.
2. and 3. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Reserve Cards
Currently with a 60,000 point bonus for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card opening, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of my favorite cards, period. That's why it's on our list of best credit card sign up bonuses and best credit cards for travel. You'll earn two Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for travel and dining, which isn't as high as the Chase Sapphire Reserve's 3 points per dollar on travel and dining, but the Preferred card only has a $95 fee each year.
For IHG earning, you'll want to put your restaurant spending on the Reserve or Preferred cards. While the Preferred card earns the same "points" per dollar as the IHG card, Ultimate Rewards points are way more versatile. You can transfer directly into IHG at a 1:1 ratio any time you wish, or you could transfer into another travel program to help you get to your IHG hotel, like United, Southwest, or British Airways.
IHG Hotels offer some great value in the travel world. Its top-tier Intercontinental properties can be best-in-class, and Holiday Inns and Crowne Plazas are ubiquitous worldwide. Using a credit card for your stays at these properties to maximize your savings is a no-brainer, and if your travels find you at an IHG hotel, we hope this post helped you keep a few extra dollars in your wallet.