IHG Rewards Credit Cards – Premier vs Traveler Card


IHG Rewards Premier Card and The Traveler Card

The IHG Rewards Credit Cards are offered by Chase Bank.  The points earned with these cards can be used at IHG hotels throughout the world.  There are multiple cards available for consumers including the IHG Premier Card and the IHG Traveler Card.  Each card provides different fee structures and reward rates.  We will take a look at which card which best suit your needs.

IHG Rewards Credit Cards
IHG Premier Card and IHG Travelers Card

IHG Traveler Rewards Club MasterCard Benefits

The Traveler Rewards Card provides customers with a low fee card to earn points with IHG.  This credit card comes with a $29 annual fee.  The fee is somewhat in a strange spot because often “entry level cards” provide no annual fee.  With this said, the card does comes with a number of very appealing benefits:

  • 10x Points for each dollar spent with IHG
  • 2x Points for each dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • 1x Points for every dollar spent anywhere MasterCard is accepted
  • Free reward night for each stay redeeming a minimum of 4 nights
  • 20% discount on IHG points when purchasing with your card

The best thing about the IHG Traveler Card is the point categories.  These are the same categories that we will find with the Premier card.  The 2x point bonus for gas, groceries, and eating out is something not found with many “entry cards”.  Again, though this is the lowest card provided for IHG Rewards it does have categories that reflect a premium credit card.

IHG Premier Rewards Club MasterCard Benefits

As the name suggests, the Premier Rewards Card is the premium option available to consumers.  Likewise, this card also comes with a premium level annual fee of $89.  This is slightly less than comparable premium cards which typically average about $99.  The IHG comes with a number of great benefits including:

  • 10x Points for each dollar spent with IHG
  • 2x Points for each dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • 1x Points for every dollar spent anywhere MasterCard is accepted
  • Free anniversary night award to cardholders each year
  • $100 credit for TSA Pre-check or Global entry every four years
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points each year when $20,000 is charged to your card annually
  • Free reward night for each stay redeeming a minimum of 4 nights
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status for Premier Cardholders

As you can see, this card brings some big league benefits.  If this is your primary credit card, you can expect to earn an additional 10,000 points.  These points are in addition to the points you already earn just for using your IHG Premier Card.  Additionally, cardholders receive a free night each year they are cardholders.  Given these perks, many cardholders will find the annual fee to be well worth the expense.

IHG Premier or IHG Traveler Card – Which Wins?

While some consumers will find the lower annual fee for the Traveler Card ($29 vs $89) enticing, the clear winner here is the Premier Card.  First, the free night provided for the Premier Card will already offset the annual fee.  Secondly, cardholders with the IHG Premier Card will receive a $100 credit for Pre-Check or Global Entry.  This perk is available every four years.  Either of these options is good for 4 years so you can renew your pick at no cost each time it expires.  In my mind, these two aspects more than settle the debate but there are even more reasons I prefer the Premier Card.

If you plan to use this credit card as your primary card, you will earn even more.  Spending $20,000 annually on a primary credit card is very achievable for many credit card users.  Premier cardholders earn a free 10,000 point bonus each year this threshold is met.  If you are planning to make the Traveler Card a primary credit card, there becomes even less reason not to upgrade to the Premier.

IHG Platinum Elite Status – Premier Card Benefit

  • No black out dates when redeeming IHG Rewards Points
  • A dedicated customer service line (available at 1-800-421-5162
  • Nights earned beyond Platinum Elite Status will be rolled over each year
  • Room upgrades are automatic and come at no additional cost
  • 50% Bonus on base points towards you next tier upgrade

Another benefit discussed which is available for Premier Cardholders is automatic Platinum Elite Status with IHG.  As you can see above, being a Platinum Elite Member provides some great perks.  Traveler cardholders will need to earn this status.  Premier cardholders will automatically receive this benefit.

Final Thoughts

Overall, both of these cards are geared towards customers who will be staying at an IHG property (listed below).  If you do not plan to stay with IHG then this would not be a card for you.  There is a clear advantage for Premier Card over The Traveler Card.  What are your thoughts?  Which card do you prefer?  Let us know in the comments!

IHG Rewards Club – Which Hotels Are Part of the IHG Network?

Staybridge Suites                   Even™ Hotels                  Holiday Inn Club Vacations®

Candlewood Suites®              HUALUXE™                      Crowne Plaza®

InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts        InterContinental Alliance® Resorts

Holiday Inn Resort®                Hotel Indigo®                   Holiday Inn®

Holiday Inn Express®

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