Chase IHG Changes: New Business Card, Top Off Certificates With Points & More

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Chase & IHG have announced that a number of changes will becoming to the Chase IHG card portfolio on March 24, 2022. The changes are as follows:

  • Ability to top off award certificates with points. For example if an award certificate is good for properties up to 40,000 points per night but the property you want to stay at costs 50,000 points you can use the certificate and 10,000 points. Looks like this might just be for the Premier Business & personal & Traveler cards and not the old select card but unconfirmed.
  • New IHG Premier Business card
    • Annual fee of $99
    • Anniversary free night, good on properties up to 40,000 points per night
    • Card earns at the following rates:
      • 10x on IHG purchases
      • 5x on gas stations, dining, social media and search engine advertising and office supply store purchases
      • 3x on all other purchases
    • Automatic IHG silver status, earn Diamond Elite with $40,000 in spend
    • $50 United TravelBank cash each calendar year. Must register card in your United account
    • TSA PreCheck/Global Entry Credit
    • Spending bonus of 10,000 points + $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 within a calendar year. Additional free night after $60,000 in spend
    • Redeem three nights, get one night free
    • All existing IHG business cards will be product changed to this card
  • IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card:
    • Annual fee increased from $89 to $99 (annual fee will increase in 2023 for existing cardholders)
    • $50 United TravelBank cash each calendar year. Must register card in your United account
    • Spending bonus of 10,000 points + $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 within a calendar year. Earn Platinum status with $40,000 in spend.
    • Earning rates increased:
      • 5x on travel (previously 1x)
      • 5x on gas & dining (previously 2x)
      • 3x points on all other purchases (previously 1x)
    • All other benefits remain the same
    • Name changed to IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card (removal of Club in the name)
  • IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
    • Automatic silver status, earn gold status with $20,000 in spend in a calendar year
    • Spending bonus of 10,000 points after spending $10,000 within a calendar year
    • Earning rates increased:
      • 3x points on utilities, internet, cable, phone and select streaming services (previously 1x)
      • 3x points on gas and dining (previously 2x)
      • 2x points on all other purchases (previously 1x)
    • Name changed to IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card (removal of Club in the name)
  • IHG Select card ($49 annual fee, no longer available to new applicants) will remain the same but you can product change to either of the personal cards above. Not possible to apply for either of the above cards if you hold this card (currently this is possible)

Our Verdict

The main issue with the increased earning rates is that IHG points aren’t that valuable. Let’s take a look at what you’d earn if you spent $20,000 on a category with no spend bonus using the IHG Premier compared to a 2% card:

  • IHG Premier card:
    • 60,000 IHG points from 3x earning bonus
    • 10,000 IHG points from $20,000 spend bonus
    • $100 statement credit from $20,000 spend bonus
  • 2% cash back card: $400

Basically 70,000 IHG points for $300, that works out to be 0.428ยข per point. That’s also a best case scenario and not a great deal in my opinion (it’s even worse when comparing the gas & dining earning rates as lots of other cards earn category bonuses for those purchases).

The introduction of the $50 United TravelBank credit for an increase of $10 in the annual fee is a net benefit for most cardholders. Card is worth keeping for most people due to the annual fee night certificate, especially with the increased flexibility the top off points change makes.

It’s difficult to know if the business card will be worth applying for without knowing what sort of sign up bonus will be offered. It will be an interesting option for those wanting to stay under the 5/24 rule though.

 



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