The IHG Rewards Club Black Visa card is one of the better Visa or MasterCard options available. Whilst there is a £99 annual fee, the earnings rate is OK and there is a decent sign-up bonus. You also get a free night at any InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Indigo etc hotel when you spend £10,000 in a year.
There is also a free version of the card (IHG Rewards Club Visa) but this is less interesting unless you are a modest spender. Your earning rate is halved and there is no free night voucher.
(The cards are not currently available to new applicants whilst Barclaycard – which runs it – updates its IT systems. They should reappear during August.)
If you have the card you should have received an email yesterday offering double points for all spending during August. This means you would earn:
On the free card:
2 IHG Rewards Club points per £1 spent
4 IHG Rewards Club points per £1 for spending in IHG hotels
On the Black card:
4 IHG Rewards Club points per £1 for UK spend
8 IHG Rewards Club points per £1 for spending in IHG hotels
8 IHG Rewards Club points per £1 equivalent for overseas spend
This is an attractive deal, especially on the Black card.
I tend to value IHG points at 0.5p each, based on spending 50,000 of them for a free night worth £250+ at a top InterContinental hotel in New York, London, Paris etc.
This means that with the Black card IHG is giving you the equivalent of 2% back on your UK spend and 4% back on your foreign spend (albeit the card has the standard 3% foreign exchange fee).
I like the look of this and I will be putting the card back into my wallet for a few weeks.
The only point which is unclear is whether transactions have to be made by August 31st or whether it also needs to post to your credit card statement by August 31st – implying an end date a few days earlier. I am assuming that as long as you make the transaction in August you will be OK.
(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)