It is now over six months since Barclaycard pulled the two IHG Rewards Club credit cards. It was meant to be a three month gap whilst Barclays took the administration of the cards in house. Existing cardholders like myself received new cards, but the cards remained closed to new cardholders.
Slowly things are moving!
Via this page on the Barclaycard website, you can now apply for the IHG Rewards Club Visa again.
The headline features of this card are:
No annual fee
10,000 IHG Rewards Club points for joining – worth about £50 of free hotel room or transferable to 2,000 Avios points or other airline miles
Gold status in IHG Rewards Club for as long as you hold the card. You won’t get much, frankly, for being Gold – usually a few hundred bonus points or a free drink. However, if you do a few Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza or Indigo stays then it is certainly better than nothing.
1 IHG Rewards Club point per £1 spent. I value IHG points at 0.5p so this is not a very good return.
2 IHG Rewards Club points per £1 when you pay at IHG hotels. This would be roughly a 1% return which is acceptable.
Representative APR is 18.9% variable
My verdict? Don’t apply now
If you are tempted to get this card, I would be tempted to wait for a couple of months.
Before the cards were suspended in the Spring, hotel receptions were promoting an improved deal with a 15,000 point sign-up bonus. There is a chance that a link with an improved deal may become available.
Note that there is no cashback deal available on this card. There is also no refer-a-friend deal available.
If you are tempted by this card, you should also consider the Hilton HHonors Visa card. My review of that card is here. Both cards are issued by Barclaycard so you are unlikely to get both at the same time.
The sign-up bonus on the Hilton card is substantially better – you get a free night (valid for 6 months, weekends only) at any Hilton family hotel. This could be worth £250+ if used at a Conrad or Waldorf-Astoria property.
Where is the £99 Premium Visa?
Good question! There is a 2nd version of the IHG card available.
Whilst it has a £99 fee, the benefits are pretty good:
20,000 IHG Rewards Club points for signing up
100% higher earnings rate than the free card
Double points for overseas spend
Platinum status in IHG Rewards Club – which often gets you an upgrade and/or other benefits
A free night voucher for any IHG hotel for spending £10,000. Use it at the InterContinental Paris, London, New York etc and you could be looking at £250 of value.
There is a landing page for the card here but you cannot apply yet.
In summary, I would suggest you consider the following – if you are thinking of getting the free IHG Rewards Club, would you:
a) get a better deal with the Hilton card instead? or
b) get a better deal waiting for the £99 Premium card to become available again?
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.
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