The IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa (with free Platinum status) is finally back!

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It is now over seven 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.

Back in October, Barclaycard relaunched the free version of the IHG card.  And, finally, via this page on the Barclaycard website (only works on desktops), you can now apply for the IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa again.

IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa 2

The headline features of this card are:

£99 annual fee

20,000 IHG Rewards Club points for joining – worth about £100 of free hotel room or transferable to 4,000 Avios points or other airline miles

Platinum (top tier) status in IHG Rewards Club for as long as you hold the card.  You won’t get a huge amount in a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express for being Platinum.  Many Indigo and Crowne Plaza properties, and even some InterContinental hotels, do treat Platinum members well – I was upgraded to an executive room with lounge access on my last Crowne Plaza stay at the London The City property for example.

A free night certificate when you spend £10,000 in your card year.  This is valid at ANY IHG property and is therefore worth 50,000 IHG Rewards Club points (the maximum cost of an IHG redemption) if used properly.  The free night books into standard reward availability and has substantial value if used at an expensive InterContinental.

2 IHG Rewards Club point per £1 spent. I value IHG points at 0.5p so this is a pretty decent return for a non-Amex card.

4 IHG Rewards Club points per £1 when you pay at IHG hotels. This would be roughly a 2% return which is very good.

4 IHG Rewards Club points per £1 when you use the card abroad.  This is a decent deal although the card does have a 2.99% foreign exchange fee.

Representative APR is 42.2% variable based on a £1,200 credit limit and including the £99 fee

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 unless you need the IHG status now.

Before the cards were suspended in the Spring, hotel receptions were promoting an improved deal with a 30,000 point sign-up bonus. There is a chance that a link with an improved deal may become available.

I would also imagine – although I could be wrong – that if you are elevated to Platinum status early in 2015 then it will run until the end of 2016.  If you apply now and gain Platinum before the New Year, it would only run until the end of 2015.  This assumes that you cancel the card, of course.  If you keep it, you retain Platinum status for as long as you keep paying your £99 fee.

Note that there is no cashback deal available on this card. There is also no refer-a-friend deal.  There is no better offer than applying through the Barclaycard link above.

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.

(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.)

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  1. It’s worth noting that the new Barclays web portal is rubbish and doesn’t tell you how much of the 10k free night spend you’ve done

  2. I had it as a step on my big win last year; so besides the bonus promotion on sign up; Big Win added another 40k reward points

  3. Alex Metcalfe says:

    If I already have a Barclaycard, am I right in assuming I won’t be able to apply for this?

    • Globetrotter7 says:

      I think you can get this one too. I have a barclaycard and 3 months ago I got the HHonors card. Both have been automatically linked on mybarclaycard

    • You will be fine applying for this, I have three other CCs for work purposes and all are issued by Barclaycard. As long as you can demonstrate you can pay you shouldn’t have an issue.

    • No, you should still be OK.

  4. If a person already has the standard IHG version of the card can they cancel and get this offer? is there a period of time before the churn is acceptable? Can one hold both cards?

  5. Is the fee a sunken cost or is it refunded pro-rata? I only ask as I’m interested in the status as I’ve got a two week Crowne Plaza stay on the horizon.

    • Sadly unlike Amex there’s no pro-rata refund.

    • You need to be a bit careful about getting the status purely for one particular stay. In my experience (as a long-standing Platinum member), benefits at Crowne Plazas are variable. I’ve had stays in London where I’ve been upgraded to a Club room with lounge access. And then I had a stay in Hamburg last week where they upgraded me to a Club room but said that I couldn’t use the lounge! The upgrade to a better room is nice, of course, but for a single stay it wouldn’t be worth having paid for status.

      • I got the same at the Le Meridien at Dubai Airport on Sunday! In the end I did get the benefits because the lounge door was unmanned in the evening and we only wanted a couple of bowls of cereal for breakfast for the kids which they agreed not to charge for, and we got the free drive across the road to the terminal because the guy giving out the cars didn’t know we were upgraded!

      • It’s all very hit and miss as far as I’m concerned. I was upgraded to a suite after making a standard room redemption at the CP Kensington, and I am only Gold. I’ve never actually been Platinum with IHG, but I’ve had my fair bit of status recognition even in Holiday Inns (moved to executive floor rooms, early check-in, late check-out etc). It might help that those have mostly been one-night bookings, but still, I’ve been very pleased for as long as I’ve been with the programme.

    • If you already have the reservation made and then get upgraded make sure the hotel knows your status has changed in advance as if you book as gold the status normally pulls through as gold.

    • Ok thanks for the advise. I think I’ll just wait and see what promotions they put out for the card and take it if it is particularly attractive. That said, how likely is an upgrade with Platinum if you have booked your room through a 3rd party? In my experiences with Hilton they normally provide me with the benefits (barring the nights and points).

      • Hilton is an exception and is more generous than most chains. That said, as Platinum has no guaranteed benefits the hotel has no obligation to you anyway!

  6. Horrific customer service. I won’t bore you with the details….

    Just got the £99 fee refunded though 🙂

  7. Anyone know whether you can hold both cards (free and paid for) ??

  8. Anyone tried signing up for the same card but the US version (chase)?

    That is only $49 and the benefits seem a lot better, it popped up in my offers section on the IHG website and I couldn’t see a country based restriction.

    • I can’t see them letting you sign up without a US mailing address, bank account and social security number – otherwise we’d all be going for the US cards given their amazing sign up deals!

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