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.
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.
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