Good deal on the IHG Rewards Club credit cards – sign-up bonus DOUBLED

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IHG Rewards Club (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Indigo etc) has not had any promotions on its credit cards since March.

A new deal has now arrived.  IHG has DOUBLED the sign-up bonus on its two Visa credit cards.

There are two different cards available, a free version and a version with a £99 annual fee.  Both of these cards are worth a look – your personal stay preferences will decide which one is best for you.

The cards are issued by Barclaycard so your ability to get the IHG cards may be impacted if you hold the Hilton Visa (also Barclaycard).  I was told this week that Barclaycard is stopping people who already have one of its cards from getting another – we need to see if this is really happening in practice.  In any event, Barclaycard will not give you a second card within six months of previously applying for one.

This offer was promoted in the IHG member email this month.  The small print states that the offer is only available to those who received it.   As this email goes out to all opted-in IHG Rewards Club members, I am pretty sure that anyone who applies via the links below will receive the higher bonus.  You should be aware, though, that there is a risk that you only receive the normal bonus.

IHG Rewards Club Visa

The IHG Rewards Club Visa

The free card is the IHG Rewards Club Visa.  The standard sign-up bonus is 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points but until 31st December you will receive 20,000 points.  The bonus is triggered with your first purchase.

20,000 IHG points transfers into 4,000 Avios or other airline miles.  It would get you between 1-2 free hotel nights in a cheap part of the world or FOUR free nights if you use the points to book a hotel in the next round of PointBreaks offers where rooms are reduced to 5,000 points per night.

You will also receive Gold status in IHG Rewards Club for as long as you hold the card.  This doesn’t get you much, to be honest, so I would put very little value on it.  The 20,000 points do NOT count towards status so this is not a way of speeding up your passage to Platinum or Spire Elite status.

The earnings rate is poor at just 1 IHG Rewards Club point per £1 spent.  I value IHG points at 0.5p so that represents just 0.5% return on your spending.

My full review of the IHG credit card can be found here although it has not yet been amended to reflect this higher bonus.

This card is best for …. someone who does not intend to keep it long-term and is mainly concerned with getting some Avios or hotel nights from the sign-up bonus.

The representative APR on this card is 18.9% variable.

The link to apply is here.  This offer is ONLY available via this link.

IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa 2

The IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa

The second version of the card is the IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa.  This carries an annual fee of £99 which is non-refundable if you choose to cancel.

The standard sign-up bonus on the Premium card is 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points but until 31st December 2015 you will receive 40,000 points.  The bonus is triggered with your first purchase.

40,000 IHG points transfers into 8,000 Avios or other airline miles.  You will get far more value using them for hotel nights, however.  Even the best InterContinental hotels in the world only cost 50,000 points per night, so this is effectively a very cheap way to get yourself close to a night in the IC’s in Paris, London, New York, Bora Bora etc.

Used for more modest hotels such as Holiday Inn Express properties in suburban locations, you would receive between two and three free nights for 40,000 points.  If you use the points to book a hotel in the next round of PointBreaks offers where rooms are reduced to 5,000 points per night, you could book yourself an 8 night stay.

The Premium card comes with Platinum status in IHG Rewards Club for as long as you hold the card.  At Crowne Plaza hotels this can often result in an excellent upgrade and/or lounge access.  At a Holiday Inn Express there is little they can give you except a free drink.  It really does vary.  Platinum is now the middle tier status following the launch of Spire Elite status this Summer.

The 40,000 points do NOT count towards status so they are no use if you are looking to hit Spire Elite status quickly.

The earnings rate is good at 2 IHG Rewards Club point per £1 spent.  I value IHG points at 0.5p so that represents a 1% return on your spending.  This is impressive for a non-American Express card.  If you use the card abroad, you receive 4 points per £1 albeit with a 3% FX fee.

You also receive a free night voucher when you spend £10,000.  This is valid for 12 months and lets you redeem for a free night at ANY IHG property, as long as standard reward nights are showing.  This is worth £250+ if used at a key InterContinental hotel.  Both my wife and I have this card and trigger the free night voucher each year.

My full review of the IHG Premium credit card can be found here although it has not yet been updated to reflect this offer.

This card is best for …. someone who can put £10,000 through the card in order to earn the free night voucher or who is a regular guest at IHG properties and would value the Platinum status.

The representative APR is 42.2% variable including the £99 fee, assuming a £1,200 credit limit.

The link to apply is here.  This offer is ONLY available via this link.

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.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker even though IHG and Barclaycard do not pay me a penny!  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated ‘Credit Cards’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. OT – I’m planning a trip from LHR to Tokyo using my AMEX 241, and i want to return form Hong Kong to LHR using another AMEX 241 is this possible? as when i’ve been looking it says that you can’t use a voucher unless flying from the UK.

    • That’s correct. The flight has to start from London.why don’t you use the other part of your 241 to return to Lobdon from Hong Kong ?

      • What do you mean?

        • You mentioned using another 241 voucher to return from Hong Kong implying you had two 241 vouchers. What are you using the return part of the 241 on your London to Tokyo trip on ?

          • I’m such an idiot, i didn’t realise you could use one voucher for a return i thought it was one voucher each way. Thats even better value! i just need to call BA and book a “multi-city flight’. Thats even better news!

          • cheekychappie says:

            Kipto the King! 🙂

  2. To use the Hilton free weekend night voucher in October 2016, is it still best to apply for the card in March to trigger the voucher in April? Or is the 12 month validity the norm now?

    • They are giving 12 months BUT the website still says 6 months so you have no recompense if they switch back …..

      • I used my voucher about a month ago and for a night 10 months away and had no problems (even though it said 6 months on the voucher, I think the T&Cs say 1 year) 🙂

  3. I shall be staying in a Holiday Inn in Canada for four nights next week using 100.000 points, mostly from two Visa cards (thanks Rob) so two bookings. I asked to have the same room and upgraded to an Executive room with river view at C$30 per night.
    Subsequently, IHG introduced Spire status and by dint of the 60,000 points from the card and transfer from Virgin (points from a card and from Tesco) I scraped together the required 75,000 points without setting foot in an IHG property.
    I had heard here and FT that many properties did not yet recognise Spire. I emailed the hotel appearing naïve (no effort required) and asked whether my status meant that I got a further upgrade (I don’t think there were better rooms) or whether I got the requested upgrade for free. They said that they would check and a few days later came back and said that I should only get an upgrade on arrival, but as a welcome to Spire I would get the upgrade free.
    So for the £99 fee for the card we are getting a £450 cash rate stay.
    They do advertise the wind farm on the island opposite as ‘completing the view’!
    Of course this is only one booking in one hotel.

  4. I have 66000 IHG points and need 100,000 for 2 nights in New York in Sept 2016.

    My wife and I both have free IHG cards. Can you have the free card and the £99 card at the same time?

  5. Thanks for reply and also yesterdays comments re IHG Boston.

    I just applied and the answer was that I would get a decision in 5 days.

    I am going to call on Monday morning to see if Its best to cancel my free card.

    I just checked and we actually have 76,000 points so I only need 24,000 points for 2 nights at IHG Times Square, New York.

  6. Jumble Tales says:

    Does anyone know if Barclays are in any way flexible over the £99 annual fee when that comes around?

  7. I just cancelled my free card. IHG said you cant have two barclaycards and I applied for the £99 card on Saturday.

    They really tried hard to keep me by saying no interest for as year and then with balance transfer offers etc. They would not offer any points offer for me to stay so I cancelled.

    Our friends want to stay in Crown Plaza on Times Square, New York Anyone stayed at this hotel?

  8. I’ve just been accepted for this. I applied via the Barclaycard website. I’ve seen no mention of a 40,000 sign-up bonus. Am I missing something? Did I do anything wrong? Or do I just have to wait and hope?

  9. You had to apply via the link on this website. If you did this get a screen shot for later reference.

  10. Hi, fantastic site. I have a question about the IHG 5000 pts for room deal (appreciate that’s an old post. How often do these come out and how far ahead can you book? We’re going out to Canada and USA next summer with the kids and trying to use as many points as we can to keep the costs down. So fa managed to get out to Vancouver and return via Dallas in BC with miles and an amex voucher. Going to do the IHG card to get 20k more miles but this 5000 pts thing would be great. Any ideas when the next ones out? Thanks Mark

    • I think they come out every quarter, although the majority of them tend to be fairly out of the way properties, but you never know you might get lucky with one that works for you.

      • Thanks Alan, I’d be able to use Grand Junction in Colorado if that comes back and anything in Colorado generally possibly. Do IHG send out a notification or is it publicised elsewhere?

        • It’s well publicised in the blogs, Rob usually highlights it here – I don’t remember IHG emailing me about it but I may just have ignored it! They’re superb value if you can get ones that work for you – I switched a normal redemption in NZ for a points break one and saved a tidy sum in points!

  11. Er, yes!

    Where it says ‘The link to apply is here’ – that is where you find the link to apply 🙂

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