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Your final answer to the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard free night question

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On Sunday I wrote about the confusion being caused over the issuance of the ‘end of year’ free hotel night voucher with the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard.

I am very positive about the IHG Rewards Club Premum Mastercard and I think that most cardholders WILL want to continue with it after the first year.

All you are paying is £99, and this gets you:

on-going IHG Rewards Club Platinum status which comes with some decent benefits on your InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo etc stays

IHG Rewards Club credit card premium

a free night voucher for spending £10,000 (worth £250+ if spend wisely)

an excellent earnings rate of 2 points (worth about 0.8p – 1p) per £1 

double points on overseas spending and spending at IHG hotels

and these points count towards status if you are going for top tier Spire Elite

As a legal reminder, this card has a representative APR of 41.5% variable including the £99 fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit.

Some people, however, will want to cancel.  The voucher is triggered on the anniversary of opening your account.  Your annual fee of £99 appears on your next statement, which could be a few days or a couple of weeks later.

Creation, which issues the card, has to date been all over the place when readers have contacted them to ask how they should deal with this situation.  To be fair, the first anniversary of the launch of the card does not come round until later this week so it has been a purely theoretical discussion so far.

I have been speaking with Creation about this and there is now a position on how the process will work if you choose to cancel your card.  The customer service centre has been fully briefed about the policy and you should not have any problems.

Cancelling mid-year:

If you have spent £10,000 on the Premium card but cancel during your card year, you will not receive the free night voucher.  You must hold the card for the full year.

Cancelling at the end of the year:

Once the 12-month anniversary date has passed, you will receive the free night voucher as long as you spent over £10,000 in the previous year

If you ring Creation to cancel your account after the 12-month anniversary date has passed, but before your next statement is issued, you will still receive the free night voucher.  There is not a problem with the fee as it will not have been added to your account yet.

If you have just received a statement which includes the £99 fee for the second year, you can close your account before the next statement date and fee will not be due.  The only exception is if you have spent on the card after the £99 fee has been applied – in this case, you will be deemed to wish to continue with the card for another year. You will still receive the free night voucher.

After 30 days from the date that the fee for Year 2 is added to your account, you are liable to pay it.  You can still cancel your card but you will not receive a fee refund.  You will still receive the free night voucher.

The free night voucher should be added to your IHG Rewards Club account within a month, give or take, of the £99 fee being charged.  It does not matter if you cancel your credit card before the voucher appears on your IHG account – you will still receive it.

I hope that is clear.  The bottom line is that, if the card is not use, you have at least four weeks from your card anniversary date to cancel without paying the fee.

That said, as I wrote above, you should think carefully before cancelling because the card does offer an EXCELLENT package and you will struggle to find a better Visa or Mastercard offer to replace it.

If you speak to anyone at Creation who gives you a different line to what I have written above, get in touch with me and I will give you the details of the person to contact.

If you don’t already have the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard and want to find out more about it, my full review is here.

IHG Rewards update – October 2021:

Get bonus points: You can earn up to triple IHG Rewards base points with IHG’s new Autumn promotion. It runs from 1st October to 31st December. You can register here and our full article on the offer is here.

New to IHG Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards points, you can buy them here.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (135)

  • Marco says:

    This is a positive step but there is still the significant problem of the delay in posting the free night to the IHG account. The delay compared to the Barclaycard system is excessive. What reason do Creation give for this?

    • Genghis says:

      How do you know there’s a delay?

      • Genghis says:

        Oh you mean actually anniversary v spend date? It is written in the T&Cs, though not exactly crystal.

        • Rob says:

          Commercial decision, I assume. Virgin gives the upgrade vouchers at year end, HSBC is giving the 2nd half of the bonus at year end ….. it is not exactly unique.

  • RIcatti says:

    –The free night voucher should be added to your IHG Rewards Club account within a month, give or take, of the £99 fee being charged.

    This still postulates that the fee has to be charged first.

    It is unclear how the mechanics will work in situation of account being after the anniversary date and closed before the fee/12th month statement generated.

    • Rob says:

      As lojg as you cancel after the card anniversary date you get the voucher.

  • Lee says:

    Can you get the spire level by transferring points in from Amex? Seem to recall reading that you can. If yes, how many?

    • Genghis says:

      Amex -> Virgin -> IHG but a bit of a waste IMO as only getting 0.4-0.5p / Amex. The maths could work if you’re only a bit short of SE (as it triggers the 25k bonus).

      • Genghis says:

        … and you’re towards the calendar year end with no more qualifying opportunities available.

  • Paul says:

    I held the old IHG card issued by Barclaycard. Life was so much easier then in the old days!
    Whilst it’s great to get clarity I have to say that creation have made an industry out of this. Issue. The voucher should be issued as soon as the target is met and quickly. Good god, even BA manage to issue the 241 within a few days and not a month later.
    I did not take out the new card first due to this rediculous issue with the voucher and secondly because IHG don’t offer any benefits to Spire members let alone platinum that have worth. Hilton on the other do and Barclaycard still manage the credit card. I have just had the new voucher issued.
    IHG have some great hotels and good promotions but recognition is poor and the credit card is not great.

    • Genghis says:

      I disagree with quite a lot you say here. I think the message is inconsistency with IHG status. I’ve had upgrades, lounge access, SE helped get 10k IHGs from a £39 stay as compo, the extra 50% points etc as SE gained primarily from a card that is for earning opportunities the best widely available non-Amex card in the UK market.

      • Genghis says:

        … so as long as you can hit the £10k spend

        • Rob says:

          I got the Presidential Suite at the Kimoton in Amsterdam last week, and free lunch when my room wasn’t ready. The other 20 people waiting for rooms were not getting free lunch.

          • Genghis says:

            So it wasn’t “Hi, I’m Rob from Head for Points, a very successful travel and points blog in the UK”…? 🙂

          • Rob says:

            Nah … I’d booked a (junior) suite for cash and had a Spire Ambassador card, what choice did they have? Tell me to sit on the floor for an hour with the American tourists?

        • Leo says:

          Even with my own SE card you’ve put me right off the Kimpton!

    • Scallder says:

      There is also the issue with timing of the voucher and it’s expiry. Some people (including myself on a few occasions) were finding themselves stopping spend part way through the year to make sure the voucher wasn’t triggered. As a result you’re missing out on points.

      Knowing you get it at anniversary actually means that you can keep putting spend through and plan around the anniversary date in advance

      • Scallder says:

        Should say that I’ve halted spending on both the IHG card and the BA Alex for this reason in the past

    • Alan says:

      I actually prefer knowing each year when I’ll receive the voucher – I find the Lloyds card annoying in that it issues the voucher bang on the £7k spend, therefore I end up having to stay below that to stop the voucher triggering. I end up with the card sitting in my drawer much of the year. By comparison with this Creation IHG card I’ve put almost £20k through it as there was no reason to hold off going over the £10k limit. I imagine that’s the kind of thing that made Creation switch to this method.

      I still think they should have been much clearer up front about a plan for the voucher and no-quibble refund of 2nd card year fee if unused, but they were certainly clear about when ther voucher would be issued.

  • James says:

    I have the free IHG white at the moment, does anyone know if you can ‘upgrade’ to the £99 black card and still get the sign up bonus?

    • Genghis says:

      A separate application is possible

      • Alexander says:

        Can I have both IHG back and white cards at the same time or I need to cancel IHG white first in order to apply for black and get a sign up bonus? Thank you

        • Gareth says:

          Both at same time is allowed

          • Alan says:

            Indeed – have now got my 20k IHG from the promo offer and will be closing the White card soon 😛

          • Genghis says:

            Didn’t someone say that you have to wait 6 months before cancellation as it’s written in the T&Cs that if you cancel before then the bonus points can be clawed back?

          • Alan says:

            @Genghis – excellent point, forgot all about that! From T&Cs – “The 10,000 bonus Rewards points will be awarded upon generation of your first IHG Rewards Club Credit Card Statement after the Qualifying Spend. If your IHG Rewards Club Credit Card account is closed within the first 6 months of opening, IHG reserves the right to deduct the 10,000 bonus Rewards points from your IHG Rewards Club account.” I’ll just get credit limit reduced instead (am wanting to take out AA card before 22nd August). Will close VS White once it posts bonus points as no minimum time to have it open.

  • MWood says:

    Glad you’ve spoken to Creation as actually speaking to someone there is a long and tiresome process for often very little reward in terms of customer service.

    I’ve had the white card since launch but am yet to see either a spend point or bonus credited to my account. There’s loads of examples of issues people have with applying (check out Creation on TrustPilot). Creation just don’t seem well equipped to have this contract and it could be a bit of a stain on IHG for choosing to partner with them.

    • Sam wardill says:

      Totally with you on this. I was about to say the same. I lost my card and was hanging on for 45 mins to cancel. Creation also has no Apple Pay and no online PIN reminders. Not exactly an effective card issuer

      • Brighton Belle says:

        My moan about the Creation card is when I analyse my expenses a CSV file into excel is useful. I have yet to find a way to export transaction history. I asked Creation customer services how to do it and they said they’d ask technical support. It seems they are still trying to figure it out. Compared to the functionality in the Barclaycard version the statement functionality is pre historic.

  • mark2 says:

    I would normally agree about the lack of recognition for Spire Elite, but last month we stayed for one night at the Holiday Inn in Vancouver BC. On check in my status was recognised and we were upgraded to an enormous suite on the top floor, albeit with a surprisingly small bathroom. No free breakfast of course, just the usual poor but expensive choice.
    This is probably the exception that proves the rule since most HI do not have suites and this hotel was definitely a cut above the average, except for food. I intend to use my last 30,000 points for two nights in Telford where I do not expect the experience to be repeated.

    • Liz says:

      We get great value out of IHG in the USA. Our recent trip had about 11 different bookings. One was a HI in St Louis. On arrival my name was printed on an award on the checkin desk as Guest Award of the day. They couldn’t offer us an upgraded room as the hotel was full due to a convention but we got free breakfast for 2 days, free drinks and huge bowl of fresh nachos and dips and $30 of free parking and 1000 welcome pts. Our final 3 nights in a Crown Plaza we got free exec lounge access for free breakfast and evening drinks and nibbles, upgraded to a huge beach view suite, free drinks voucher at the bar and 600 pts. All but one hotel gave us something for our status of SE and Platinum. I am keeping the card and will manage to hit SE for next year within the next couple of months.

      • Alan says:

        Nice result 😀 I had excellent treatment as HH Diamond in the States recently, but good to know IHG were doing a decent job too!

  • rams1981 says:

    My wife lost her supplementary card on a weekend. Creation weren’t open but have a third party covering. We reported it stolen/lost and asked for card to be cancelled. Through this 3rd party you can’t ask for a replacement card so have to call back during the week when Creation are back.

    We forgot to do this until a week later. When my wife called they had no record of the stolen/lost card! They failed to link the card to my account despite taking down my card number so it should have been simple. The person on the phone line took down my name incorrectly and so they were unable to link the cards. Instead of calling me to clarify they left it.

    In the end it wasn’t an issue as there was no fraudulent spend but it highlights how amateurish they are.

    • Greg says:

      I had absolutely the same thing happened to me few month ago. I thought it just me …
      Unbelievable,it wouldn’t happen with Barclaycard!

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