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What are the top 10 reasons to get the free IHG Rewards Club credit card?

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Why should you get the IHG Rewards Club credit card?

Today, in our ‘Top 10 Reasons’ series, I want to look at the top 10 reasons to apply for a free IHG Rewards Club credit card.

If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here to get your free Experian Credit Score.

The serious legal stuff about the IHG Rewards Club credit card:

You can apply here:  IHG Rewards Club Mastercard application form

What does it cost?  No annual fee

What is the interest rate?  The representative APR is 22.9% variable

Top 10 reasons to get the IHG Rewards Club Mastercard credit card

The top 10 reasons to get the IHG Rewards Club credit card:

1.  There is a generous sign-up bonus of 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points

You will receive 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points when you sign up and spend £200 within the first three months.

IHG Rewards Club is the loyalty scheme for Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, Kimpton, voco, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.

2.  You receive one IHG Rewards Club point for every £1 you spend on the card

There are a few exceptions (cash withdrawals do not earn points) but in reality virtually every £1 you spend will earn another IHG Rewards Club point.

3.  Points earned from credit card spending count for status

IHG Rewards Club is the only loyalty scheme which allows the points you earn from credit card spending to count towards status.

This means that, if you were a very heavy spender, you could receive top-tier Spire Elite status without ever setting foot in an IHG hotel!

Note that the points earned from the sign-up bonus do NOT count towards status.

4.  You receive DOUBLE POINTS when you spend in a foreign currency

Unfortunately, the IHG Rewards Club credit card adds a 3% foreign exchange fee when used outside the UK.  This means that the double points offer is not as generous as it appears.

Unfortunately there are no travel rewards card without a foreign exchange fee.  One option is to get a free Curve Card – see this HFP article – and link it to a miles-earning Visa or Mastercard.

Another option is to open an account with online bank Starling. It comes with a debit card which charges no fees on FX cash withdrawals up to £300 per day and no fees at all on overseas transactions. You can fund Starling by moving money to and from your existing bank account via their app. Our review of Starling Bank is here and you can apply here.

5.  You receive DOUBLE POINTS when you spend in IHG hotels

You cannot double-dip, unfortunately!  Spending in a foreign currency in an IHG hotel still only gets you double points, not quadruple points.

6.  The card is free for life

The IHG Rewards Club credit card is free for life.

Other cards with annual fees may offer better earning rates but, unless you are a very heavy spender, you will often struggle to justify the fee from the extra miles earned.

7.  You receive Gold Elite status in IHG Rewards Club

For as long as you hold the card – which is free – you will have Gold Elite status in IHG Rewards Club.

This doesn’t come with a lot of benefits but you will receive bonus points or a drink at most properties in Europe, and potentially an upgrade.

8.  As a Mastercard, it is far more flexible than an Amex card

Many of the travel rewards credit cards we cover are American Express cards.  The problem with these is that they are not universally accepted.

As a Mastercard, the IHG Rewards Club credit card is accepted virtually everywhere that cards are taken.

9.  You don’t need a high income to apply

There is a minimum income requirement of just £10,000 to apply.

10.  You pay 0% interest for 12 months on balances transferred from other credit cards

This offer is valid for three months after opening your account.


The IHG Rewards Club Mastercard is a very generous card, given that it has no annual fee.  1 IHG Rewards Club point per £1 spent is a decent deal.  Getting automatic Gold Elite status in IHG Rewards Club is a useful extra bonus.

You can sign up for the IHG Rewards Club credit card on the official website here.

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. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

IHG Rewards Club update – November 2020:

Get bonus points: IHG’s current promotion is ‘2x’, which runs until 15th December 2020. You can learn more in our article here. You can register here using promo code 44480.

New to IHG Rewards Club?  Read our two-part overview of IHG Rewards Club here and here and our article on expiry rules here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards Club 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 Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.