IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

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IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is a feature-rich credit card from Chase, which is an ideal choice both for frequent users of IHG properties and for occasional travelers.

In this posting, I first will describe major features of this card. And then I will show how you can top-off IHG One Rewards “Anniversary Free Night,” an exciting new enhancement of the IHG program.

1. Major Features 

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card has the following major features.

1) Welcome Bonus 

After spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening, you will earn 140,000 Bonus Points.

2) Anniversary Free Night

Every year after account anniversary, you will earn one Anniversary Free Night at IHG Hotels & Resorts. This Anniversary Free Night can be used for a one-night stay at eligible IHG hotels worldwide (up to 40K points). From this year (2022), you can also use existing points from your IHG One Rewards account to redeem your Anniversary Night at hotels above the 40,000 point redemption level. There is no known cap for this top-off.

3) Fourth Night Free 

When you redeem your IHG points for a consecutive four-night IHG® hotel stay, your fourth night will be free. For example, if a night stay at InterContinental Paris Le Grand is 87,000 per night, and you stay four consecutive nights, you will only pay 261,000 points (87,000 x 3), not 348,000 points, thereby saving 87,000 points.

4) Platinum Elite status

As a card member, you will automatically retain Platinum Elite status with IHG (as long as you remain a Premier cardmember). Granted that this elite status doesn't offer much in terms of tangible benefits, you may get a better room based upon availability. Also, in most cases, when you check-in, you will be offered a choice between bonus points and drink coupons. While drink coupons sound trifling, in expensive cities such as Paris, one coupon may worth more than 50 euro.

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2. How to top-off IHG One Rewards Premier Card Annual Flex Night 

Previously your annual free night certificate was capped at 40,000 points.

Now, with a recent feature update at IHG in 2022, you can use your IHG One Rewards Premier Card Annual Flex Night at a property that requires more than 40,000 points by redeeming additional points.

Here is how you can do it. 

1) First, go to the IHG.com site. Log in. Then click on the IHG One Rewards section in the upper right corner.

2) Personal account information is displayed. If you scroll down there, you can check the status of your Free Night certificates. Click here for “Book a Free Night.”

3) Press “Book Free Night” of the IHG One Rewards Premier Card Annual Flex Night.

Remember here that “Select IHG Rewards Credit Card Anniversary Night” is not available for points top-off.

4) Now, the screen is switched back to the main screen, and the Rate Preference section specifies that the selected rate is  “IHG Rewards Premier Card Annual Flex..”.

Here, you can enter your desired travel location and date. Then, click Search.

5) Using the LA area as an example, I see that the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown is available for point redemption.

For the date I searched for, it says that you have to pay 33,000 points in addition to the 40,000 night certificate.

6) When I clicked Select Hotel, I saw that 1 King Bed Classic room is available.

7) And when I go to Select Room and look at the details, I see an option to choose whether to spend all 33,000 points or use some combinations of points and cash. In this case, the point value is calculated at $60 for every 10,000 points, so if you want to save some points, using some cash seems to be the way to go.