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IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card review

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Earn 5x points on eligible spending at this hotel group..

  • Get this card if you’re a frequent IHG guest and want a no-annual-fee card.
  • Pick something else if you want automatic elite status or bonus rewards on general travel.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

60,000

Points as welcome offer

Up to 5x

Points

$0

Annual fee

17.49% to 24.49%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Product NameIHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
Card typeMastercard
Annual fee$0
Purchase APR17.49% to 24.49% variable
Balance transfer APR17.49% to 24.49% variable
Balance transfer fee$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash advance fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction feeNone
Interest free periodUp to 21 days
Late payment feeUp to $39
Returned payment feeUp to $39
Rates & feesrates & fees

Expert review

Kevin Joey Chen

Review by


Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer who has written nearly 500 Finder articles. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.

Expert review

The IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card has no annual fee and offers 5x points at eligible IHG properties. You can earn 10x additional points as an IHG Rewards Club member.

Though it has a strong signup bonus and good rewards on IHG spending, it brings underwhelming rewards in other categories, making it best only for frequent IHG guests. It also requires $10,000 minimum spending annually to qualify for Gold Elite status, which is rather stingy. You’ll find other no-annual-fee hotel cards that offer complimentary status.

If you’re set on an IHG product, consider the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. For $89 a year, you’ll find lots of bang for your buck, including automatic Platinum Elite status, a free night after every card anniversary and excellent rewards on IHG spending.

Another IHG credit card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months when you open your account.
  • Enjoy a free reward night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide.
  • Enjoy a free reward night every time you redeem points for 4 stays or more.
  • Earn a total of 25x points at IHG hotels, 2x at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1x on all other purchases.
  • Get up to $100 credit once every 4 years as reimbursement for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
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Pros and cons

Pros

  • No annual fee.
  • Strong signup bonus with relatively low spend requirement
  • Good rewards on IHG spending
  • Opportunity to earn Gold Elite status
  • Attractive purchase and travel benefits
  • Fourth-award-night-free benefit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $10,000 annual spend required to reach Gold Elite status
  • On non-IHG spending, you’ll earn better rewards on with other cards
  • Fourth-night-free benefit applies only to award bookings

How to apply for IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

  1. Learn more about how to apply for the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card.
  2. Navigate to the Chase website.
  3. Click Apply now under the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card image.
  4. Complete the application form with information such as your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, contact information and total annual income.
  5. Review your details and submit your application.

What credit score do I need?

Consider applying for this card with a good to excellent credit score of 670 and higher.

Card benefits

  • No annual fee.
    You won’t pay anything to own the card.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
    You won’t pay transaction fees on purchases made abroad.
  • 60,000-point signup bonus.
    Spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening to earn this bonus.
  • 5x points at IHG hotels.
    You’ll also earn 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, and 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Gold Elite status each calendar year you spend $10,000 on purchases.
    This level comes with certain benefits not available to the basic Club Member tier.
  • Purchase and travel protections. Many card providers cut these benefits, but Chase offers an impressive suite of protections with the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card.
  • Fourth reward night free.
    Take advantage of this feature when you use points to book a stay at an eligible IHG hotel.

Deeper dive: A strong signup bonus with a relatively low spend requirement

At the time of this writing, we peg each IHG point at a value of 0.7 cents each. That means 60,000 points are worth $420 — impressive for a no-annual-fee card and superior to what you’ll find with similar hotel cards.

Another plus is the relatively low spend requirement for the bonus: $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. For comparison, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers 30,000 points — worth $300 in cash back — after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Deeper dive: Great rewards at IHG properties, mediocre rewards elsewhere

At our current valuation, 5x points at IHG hotels means you’re effectively earning a 3.5% reward rate. If you’re a loyal IHG customer looking for a no-annual-fee card, that’s a great deal. You’ll get this on top of 10x points on most IHG bookings just by being a member of the IHG Rewards Club.

In other categories, the card’s rewards are nothing to write home about: 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants translates to a 1.4% reward rate. That’s disappointing, considering specialized cards offer much higher rates and even flat-rate cashback cards offer better rewards. And the base 1x-point tier is anemic, offering just a 0.7% reward rate.

Using this card for rewards makes sense if you’re a frequent guest at IHG properties. Otherwise, you’ll get more out of another card.

Where will I earn 5x points with the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card?

You’ll earn this rewards rate when you spend at these properties:

  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
  • InterContinental Alliance Resorts
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Hotel Indigo
  • Holiday Inn
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Holiday Inn Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Candlewood Suites
  • EVEN Hotels
  • Hualuxe

Deeper dive: Gold Elite status is a nice touch — if you can meet the spend requirement

Normally, you must stay 10 qualifying nights or earn 10,000 elite qualifying points in a calendar year to reach Gold Elite status. Here are a few perks it offers that you won’t find with normal Club Member status:

  • Extended checkout.
    IHG doesn’t mention how late this checkout time is, and says this benefit varies by region and availability.
  • Priority check-in.
    Access a special line when you’re ready to check in.
  • Welcome amenity.
    This varies by property, but it’s reportedly often points, a snack, a bottle of water or another type of gift. At Kimpton, it’s a Raid the Bar credit.
  • Raid the Bar.
    Receive a $10 credit valid at the hotel’s restaurant bar or your in-room bar during an eligible stay.
  • One free Amazon Kindle eBook per quarter.
    Club Member status allows one free book four times a year.
  • 10% bonus earnings for base points.
    You earn base points for activities such as staying at IHG hotels and spending with partners. These points help you earn elite status.
  • Points don’t expire.
    Typically, points expire after you have 12 months without earn or redeem activity.

Deeper dive: An attractive suite of purchase and travel benefits

Many card providers have been cutting purchase and travel benefits over the years because cardholders don’t seem to use these benefits much. The IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card is one product that still offers a strong set of protections, including:

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Baggage delay reimbursement
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver

The card’s auto rental collision damage waiver is kicks in before your personal insurance when you’re outside the United States. In the United States it fills in when your insurance won’t.

Deeper dive: Other benefits

When you use your points to book a stay more than four nights, every fourth night is complimentary. Unlike the Citi Prestige® Credit Card, which caps its similar benefit at two times per calendar year, the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card lets you use this feature without limit. A big difference, however, is the IHG card’s perk applies only to award nights.

Your card also lets you book special experiences through IHG rewards Club Access. You can buy or bid on such packages as:

  • A two-night stay at the InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu
  • Entry to the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival
  • An official fan experience at the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship
  • VIP Suite access to Disney on Ice

What to watch out for

  • Gold Elite status requires a $10,000 spend.
    No-annual-fee cards from other hotel chains often give you elite status without a spend requirement.
  • Strong rewards only at IHG properties.
    If you don’t stay at IHG properties much, consider another travel credit card.
  • Fourth-night-free benefit applies only to Reward Nights.
    You need enough points to redeem for a stay longer than four nights.

Customer reviews and card rating

Some consumers mention Chase’s 5/24 rule, which means the provider automatically denies your application if you’ve opened five cards within the last 24 months. Customers commonly say you’re better off filling one of those five slots with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card instead.

Other consumers warn that IHG’s PointBreaks program — through which you can book nights for as little as 5,000 points each — often include a disappointing array of properties.

JPMorgan Chase Credit Card is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it has an A+ rating from the agency. According to the BBB, this rating indicates that Chase offers customer support to its customers.
The bank’s customer rating averages at 1 out of 5 stars. Some customers cite unexpected account closures, unfulfilled signup bonuses and unhelpful customer support.

Authorized users and cosigners

There’s no fee to add authorized users to your IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card by signing in to your online Chase account, selecting your IHG card and enter the name of the person you wish to add. You’ll receive their card in the mail within five to seven business days.

Gold Elite benefits extend to the primary cardholder, not authorized users. The fourth-award-night-free benefit and all points earned go to the IHG Rewards Club account on file with your card.

Does Chase allow cosigners for the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card?

At this time, Chase doesn’t allow cosigners for any of its credit cards, including the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card.

How does IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card compare to other similar cards?

Compare how the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card stacks up against other no-annual-fee hotel cards.

Rewards rate

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit CardHilton Honors American Express CardMarriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card
3.5%2.8%2.7%

These rewards rates don’t include earnings from being a member of a hotel’s loyalty program. We calculated effective rewards rates in October 2019 by accounting for point values upon redemption. According to our current valuations, IHG points are worth an average of 0.7 cents each, Hilton Honors points an average of 0.4 cents each and Marriott Bonvoy points an average of 0.9 cents each.

Signup bonus value

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit CardHilton Honors American Express CardMarriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card
Bonus points60,00075,00030,000
Required spend within three months of account opening$2,000$1,000$1,000
Effective value$420$320$270

We calculated effective signup bonus values in October 2019 by accounting for point values upon redemption. According to our current valuations, IHG points are worth an average of 0.7 cents each, Hilton Honors points an average of 0.4 cents each and Marriott Bonvoy points an average of 0.9 cents each.

Elite status

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit CardHilton Honors American Express CardMarriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card
Elite status upgradeGoldSilverSilver
Required spend per calendar year$10,000$0$0

Consider other cards if …

If you’re not a frequent guest at IHG properties, strongly consider a different card. You’ll find many options that offer better rewards for your spending, including:

Cards to pair with the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

This card is a fine choice if you want strong IHG rewards without paying an annual fee. However, it’s not the most natural fit even with two of the best cards that allow point transfers to IHG Rewards Club: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

IHG points are worth an average of 0.7 cents each according to our current valuations. While the aforementioned Chase cards allow 1:1 point transfers, it typically doesn’t make sense to transfer your points only to have them decrease in value.

In fact, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, your points get a 50% boost. This means it’s usually advantageous to redeem your points this way instead of transferring them to IHG Rewards Club.

Which cards should I use with the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card?

Use the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card for IHG spending, and other cards for your other purchases. Strong products include the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, as well as:

These cards offer stronger reward rates than the 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants you’ll earn with the IHG card.

Redeeming points

Use your IHG Rewards Club points for redemptions that include:

  • Reward Nights
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • IHG Rewards Club experiences
  • Rewards Nights by spending a combination of cash and points
  • Digital rewards such as music, movies, games and e-books
  • Point transfers to other members
  • Point transfers to your accounts in airline programs
  • Charitable donations

How much are IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card points worth?

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card points are worth around 0.7 cents each according to our current valuations. This assumes you use them for the highest-value redemption: Reward Nights at IHG properties.

How to make the most out of your card

  • Assemble your cards.
    Now that you have the card, use it for all of your IHG bookings. Consider using a different rewards card for all other purchases.
  • Reach elite status.
    Spending $10,000 isn’t the only way to get Gold Elite status. You can also stay 10 qualifying nights at IHG properties or earn 10,000 elite qualifying points — both of which can easily cost less than your card’s spend requirement.
  • Leverage purchase and travel protections.
    Though these benefits are usually an afterthought, they can save you a lot of money in certain circumstances. Read your card’s guide to benefits to understand how perks like trip cancellation insurance, purchase protection and extended warranties cover you.
  • Use your points.
    To redeem points, visit the IHG Rewards Club website or call 800-421-5162. Normally, each Reward Night costs 10,000 to 70,000 points. Through PointBreaks, you’ll find select properties with nights as low as 5,000 points.

How to upgrade your card

If you want more from your card, consider upgrading it to the impressive IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. It has an $89 annual fee, but it offers a free night after each account anniversary, Platinum Elite status and a credit every four years for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.

You could potentially earn up to 25x points at IHG properties, a rate that includes your rewards from the card, IHG Rewards Club membership and Platinum Elite status.

To upgrade, call the number on the back of your card and ask to be upgraded to the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.

Compare hotel credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Hilton Honors American Express Card
75,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See terms
See terms
Can't decide on a card? Get personalized credit card offers with CardMatch™.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
80,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
25x points at IHG hotels, 2x on gas, groceries and dining and 1x on all other purchases
$89
80,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card
25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 25,000 points after spending another $6,000 in the first 6 months
9x points at Hyatt hotels as a World of Hyatt member, 2x on gyms, commuting, dining and airlines and 1x on all other purchases
$95
Earn 25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 25,000 points after spending another $6,000 in the first 6 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card offers attractive rewards on IHG spending. However, it’s stingy on status bumps, and you’ll find better rewards elsewhere in non-IHG categories. Its sibling card, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, is a much better choice.

If you’re not sure this card is right for you, consider other hotel credit cards.

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