IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card review

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Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply | Rates and Fees

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Best for travel points earning potential

  • Rewards rate: 5X points at IHG properties worldwide (or up to 15X points with IHG Rewards Club Membership; 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants; 1X points on everything else
  • Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first three months after account opening
  • Annual fee: None
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 15.99 percent to 22.99 percent (variable)

The IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card offers great travel points-earning potential by letting cardholders earn twice when they stay at IHG properties—once for being an IHG Rewards Club Member and again for being an IHG cardholder. Combined with a solid welcome bonus offer and hundreds of properties worldwide to choose from, the IHG Rewards Club Traveler card is a great choice to help you maximize your travel points and spend less on your next IHG stay.

Current sign-up bonus

New cardholders can earn a 60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months. With a night at IHG hotel properties ranging from 10,000 to 70,000 points—depending on the location, type of hotel and time of year—this bonus gets you between one night and just under a week of free stays at your favorite property, making it a worthwhile sign-up bonus if you’re a regular guest at IHG locations.

Rewards

Here’s a look at all-things rewards when it comes to the IHG Rewards Club Traveler card:

Earning rewards

The IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card gives you three ways to earn IHG points:

  • 5X points for each dollar spent at IHG hotels and resorts (or up to 15X points with IHG Rewards Club Membership)
  • 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • 1X points on all other purchases.

How to redeem IHG points

When it comes to redeeming your IHG points, you have a few options.

First, you can convert your current points balance into a free night’s stay at participating IHG properties. While some hotels come in at 10,000 per night, most require substantially more points. According to IHG’s list of its top five reward night destinations, the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba-Beach Resort and Casino comes in at 35,000 points per night, while a stay at the InterContinental New York Times Square is 60,000 points per night, on average.

Cardholders can also redeem IHG points for purchases such as jewelry, electronics and gift cards or use points to offset the costs of flights, nights out or car rentals. It’s also possible to transfer or gift your points to other cardholders.

How much are IHG points worth?

If you’re booking a night’s stay at IHG properties, your points redemption value will typically hover around 0.5 cents per point, according to monthly points and miles valuations from The Points Guy. You can improve this conversion rate by taking advantage of special hotel offers or traveling in off-peak season, which reduces the overall points cost per night.

If you purchase items through IHG rewards catalog, be prepared for significantly lower conversion rates. Consider a Bose speaker advertised on the IHG rewards site for just under 60,000—the same speaker retails for around $130, meaning your points are worth just 0.22 cents each.

Benefits

The IHG Rewards Club Traveler card offers multiple benefits, including:

More points-earning with IHG Rewards Club Membership

If you’re not already an IHG Rewards Club member, you should be—membership gives you 10X points on each dollar spent at eligible IHG properties. Combined with the 5X points per dollar offered by your Traveler’s card, this gets you 15X the points for every IHG stay.

Fourth reward night

If you redeem points for a stay of four nights or more at an IHG property, you’ll get a fourth reward night. This is especially useful for higher-end properties that have significant per-night points values and can help extend your vacation without breaking the bank.

20 percent off points purchases

IHG Rewards Club members can purchase points to raise current balances, and with your IHG Rewards Club Traveler card, you get 20 percent off all points purchases, all the time.

Gold Elite status with $10,000 in purchases each year

If you make $10,000 or more worth of purchases in a calendar year, you’ll automatically earn Gold Elite status with IHG. This lets you access extended check-out and priority check-in options, ensures your points never expire and gives you 10 percent bonus earnings on top of your base points.

Rates and fees

While the IHG Traveler card doesn’t offer any introductory purchase or balance transfer APR, its standard APR of 15.99 percent to 22.99 percent is better than average. In addition, there’s no annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees, while late and returned payments both come with a fixed cost of $39.

How the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card compares to other travel points cards

 Card name Welcome offer Reward rate Extra benefits
IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card 60,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first three months 5X points at IHG properties worldwide (or up to 15X points with IHG Rewards Club Membership; 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants; 1X points all other purchases

 

Fourth night free when redeeming IHG points
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening 10X points for spending with IHG (or up to 25X points with IHG Rewards Club Membership); 2X points at restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations; 1X point on all other purchases Automatic Platinum Elite Status
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 100,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases; 1X points on all other purchases 25% more in travel redemption value with Chase Ultimate Rewards

The IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit card is one of two travel credit cards offered by IHG. The other—the Premier Rewards Club credit card—comes with an annual fee of $89 ($0 Intro for the First Year) but offers both a bigger welcome bonus and more earning potential. Similar to the Traveler card, you can earn a total of 25X points per dollar on spending with IHG, so long as you have an IHG Rewards Club Membership.

Another travel credit card option is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card has an annual fee of $95 and a welcome bonus of 100,000 points after spending $4,000 in your first three months, plus 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases. Cardholders also get 25 percent more value for their points when booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

The best cards to pair with the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card

If you’re looking for another card to pair with your IHG Traveler card, consider a cash back credit card for everyday spending. While the Traveler card gets you 1X points per dollar for day-to-day spending, you’ll be better served solely using this card for spending at IHG properties, gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants. Then, try using an everyday cash back card to earn 1.5 or 2 percent back on all other spending.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card worth it?

When it comes to hotel credit cards, IHG’s offerings stand out for their ability to maximize point-earning by combining card and rewards club bonuses. With no introductory purchase or balance transfer APR combined with lower-than-average points redemption value if you’re converting points to reward catalog purchases, however, the utility of this card depends on your current spending habits.

If you’re a frequent guest of IHG properties and combine the Traveler card with another cash-back option, it offers solid benefits to help reduce the cost of travel. If IHG options aren’t your preferred properties, meanwhile, consider another travel or cash back card.

Pros

  • Maximize points earning with big points multipliers
  • Fourth-night reward when redeeming IHG points
  • Hundreds of hotels to choose from

Cons

  • No intro purchase or balance transfer APR
  • Points value is very low unless you’re redeeming for IHG stays

The information about the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.