From time to time, I’ll highlight credit cards that are better for more than just their sign-up bonus. In the first installment in this series, I’m going to go with the IHG Rewards Club Select credit card by Chase.
This is a great first card to start your points and miles journey with for a few reasons:
- There is a low spending requirement for a generally high payoff
- The bonus categories (gas, grocery, and restaurants) are easy to get with organic spending
- There is literally a Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express in every podunk town, from Bar Harbor, ME, to Albany, OR, which means more opportunity for redemption
- If you live on the East Coast, you could save a bunch of money during Cherry Blossom season
Additionally, there is no annual fee the first year, and every year after that, the annual fee is a manageable $49.
Ugh, annual fee, am I right?
Well, there’s more than meets the eye with the annual fee! When you pay the annual fee, IHG gives you a free night at ANY of their hotel properties worldwide. Like, any any. So you pay the annual fee ($49), and then can spend a night for free at: InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam (~$593), InterContinental Washington Willard (~$479), or (as most bloggers point out) the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort (~$987). So by paying the annual fee, you could potentially earn a night almost 20 times in value–cool, no?
Additionally, you get:
- 10 percent of your points back on redemptions, up to 100,000 points back per year
- No foreign transaction fees
- Platinum Elite Status (which comes with its own set of benefits)
Again, not bad for a $49 a year investment.
I currently have this card, and I am in the planning stages of using the points, so if you have any other questions about it, let me know in the comments!