Chase IHG Rewards Club Select Card Review: 80,000 + 5,000 Bonus Points Offer

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The Chase IHG Rewards Club Select card has upped their public sign-up bonus to 80,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. You can get an additional 5,000 bonus points when you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase in the first three months from account opening. The annual fee is waived for the first year, then $49 a year afterward.

Sign-up bonus details. 80k is a solid offer historically, but I should mention that there is also a targeted link for 100,000 bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months. The problem is that if you click on “Apply Now” you probably won’t get an actual application. However, there are reports that if you ask Chase nicely to match a better offer that you happened to see, they will agree. Worth a shot, but don’t count on it. Use their secure online messaging and create a digital paper trail.

This card is NOT subject to any “5/24” restrictions (where Chase limits you to less than 5 credit cards opened in the last 24 months. Our household strategy is to have one person only apply for Chase 5/24 cards, and the other person applies for everything else. You must not have had this specific IHG card within the last 24 months, however:

This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.

IHG stands for Intercontinental Hotel Group which has over 5,000 hotels including the following brands:

  • Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts
  • Crowne Plaza®
  • Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express
  • Staybridge Suites®
  • Candlewood Suites®
  • Hotel Indigo®
  • EVEN Hotels

Free hotel night upon annual card renewal. Upon paying the $49 annual fee, you will get a free night certificate good at any IHG hotel worldwide. Assuming you can use it within 12 months, it is actually a good deal for $49.

Anniversary Free Night is valid at hotels in the IHG® Rewards Club Family of Brands and must be redeemed, and stay must be completed, within 12 months from date of issue. Anniversary Free Night is valid for one standard room night rate and applicable taxes only. Rooms are limited, subject to prior sale and availability of allocated resources and may be unavailable during high demand periods.

Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a credit cardmember. Perks include priority check-in and complimentary room upgrades (that actually happen). You also get 10% back when you redeem your points, up to 100,000 points each year.

Rewards on card purchases. Here’s the tiered rewards structure:

  • Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at IHG hotels
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • Earn 1 point for $1 spent on everything else.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Based on the value estimates below, I would not put all your everyday spending on this card.

IHG point value estimates. IHG Rewards Club puts out a new list of PointBreaks hotels every few months where you can redeem a hotel night for only 5,000 points. That means 80,000 points could technically earn you 16 free nights! If those hotel rooms would otherwise cost $100 a night including taxes, you’d be getting $1,600 value from 80,000 points. This is how you can see valuations anywhere between 1.5 cents and 2 cents per IHG point.

But that’s not very realistic. There are some nice hotels on the list, but the locations are very specific and few people are sufficiently flexible with their travel to constantly take advantage of these deals.

I spent a week at a Staybridge Suites in Austin with my family and it was great. The room felt like an apartment with a living room, full kitchen, and separate bedroom. Every morning there was a buffet breakfast with eggs, bacon, cereal, bagels, fruit, yogurt, juice, and so on that I could grab and bring back into my suite where the kids could run around. I’ll be returning and willing to pay the going rate again, so how much would it cost me in points?

Here’s an actual rate quote for 8/9 to 8/16 for the same Staybridge Suites:

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Keep in mind that the quote doesn’t include taxes, which would make the $138 average nightly rate into $159 with taxes. The 30,000 points per night does include taxes, so that work outs to roughly 0.53 cents per IHG point. At that rate, 80,000 points would be worth $424.

You can perform the same calculations for hotels that fit your needs. I tried a bunch of other various combinations and always got between 0.5 cents and 1.1 cents per point equivalent value.

Bottom line. The 80,000 upfront sign-up bonus can be conservatively valued at $400 in hotel stays (although you may do much better). Grab the easy 5,000 points for first authorized user as well. IHG has a wide selection of hotels around the world, from Holiday Inns and Staybridge Suites to luxury InterContinental hotels. The annual fee is waived the first year, but upon $49 annual fee renewal you get a free night certificate good at any IHG hotel (based on availability).

Comments

  1. Italiangirl says:

    Can you use the points for air travel? or cash back ?

    • IHG points actually can be converted to many other options, but the ratio isn’t very good. The best value is definitely hotel nights.

      10,000 IHG points can convert to 2,000 miles at select airlines including Alaska, American, British Airways, Delta, Hawaiian, and United. So 100,000 IHG points would get you 20,000 miles.

      20,000 IHG points = $50 gas card or $50 Amazon.com gift card.

  2. Hi Jonathan,

    Two questions

    1)Regarding your statement ” Our household strategy is to have one person only apply for Chase 5/24 cards, and the other person applies for everything else” – does that mean that person stays under 5/24 and other person applies for cards other than Chase so that can go beyond 5 cards within 2 years? Is that what I understand

    2) Any idea – till what time this deal will be there?

    • Yes, I don’t mind applying for cards so I apply for all the cards I can get. I have more than 5 cards in 24 months so I can’t get the restricted Chase 5/24 cards. My wife doesn’t like potentially having to call customer service, etc, and so she only applies for the high value Chase cards. Only having to apply for a couple cards a year is perfect for her.

      I don’t know how long this deal will last, but it has been around before. Standard deal is 60k points. “Limited-time offer” is usually 80k. There are targeted 100k point offers but those can be hard to pin down.

  3. Thanks Jonathan.

    Also one more questions, if I cancel the credit card after first year, how long does the point remain on my account if i do not use the 80K points in first year…what are the ways to make sure the points don’t expire..any idea?

    • Points go in your IHG account, so nothing happens if/when you cancel the credit card. You do need to have some sort of activity every 12 months to keep the balance active. One of the easy ways that I do this is through Dining Rewards:

      https://ihgrewardsclubdining.rewardsnetwork.com

      You can buy as little as a $1 soda at a participating restaurant and generate a few miles to keep your IHG account active.

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