IHG Rewards Club relaunches its UK credit card – earn 20k bonus points, Platinum status and a free night with the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard

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Having closed applications to its previous Visa card in March, IHG Rewards Club has just opened applications to a new credit card: this time, it’s the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard.

(UPDATE: the free version of the card has also been re-released, and you can read about that one here)

ihg rewards club mastercard

While it’s a positive development that a UK IHG Rewards Club credit card is now available again, nothing much has changed in terms of what it offers. Indeed it’s basically identical to the IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa.

So what is the cost, and what are the benefits?

The IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard costs £99 a year, and for that you will get:

  • 20,000 IHG Rewards Club bonus points when you spend £200 in the first 3 months of opening your account
  • 4 IHG Rewards Club points for every £1 you spend at any IHG family of hotels
  • 4 IHG Rewards Club points for every £1 you spend abroad
  • 2 IHG Rewards Club points for every £1 you spend everywhere else
  • Platinum Elite Status
  • A free additional card for your partner or family member, so you can both earn on one account
  • A free night voucher if you spend at least £10,000 every year by your anniversary.

One interesting detail to note is that the new IHG Rewards Club Mastercard is being issued by Creation rather than Barclaycard. That might not sound very important but it actually is, because Barclaycard had a very irritating rule that meant you couldn’t have the excellent Hilton card (which they still issue) at the same time as an IHG card. That isn’t a problem anymore, which is great (and I can see why IHG wanted to switch issuer!).

In terms of whether the card is worth the £99.00 fee, I’m afraid it’s the usual answer – it depends! 

I value IHG Points at about 0.3p-0.4p each, so the signup bonus is worth at least £60.00 to me, but your valuation may be different.

Platinum status is very tough to value because it is sort of doubly subjective – the benefits vary a great deal between different hotels and we all value those benefits differently too.

Platinum (usually) requires at least 40 nights at IHG hotels, which is quite a lot for what is now mid-level status, since the introduction of Spire as the new top-level. I used to get a lot of perks when I had Platinum status (including some of the best upgrades I’ve ever had), but not everyone’s experience mirrors that, and the ‘guaranteed’ benefits are quite limited. I also don’t know if Platinum upgrades have got worse since the introduction of Spire, as I only have Gold at the moment.

Intercontinental Paris Le Grand Suite Balcony View
Intercontinental Paris Le Grand Suite Balcony View – I was upgraded on a Points booking to an incredible suite with 4-5 balconies when I had Platinum status a couple of years ago.

Despite all that, I would still personally value having Platinum status as being worth ~£10.00 for each night I stay at IHG hotels. I will probably spend approximately 20-30 nights at IHG hotels this year, meaning that I value the status at about £200.00-300.00, which makes the card potentially quite attractive to me.

The standard earning rate of 2 IHG Points per £1 (worth 0.6p-0.8p to me) isn’t terrible, but means that the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard isn’t substantially better than what you can earn with the free Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa card.

If you are definitely going to spend £10,000 each year on the card to earn the free night (worth ~ £200.00 to me), and spend at least a few nights at IHG hotels this year, you are unlikely to end up doing too badly, and might come out significantly ahead.

You can apply for the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard here.

Please note that the representative APR is 41.5% variable and there is a balance transfer offer. However, our only recommendation for credit cards is to pay them off in full every month and as such we only focus on the travel-related benefits. InsideFlyer is a travel writing site and nothing on it constitutes financial advice. 

(With thanks to Rich)

Comments

  1. Vin says

    Hi,

    What’s the balance transfer offer? Also, can’t find this on creation website. Is this application link targeted?

    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Vin,

      Yes, it’s not on the Creation site yet. The link was in the IHG Rewards Club account eStatement emails today (http://tiny.cc/n95ocy). In fact I’ve just checked the link again and they’ve updated the page to include the free version too, which definitely wasn’t up earlier!

      As regards balance transfer, seems to be 0% for 12 months, but my understanding is that can vary as they only have to offer it to a certain proportion of applicants in order to advertise it (I might be wrong about that).

  2. Alex says

    Firstly, I didn’t have any problem having both Hilton and IHG cards from Barclays. I had IHG card opened without any questions asked.

    Secondly, there is odd situation at the moment that I have 2 IHG cards (one from Barclays, until it expires and one from Creation, and plan to have 2 free nights at £198 value (a steal if one considers hotels like Intercontinental Carlton Cannes requires EUR 1,200 or 120,000 points for 2 nights).

    Lastly, looking at foreign transactions, it seem that this card uses exchange rate that is very close to MasterCard system rate – difference is 0.5% – which makes this card attractive for payments abroad (now I don’t claim this is scientific confirmation as I only compared 2-3 transactions).

  3. John says

    I don’t appear to be getting 4 points per £1 on the full hotel spend. Have queried it with IHG today but am waiting for a comprehensive reply. Any comments, or suggestions?

  4. George Gray says

    just received my new ihg black card and already having problems using it, even though i activated it and was advised so. i can’t change the pin and it’s already been rejected at the petrol station; i have tried to call them but keep getting the usual bullshit messages that are designed to keep you on the phone until they have made enough cash back out of your call. The lady on the tape keeps telling me to speak to one of their advisors, “oh how i wish I could”. So far i can’t use my card and I can’t speak to someone about it, the bloody service is crap and i’m afraid this card may find itself being returned as its no bloody use to me.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Interesting – I was actually just considering getting one of those as my next card, but might have to reconsider!

      If you can’t get through on the phone, their email is: customerenquiries@creation.co.uk , or you might want to write:
      Creation Customer Enquiries Chadwick House
      Blenheim Court
      Solihull
      B91 2AA

      Hope you get it sorted!

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