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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.
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.
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.
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)