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Yes, I fell in a moment of weakness.
Chase has been targeting me relentlessly for months about opening up a dang IHG credit card with them.
With regularity, I get these emails:
They interested me for a number of reasons:
- I have no status with IHG
- I don’t have any paid stays within the past 2 years
- My only stays have been reward stays
- I only had 550 “orphan points” that have been sitting there forever
- I already have 5 open credit cards with Chase – why are they trying to push a 6th one so hard?
I got this email in September, October, November, December, and January. I probably would’ve gotten one in February too – six months in a row – had I not pulled the trigger.
Why I got the IHG credit card
For one, I wanted to see if Chase would actually give it to me.
I currently have 5 active credit cards with Chase (Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, Ink Plus, British Airways, and Hyatt) and wanted to see if they’d let me have 6.
I’ve heard reports that 5 is the max Chase is willing to give – unless they really like your profile/credit history for whatever reason. It seems they like me.
The highest public bonus on this card right now is 70,000 points.
So this offer beats that by 10,000 points, and who knows when a public 80K bonus will return.
I really want to have a huge chain to rely on when Hyatt and Club Carlson aren’t around or available.
I have a trip to Ireland coming up in May and am still padding out the hotel situation. 80,000 points could come in handy for a free stay at a new chain – although Club Carlson properties are plentiful in Ireland (I counted Radisson properties in Dublin, Cork, and Limerick at a glance).
IHG has always been a mystery to me.
I will also get top-tier Platinum status with IHG just for having the card.
I’m curious to see how this plays out in actuality – as of right now, it is only a vague concept.
The annual free night.
Pay $49 and get a free night at any IHG property?
Some of them are $500-$600+ per night. I’ve analyzed what the US Bank Club Carlson Visa Signature’s annual bonus is worth, and really liked that value proposition, and this one seems right on par with it. For that price, it’s a card worth holding on to forever… and the first year is free.
I also registered for IHG’s new Set Your Sights promo and though I got a crappy offer (IMO – more on that later), I kinda wanna play their game to see how it shakes out. If I get 50,000 more points + all the bonus points for using the Chase IHG card and being Platinum + stacking other promos, I could come out with a nice haul – and that would be plenty to start exploring the program in-depth.
According to the marketing materials, I also get these benefits from having the card (the 10% rebate and no forex fees are nice):
Earn on Everyday Purchases:
• 5X points per $1 spent when you stay at any hotel in the IHG® family of brands
• 2X points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
• 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Enjoy More Benefits:
• Free Night every year at any of the more than 4,700 hotels worldwide in the IHG® family of brands
• Platinum Elite status status as long as you’re a Select cardmember
• 10% points rebate—earn points for using points, up to 100,000 points back each year
• No foreign transaction fees
• $0 introductory annual fee the first year—$49 thereafter
For what it’s worth, it establishes that Chase is willing to let some people have 6 active credit cards with them.
The application process was curious to me for a few reasons.
I thought I would be auto-rejected, or at the least, see an “application pending” message. But no. Instant approval.
Not only that, but they gave me my highest credit limit yet – higher than the Ink Plus or Sapphire Preferred, even, and with the lowest available APR (still a dismal 15.99). For a 6th card, I was expecting a lower limit and/or a worse APR.
Shortly after, I got an email saying the card was on its way, and the next day, the card appeared in my Chase online banking profile.
Between the auto-approval, high credit limit, and the fact that it was my 6th (and the “low” APR), I was puzzled – in a good way. I like you too, Chase!
Excited to explore IHG a little more now that I have the Chase IHG card. I sorta wish I’d combined this app with two or three others to have a proper app-o-rama, but I left well enough alone. I will, however, be on the prowl for Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa promos. If they do another 40K offer with that, I will snatch it right up.
This is awesome because it gives me a whole new chain to explore – one of the biggest in the world, in fact. I look forward to staying at a few more IHG properties in the future, and now I’m thinking of how to get into the Set Your Sights promo…
The points world is certainly an interesting one, and variety is the spice of life, right? (As I get ready to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.)
Does anyone else use IHG as their go-to program?
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.