- Centurion Member
- Posts: 3960
- Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
- Location: United States
I have the Chase IHG card, and plan to keep it.
1. There's no category restriction for the annual free night. This is a huge factor for me, since I often travel to high-cost areas. This is a big advantage over most other hotel cards. Marriott tends to classify even no-frills properties in high-cost areas as being high-category, and therefore off-limits for the annual free night. I may end up using an annual free night for a small room at a Holiday Inn, but it can be a Holiday Inn in the middle of Manhattan.
2. IHG has a lot of properties. They have a lot in low-cost areas, too, and they are generally a good value for paid stays. Small extras and minor room upgrades don't hurt.
3. $49 AF, waived the first year. Quite reasonable.
4. There's no minimum spending required to earn/maintain status.
1. The value per point isn't very high. It's not a card well-suited for everyday spending. It's certainly worth using at their properties, though.
2. Unlike other cards, there aren't really any non-hotel perks or travel credits. The Ritz-Carlton card, for example, has a $300 airfare extras credit and airport lounge access. There's no annual free night with the R-C card though. *Edited for clarity.*
3. Upgrades/status perks usually are unexciting and don't mean much. There is a separate program, with higher fees, for room upgrades at their high-end properties (InterContinental). The rooms in general are not luxurious.
Other hotel cards can make sense, if you're going to be loyal to one brand or just travel a lot in general. I got IHG because it just stood out as the best value for me. Marriott Gold or Platinum status can be more meaningful, but requires a lot of travel and/or spending to maintain. Hyatt and the Starwood Amex probably offer the best values for earning free nights quickly, but they have fewer properties.
I don't know much about Hilton from Amex. US Bank's Club Carlson is also an option.
*Given that the trip is in 2 weeks, it may be too late to get automatic upgrades with the IHG card in time for your trip. It took about 3 weeks for my IHG loyalty account to reflect the effects of the Chase card.*
**If you're flying Delta (and not other airlines) then you might want to open a Hyatt loyalty account - though not necessarily a Hyatt credit card. Hyatt is probably the best non-airline way to use Chase URs. If you just got the card, though, it may be too late since the points won't post until you've done the necessary spending and been through the full statement period in which you do the spending. It sounds like this rush to get cards is a bit too late for your trip.**
Last edited by CarefulBuilder14
on Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
Keeping indefinitely: IHG, SchwabPlat, CSP, Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE, Hyatt
May close or PC: Prestige, Arrival, BrooksBros
AA Platinum converting into Costco
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech
Letting new accounts cool off since May