Whatamuji wrote:By long term earning rates, are you referring to the ways in which you can earn points?
I mean that even though Hyatt and Starwood cards don't earn a lot of points per dollar spent, they give you nice rooms for a fairly small number of points. IHG, Marriott/Ritz, and especially Hilton are inferior here.
The only (but key for me) thing that makes IHG special in the long run is the super-flexible annual free night. It's not a card for everyday spending.
Of course, there have been rumors of Starwood possibly buying IHG, so the rewards program could change more than a little.