21.24% – 28.24%
Balance Transfer Fee
5% or $5, whichever is greater
Good - Excellent
The IHG has over 6,000 locations throughout the world, so if you’re a fan of staying in these hotels, the IHG One Rewards Traveler could be a good card for you. While this card does not offer the IHG One Rewards Premier card benefits, you don’t have to worry about an annual fee.
As an IHG Rewards Traveler member, you earn points for every eligible stay at IHG hotels, including brands like InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Kimpton, and more. You can redeem your IHG Rewards points for a variety of rewards. This includes free nights at IHG hotels, airline miles, merchandise, gift cards, and even experiences.
Considering there is no annual fee, the card offers some impressive perks, but if you’re not brand loyal to IHG, there are other travel reward cards that could offer greater rewards.
- Elite Status
- Free Nights
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Savings on Reward Point Purchases
- Baggage Insurance
- Lower Point Values
- Limited Redemptions
- High Annual Spend Needed for Gold Elite
- No Luxury Perks or Benefits
How do I redeem rewards?
You can redeem your points for hotel stays, transfer them to airline reward programs or purchase items from the IHG Rewards Catalog. You can explore all of these options by logging into your account.
If you want to use your points for a hotel stay, you can search for your travel dates and location as you would normally, but you’ll see a cost in points with each option. You can then select an option and proceed with the booking as you typically would.
How hard is it to get an IHG Rewards Traveler card?
You do need good to excellent credit for the IHG Rewards Traveler card and it is also subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. This means that regardless of your credit, if you’ve opened five new credit card accounts within the last 24 months, your application will be declined.
When it may not be a good idea?
Since this is a co-branded card, it is obviously not a good idea if you’re not brand loyal to IHG. If you don’t have a preference of where you stay, a general travel rewards card is likely to be a better fit for you and could potentially offer greater rewards.
In this Review
Estimating Your Rewards: A Practical Simulation
The following table is a simulation of rewards that showcases the potential benefits of using the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card. It provides an estimated breakdown of the rewards you could earn based on your typical spending habits in various categories.
While this table can help you understand the potential advantages of the card, it is important to keep in mind that the figures presented are only estimates, and your actual rewards may vary depending on your individual spending patterns and other factors.
Spend Per Category
IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card
$10,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$3,000 – Restaurants
$4,000 – Airline
$4,000 – Hotels
$4,000 – Gas
Estimated Annual Points
Pros and Cons
Just like any other credit card, the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card has some advantages and disadvantages:
Lower Point Values
No Foreign Transaction Fees
High Annual Spend Needed for Gold Elite
Savings on Reward Point Purchases
No Luxury Perks or Benefits
No Introductory APR
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
Providing you maintain your IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card, you’ll receive Silver Elite status. You can also receive an upgrade to Gold Status if you spend $20,000 or more during the calendar year.
When you redeem your points for a four night consecutive stay at IHG hotels, you’ll receive a free reward night. This means that you’ll only need to use your points to pay for three nights.
When you make purchases outside the United States using your card, you won't be charged any foreign transaction fees.
When you purchase points using your IHG Traveler credit card, you can save 20% on your purchases.
This coverage reimburses you for essential purchases if your baggage is delayed by your passenger carrier for over six hours. The coverage offers up to $100 per day for three days.
There is also lost luggage reimbursement if your checked or carry on bags are damaged or lost by your carrier. This coverage has a limit of $3,000 per passenger.
If your trip is cut short or canceled by severe weather, sickness or other covered circumstances, you can receive up to $5,000 per person and $10,000 per trip in reimbursement for non refundable, pre paid travel expenses such as passenger fares, hotels and tours.
When you make purchases with your card, your items are covered against theft or damage for 120 days. The coverage limits are $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
While a low point value for individual points is not necessarily a bad thing if you can earn sufficient points to make up for the lower value. However, when you’re comparing hotel loyalty programs, it is something to bear in mind.
Although you can earn a lot of points, they may not provide as much value as you would get with other hotel reward programs or travel reward programs in general.
Unless you’re booking a travel night, you’re not likely to get a great redemption rate on other offers. This represents poor options beyond the reward nights.
Although the card does offer automatic status, if you’re aiming for Gold Elite, you’ll need to meet a high annual spend requirement.
Unlike with other programs or higher-level IHG cards such as the Premier Club, you’ll not get luxury perks or benefits with this card, such as lounge access or airline credit.
Unfortunately, this card does not have an introductory rate for either purchases or balance transfers. This means that you’ll be paying the standard rate from day one.
Who Should Consider The IHG® One Rewards Traveler Card?
If you tend to stay at IHG locations when you travel, and you don’t want to pay an annual fee on your credit card, the IHG Rewards Traveler is a good option for you. With so many brands owned by IHG, the locations are easy to find around the world, which means that you can access elite status perks each time you stay.
The card is also a good choice if you are interested in IHG elite status. With the generous welcome bonus and automatic Silver status, it can be easier to reach Gold status, particularly if you’re a high spender.
If you do travel but still want to compare hotel cards, here's an overview:
1X – 4X 4 bonus points per $1 spent for Hyatt stays and experiences including restaurants and spas, 2x for flights purchased directly from the airline, local transit, commuting, restaurants, fitness club, gym memberships and 1 bonus point per $1 spent on all other purchases
30,000 points 30,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
2X – 5X 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining and online grocery purchases and 2x on other travel purchases. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
3X – 7X 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery) U.S.supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and 3x points for each dollar on other eligible purchases
80,000 points 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and a Free Night Reward after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership
1x – 17X up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card, 3X on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining and 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
5 Free Nights 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership
How To Maximize Card Benefits?
While this card is quite straightforward, there are some tips that can help you to get the most from it. These include:
While it can be great to get away for the weekend, if you only stay at IHG locations for two nights, you’ll be missing out on free award nights.
You’ll get one free night when you book three award nights, so make sure that your stays are four days for maximum value.
Although this is a hotel chain co-branded card, you can benefit from some excellent insurance coverage when you book your common carrier fares with this card.
This includes baggage insurance and trip cancellation/interruption coverage.
Likewise, you can benefit from purchase protections when you use the card to buy everyday items. Your items will then be covered against damage or theft for up to 120 days.
Unfortunately, while this card does offer some insurances, there is no car rental insurance coverage included in the card perks.
There are no official income requirements for this card, but you do need good to excellent credit. Although Chase will evaluate your income, it will not be the only factor considered when making an approval decision for your application.
Chase does typically offer pre approval for its cards including the IHG Rewards Traveler. You can log in as a customer or as a guest to see if you are likely to be approved for the card.
Chase also sends out mailers and other promotional materials which may offer select customers pre approval for this or other cards.