One of the most surprising and generous credit cards with respect to offers in the last year has been the IHG credit card. So much so, in fact, that I actually was planning on picking up the IHG card has my next credit card. How can you shy away from a bonus that is twice as high as the usual offer? Or better yet, last year, when they offered up a huge sign up bonus plus 40x points on IHG and 4x everywhere for an entire year? If you either aren’t interested in the current offer, check out this alternative offer, as it could be very valuable too.
The current offer on the IHG card is 140,000 points for spending $3,000 within he first 3 months. The annual fee is not waived in this offer.
The alternative offer being sent out is 75,000 points after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months, $150 statement credit after the first purchase AND the annual fee of $89 is waived in the first year.
As a quick summary, the IHG card comes with an $89 annual fee. It earns 25x at IHG (10x from the card, 15x from the status), 2x at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1x everywhere else. As far as additional benefits, the IHG card will grant you an anniversary night that is good for hotels closing 40k or less per night. The card also comes with Platinum elite status which is top tier and can be matched to other programs. If you redeem your points for a 4 night stay, the 4th night will be free. Finally, the card also has a Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit.
So, which offer is better? You’d be surprised to hear, they are actually pretty close.
If we value the points at 0.5 cents per point, then 140,000 points is worth $700. If we subtract the $89 annual fee, we are left with $611 in benefit for the first year.
If we take 75,000 points at 0.5 cents per point, that is worth $375. If we add in the $150 statement credit and if we consider the waived annual fee of a saving of $89, then we are left with a value of $614.
With a value difference of just $3, it all comes down to your preference. Do you prefer to have the bigger point value to use for hotel rooms in the future? Or do you value just having the cash upfront? The other consideration is the alternative offer requires $1,000 less in spending which could make a big difference at this point in time. Either way, I don’t think you can go wrong with either offer to be honest.
If you were picking up the IHG card today, which offer would you go for and why? Let us know in the comment section below.