Travel Credit Cards

IHG Rewards Traveler Card Review (2021) – 120K Bonus Offer + Gold Elite Status Boost

Last updated: April 13,2022
Originally Published: December 13,2021
by Jestan Mendame

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The IHG Traveler Card is an entry-level card in the Chase/IHG co-branded lineup which comes with a solid rewards rate and a big welcome bonus.

With zero annual and foreign transaction fees, the IHG(R) Rewards Traveler Card is perfect for casual travelers who want earn points and redeem IHG-related benefits on the IHG Rewards loyalty program.

Who’s eligible for the card?

Anyone who doesn’t have an existing IHG Traveler card is eligible but just be mindful of the Chase 5/24 rule since the card is under the Chase lineup. It’s an unspoken rule within the points and credit card community wherein Chase would reject credit card applications from applicants who have had 5 credit card accounts in the past 24 months.

IHG Rewards Traveler Card

You also need to take note that the IHG Traveler card credit score requirement ranges from good to excellent so even though it’s an entry-level card, you can’t easily get approved for it if you have poor credit.

Before you sign up for the card, let’s find out more about its benefits and possible drawbacks.


Read More: Free Night Certificate And IHG Elite Status Extension Now Offered To Members


Explore the stunning beaches of Maldives when you stay at the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort.
Image courtesy of Envato.com

Key Information:

Being a no-annual-fee card, the IHG travel card is packed with decent travel perks! Here’s what cardholders should expect:

  • Get an IHG traveler card bonus offer of 120,000 points after spending $2,000 within 3 months of card membership
  • Earn up to 17X points per $1 at IHG® Hotels & Resorts
  • Earn 3X points per $1 at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
  • Earn 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
  • Get a free reward night when staying at any IHG hotel or affiliate for 3 or more nights
  • Save 20% on point purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

IHG Traveler Card Bonus Offer

New cardholders can earn an IHG traveler card bonus offer of 120,000 IHG points after spending $2,000 within three months of account opening.

You can then use these points to redeem award nights at more than 5,000 hotels worldwide. Here are other brands that the IHG group operates:

  • Staybridge Suites
  • Hotel Indigo
  • Holiday Inn
  • Holiday Inn Resort
  • Candlewood Suites
  • Even Hotels
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
  • HUALUXE
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Kimpton Hotels

Apart from award nights, you can also redeem your points towards products on the IHG rewards portal, gift cards, and airline partners. Here is IHG’s current list of airline partners:

You can transfer your IHG points to any of these airline partners at different transfer ratios.
(Image courtesy of IHG.com)

However, transferring your IHG points to airline partners may not be the best idea – some transfer ratios cost 5 IHG points in exchange to 1 point of an airline partner. IHG points get the best value at 6 cents apiece when redeemed towards hotel nights.

Earning Points

Apart from the IHG traveler card bonus offer, cardholders can also earn points when they spend on certain categories using their card.

  • Earn a total of 17x points per dollar towards IHG purchases
    • That’s 5X points with your card
    • 10X points for being an IHG Rewards member
    • 2X points because of your Silver Elite Status
  • 3x points per dollar at gas stations, monthly bills, and restaurants
  • 2x points on all other purchases

Fourth Reward Night

You’ll get a free reward night whenever you redeem an award stay of 3 nights or more. For example, if you redeem your points for an eight-night stay at an IHG hotel, you’ll pay zero points for your fourth and eighth night. The discount will apply automatically after redemption.

Save 20% On Point Purchases

Apart from earning points through credit card purchases, you can also get more points by purchasing them with cash. The IHG Traveler Card currently offers a 20% discount whenever you buy IHG points.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Most credit cards have a foreign transaction of fee of up to 3% per transaction. The IHG Travel Card doesn’t have foreign transaction fees so it’s the perfect companion whenever you go on a shopping spree abroad.

Fast Track Your Way To Gold Elite Status

Spend at least $20,000 in purchases and make one additional purchase each calendar year to become eligible for Gold Elite status for the following year.

Having Gold Elite status can give you exclusive IHG perks such as:

  • 10% bonus points when you use your card on IHG stays. This means that you’ll earn a total of 16x points per dollar).
  • Late checkout (subject to availability)
  • Priority check-in
  • Welcome amenity on each stay (could be welcome points or a snack)

Who Can Benefit From The Card?

The IHG Traveler card can be for any frequent flyer or traveler but it’s best for people who are:

  • Frequently staying at IHG hotels
  • Booking at least 4 award nights every year
  • Earning IHG points but don’t want to pay for annual fees

However, if you want to get elite status right away, you might want the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. It does come with an $89 annual fee but it can give you solid perks such as the annual free night away.

IHG Travelers VS Premier Card

The IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card is far superior to the IHG Traveler Card. Here are some of its benefits:

  • 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months of account opening
  • Free anniversary award night at eligible IHG hotels worldwide (valued at around $250)
  • Free award night when you redeem your points for at least 3 or more award nights
  • Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, travel, and restaurants.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get instant Platinum Elite status
  • Global Entry, TSA Pre✔® or NEXUS application fee statement credit of up to $100 every 4 years

When comparing the cards, IHG Traveler VS Premier, the IHG Premier Card is a better option but if you’re just looking for a card that can earn IHG points, the IHG Traveler card would suffice.

IHG Traveler Card Pros & Cons

  • Zero annual fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Low spending threshold for the welcome bonus
  • Not much in the way of perks beyond earning points
  • Really only a good option for earning points on IHG stays

Read More: Is Hotel Or Airline Status Worth It?


Bottomline

Overall, the IHG Traveler Card is a great option for frequent visitors at IHG hotels but even if you’re not an IHG loyalist, you can still get the card because it doesn’t have an annual fee.

The card won’t do much in terms of travel benefits but it’s a great entry level card for those who want to earn IHG points and redeem award nights at IHG hotels.

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary.
  • Receive up to $300 cashback every year as statement credits when booking through Capital One Travel.

 

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