Combining two IHG credit cards benefits to get 32% off point reservation

holidy inn aruba, ihg
Stay right on Palm Beach at the Holiday Inn Aruba with your free night certificate (photo from Holiday Inn Resort Aruba)
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There are two types of credit cards — those that allow you to earn valuable points and miles on everyday purchases and then those that provide valuable benefits simply by having the card. For the latter, there are many cards that pretty much stay in my sock drawer, so to speak, and the benefits I receive on an annual basis far outweigh the annual fees. Two cards that absolutely fall into this category are the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card (no longer available to new applicants).

Related: 5 Reasons why I love the IHG credit card, plus an all-time high welcome offer

While both cards have many benefits, both offer a discount/rebate when using your points to redeem for a free night. Fortunately, if you are a cardmember of both cards, you can stack the savings and really come out ahead for all IHG point reservations.

IHG Premier Credit Card: 4th Night Free

When the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card launched a few years, one of the more favorable benefits was that you’d receive your fourth night free on all reservations booked with points. For those who typically stay 4+ nights at IHG properties, this is a huge way to save your points. While other hotel chains also give you a free night when you use your points, such as Hilton and Marriott, it requires you to stay an extra night since you’ll get the fifth night free (instead of your fourth night with IHG). For me personally, there are many times throughout the year where staying four nights at a single hotel is a common occurrence, but five nights is a stretch.

IHG Select Credit Card: 10% Rebate

With the old IHG Select Credit Card, which is unfortunately no longer available to new card members, the point saving benefit gives you a 10% rebate on all reservations. Unlike the fourth night free benefit, there is no minimum number of nights required to receive the rebate (although you are capped at receiving 100k points back per year).

a group of umbrellas and tables on a dock by the water
Stay at the Holiday Inn & Suites Clearwater Beach right on the water and get your 4th night free + 10% points back!

Combining the Two Benefits

Unlike many other Chase cards within the same “family”, you are eligible for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card even if you are a current IHG Select Credit Card member. In my opinion, there is no reason to actually upgrade your old card to the new card, but to instead apply for the new card to take advantage of the limited time offer as well as the new benefits.

Of course, that is if you are able to take a hit against your Chase “5/24” status. Right now, this card is offering up to 125,000 points plus a reward night certificate after meeting the minimum spend requirement.

If you are a cardmember for both cards and you use points for exactly a four night stay, you’ll ultimately be spending 32.5% less points. For example, let’s say you are staying at a property that requires 40,000 points for a free night. This will typically cost you 160,000 points for your 4-night stay. However, if you have the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, it’ll only cost you 120,000 points due to the 4th night free benefit.

Then, after you complete your stay, you’ll then receive 12,000 points back into your account (10% of the total number of points redeemed), if you are an IHG Rewards Club Select card member. This means your four-night stay will only cost you 108,000 or 27,000 points per night. This is a 32.5% discount on what would have originally required 160,000 IHG points! The only thing to keep in mind is that the 10% rebate is in fact a rebate, so you must have the full number of points in your account to actually book the reservation. The points you get back can then be used towards a future IHG stay.

a beach with palm trees and chairs
Stay right on Palm Beach in Aruba for just 27,000 points a night when you combine both benefits!

Purchasing IHG Points on a Deal

Since IHG many times sells points at .5 cents per point, even if you are short on points, purchasing points can be quite a deal when combining the two benefits. For example, if looking to redeem your points at a property that costs 40,000 points a night, at .5 cents per point, a four night stay will ultimately only cost you $540 (or just $135 per night). Of course though you’ll need to purchase the full number of points prior to the rebate taken into consideration, but you can always put those points towards another stay assuming you stay at IHG properties often enough.

One example when this could be useful is if you are looking to stay beachfront in Aruba. The Holiday Inn Express in Aruba is located right on Palm Beach with the beach right outside of the room. This is a resort property and if you can stay for just $135 a night, especially during peak dates, that is an incredibly inexpensive cost to stay in the Caribbean!

Of course travel might be a on pause right now for many, but when it picks back up, this is a great strategy to stay for less!

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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Steve T
Steve T
5 years ago

Do you know when we get credited back the 10% for points redeemed? I just finished a stay 1 week ago and haven’t seen the points yet. Thanks

5 years ago
Reply to  Steve T

In my previous experiences from this summer I found that the rebates can take up to a few weeks to process. I would say at least 2 weeks. Not sure if they have an exact process date since it was random for each stay.

Steve T
Steve T
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Thank you

5 years ago

The app is offering a $50 statement credit if you apply through there when making a reservation.

5 years ago

I used to be a big fan of IHG’s rewards program, back when learning of it via Drew, Daraius, & Geg…. But I’ve long soured on the program, after one major blow to the program from so many angles. (gutted point breaks program, pathetic into-the-chaos non-promotions, the decelerate lunacy, the major devaluations of points, the every accelerated cash rates — the kimpton effect, etc. etc. none of which you mention here of course, you have a card to sell)

But putting aside my now intense resistance to all things IHG & the crew from Manila, you do have one good point to highlight with the new card — the 4th night free benefit….. though we’d need some more convincing on just where to stay within the IHG universe for four nights. (Maybe one of the IHG all-inclusives perhaps…. even after all the major point inflations…)

So telling (and sad) that the one photo you suggest is that aging, dilapidated no-breakfast included Holiday Inn in Aruba…. Have you actually been there? Recently? (the place with more rooms facing each other, or worse, out into construction behind, than rooms actually facing the ocean — for which you pay far more)

Sorry, nice try, but need more convincing.

1 year ago

When booking (to get the combined benefit of both cards), do you need to make the reservation with the Select Card or the Premier Card? Do both need to be on file on the IHG website. Thanks

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