Posted by William Charles on June 28, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on June 28th, 2017 | by William Charles

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Chase IHG Survey – New Card Options?

Reader Aidan was taking a survey for a local focus group and it was geared towards credit cards, hotels and rewards programs. He was asked to rank the two below potential offers:

80,000 Point Offer + Free Night +$85 Annual Fee

60,000 Points, $29 Annual Fee & No Free Night

Our Verdict

This isn’t the first time Chase/IHG have sent out surveys regarding possible new options and we haven’t see anything come from those. For reference the current Chase IHG card:

  • 80,000 points after $2,000 in spend (requires matching)
  • $49 annual fee (waived first year)
  • Free anniversary night
  • Earns at the following rates:
    • 5x per $1 spent on IHG Hotels
    • 2x points on gas, grocery stores and restaurants
    • 1x points on everything else
  • Platinum elite status

Best thing about the current card is that you only pay $49 for the annual free night certificate. That’s incredible value and looking at the above two options we’d lose that. Extra night benefit is good and 10x on IHG might mean people actually use an IHG card for those bookings but otherwise the card in it’s current form is better value.Also seems like they want to replace the 10% rebate with a 4th night free benefit.

What makes it seem more likely that Chase/IHG are seriously considering these changes are the fact that the card is currently offering 10x points on IHG purchases for the first 12 months.

What are your thoughts on the above options? Let me know in the comments below.

 



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It’s better the way it is. Lower annual fee with the free night is my preference. Also, I rarely stay 4 nights at a time, so I’ll take the 10% back.

Option 1: The bonus points from spending $20k don’t make the spend worthwhile unless you’re spending a lot at IHG. The 4th night benefit is nice, but you lose the 10% redemption bonus the card offers right now. Since some stays are shorter than 4 days and some longer, it’s probably kind of a wash in the end. Given the increased annual fee of the first option, I think I’d rather just keep the IHG card I’ve got.

interesting stuff.

i got an Alaska Airlines email survey yesterday. it was a raffle for 10k miles and the survey was basically just about credit card spending habits and frequent flyer benefits. it seemed like they were sussing out whether consumers would pay a higher annual fee for an Alaska Card that contains lounge access and other things.

The 10 X points and the 4th night free are worth paying an extra $36/yr in the 1st option.

I will cancel my card if they make this change.

$49 to $85 is a substantial AF hike. Would close card for sure if this goes through.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they upped the AF with that free night – at least they would be adding a few perks with it too. I would be ok with it.

They already have an annual free night with the current fee. Are you talking about the 4th night free when using points? I would probably never use that. Hilton already has 5th night free whether you have a card or not.

Looks like the 60k option is already live. I got 60k 5x Free Night and $49 fee

You already earn 10 points/$ on their regular reward program. The language there doesn’t seem to indicate that’s an additional 10 points on top of that

I’ll close this card if they change it to these two options.
The 4th night free and reimbursed global entry is useless because we already have Chase SR, Amex Plat, Citi Prestige, US AR and all these card have these benefits. My wife and me, both of us will keep one of these high end card for sure. That means the IHG will be useless card for us.

I’ll close this card if they change it to these two options.
The 4th night free and reimbursed global entry is useless because we already have Chase SR, Amex Plat, Citi Prestige, US AR and all these card have these benefits. My wife and me, both of us will keep one of these high end card for sure. That means the IHG will be useless card for us. I” accept if AF $59 for 1 free night and 10x points for IHG stay

The problem with these changes is that it still doesn’t solve the fundamental problem which this card suffers from which is the massive devaluation in value of IHG points over the last 5 years. Whereas 5 years ago many valued IHG points at 1 cent per point which while not great for spend was pretty close to what you would earn on a cashback credit card except the Fidelity Amex at the time, now many value IHG points between 0.5 cents and 0.7 cents per point while cashback cards have moved toward 1.5%, 2%, and even 2.5% cashback. Who in their right mind is going to put spend on this card when it is earning the equivalent of a measly 0.5% – 0.7% cashback.

What they need to do is either offer a tantalizing reward for spend on the card such as a free night anywhere after $10,000 in spend annually similar to the Citi Hilton Hhonors Reserve Card, or improve the earnings rate to 2X points on all spend and 10 X points on all IHG purchases. Also while I like the idea of the 4th night free offer on points stays, I would argue that the 10% rebate in its current form is more valuable since I often do points and cash redemptions unless the 20% discount on IHG points purchases applies to cash and points rates then it may be a wash.

Also, $85 annual fee is too steep for the benefits they are proposing considering how weak their rewards program is to begin with. They may think they are a Hyatt or Marriott when it comes to rewards and pricing for the card but they are in a completely different league with a rewards program that basically only gives you points for your loyalty (no breakfast, no guaranteed suite upgrades, no lounge access, and no upgrades at Intercontinental properties).

I got a similar call with a possible invitation to an in person focus group

Also, the global entry reimbursement is technically a $100 benefit if you use it, but with the plethora of cards nowadays which offer it, I seriously doubt anyone’s paid cash for that in the past year 😉

I’ll close my card account if they make either of these changes. The lackluster “improvements” don’t make up for an increase in annual fee.

Are you listening, IHG?…I too will close if “free” night in exchange for AF is dropped.

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