Posted by William Charles on October 16, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on October 16th, 2019 | by William Charles

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Chase Removes Annual Fee On IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

In mid 2018 Chase replaced the old Chase IHG Select card with two new cards: IHG Premier & IHG Traveler. When the Traveler card launched it had a $29 annual fee. I’m not sure when this change occurred, but this card no longer carries an annual fee. The benefits on this card are as follows:

  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 5x points per $1 spent on IHG properties
    • 2x points per $1 spent on gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
    • 1x points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Gold elite status when you spend $10,000 on your card each calendar year
  • Fourth Reward Night Free on any stay of 4 or more nights
  • 20% discount when purchasing points

This is useful to know because the select card no longer offers an unrestricted free night, those free night certificates issued after May 1st 2019 can only be redeemed on properties costing less than 40,000 points a night. For some it’s still worth keeping that card, but if you were planning on cancelling then the Traveler card might be an attractive downgrade option now that it carries no annual fee. This card also comes with some Mastercard benefits such as cell phone insurance.

Hat tip to reader Tan



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Marland
Marland

I may be mistaken, but I think it’s 40k points or less? Your article seems to mention less than only. Either way, good to know. Thankfully never wasted 1 of the 5/24 on this. Thanks!

jeph36
jeph36

Does anyone know if the old $49 fee card gets auto changed to the $89 fee? Mine hits at the end if April, so I am still operating under the old model but curious what will happen next year.

Soulespada
Soulespada

No, it’s considered a different product so you’re grandfathered into the 49$ annual fee

Denis
Denis

No, I have both of them at the same time

Dima
Dima

Chase is really trying to get people off IHG Select. $49 AF for a free night (even capped at 40k) and a bunch of other perks is a steal.

CM

Totally agree. IHG Select even comes with IHG Platinum status — not a bad deal for $49 per year with a free night. I actually value hotel nights at $50/night due to Priceline, so, I think it’s a keeper for $49, plus, I got it before it went into 5/24, too, so, I didn’t waste a 5/24 slot on it, either. (Wish I’d have gotten a few more cards as well, but, oh, well — got both IHG Select and Hyatt before both went into 5/24, but missed out on Marriott Biz.)

Ferris
Ferris

How are you valuing Priceline nights at $50? Is there some sort of stacking?

CJ
CJ

Why doesn’t chase just raise the annual fee as an disincentive to keep the IHG select?

Jesse
Jesse

Probably a few people pay the annual fee and never use the free night. They want to keep the dormant customers while dumping the active customers.

PT
PT

Totally depends on where you use the free night. For places that are easy to book (IHG hotels only allocate a very restricted small % of rooms to points or free night bookings), are under the 40K cap, and places you want to go to, I’m sure this makes a lot of sense. It probably also is useful if you drive cross country each year or you tend to get stuck in places where you need a cheap overnight room.

In California, the place I liked to use the unrestricted free IHG night was a nice luxury hotel, but needed to be booked 3-4 months out to get it so you needed to really plan ahead.

With the 40K cap, there were about 3 places that I still wanted to go to in the state to stay at, but 2 of them (Holiday Inn Exp) got booked up 2 months out (& aren’t bookable at all during peak dates), so I decided it just wasn’t worth it to keep a card that was barely usable unless I went on a long driving trip out of state or was going to use for a one-off if I flew out of state.

staradmiral
staradmiral

Three years in a row I used my $49 certificate on hotels that would of cost $150+

Beth
Beth

I just used mine at the Holiday Inn Vacation Club Mt. Ascutney Resort. Would have cost well over the $150 price tag as it was October in Vermont during peak leaf season. This was a wonderful all Villa Resort. Totally worth the $49 fee.

Mike
Mike

Is it possible to downgrade Premier to this card? My AF will hit next month and I want to fully focus on Hyatt status.

Shalom
Shalom

Can the grandfathered IHG Select (the older card that has $49 annual fee) be downgraded to the IHG Traveler, if so will that take out the annual fee? Will I still keep my IHG points? Thanks SO MUCH in advance!

Brian C
Brian C

You can cancel your card and still keep your IHG points. Those points are part of your Hotel IHG account permanently once they are earned and transfered each month, they are not dependent on you keeping the credit card.

And yes, you can likely downgrade your select card, but why would you wanna do that? For $49 you get plenty to justify the cost.

lenin1991
lenin1991

The old “IHG Rewards Club Classic Credit Card” has no AF and Gold status for no spend, that still may be a better PC candidate than this one…though the award Fourth Night Free could be high value…

Stu
Stu

“can only be redeemed on properties costing less than 40,000 points a night.” Its actually 40,000 or less.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

Just canceled my IHG card a couple of days ago. Wasn’t offered downgrade to this no-fee version and didn’t know about it. I’m not going to feel bad about it – IHG point aren’t worth much and they’re hard to earn compared to others.

PJ
PJ

Just checked what I can get for 40,000 points and it is clearly worth the $49 for me.

Denis
Denis

Definitely.
The most expensive night in 40K Holiday Inn that I’ve seen was $400+ in Chicago on the marathon weekend, but $100-150 or even $200 per night is quite common in the US.

Joe
Joe

This card should have never had an AF

Jonathon
Jonathon

It appears that ‘no annual fee’ didn’t last long. Is the Traveller link now dead? Also, only one Mastercard listed on Chase’s site: https://creditcards.chase.com/mastercard-credit-cards

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