How I’d Maximize The IHG 140K Welcome Offer
Long ago, IHG was my favorite hotel chain. The earning and redemption rates were decent, their card offered an uncapped free night, and the promotions were consistently solid. Things have changed a bit, and Hyatt is my new favorite chain. But I still have some love for IHG. Even with a couple other options on the table, I decided to pull the trigger on the elevated IHG 140K welcome offer on the IHG Premier Credit Card a couple months ago.
Highest Ever IHG Premier Credit Card Welcome Offer
Even though IHG points are objectively not worth as much as they were a few years ago due to devaluations, a welcome offer of 140,000 points is certainly a head-turner. I’d been waiting for a really good offer before picking up the card, and this is the best we’ve ever seen.
I already have the discontinued IHG Rewards Mastercard, and I have purposefully not upgraded it so that I can hold both cards. They have a great synergy that I will explain later.
In addition to the excellent welcome offer, the IHG Premier Credit Card has some great benefits. My two favorites are the 4th night free award stays and the free annual night (capped at a value of 40,000 points). These two benefits make up the card entirely worth it to me for an annual fee of $89.
Here are all the benefits of the IHG Premier Credit Card:
- Limited-time 140,000-point welcome offer after spending $3,000 within the first three months
- 10x points on IHG hotel stays
- 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
- 1x points everywhere else
- Annual free night (capped at 40,000 points)
- Platinum elite status
- 4th night free on award stays
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
- No foreign transaction fees
- $89 annual fee
- Learn More
Now that the points have posted from my IHG 140K welcome offer, here are five things I’m considering doing with the points:
One or More Four-Night Stays
Having both IHG cards provides you some great synergy. You get both the 4th night free and 10% back on award stays for a combined savings of 32.5% off of every 4-night award stay. This is excellent, and the main reason I highly recommend not upgrading your existing card, as you’ll lose the 10% back. Holding both is the best option.
Any 4-night stay quickly can easily become an excellent award. I personally value IHG points at just 0.6 cent each, which isn’t much. Many properties cost a high number of points, even for just a Holiday Inn Express, so I’m often looking at getting just 0.4 to 0.5 cent per point, which is unacceptable.
But when you’re only paying 67.5% of the standard price, I’m far more willing to shell out points, as the value is better. The 140K IHG welcome offer is enough for one 4-night stay at a property that costs 45,000 points per night. Alternatively, it’s enough for two 4-night stays at properties costing 20,000 and 25,000 points. Remember that you have to wait until the stay finished for the 10% back to post from the old IHG card, if you’re banking on that.
Two Nights at the InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso Spa
This is probably the most aspirational stay I’d ever conceive of actually planning. With 140,000 IHG points we could afford two nights at the InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso Spa. Finding the nights is always the biggest issue, however. But this is the one property where you can book straight into an overwater bungalow.
Ideally, I’d save a total of 210,000 points and then get a 4th night free for massive savings. But given the notorious lack of award availability at this hotel, this is likely a pipe dream. I looked up availability through the end of the calendar for 1-night stays and couldn’t find anything. Given the unlikelihood of ever making this work out, I’d also be game for saving up just a few more points and spending 150,000 for a 4-night stay at the InterContinental Moorea.
Six Nights in Orlando at at Holiday Inn Vacation Club
I’m not very interested in visiting Disney, but with kids who are, I know we’ll make it to Disney World at some point in the coming years. Using IHG points for our stay is one of the most ideal options I’ve found.
Assuming we didn’t plan the trip until next year, we could use 120,000 points for 4 nights at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort. Adding in the annual free night certificates from the cards (one from the old card, one from the new IHG Premier Credit Card), we could stretch this to six free nights. Ideally, we’d spend another night or two to not feel like we need to be in the parks every day.
Five Nights at the InterContinental Hotels Phu Quoc Resort
There aren’t a whole lot of resort locations on my radar, but Phu Quoc, Vietnam is one of them. Both the Marriott and IHG properties look lovely. The InterContinental Hotels Phu Quoc Resort is only 35,000 points per night, so the card bonus could be stretched to five nights including the 4th night free.
This would ideally be tacked on to a longer overall visit to Vietnam. I’ve read so many amazing things about the country and the incredible variety it offers. From beaches to mountains, cities and food, coffee to caves, this country has a lot to offer. The real bummer is that it’ll likely be many years until I can plan a multi-week trip, once the kids are older.
Hold Out for Point Breaks With My IHG 140K Welcome Offer?
One of IHG’s most popular promotions has been their Point Breaks award stays. Even quarter(ish), IHG has released a new list of hotels with reduced pricing. The three Point Breaks tiers are 5,000 points, 10,000 points, and 15,000 points per night. There have typically been a handful of nice properties on the list, with at least one Intercontinental making the list. Inventory is limited, so locking in stays as soon as the list is released has been many people’s modus operandi.
But this came to a screeching halt this year. IHG unexpectedly did not release a new Point Breaks list for first quarter 2020. The company also stated that they “do not have a new IHG Rewards Club PointBreaks promotion planned currently” which is very unfortunate.
I’ve locked in multiple Point Breaks stays over the years, but I’ve never been able to make the travel plans work out. I’d love to see the promotion come back, as it would really let me stretch 140,000 IHG points.
Whatever I end up doing with the points, I can’t wait to use them. Actually, I can’t wait to travel, period. It may be more of a function of being totally stir cray rather than earning that IHG 140K IHG Premier Credit Card welcome offer. But those points sure are burning a hole in my pocket!