There are really 3 different types of credit cards cards for me.
- Lousy sign up bonus, worthless awards program or a program I just won’t get to the minimum award level on. I don’t apply and waste my good credit.
- Sign up bonus cards that offer a full reward on completing sign up bonus. The best have no first year fee as we are basically being handed a free ticket The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card I’m touting would be in this category. I’ll fulfill the sign up requirements as quickly as possible and it may go in the sock drawer after that. In effect it becomes my “go to card” until I reach the minimum spend threshold. There is a list of these in the database on the right hand blog column (If I find the rewards program to be excellent, it may move to the next category).And an added bonus with some of these cards is the ability to get a revenue ticket that earns miles on the program of your choice. IE: Chase Sapphire, Amex Premier Rewards (when it was 25K), and the US Bank Flexperks card of the past.
- My daily use cards. The old standby SPG card is my “go to card”. I always have a backup card for places that will not take the American Express card. That card is usually not from category #2 as I want to get that minimum spend taken care of immediately. Right now mine is the United Signature card so I can piddle a few more points into my main program.
In summary category #1 cards never make it into my wallet, category #2 cards earn a spot in the leather for a short time only and the daily use card is there day after day after day. When I’m not earning a minimum spend, I’m using category #3 and staying there. The SPG card has been my go to card for 6 years now, except during the Citi Thank You points bonanza. Wow do I miss that one
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49