Lots of other cards get flashy reviews for their big signup bonuses and ability to transfer points. But I think everyone should look at this card as one of your first applications. Here’s a few reasons why:
- The low $500 minimum spend in the first three months. For many using a credit card can be a scary new thing. Here you can start out small and get your feet wet.
- No annual fee the first year If you are not sure about this game, paying an annual fee can be distracting and prevent you from giving the game a try. Here you have no risk other than the minor 2-5 point temporary drop in your credit score.
- The signup bonus is big enough for a domestic free ticket. Lets face it the big shooters in this game are looking for premium International travel with card sign-ups. You are probably just starting out and want a week’s vacation somewhere in the states or a long weekend in Vegas. This card will get it done, without altering your lifestyle dramatically.
- First checked bag is free Most new travelers pack too much anyway so the free first bag feature is very important to those new to traveling and packing. This can be a $50 value or more.
- Priority Boarding in Zone 2 gets you on board the flight before the masses and almost always assures you room in the overhead for your carry-on bag.
This card is not fancy, but a real meat and potatoes beginners card. You can still add a Chase card and Citi card in your first bunch of applications if you so desire, but for newbies, give this one serious consideration. See how you like free travel. Watch how this one inquiry effects your credit score and life. This is a great starter card. I’ve held one off and on for years. Enjoy your free flight!
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