The IHG Business Credit Card offers several benefits like a lucrative 140,000 point sign-up bonus, 10x points on IHG stays, annual free night certificates, and automatic Platinum Elite status. However, the $99 annual fee is high and points can only be redeemed for IHG hotel stays.
The card is best suited for small business owners who travel frequently for work and stay at IHG properties at least 5-6 times per year. For such loyal IHG guests, the card can provide strong value thanks to the accelerated rewards and elite status perks.
But occasional IHG patrons may find better value in cards with no annual fee. Analyzing individual business spending patterns is key to determine if the card justifies its fee.
Overview of IHG Business Credit Card
The IHG Business Credit Card is issued by Chase bank in collaboration with IHG Hotels and Resorts. Some key details:
- Annual fee – $99
- Sign-up bonus – 140,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months
- Earning rates – 10x points at IHG, 2x points on gas, dining, cell phone plans, office supply stores
- Benefits – Annual free night certificate, Platinum Elite IHG status etc.
It is ideally suited for small business owners who stay at IHG properties for work trips at least 5-6 times annually. The high bonus, additional points and elite status provide good value in such cases.
Pros of the IHG Business Credit Card
Here are some of the most notable advantages of the IHG Business Credit Card:
Lucrative Sign-up Bonus
The sign-up bonus of 140,000 points after meeting minimum spend is quite lucrative. It can be redeemed for up to 14 free nights at mid-tier IHG properties. This alone outweighs the annual fee in value.
Strong Earning Rates
The 10x points at IHG hotels and 2x points on common business spending categories provide faster rewards accumulation. The earnings can be redeemed for free hotel nights.
Annual Free Night Certificate
The card provides an annual free night certificate valid at properties costing up to 40,000 points per night. When redeemed at expensive hotels, it offsets the annual fee.
Automatic Platinum Elite Status
Platinum status provides benefits like room upgrades, welcome amenities, late checkout etc. It makes business stays more comfortable and productive.
Anniversary Free Night Offer
Cardholders get a reward night certificate every year on their card anniversary for properties costing up to 40,000 points per night.
Cell Phone Insurance
Up to $600 per claim and $1,000 per year is provided towards cell phone damage/theft when bill is paid with the card.
Cons of the IHG Business Credit Card
Here are some potential downsides to consider:
High Annual Fee
The $99 annual fee is higher than many other hotel cards. It reduces the value derived especially in the first year.
The card has minimum eligibility requirements like 3 years in business and $100,000 minimum revenue. New businesses may not qualify.
Limited Redemption Options
The earnings can only be redeemed for IHG hotel stays. There is no option to transfer points or redeem for cash/statement credit.
Foreign Transaction Fees
Charges of 3% apply on forex transactions. So it is not ideal for international business travel.
Alternate Cards may offer More Value
Competing small business cards like Capital One Spark Cash or Amex Blue Business Plus offer better flexibility and earnings in some cases.
Ideal Users of IHG Business Credit Card
The IHG Business Credit Card provides maximum value to:
Frequent Business Travelers
Small business owners who regularly travel for work and stay at IHG properties at least 5-6 times annually can derive significant value from the card. The points earnings, free nights and elite status make business trips more rewarding.
Loyal IHG Customers
Existing IHG Rewards members who wish to earn points on business expenses to redeem for personal/family stays also benefit immensely from the card. The earning rates accelerate rewards.
Individuals Needing Cell Phone Insurance
People who desire cell phone insurance and stay occasionally at IHG hotels for work find value in the card. The insurance itself covers the annual fee amount in most cases.
Businesses with Compliant Accounting
The card works for businesses that can provide tax information for new card applications and account for annual fees in company accounts appropriately.
Ideal Usage Strategies
To maximize value from the IHG Business Credit Card:
- Time the application to earn the sign-up bonus during a period of high anticipated business travel.
- Use the free night certificates at expensive hotels to redeem points worth more than the annual fee.
- Pay for all business expenses on the card, including recurring ones to earn maximum points.
- Set up autopay from business account to avoid missing statement payment date.
- Pool points earned from personal/family IHG stays into same account to redeem awards faster.
- Use the Platinum elite status benefits like upgrades, late checkout etc. during business stays.
- Downgrade to a no-fee IHG card after Year 1 if not traveling enough to justify the high annual fee.
Is the IHG Business Card Worth It?
For frequent business travelers loyal to IHG brands, the card certainly provides strong value with its high sign-up bonus, generous earning rates, elite status perks and annual free night certificates. However, the high annual fee reduces appeal for occasional IHG patrons.
It is best to analyze your individual business spending patterns and IHG hotel stay frequency to determine if the card fits well into your requirements.
Use the sign-up bonus and first year benefits prudently, then evaluate whether the ongoing annual fee is justified by the continued card advantages based on your actual usage and experience.
Q. What is the sign-up bonus for the IHG Business Credit Card?
The current sign-up bonus for the IHG Business Credit Card is 140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Q. What benefits does the IHG Business Credit Card offer?
Key benefits of the IHG Business Credit Card include 10x points on IHG stays, annual free night certificates valid at IHG hotels, automatic Platinum Elite status in IHG Rewards program, cell phone insurance, and 2x points on gas, dining, office supply stores etc.
Q. What is the annual fee for the IHG Business Credit Card?
The annual fee for the IHG Business Credit Card is $99.
Q. Who should consider the IHG Business Credit Card?
The IHG Business Credit Card is best suited for small business owners who travel frequently for work and stay at IHG hotels at least 5-6 times per year. Also good for loyal IHG customers who want to earn rewards faster.
Q. What are some potential downsides of the IHG Business Credit Card?
Downsides include limited redemption options (only for IHG hotel stays), foreign transaction fees, high annual fee, and eligibility requirements that may exclude new small businesses. Competition from other business cards also exists.
The IHG Business Credit Card offers some lucrative benefits like a generous sign-up bonus, accelerated rewards on IHG stays, annual free night certificates, and automatic Platinum status.
However, the high $99 annual fee and limited redemption options reduce appeal among infrequent IHG guests. Ultimately, the card is most beneficial for small business owners who travel extensively for work and stay at IHG properties at least 5-6 times annually.
For such frequent business travelers loyal to the IHG brand, the elite status perks and annual free nights more than offset the annual fee. But other businesses should evaluate card benefits against their IHG spend before applying.
The value derived is directly proportional to IHG stay frequency. Analyze your individual business needs to determine if the card fits your requirements.