The Reason I Continue Deleting My Credit Card Upgrade Offer From My Email

This morning, I received an email titled “Please Open: You’ve been selected to upgrade” from Chase (for the 100th time). The email was an offer to upgrade my IHG Club Select Credit Card to the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card and earn 10,000 bonus points after making one purchase. So why do I keep deleting it?

IHG Upgrade Offer

DOES THIS OFFER MAKE SENSE?

Let’s be clear, I’m a big fan of getting free and easy points and I would argue that it doesn’t get much easier than this. Simply, click the ‘Request Upgrade’ button on the email and you’re on the way, right?

IHG Upgrade Offer

BACKGROUND

I’ve had the (old) IHG Club Select Credit Card since 2015 and in 2018, Chase launched the new IHG Rewards Club Premier Card. At the moment the card has its best ever welcome bonus of 140K points upon completing minimum spending, so there are a lot of great reasons to pick up this card and a lot of great places to redeem the points.

The IHG Club Select Card (the card that I already have) is no longer open to applications so in this case, Chase is attempting to lure me into upgrading and essentially closing my (old) IHG Club Select card.

Over the past few years, I’ve been able to redeem my free night certificate from my card for nights that would cost $250+ at properties including InterContinental Miami, Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong, and more than once at the Intercontinental Doha so I love my IHG card.

Photo Courtesy of InterContinental Doha

Comparing Benefits Of The (old) IHG Select & (new) IHG Premier Cards

On the most basic level, the IHG Select Card ($49 annual fee, no longer open to new applications) offers:

  • An anniversary free night certificate valid at any IHG hotel retailing for up to 40,000 points per night
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card
  • A 10% refund on redeemed points (up to 100,000 points per year)

For the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card ($89 annual fee), it offers:

  • An anniversary free night certificate valid at any IHG hotel retailing for up to 40,000 points per night
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card
  • A fourth night free on award redemptions, which can be used an unlimited number of times
  • A TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit once every four years

Personally, I don’t stay at IHG properties too often and generally, I don’t put much spend on my IHG card but this is where it gets good…

IHG Club Select Card

Card Eligibility

Although, I could upgrade, I was curious to answer the question “am I eligible to apply for the IHG Premier Card (the new card) if I have the IHG Select Card (the old card)?” In other words, could I have BOTH cards in my wallet?

And right there in the terms and conditions of the card:

This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.

Well, since this is a brand new card, neither of those apply to me and shouldn’t apply to many other people either. So yes, I am eligible for the IHG Premier Card (including the welcome bonus) despite having the (old) IHG Select Card.

And I found several data points that confirm that many people do in fact have both cards at this point.

Photo courtesy of InterContinental Singapore

WHY WOULD YOU WANT BOTH CARDS?

On the surface, the (old) IHG Select Card is probably an all-around better value. The card has an annual fee of $49 (which is $40 per year cheaper), and offers THE EXACT SAME anniversary free night certificate and Platinum status for as long as you have the card.

The other biggest benefit on both cards is the extra value you get when you redeem points — the (old) IHG Select Card offers a 10% rebate on redeemed points (up to 100,000 points per year), while the new IHG Premier Card offers a fourth night free on award redemptions.

The fourth night free on award redemptions has the potential to be more valuable, since it could offer up to 25% off. However, that requires redeeming in increments of exactly four nights. If that matches your typical redemption patterns, then I’d say that benefit is more valuable, while otherwise, the 10% rebate is likely to be more rewarding, since it applies to all redemptions.

Photo courtesy of InterContinental Pattaya

Why You Shouldn’t Upgrade To The IHG Premier Card

While I think the IHG Premier Card is potentially more valuable for some (specifically, those who often redeem in increments of four nights), I wouldn’t recommend upgrading from one card to the other.

Why? Because you can have both cards, and you don’t want to cancel a card that you can never apply for again, especially one that has benefits that are this good.

You can continue to have the (old) IHG Select Card for the anniversary free night certificate and 10% refund on redeemed points, which is well worth the $49 annual fee.

Then you can complement that with the $89 annual fee IHG Rewards Club Premier Card, which has a welcome bonus of 140,000 points. Then you can also benefit from the additional free night certificate and fourth night free on award redemptions.

The best part is that you can stack those benefits. If you have both cards:

  • You get two anniversary free night certificates per year (for a total of $138 in annual fees), and that doesn’t even include the value of the welcome bonuses
  • You can combine the fourth night free on award redemptions with the 10% refund on redeemed points, which gets you maximum value

FINAL STAMP

While this upgrade offer from Chase may appear tempting, I would highly recommend against this. You’d be giving up a card that you’ll never be able to apply for again, and that has a lower annual fee and a unique 10% refund benefit on redeemed points.

I’d much rather keep the IHG Select Card, and then apply for the IHG Premier Card, which has useful benefits that you can stack, and a big welcome bonus (which you’re eligible to earn, assuming you don’t have the card already).

If you also have the IHG Select Card, you absolutely should get the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card by applying outright for it, rather than upgrading to it.

Have you received this upgrade offer? If so, did you upgrade? Does anyone plan on holding both cards?

4 comments

  1. Thanks for this perspective. Can you do this kind of explanation with the Sapphire Preferred vs the Sapphire Reserve? I have been trying to make sense of the things I have been researching but it isnt SUPER clear. I have the Preferred but want the Reserve BUT I cant get the welcome bonus(?) and I dont think I can have both? Or I dont understand how/if I can upgrade

    Liked by 1 person

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