Credit Cards » Credit Card Reviews » IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card Review 2024
Advertiser Disclosure This website is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This website does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace. This website may use other proprietary factors to impact card offer listings on the website such as consumer selection or the likelihood of the applicant’s credit approval. This allows us to maintain a full-time, editorial staff and work with finance experts you know and trust. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impacts any of the editorial content on The Smart Investor. While we work hard to provide accurate and up to date information that we think you will find relevant, The Smart Investor does not and cannot guarantee that any information provided is complete and makes no representations or warranties in connection thereto, nor to the accuracy or applicability thereof. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money. All products are presented without warranty.

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card Review 2024

If you rarely stay at IHG and want to leverage it without paying an annual fee, the IHG One Rewards Traveler card may be a good choice.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

IHG® One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

Rewards Plan

3x – 10x 10X points from IHG® on stays for being an IHG One Rewards member. Plus up to 6X points from IHG® on stays with Platinum Elite Status, a benefit of this card. 5X total points on travel, dining, and at gas stations. 3X points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Welcome Bonus

140,000 points 140,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Our Rating

4.1
4.1/5

0% Intro

N/A

Annual Fee

$0

APR

21.49%–28.49% variable
IHG® One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

Rewards Plan

3x – 10x 10X points from IHG® on stays for being an IHG One Rewards member. Plus up to 6X points from IHG® on stays with Platinum Elite Status, a benefit of this card. 5X total points on travel, dining, and at gas stations. 3X points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Welcome Bonus

140,000 points 140,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Our Rating

4.1
4.1/5

PROS

CONS

APR

21.49%–28.49% variable

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

N/A

Credit Requirements

Good - Excellent

The IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card is a no-annual-fee card designed for occasional travelers looking to maximize points for IHG hotel stays. The card earns 10X points from IHG® on stays for being an IHG One Rewards member. Plus up to 6X points from IHG® on stays with Platinum Elite Status, a benefit of this card. 5X total points on travel, dining, and at gas stations. 3X points per $1 spent on all other purchases..

Additional perks include a complimentary fourth reward night, bonus points each calendar year, a fourth-night free benefit, automatic silver elite status, variety of redemption options and the potential for Gold Elite status with high annual spending.

As an IHG Rewards Traveler member, you earn points for every eligible stay at IHG hotels, including brands like InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Kimpton, and more. You can redeem your IHG Rewards points for a variety of rewards. This includes free nights at IHG hotels, airline miles, merchandise, gift cards, and even experiences.

However, its cons include a lack of introductory APR for purchases or balance transfers, low points value outside of IHG stays, and limited luxury benefits. Considering there is no annual fee, the card offers some impressive perks, but if you’re not brand loyal to IHG, there are other travel reward cards that could offer greater rewards.

How do I redeem rewards?

You can redeem your points for hotel stays, transfer them to airline reward programs or purchase items from the IHG Rewards Catalog. You can explore all of these options by logging into your account.

If you want to use your points for a hotel stay, you can search for your travel dates and location as you would normally, but you’ll see a cost in points with each option. You can then select an option and proceed with the booking as you typically would.

How hard is it to get an IHG Rewards Traveler card?

You do need good to excellent credit for the IHG Rewards Traveler card and it is also subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. This means that regardless of your credit, if you’ve opened five new credit card accounts within the last 24 months, your application will be declined.

When it may not be a good idea?

Since this is a co-branded card, it is obviously not a good idea if you’re not brand loyal to IHG. If you don’t have a preference of where you stay, a general travel rewards card is likely to be a better fit for you and could potentially offer greater rewards.

In this Review

Estimating Your Rewards: A Practical Simulation

The following table is a simulation of rewards that showcases the potential benefits of using the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card. It provides an estimated breakdown of the rewards you could earn based on your typical spending habits in various categories.

While this table can help you understand the potential advantages of the card, it is important to keep in mind that the figures presented are only estimates, and your actual rewards may vary depending on your individual spending patterns and other factors.

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

Spend Per Category
IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card
$10,000 – U.S Supermarkets
10,000 points
$3,000 – Restaurants
9,000 points
$4,000 – Airline
4,000 points
$4,000 – Hotels
68,000 points
$4,000 – Gas
12,000 points
Estimated Annual Points
103,000 Points
Estimated Redemption Value
1 point ~ 0.7 cent
Estimated Annual Value
$721

Pros and Cons

Just like any other credit card, the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card has some advantages and disadvantages:

Pros
Cons
Elite Status
Lower Point Values
Free Nights
Limited Redemptions
No Foreign Transaction Fees
High Annual Spend Needed for Gold Elite
Savings on Reward Point Purchases
No Luxury Perks or Benefits
Baggage Insurance
No Introductory APR
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
Purchase Protections

Providing you maintain your IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card, you’ll receive Silver Elite status. You can also receive an upgrade to Gold Status if you spend $20,000 or more during the calendar year.

IHG silver elite status rewards
IHG silver elite status rewards (screenshot taken by our team from IHG app)

When you redeem your points for a four night consecutive stay at IHG hotels, you’ll receive a free reward night. This means that you’ll only need to use your points to pay for three nights.

When you make purchases outside the United States using your card, you won't be charged any foreign transaction fees.

When you purchase points using your IHG Traveler credit card, you can save 20% on your purchases.

This coverage reimburses you for essential purchases if your baggage is delayed by your passenger carrier for over six hours. The coverage offers up to $100 per day for three days.

There is also lost luggage reimbursement if your checked or carry on bags are damaged or lost by your carrier. This coverage has a limit of $3,000 per passenger.

 If your trip is cut short or canceled by severe weather, sickness or other covered circumstances, you can receive up to $5,000 per person and $10,000 per trip in reimbursement for non refundable, pre paid travel expenses such as passenger fares, hotels and tours.

When you make purchases with your card, your items are covered against theft or damage for 120 days. The coverage limits are $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

IHG point worth about 0.7 cent.

While a low point value for individual points is not necessarily a bad thing if you can earn sufficient points to make up for the lower value. However, when you’re comparing hotel loyalty programs, it is something to bear in mind.

Although you can earn a lot of points, they may not provide as much value as you would get with other hotel reward programs or travel reward programs in general.

Unless you’re booking a travel night, you’re not likely to get a great redemption rate on other offers. This represents poor options beyond the reward nights.

Holiday Inn Express, a Subsidiary of IHG
Holiday Inn Express, a Subsidiary of IHG

Although the card does offer automatic status, if you’re aiming for Gold Elite, you’ll need to meet a high annual spend requirement.

Unlike with other programs or higher-level IHG cards such as the Premier Club, you’ll not get luxury perks or benefits with this card, such as lounge access or airline credit.

Unfortunately, this card does not have an introductory rate for either purchases or balance transfers. This means that you’ll be paying the standard rate from day one.

IHG Traveler Redemption Options

The IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card provides various redemption options for cardholders:

  • Free Nights: Use your IHG points to book free nights at participating IHG hotels and resorts.

  • Points and Cash Combinations: Enjoy flexibility by combining points and cash to cover the cost of your stay, allowing you to use as few or as many points as you prefer.

  • Transfer to Airline Partners: Transfer your IHG points to airline partners, including American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and United Airlines.

  • IHG Rewards Catalog: Redeem points for a range of items from the IHG rewards catalog, including jewelry, electronics, household items, and more.

  • Gift Cards: Exchange your points for gift cards from various retailers and brands.

  • Offset Travel Costs: Use points to offset expenses related to flights, car rentals, and other travel-related costs.

  • Transfer or Gift Points: Transfer points to other IHG cardholders or gift them to friends or family.

  • Charitable Donations: Contribute to charitable causes by using your points for donations.

Book hotel with IHG miles
Book hotel with IHG miles

Who Should Consider The IHG® One Rewards Traveler Card?

If you tend to stay at IHG locations when you travel, and you don’t want to pay an annual fee on your credit card, the IHG Rewards Traveler is a good option for you. With so many brands owned by IHG, the locations are easy to find around the world, which means that you can access elite status perks each time you stay.

The card is also a good choice if you are interested in IHG elite status. With the generous welcome bonus and automatic Silver status, it can be easier to reach Gold status, particularly if you’re a high spender.

If you do travel but still want to compare hotel cards, here's an overview:

Card
Rewards
Bonus
Annual Fee

World of Hyatt

1X – 4X 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent on purchases at all Hyatt hotels. Plus, 5 Base Points from Hyatt per eligible $1 spent for being a World of Hyatt member. 2x Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, local transit and commuting as well as fitness club and gym memberships. Plus, earn 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Up to 60,000 Bonus Points 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.*Opens offer details overlay Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
$95

chase_sapphire_preffered

2X – 5X 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases and select streaming services. 2x on other travel purchases. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$95

hilton honors card

3X – 7X 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery) U.S.supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and 3x points for each dollar on other eligible purchases
100,000 points 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card review 2019

1x – 6X 6X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card. Plus, earn up to 10X points from Marriott for being a Marriott Bonvoy® member. Plus, earn up to 1X point from Marriott with Silver Elite Status. Earn 3X points for every $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining. Earn 2X points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases.
3 Free Nights 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening
$95

amex brilliant

2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
185,000 points 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership
$650

How To Maximize Card Benefits?

While this card is quite straightforward, there are some tips that can help you to get the most from it. These include:

While it can be great to get away for the weekend, if you only stay at IHG locations for two nights, you’ll be missing out on free award nights.

You’ll get one free night when you book three award nights, so make sure that your stays are four days for maximum value.

Although this is a hotel chain co-branded card, you can benefit from some excellent insurance coverage when you book your common carrier fares with this card.

This includes baggage insurance and trip cancellation/interruption coverage.

 Likewise, you can benefit from purchase protections when you use the card to buy everyday items. Your items will then be covered against damage or theft for up to 120 days.

FAQs

Unfortunately, while this card does offer some insurances, there is no car rental insurance coverage included in the card perks.

There are no official income requirements for this card, but you do need good to excellent credit. Although Chase will evaluate your income, it will not be the only factor considered when making an approval decision for your application.

Chase does typically offer pre approval for its cards including the IHG Rewards Traveler. You can log in as a customer or as a guest to see if you are likely to be approved for the card.

Chase also sends out mailers and other promotional materials which may offer select customers pre approval for this or other cards.

Compare IHG One Rewards Traveler Card

In our opinion, the IHG One Rewards Premier wins only if you plan to spend a significant amount on hotels. If not, the differences are minor.

IHG One Rewards Traveler vs. Premier: Side By Side Comparison

Both Hilton Honors Amex and Wyndham Rewards Earner cards offer a decent point rewards ratio and basic extra hotel perks.

Hilton Honors American Express vs. IHG One Rewards Traveler: Side By Side Comparison

Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
185,000 points 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
185,000 points 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
185,000 points 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Search
Best Cards Per Category
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
185,000 points 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
185,000 points 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Credit Card Reviews Methodology

In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.