18 Benefits of the Chase IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card + Review

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The Chase IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card is a no-annual-fee card offering a free fourth hotel night, an automatic Silver Elite status, and travel protections. 

This card earns 5 points at IHG hotels and resorts and 3 points on dining, utilities, gas, and streaming services.

Plus, you’ll get 10,000 bonus points when you meet the $10,000 spending threshold each calendar year.

If you want exclusive hotel perks without yearly strings attached, the no-annual-cost IHG Traveler Card can be a good choice. 

Let’s explore key facts about this hotel rewards card to find out if it’s worth getting.

No Annual Fee
IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card
  • Earn 80,000 IHG Rewards Bonus Points After Spending $2,000 in Purchases in 3 Months
  • 5x Points at IHG Hotels and Resorts
  • 3x Points on Dining, Utilities, Internet, Phone, Cable, Select Streaming Services, and at Gas Stations
  • 2x Points on All Other Purchases
  • IHG Rewards Silver Elite Status
  • 4th Night Free on Award Stays
  • No Annual Fee

Click Here to Learn How to Apply

1. Welcome Offer of 80,000 Bonus Points

Cardmembers earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 within the first three months from account opening. 

This is a solid sign-up bonus for a rewards card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. 

Pro Tip: Chase Application Rules

You will be auto-denied for the Chase IHG Rewards Traveler card if you:

(1)  Opened 5 or more personal credit cards in the past 24 months (Chase 5/24 Rule);

(2)  Currently hold an IHG Rewards personal credit card;

(3)  Received a welcome bonus on an IHG personal credit card in the past 24 months;

(4)  Applied for more than 2 Chase cards in the last 30 days (2/30 Rule).

If you were not auto-approved, check out our Guide to Chase Application Status.

2. Zero Annual Fee

With no annual fee, the IHG Traveler credit card is perfect for travelers who want to rack up IHG points and enjoy hotel benefits without worrying about a yearly commitment. 

3. 5X Points at IHG Hotels and Resorts

The IHG Traveler Card earns 5 points on IHG stays when using the card to pay for your hotel stay.

You also earn 12 IHG One Rewards points per dollar as an IHG Silver Elite member, for a total of 17x points per dollar when using the card at most IHG Hotels and Resorts.

Hotel Indigo Bangkok IHG
Photo: Hotel Indigo Bangkok

4. 3X Points on Dining, Monthly Bills, Streaming Services, and Gas

IHG rewards you with 3 points per dollar spent in these bonus categories: 

  • Restaurants, including takeout and qualifying delivery services
  • Gas stations
  • Select streaming services (list below)
  • Utilities, including internet, cable, and phone services
  • Apple Music
  • Apple TV
  • Disney+
  • ESPN+
  • Fubo TV
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • Pandora
  • Paramount+
  • Peacock
  • Showtime
  • SiriusXM
  • Sling
  • Spotify
  • YouTube Premium
  • YouTube TV

5. 2X Points Everywhere Else

All other purchases earn you 2 points per dollar spent.

6. Fourth Hotel Night Free

You can get a fourth night free when booking a hotel stay of four nights or more with points. 

For example, if the hotel costs 25,000 points per night, and you are staying 4 nights, it would only be 75,000 points instead of 100,000 points.

This is an amazing perk that you can use with no limit. You can even apply it when booking multiple rooms at a hotel. 

7. 20% Off Points Purchases

We generally don’t recommend purchasing points. But if you need more points for a reward night, IHG lets you buy points with a 20% discount with your Traveler Card. The maximum amount of IHG points you can purchase is 150,000 points per calendar year.

8. 10,000 Bonus Points

In addition to the generous welcome offer, you can earn 10,000 bonus points when you spend $10,000 plus make one extra purchase in a calendar year. 

9. IHG Silver Elite Status

The IHG Traveler credit card automatically earns you Silver Elite status, which offers the following benefits: 

  • 20% bonus on base points (12 points per dollar at IHG hotels and 6 points per dollar at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites)
  • Late 2 p.m. checkout, subject to availability
  • Points never expire 

10. Path to Gold Elite Status

If you want to upgrade your Silver Elite status, spending $20,000 on your IHG Traveler Card and making one additional purchase in a calendar year moves you to the upper Gold Elite status. 

Gold elite members enjoy all the perks of Silver elites plus 40% points bonus and a choice of milestone reward, including 5,000 bonus points, 2 food and beverage rewards, and 1 confirmable suite upgrade. 

11. No Foreign Transaction Fees

This card has no foreign transaction fees on purchases outside the U.S., which is helpful if you travel internationally to help you avoid paying a 3% fee on those international purchases.

Santorini Europe

12. Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance

When you’re planning a trip, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your travel plans will be covered if something goes wrong. That’s where credit card trip cancellation and interruption insurance comes in.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance reimburse you for non-refundable expenses if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason such as illness, severe weather, or an accidental injury. 

To be eligible for trip cancellation and interruption insurance, you’ll need to pay for your travel expenses using this card.

Travel is crazy enough without having to worry about being out of pocket if something goes wrong, so I always suggest booking all travel with a card that offers travel protections.

Coverage for the IHG Traveler card is limited to $5,000 per person and $10,000 per trip. 

Trip Delay - Airport Snow

13. Travel Accident Insurance

Travel accident insurance pays out a specified benefit in the very unlikely scenario that you or your immediate family become severely injured, including dismemberment, loss of sight, hearing, or speech, or death due to a covered accident on a common carrier during your travels when purchased with this card.

The Chase IHG Traveler card’s coverage is limited to $500,000.

14. Baggage Delay Insurance

Baggage delay insurance can reimburse you for the cost of necessary personal and business items if (1) you purchased your trip with this card and (2) your bag is delayed by a common carrier like an airline, train, ferry, or cruise ship, etc.

Common reimbursable items include clothing, toiletries, and phone chargers, which can be a life-saver when you are without your bag.

The Chase IHG Traveler’s benefit is limited to $100 per day for up to three days, after a 6-hour baggage delay.

15. Lost or Damaged Luggage Reimbursement

Lost luggage reimbursement covers the cost to repair or replace your luggage and the contents inside if your bag is lost or damaged during a covered trip.

You must purchase the trip with this card, and it will also cover immediate family members traveling with you.

Coverage is also secondary to any reimbursement from the airline or common carrier. For example, if your bag and its contents were worth $1,000 and the airline gave you $200, you could file a claim for $800.

The Chase IHG Traveler’s benefit is limited to $3,000 per passenger, including up to $500 per person for jewelry, cameras, and other electronic equipment. 

Luggage

16. Secondary Car Rental Insurance

Secondary rental car insurance covers any damage to a rental car not covered by your primary insurance when you pay for the rental using this card.

Other credit cards offer primary rental car insurance, which pays before your insurance and saves you the hassle of filing multiple insurance claims.

But there are situations where this secondary insurance becomes the primary insurance, including when renting a car outside the U.S. and your personal car insurance does not cover you in that country, or if you don’t have collision insurance.

You still need to maintain liability car insurance to cover damage to another person or property.

Rental Car Insurance
Photo: Hertz

17. Extended Warranty

Credit card extended warranty protection adds up to an additional year of coverage for eligible purchases on manufacturer’s warranties up to 3 years.

Coverage matches the protection provided by the original warranty so that damage or defect would have to be covered by the original warranty for extended warranty coverage.

The maximum coverage is $10,000 per item and $50,000 per cardholder.

For example, if you bought a TV with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years, then this card would extend the warranty for free to the fourth year.

But if the TV comes with a four or five-year warranty, you should consider using an American Express or Citi credit card, which covers warranties up to 5 years.

18. Purchase Protection

Purchase protection can save you a lot of money if you bought an eligible item that is damaged or stolen within 120-days.

For example, if accidentally dropped your new phone or laptop and broke the screen, you could file a claim to get it replaced if it was purchased within the last 120 days.

Coverage for this benefit is limited to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per cardholder.

Credit Card Purchase Protection Broken Phone

Advantages of the IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card

The IHG Traveler Card offers several attractive perks for IHG loyalists for no annual cost. 

Free Fourth Hotel Night – This is one of the most compelling perks of the Traveler Card. You can enjoy a longer vacation while saving on the cost of the fourth night when booking award stays. 

Automatic Silver Elite Status – If you want to experience the basic perks of IHG elite status, you’ll receive immediate Silver Elite status upon holding the Traveler Card. You can also spend your way to higher Gold status for better perks. 

Diverse Travel Protections – You’ll get trip cancellation, baggage delay, lost baggage, travel accident, and secondary car rental insurance plans for peace of mind when you’re traveling from one destination to another. Plus, the Traveler Card offers purchase protection and an extended warranty plan. 

Disadvantages of the IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card

Chase 5/24 Rule – As with any other Chase card, Chase’s 5/24 rule applies to the IHG Traveler Card. Getting the card will use up one of your valuable 5/24 slots, so you may want to put off applying for the card if you’re interested in other Chase cards. Also, Chase won’t accept your application if you’ve already signed up for at least five cards across all issuers in the recent 24 months. 

Lack of Premium Benefits – The IHG Traveler Card offers a hefty signup bonus and great perks for a zero-annual-fee card. However, you may want to consider other hotel rewards cards if you’re looking for more premium hotel perks. 

Low Return on Spending – There are other cards that offer much better returns on travel purchases, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and IHG Rewards Premier Card.

The Verdict

The IHG Traveler Card is a good choice if you’re an IHG loyalist who wants to earn points for stays, and you’re specifically looking for a zero-annual-cost card. Getting the card makes sense if you can take advantage of the free fourth reward night and other hotel benefits. 

Otherwise, if you don’t mind paying a modest annual fee, the Chase IHG Premier is a much better choice. 

It comes with automatic Platinum Elite status and a free night certificate that easily offsets the $99 yearly fee. It earns up to 26 points on IHG stays and 5 points on travel, dining, and gas.

Keep in mind that the IHG Traveler Card counts toward your Chase 5/24 slots, so you have to make sure that it’s a great choice for your travel lifestyle before applying. 

No Annual Fee
IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card
  • Earn 80,000 IHG Rewards Bonus Points After Spending $2,000 in Purchases in 3 Months
  • 5x Points at IHG Hotels and Resorts
  • 3x Points on Dining, Utilities, Internet, Phone, Cable, Select Streaming Services, and at Gas Stations
  • 2x Points on All Other Purchases
  • IHG Rewards Silver Elite Status
  • 4th Night Free on Award Stays
  • No Annual Fee

Click Here to Learn How to Apply