Why Cruisers Should Hold the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

As an Amazon Affiliate, we may earn a commission on eligible purchases made through our referrals. Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. FrequentFloaters and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. All information related to any credit cards below was collected independently by Frequent Floaters and was neither provided nor reviewed by the respective card issuers.

Many of us must stay at a hotel for a night or two before we embark on a cruise — and possibly after disembarkation. IHG has a good footprint at many major ports around the United States. (Several properties are relatively close to cruise terminals.)

And the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is a product that cruise enthusiasts should seriously consider adding to their arsenal.

Here’s why.
First, new cardmembers can Earn 165,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening..

But one of my favorite features of the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is its anniversary Reward Night (starting the second year of card membership). You can redeem that at participating properties valued at 40,000 points or less. My wife and I enjoyed stays at InterContinentals, Kimptons, Crowne Plazas, and Holiday Inns worldwide. The card carries a $99 annual fee — and we always get much more value than that, thanks to Reward Night certificates. (Both of us have our own cards.) Just a heads up that any applicable resort or destination fees are not included as part of the Reward Night.

InterContinental Times Square
InterContinental Times Square

If you want to stay at a property valued above 40,000 points, IHG allows you to pay the difference in points.

Speaking of which, check out the current welcome offer: Earn 165,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

That — on top of what you earn while spending the money getting there — can score you several nights in decent hotels.

Crowne Plaza DeWitt (now a jazzy Kimpton!) in Amsterdam.
Crowne Plaza DeWitt (now a jazzy Kimpton!) in Amsterdam

Other Card Features

The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card features a good earnings structure — especially when using it to pay for charges at IHG properties:

  • Up to 26X total points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at IHG hotels & resorts
  • 5X on travel
  • 5X at restaurants
  • 5X at gas stations
  • 3X on all other eligible purchases

Cardholders automatically receive IHG One Rewards Platinum Elite Status. (We’ve enjoyed a few upgrades here and there.) Cardmembers can earn Diamond Elite status after spending $40,000 on purchases with their card each calendar year.

Another benefit we’ve used a few times is the “4th Night Free.” When cardmembers redeem points for a consecutive four-night stay, they can receive the fourth Reward Night free (during the same stay at that hotel). In other words, redeem points for the first three nights of your stay, and the fourth night’s redemption is free.

Plus, cardholders may earn up to $100 in statement credit every four years for TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS application fees charged to the card.

United Airlines travelers holding the card may receive up to $50 in United® TravelBank Cash each calendar year to use on United Airlines purchases. All they need to do is register the card in their United account.

And if you still want more IHG points, you can earn 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on eligible purchases during a calendar year.

Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express at London Heathrow T4
Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express at London Heathrow T4

If you want to save money on hotel stays on either side of your cruising adventures, the can be well worth the annual fee.

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. FrequentFloaters and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. All information related to any credit cards above was collected independently by Frequent Floaters and was neither provided nor reviewed by the respective card issuers

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Chris Carley
Chris Carley
Chris, in addition to running EyeoftheFlyer.com, is a travel, points, miles, and credit card aficiando. He can teach us how to leverage points to make one unimaginable cruise not just attainable but affordable. Why not fly and stay for free before the cruise — which you’ll pay for with points?

4 COMMENTS

    • How is it click bait or misleading? I explained how the card may benefit people may cruise. If you don’t find it helpful, that’s fine.

    • @Gary – Not everyone lives so near a cruise port (or two) that they can simply drive or Uber to the ship and thus need to stay a day or days before the sailing. Or at least anyone with a lick of sense arrives at LEAST a day or more before departure date.

  1. Chris – This is exactly why I have two IHG cards! I don’t stay at IHG hotels that often, but find that the free night certs are great in Europe for pre/post cruise stays. I’ve used my annual credits pre/post cruise in: Miami, Lisbon, Stockholm, and have one booked at the (stunning) Intercontinental in Ljubljana, Slovenia this summer. I can’t recommend the Intercontinental Lisbon highly enough for a pre-cruise stay. There are closer hotels to the cruise terminal, but the recently renovated facilities, the staff, and the location high on a hill overlooking the city make it worth a few extra minutes in an Uber.

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