Quite a controversial title, don’t you think? It’s actually not as bad as it sounds, I promise. So, for three years, I have been on a mission to get all of my husband’s relatives to sign up for Chase IHG Master Card (when they ask for a credit card advice). Minimum spending requirement is fairly low at only $1,000 in 3 months, and the card is truly the gift that keeps on giving. I’ve written about it in my blog pretty much from the start, long before it started paying me a dime. See my posts here and here
I’m talking penthouse suites, champagne and personal butler service. All you have to do is flash your Chase IHG card and you are in, baby! Ok, it’s not quite like that, but if you are a middle-class family (or even a single person, for that matter), you owe it to yourself to at least investigate the perks it offers.
For the longest time there was a zombie link for 80K points, then it finally kicked the bucket (can zombies die?). The official sign-up offer was increased from 60K to 70K points a few months ago. Some have also been able to get a targeted offer of 80K points+$50 while making a reservation through IHG website, but it appears that you have to have Platinum status in order for it to pop up. In spite of the fact that the bonus is currently down, I was able to convince two of my relatives to apply for it and do it via my affiliate link (double win)!
Here is why:
- They both live in Florida. There are several beachfront Holiday Inn properties within an easy driving distance. No need to buy airline tickets in order to maximize the value of certificates. Many of these hotels go for $300 (or more) per night in peak season, so to be able to get the same room for $49 is a no-brainer.
- They are not too picky, and don’t need a fancy place. In reality, the renewal certificates can be used at any IHG property, but majority of hotels in Florida are rather basic.
- Fall is a good period to get IHG credit card. Why? Because every year the renewal certs will be deposited into your account around this time. It allows you to book either spring or summer vacation long in advance. Some popular properties may sell out on points, so it’s good to have a large window to plan your vacation. Southwest opens its spring and summer schedules around this time, so it gives you an opportunity to secure hotels when you book the airfare. Certificates are valid for 12 months, so if you sign up for Chase IHG MasterCard in the fall, you will have an entire summer of next year to burn them.
I was fairly confident that Chase would match them to the better offer. I instructed my relatives on how to send a secure message, and sure enough, here was the response from Chase :”As a gesture of our commitment to you, once your $1,000 spend threshold is met within the three months time frame requested, we will honor the 80,000 bonus points offer by issuing an additional 20,000 points to the account to match the new offer. Simply call the number noted on the back of your credit card or reply to this e-mail and we will be happy to process your request and add additional points at that time.”
Of course, I did try to make a dummy booking through IHG first and see what came up. Neither one got the better offer of 80K, so I could let them use my affiliate link with a clear conscience. I also explained the risks and the fact that 70K offer will most likely re-appear at some point in the future. Since I freely share my IHG stash with family, extra 10K isn’t a huge swaying factor. Overall, I think this was a good choice for both. I won’t go into reasons as to why I didn’t suggest other cards, but I did let them know about their choices, affiliate as well as non-affiliate ones. Oh, and they are the ones who approached me. I have a policy of not peddling credit cards to family. I only do it to you, my faithful readers!
Should you apply for it as well in the hopes of getting a courtesy adjustment from Chase? Only you can decide. There is no way I can guarantee that you will get that extra 20K points. If you are low on hotel currency and don’t want to take a chance, it might pay to wait a few months and see if Chase will increase the offer to 70K points. Naturally, I assume that you are not targeted for 80K points via IHG website. If you have another bonus in mind or are taking a hiatus from applying for cards, then, of course, that’s a different story.
Overall, this is an excellent, excellent product. Yes, I used the word “excellent” twice.
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I honestly believe every family should get it at some point in both spouses’ names. If you regularly vacation in Florida and don’t mind low-key beach accommodations, it’s a terrific deal in spring months. Heck, even in the summer, how can you beat a decent oceanfront place or any place for only $49 all-in? I’m seriously in love with this card, as corny as it sounds! Nope, I’m not ashamed to do a hard sell on this beautiful specimen. Beautiful on the inside, that is. CSP is still an undisputed queen when it comes to looks.
This is the part where I challenge Nick from Personal Finance Digest to film a long-anticipated sequel to his “Feisty Feline meets CSP” movie. In other words, I want him to dangle Chase IHG MasterCard in front of his cat. Come on, Nick, you know you want to!
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Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.