While the sign-up bonus for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a great perk, cardholders benefit from the ongoing perks earned by just owning this card. (That sign-up bonus, by the way, is as follows: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening plus an additional 40,000 bonus points after spending a total of $5,000 on purchases within 6 months of account opening)

The annual free rewards night and automatic elite status make this card great for travelers. Here’s why these two perks are the most valuable of the travel rewards credit card.

The annual free rewards night

Regardless of how much you spend on the card, you’ll get a free rewards night on your anniversary. Thus, getting a free night at a fancy hotel you couldn’t normally afford is a great use of your points. Or for travelers, tack on an extra night to a trip.

» Learn more: IHG Hotel Card review: Free nights on a silver platter

Beyond that, you’ll be eligible for a free award night when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights at the same property.

Automatic elite status

Getting elite status means greater points earnings and special perks such as complimentary room upgrades. What’s more is that you don’t just get automatic elite status with the card, you’re bumped up to the second level of elite status: Platinum Elite.

As a Platinum Elite member, you get a 50% point bonus on IHG hotel stays. You’ll also get welcome amenities, early check-in or late checkout and spa credits when available. You’ll also get a dedicated customer service line, and guaranteed room availability of one room at the standard going rate with 72 hours notice.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
IHG Rewards: More for the frugal traveler
NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards
4 tips to help you choose the right credit card

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