New United 100K and IHG 120K Offers [2019]

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. 

Chase just announced two huge offers for two of the their co-branded credit cards that offer some of the highest earning opportunities we’ve ever seen for these cards. In this article, I’ll focus on the new United Explorer Business Card and the new IHG Rewards Club Premier Card and give you my insight into which cards might be worth going for. (Since the Rewards Club Premier Card has more new features, I’ll cover that card in-depth). 

United Explorer Business Card

The United Explorer Business Card is currently offering the following: 

  • 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Plus, 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open
  • 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on United
  • 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free checked bag
  • Two one-time United Club passes each year
  • $95 annual fee

The United co-branded cards are probably my favorite co-branded airline cards because of the strong bonuses they often come with and the perks like the lounge access and free checked luggage. In this case, you can earn a solid 50K in miles after only $5,000 in spend and an additional 50K with a total of $25K in spend.

That’s a lot of spend for 50K additional miles but still doable for a lot of people and business owners. Before you choose to commit to such a high spend bonus, I would definitely consider other cards like the Sapphire/Ink cards mentioned below which could earn you 50,000 to 80,000 points with only about 20% of the needed spend. 

For example, if you picked up the Chase Ink Preferred, you could earn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months (which could be converted into 80,000 United miles) or you could spend $25,000 total for 100,000 United miles. To me, the Ink Preferred option is much more compelling.  

United Polaris Lounge at IAH.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Card 

IHG credit card offer

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has a new limited time offer that comes with the following features:

  • 125,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Annual free night certificate at an “eligible hotel”
  • 25X points for the first 12 months as an IHG — after that, 10X points at IHG Hotels and Resorts
  • 4X points on all other purchases for the first 12 months from account opening – after that, 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status (read more about this status here)
  • 20% discount on purchases of IHG points
  • 4th night free on award stays
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit of up to $100 every 4 years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $89 annual fee

IHG credit card sign-up bonus

Despite some ongoing devaluations with IHG, 125,000 bonus points is still a lot of points. Several high quality properties go for around 60,000 points, so you’d be able to cover a weekend at a very solid property. (If you can take advantage of PointBreaks, you could even stay several nights at a top property.)

Warning: Many blogs will promote this offer and not mention that you can also find a link with an additional $50 statement credit because that link doesn’t earn us bloggers commission. I hope you appreciate that I keep it real with my reviews and you can always trust that I am looking out for your best interest. 

Also, I should bring up Chase 5/24 since both of these cards are subject to the rule. If you are under 5/24 (you have NOT opened up five accounts in the past 24 months) then there are much more valuable cards to look at getting. 

For many people, it would make much more sense to jump the new 60,000 point offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Or you might even go for a card like the Chase Ink Preferred with its ultra-high 80,000 point offer. The Sapphire Reserve and Chase Ink Cash could be great options as well. Aside from having great bonuses and bonus earning potential these cards are worth looking at because you can’t get approved for these cards if you’ve opened up five or more accounts in the past 24 months. 

IHG credit card offer annual free night

The annual free night with the old IHG credit card allowed you to book a free night at any IHG property, including top level InterContinentals. For that reason it was one of my top choices for earning a free hotel night stay. However, the new free night is capped at point redemption level of 40,000 points or less.

This was a huge loss to the IHG card. While it was a major loss, it really just put the IHG card on the same level as other co-branded hotel credit cards like the Marriott and Hyatt card which both offer free nights in the mid-tier range.

Bonus spending

  • 25X points for the first 12 months as an IHG — after that, 10X points at IHG Hotels and Resorts
  • 4X points on all other purchases for the first 12 months from account opening – after that, 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

The bonus category earning for the first 12 months is pretty insane. This card already had a great bonus earning rate on IHG purchases with 10X but now you get a year of 25X which comes out to a total of 40X when you factor in the points from Platinum status (which is granted by the card). If you value IHG points at ~.7 cents per point then that’s a 28% return which is very high. 

Also, 4X on all purchases is great as well. If you value IHG points at ~.7 cents per point then that’s a 2.8% return which is not bad for everyday purchases. 

IHG credit card offer 20% discount on IHG points

IHG has been offering some great promos on purchased points in the past. Combining these point promos with the 20% discount offered by this card has opened up some great opportunities, allowing members to save tons of cash on their stays by simply booking with purchases points instead of paying cash.

IHG credit card offer 4th night free

With this card, you’ll be given the 4th night free on award stays. Some other hotel programs offer 5th night free but getting the 4th night free is a major perk because it’s much easier to use.

This perk can also increase the value of point purchases with the 20% discount. If you think you would normally make a 4 night stay at an IHG property with points, then this perk alone could make it worth getting this credit card.

Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credit

It seems like every card is offering this perk now but it’s always cool to see it offered by a card with an annual fee under $100 because it means that you can come out on top if you’ve never used these programs before. Global Entry is a program that will grant you expedited entry through customs and immigration and TSA Pre-Check will get you through priority security.

I highly recommend enrolling in Global Entry since it comes with automatic TSA Pre-Check status.

Global Entry Interview

IHG credit card offer elite status

Like the card before it, this card offers IHG Platinum status which is a mid-tier status with IHG. It’s not the most lucrative status, but it’s helped us to get upgrades in the past so it’s added at least some value to our travels. And the 50% bonus earning rate on points is actually very good.

Final word 

The United 100K offer is okay if you’re into earning United miles and using the perks like free checked baggage but that’s a lot of spend for 100K miles and you might be better off with other more efficient options. The IHG offer is exciting though, especially if you plan on spending a lot at IHG properties in the next 12 months. Overall, though I’d still first go with Sapphire/Ink cards over these if I were under 5/24 and then think about branching out into co-branded territory.  

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  1. Thanks for great information.
    Currently i. I’m at 3/24 and would like apply for personal and business cards too. Is it better to go for business cards first or personal?

    1. Hey Antonio, most business cards won’t affect your 5/24 status, so I would definitely suggest to go after business cards first!

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