A surprise in my mailbox greeted me late last week: a redesigned IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.
I wasn’t expecting a replacement card and don’t remember requesting one. It just showed up.
The card it’s replacing didn’t expire until late 2023. But there are nearly ten changes between the old and new physical products, so I thought it’d worth us examining the differences!
For those unfamiliar, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a great, benefits-packed card for people who love free hotel nights and complimentary elite status. We think it’s especially good for couples and families.
How the Redesigned IHG Premier Card is Different from the Previous Version
There are eight-ish differences — some minor, others more obvious — between the “old” IHG Premier card and its redesigned counterpart. Each of the numbers in the above collage corresponds to its explanation below.
None of the card’s benefits, perks, or bonus categories have changed with this update.
1. Now a Plastic Card
I was approved for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card a couple of years ago. When the new card arrived, it was made of metal-like material — similar to the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred. (But nowhere near as heavy as the Platinum Card from American Express or Business Platinum Card from American Express.)
The redesigned version, though, is plastic. (An envelope was provided so I can mail my old card back to Chase and they can destroy it. Or I could take Rene’s route, too.)
It’s not necessarily a huge deal. I think metallic cards are kind of fun and classy (maybe I’m just easily impressed, who knows). But I’m more concerned about a product’s benefits and earnings. And I don’t really use my IHG card for purchases — except for when I stay at IHG properties.
2. Slight Color Difference?
My metallic IHG card has almost a brownish look to it, despite being advertised as a silver card.
The updated card, though, features more of a slate color.
3. No IHG Rewards Club Member Number
This was sort of a strange change.
My IHG Rewards Club member number was printed on back of the metallic card. However, it appears nowhere on the new card.
Most cobranded credit cards (Delta Amexes, etc) include our member numbers. It can make things easier whenever we need to use them in conjunction with that hospitality provider. (Checking in, verification of member benefits, receiving points/miles/nights credits, etc.)
My virtual IHG card is part of my Apple Wallet. And it’s also saved in my contacts. So I always have access to it. But I still found it rather odd that Rewards Club numbers don’t appear on their cobranded cards.
4. Now a Contactless Card?
I honestly don’t know if the metallic IHG card features contactless payment capability. The logo doesn’t appear and I’ve never tried using it at a grocery store or anywhere like that.
However, the contactless logo now appears on the card’s front.
5. Chase Branding Moved to the Back
The Chase logo and octagon resided on the front of the metallic card. They packed up and now are located on the back of the card.
6. Mastercard Logo Gets Promoted to the Front
The shiny Mastercard logo was moved from the back of the metallic card to the front of the redesigned card.
7. World Elite Logo and Hologram
The World Elite logo was on the back of the old card; now it’s on the front. The World Elite hologram doesn’t appear on the new card.
8. Different Chip
The metallic chip on the plastic card is redesigned and its size differs from the previous card.
9. Honorable Mention: Typeset
Nothing too major here. But some of the typeset has been modified and cleaned up.
I think the newer design is more eye-catching. It also reminds people of the card’s features such as Mastercard World Elite perks and contactless payment ability. I’m a little surprised that the IHG Reward Club member numbers don’t appear on the redesigned card — but won’t sweat it because it’s almost always with me. I will sort of miss the metallic card — but am glad IHG didn’t devalue the card’s benefits or perks.
What do you think of the new design?
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