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2019-10-15 20:47:49

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The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is one of my all around favorite hotel credit cards. The $89 annual fee card offers some awesome perks, including:

An anniversary free night certificate valid at a property costing up to 40,000 points per nightIHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the cardA fourth night free on award redemptionsA Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit

Well, some benefits changes have just been announced to the card, and I’d say they’re a net positive.

New Cell Phone Protection BenefitPrice Protection & Mastercard Concierge Being CutWhy I Won’t Be Using IHG’s Cell Phone ProtectionBottom LineNew Cell Phone Protection Benefit

As of November 17, 2019, the IHG Premier Card will offer cell phone protection:

Get up to $800 per claim ($600 per claim on the IHG Select Card) and up to $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against covered theft or damageApplies to phones listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay with your eligible cardMaximum of two claims in a 12 month period$50 deductible per claimPrice Protection & Mastercard Concierge Being Cut

As of November 17, 2019, the card will no longer offer price protection or Mastercard Concierge service:

Price protection is a benefit that is being eliminated on quite a few cards, given that it’s costly to offer due to the services that automate this nowadaysI can’t say I ever used Mastercard Concierge, so…Why I Won’t Be Using IHG’s Cell Phone Protection

While I think this is a fantastic addition to the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card, I don’t plan on using this benefit, in spite of having the card. Why? Because you have to actually put your monthly credit card bill on the card in order to qualify, and the card only offers one IHG point per dollar spent on wireless services.

I value IHG Rewards Club points at 0.5 cents each, so long term that’s like a 0.5% return on cell phone spending, which is really low.

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card also offers cell phone protection, and offers 3x Ultimate Rewards points on phone services (on the first $150,000 spent per year in combined bonus categories). I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so that’s like a 5.1% return on those purchases — that’s a difference of 4.6%

Purely in terms of return, the best card for cell phone spending is the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card. The card offers 5x points on cell phone spending (on the first $25,000 spent per year in combined bonus categories), though it doesn’t offer cell phone protection. Still, earning 5x points that I value at a return of 8.5% is pretty compelling.

Of course it’s worth acknowledging that both of those are business cards, and not everyone pays their cell phone bills with business cards. So for someone looking for a card with cell phone coverage and a reasonable annual fee, this might not be a bad option.

Bottom Line

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card will be getting an awesome new cell phone protection benefit as of November. This is a very nice addition to the card, though the downside is that there’s quite an opportunity cost to actually putting your cell phone spending on this card.

By my valuation, you’re forgoing anywhere from 4.6-8% of value compared to some business cards out there.

Does anyone plan on taking advantage of the new cell phone protection benefit on the IHG Card?

onemileatatime.com @onemileatatime
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