Reader Question: IHG Rewards Mastercard Spend For Cash & Points Doesn’t Count As IHG Bonus Activity?

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Today we have a Reader Question concerning the IHG Mastercard issued by Chase in the U.S. and it’s qualifying purchases for additional IHG bonus points.

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The IHG Mastecards issued by Chase are a very worthwhile tool for frequent or even occasional IHG Rewards Club users as the annual fees for these cards are very moderate and easily balanced by permanent Platinum status and the annual award night certificate (up to 40,000 points per night).

I have covered features and award success reports using this card multiple times and highlighted how it’s possible to stack the bonus reimbursements of the different card products (10% award rebate from the legacy card, 4th night free with the new Premier card + 10% award rebate from IHG Ambassador).

Now one of our readers, Jason from Dallas, has contacted me to ask about an issue he encountered when using his card:

… I’m an IHG CHASE card veteran and just realized I never receive any additional bonus points when using the cash and points feature during award bookings. Per the card description I should get a large amount of bonus points for each IHG purchase but that never happens. WHY?? …

Unfortunately to give Jason the right answer won’t provide him any remedy for his problem.

This is a well known issue with IHG’s credit card and the core of the problem isn’t based as much with Chase as it is with IHG Rewards Club.

As far as additional bonuses are concerned this is what the card T&C say:

You’ll earn 10 points for each $1 spent on purchases made at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – properties –, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Alliance® Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels, Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Holiday Inn Resort®, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™.

So only charges put through to the card by a property itself will earn extra points, nothing that is being charged by IHG corporate.

I remember going through the same outrage when I realized that I haven’t received any bonus points for extending my IHG Ambassador for US$200 and paid with my IHG Premier Card.

Cash & Points awards are processed as outright points purchases which is also why you receive the full points back and not a refund of the cash portion. The transaction is processed by points.com so it will only earn the base points as would any other non IHG/non travel related purchase.

Conclusion

Purchasing points from IHG either direct or through the C&P feature will code as “Other” purchases with Chase, not even travel and most definitely not as IHG. Hence using any credit card that gives extra points for these categories is futile. I think this is very bad form and IHG/Chase should do something about it. For the time being however there is no remedy to the problem.

This is a common issue when purchasing points and miles from many programs. One exception here is American Airlines where my recent points purchase was in fact processed by AA itself and coded as airline charge, earning 5X on my Amex Platinum.

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