Love It or Cut It…IHG Premier and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Love It or Cut It…IHG Premier and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

It’s about that time again! Every year when the membership fee hits my account, its a reminder to assess if the credit card in question is still providing enough value to justify keeping it open. And like clockwork, the fees for my Chase IHG Premier and Marriott Bonvoy cards showed up on my Personal Capital account, ready for their reviews.

Yearly Fees

The fees for these cards are $89 for the IHG Premier card and $95 for the Marriott Bonvoy card. Not premium credit cards by any stretch, but still worth assessing their value. These amounts really start to add up when you have multiple cards open.

Benefits

To be honest, when it comes to these two cards, the major benefit that I care about are the free anniversary nights. The yearly fees easily justify keeping these cards open if I plan to stay at least one night at any of these hotels. IHG recently added cell phone protection which makes this our new go to card for paying our monthly cell phone bill.

Aside from a free hotel stay every year and cell phone protection, here are a few other IHG Premier card perks that I care about:

  • Global Entry or TSA Pre: $100 statement credit to offset the fees paid for these services. Sadly, my family and I still have not signed up for either of these services. I know that I have this perk ready to go when the time comes.
  • Fourth Reward Night Free: free reward night if I redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights. This is a tough one to take advantage of because the sweet spot for travel is 3 nights. But, its good to know we have it.

As for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card perks, there are none that I care about, aside from the free hotel stay every year

Personal Usage

The IHG Premier card is now our go to for our monthly cell phone bills. The last time I remember staying in an IHG property is August of 2017 when we went to Ocean City for a night and stayed at the Holiday Inn & Suites Ocean City. This hotel goes for almost $500/night during the high season (which is when we went). Easily justifies the $89 fee. This hotel is no longer eligible for a free night stay, so we’ll see what kind of value we can derive from this card going forward.

The last time I used the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card was back in March of this year when we visited the Philadelphia Zoo. I can’t remember what the going rate was during our stay at the time. But if I go to rebook a reservation for the same time next year, the going rate is ~$200/night. Easily justifying the $95 fee.

Conclusion

Normally I would consult with my wife to see if keeping these cards open still makes sense. In this case, given our new usage of the IHG card and taking into account our upcoming travel plans in 2020, I feel confident that her answer will be yes. I better go check in, just in case!

Is there anything else I should consider when assessing the value of these credit cards?

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