Yay, gib! Super excited for you! I recently got mine almost two months ago and I love it. Planning to use it for Bora Bora, since I generally don't stay in IHG hotels at all.....
The free night is a winner in my book, if used at a nice property.
160 + inquiries? Really?? Yikes
Yep, I'm planning to use the points/nights at the nicest properties I can.
I have a family reunion in Hawaii in 2018, and some European travel planned for next year. For $49/year it is a definite keeper.
And, yes... those inquiries really snuck up on me. About a third were added early on while trying to rebuild and not paying attention to what cards I could likely get approved. There are also a lot of Capital one and NFCU pulls in there... I have to at least hold off apping for anything until I'm in the 700s...
Congratulations! I am amazed at your number of inquiries!