As reported by Doctor of Credit, the current version of the Chase IHG card is being discontinued and is expected to be replaced by two new flavors of IHG card. I won’t post much about the new cards until they are officially confirmed, but there is quite a bit of information about them already at Frequent Miler which I’ll link to here.
Regarding the current version of the IHG card, I find the annual free night to be well worth the $49 annual fee, so I recommend applying for the card while you still can if you do not have it already.
It is unknown at this point whether current cardholders will be converted to one of the new cards or if it will be possible to hold both the current card and the new version (and perhaps to even receive two annual free night certificates). We’ll just have to wait and see.