A long, long time ago, in another time and another place, Priority Club (the reward program for Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, etc.) offered one of the best promotions that ever existed, Crack the Case. The promotion offered reward members six (6) opportunities to earn bonus points for interacting with the brand.
Those that were already active members in the Priority Club promotion received some really bad offers; however, because we had never stayed at a Priority Club property, we were offered the chance to earn 209,300 bonus points. Our offer allowed us to do 5 of the 6 cases and earn a 125,000 bonus pool of points. So after signing up for email, taking a survey, and stayed a total of 10 nights at two different brands, including Saturday night stays, we were on our way to family riches.
Really, the promotion was fun, exciting, created a lot of buzz in the travel world, and most importantly for Priority Club, it opened our eyes to a brand that we previously had not stayed. Up until that point, our family was focused on Hilton properties. However, after stayed in several Priority Club properties, we felt a shift in our family dynamic on where we could stay when traveling.
It was that same pool of Priority Club points that allowed us to pay for our stay in Honolulu, Hawaii last summer for a week! Besides a nightly valet fee, our family got to stay across the street from Waikiki Beach for not a dime out of pocket, and all because we took a chance staying with a different brand.
The big fear I always have when I see lots of miles or points being handed out from a brand is future devaluation. Unfortunately, Priority Club did a restructuring of their reward charts in January 2013. Since our family tends to stay in the cheaper level of hotels, we were not as badly impacted by the changes. However, those looking to stay in the more aspirational properties now require possibly substantially more points.
The good news is that one of the best features of the Priority Club program, the Points Break list, is still intact. For only 5,000 points per night, select properties around the world allow guests to book using a significantly reduced amount of points.
This morning, my Facebook wall was lit up by new changes coming down the pike from Priority Club. As part of the rebranding campaign, Priority Club will now be known as the IHG Rewards Club. In addition, members will receive free internet at properties worldwide starting in 2014. To roll out the program, Gold and Platinum members start receiving free internet in July 2013.
There are also promises of faster elite status if you stay at multiple brands. A great new benefit is that award nights now count towards elite status. I was really disappointed to not earn any credit based off our award stays in Hawaii. \
Another terrific benefit is that as soon as you receive status in a year, your accumulated points now count towards the next years status. This is an awesome benefit to reward those that continue to stay with the brand beyond their qualifying stays.
I am excited for these plan revisions coming to the Priority Club/IHG Rewards Club program. I just really hope they start offering some great promotions again to help build our reward balance back up.
Save Money, Travel More!
Source: Priority Club Facebook page
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