Use The Priority Club “Points & Cash” Trick To Save 76% Off On Hotels

Update:  It now costs 0.7 cents per Priority Club point.

I love Priority Club — the hotel loyalty program for Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) — which includes familiar hotels like Holiday Inn, InterContinental and many others.

Why? Because they make earning points so darned easy.

For example, I earned over 200,000 Priority Club points and 2 free nights at any IHG hotel for only $70 out of pocket which I used at the Williard InterContinental in Washington, DC a few weeks ago!

Willard-InterContinental-Front Desk

Buying Priority Club Points

Priority Club sells their hotel points for between 1.15 and 1.35 cents per point (depending on the quantity purchased) up to a limit of 50,000 per year.

That’s not a great deal, because:

Firstly, 50,000 points is not a lot of points, especially when you consider that 1 night at some InterContinentals is 30,000 to 50,000 points.

Secondly, there is a known way to get unlimited (really 40,000 points a day)  Priority Club points for 0.60 cents per point!

You can then use these points, for example,  to stay at ANY IHG hotel for, at most, $300 a night.

Or as subsection 15 of the Rewards Night sub-chapter of the Priority Club Terms & Conditions puts it:

Priority Club Rewards “Points & Cash” is an option for obtaining a Reward Night. You may choose to redeem Priority Club points for a Reward Night in three ways: using your existing points for all required points for the desired Reward Night; using your existing points and 5,000 points purchased for US $40 to total the required points; or using your existing points and 10,000 points purchased for US $60 to total the required points. The total purchase on any single day may not exceed $240 US.

Aren’t you glad that I like reading complex Terms & Conditions!

You’d get a good  value by redeeming 50,000 points bought for $300 at the expensive InterContinentals in London, Paris, and Amsterdam which routinely sell for  $500+, or the fancy Willard in Washington DC, or the InterContinental in Bora Bora which costs $1000 a night!

That’s a 76% discount for a room in Bora Bora.  That’s truly Big Travel with Small Money!

Have a look at the table below to see what a GREAT value this can be.  You can stay at any InterContinental hotel for $180 to $300 or any Crowne Plaza Hotel for $150 to $210!

You can also use these points to redeem for PointsBreaks nights, where you can redeem a hotel night for only 5,000 points, which is perhaps the BEST redemption rate of any hotel reward program.  That’s $30 per hotel night if you buy Priority Club points using the Points & Cash trick!

Use Priority Club “Cash and Points” Reservations To Buy Points at 0.6 cents Per Point

Priority Club also offers you the option to make “cash and points” reservations. Here’s how it works:

1) When you make the “cash and points” reservation, the CASH part of your reservation is used to buy points (at 0.6 cents per point) which are then used towards your reservation.

2)  Now – here’s the trick! -  when you CANCEL your “cash and points” reservation (before the cancellation deadline)  you don’t get your money back, but you do get your points back, INCLUDING the points which you bought in step 1) above!

So the net result of making a Priority Club “Points & Cash” reservation and later cancelling that same reservation is that you’re buying points for the price of the cash component of your reservation. This works out to 0.6 cent per point or a 48% reduction over the price which Priority Club themselves sell points.

However, you do need to have at least 5,000 points in your Priority Club account before you can make a cash and points reservation.

It does take anywhere from a few hours to a few days for the points to appear back into your account, so this “trick” may not work if you need a last minute reservation.

If you don’t have 5,000 Priority Club points you can either buy them from Priority Club for $67.50 (at the regular price) or sign-up for the Priority Club credit  card which gives you 60,000 free Priority Club points.

This is a great card to have because you get 1 free night at any IHG hotel which alone is worth the fee for the credit card.  Keep a look out for my review later on!  Be aware that there is a targeted version of the Priority Club Credit card, which is emailed to selected members, which offers 80,000 bonus Priority Club points, instead of 60,000 points in the link above.

“Point & Cash Trick” Example With Screenshots:

Remember that the goal of this exercise is to buy Priority Club points at a much lower rate (0.6 cents per mile).  If this is tricky — and it is! — please stay the course.  I promise it will be worth your time by the end!

Step 1

Log into your Priority Club account, click on “Reservations” and enter any city, say Indianapolis, IN for a 1 night stay.  Under “Rate Preference,” select “Rewards Nights” and then click “Find Hotels.”

Priority Club Trick - Cash and Points

Step 2

You will see a list of hotels which looks like this.  I’ve highlighted the cash and points options in red below (click image to enlarge).

Priority Club Trick - Cash & Points

Let’s scroll down until we find, for example, the Candlewood Suites in the “Indianapolis Dwtn Medical Dist”

It offers us the following choices:

“15000 Priority Club Points
or 10000 Points + $40
or 5000 Points + $60
per night ”

This means that you can book 1 room for 1 night at the Indianapolis Downtown Candlewood Suite for either:

  1. 15,000 Priority Club points or
  2. 10,000 Priority Club points + $40 or
  3. 5,000 Priority Club points + $60 (this is what we’re interested in)

Option 1 is a simple redemption of Priority Club points for a free hotel night.

But, option 3 is another way of saying that you’re paying $60 (the cash in “points & cash” ) for 10,000 Priority Club points or 0.6 cents per point.

These 10,000 purchased points + the 5,000 points which you need to get started when using the points & cash trick = 15,000 points.

And 15,000 points is enough to book a room at the Candlewood Suites using only points (per option 1 above)!

Note: If you reserve the room for 10,000 points + $40, you are, in effect, buying the 5,000 points for 0.8 cents per point.

0.8 cents per point is a good price, but you can get 1 Priority Club point for 0.6 cents per point by by selecting option 3 above (5,000 Priority Club points + $60)!

Tricky, isn’t it!  But we can use it to our advantage :)

Step 3

Select the “5,000 Priority Club points + $60” option.

You are then prompted to choose a room.

Priority Club Trick - Cash & Points

Step 4

After you have selected a room, you move to the final step which is to PAY for the 10,000 points which you have purchased.  Note that this is a NON-REFUNDABLE transaction.

If you cancel your reservation (before the cancellation deadline, of course), you will NOT get your money back.

Priority Club Trick - Cash & Points

Instead you will get the full point redemption value of your hotel night  back (in our example, 10,000 purchased points + 5,000 for a total of 15,000 points).

But that’s exactly what we want since by cancelling your reservation,  you have, in effect, bought 10,000 Priority Club points for $60 or 0.6 cents per point!

Step 5

Cancel your Points and Cash reservation and get 15,000 Priority Club points back in your account -  10,000 (purchased) Priority Clubs points + the 5,000 points which you had initially.

Step 6

Keep on making points and cash reservations and cancellations until you have accumulated the number of points you require.  The Priority Club redemption chart is here.

Note that there is a limit of $240 worth of points purchase per day, per the Priority Club Terms and Conditions.  That means that you can’t buy more than 40,000 Priority Club points per day, so plan ahead for multiple night stays!

Step 7

Once you have accumulated enough Priority Club points, redeem them for the hotels you want.  See the chart at the beginning of this post to see just how much you save by using the Priority Club Points & Cash trick!

Be sure to check that there is a reward night available BEFORE you buy points using the Points and Cash trick.

What’s Next?

I’ve placed a link to Hotel Reward Night Charts ” in the ‘Mile and Point Resources” section to make it easy for you to look up different airline and hotel award charts and figure out where your miles and points will take you.  Just bookmark Million Mile Secrets instead of the gazillion different airline and hotel award charts in your browser!

I shared this trick with my friend Mike who saved $300 for a 2 night stay at a Holiday Inn in Omaha. All the hotels had hiked their rates because of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting this May, but Priority Club reward nights were available!

*If you liked this post, why don’t you  sign-up to receive free blog posts in your email or in a  RSS reader …because that way you’ll never miss out on a way to go to Bora Bora for less!

Have you used the Priority Club trick before?  Tell us about it in the comments!

Related Posts:

 

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223 Responses to Use The Priority Club “Points & Cash” Trick To Save 76% Off On Hotels

  1. Third time was a charm! Thanks, Darius. Worked perfectly this time! Points were immediately posted back into my account.

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  5. If you pay with the IHG Rewards Club credit card, do you get the category bonus as well?

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  7. @Colin – Unfortunately, you don’t get the category bonus.

  8. It seems the minimum now is 5000 + $70. Still a good/great? price for the points dough!

  9. It has been 5,000 + $70 since May 2012. See the comments on the previous page.
    The cost is 0.7 instead of 0.6 per mile.

  10. Found a hotel in Indianapolis (Carmel), where I can only $40 for 5000 points!

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  17. Hi Daraius,

    I am a fan of your blog – like you, I enjoy hunting for loopholes and deals.
    I just have one observation that I hope you can help clarify.

    Using the reservation example you provided in the post:
    Indianapolis Dwtn Medical Dist
    1152 N. White River Pkwy. W. Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46222 United States

    Here are the booking options:
    1) $88.99 USD
    2) 15,000 points per night
    3) 10,000 points + ‎ $ 40.00 USD per night
    4) 5,000 points + ‎ $ 70.00 USD per night

    Below is a quote of your technique from your post:
    “Now – here’s the trick! – when you CANCEL your “cash and points” reservation (before the cancellation deadline) you don’t get your money back, but you do get your points back, INCLUDING the points which you bought”

    Question:
    Going with option 4 (see above), I would have paid $70 for 10,000 points ($0.007 per point) when I cancel my reservation.
    However, if I were to make an intended reservation using the points I accumulated with your strategy, it would proof to be more costly than paying for the hotel straight-up. See example below.

    Example:
    1. By making a reservation and cancelling, I can accumulate enough points for 2 days.
    By booking for 3 days and cancelling, I’ll earn 10,000 x 3 = 30,000 (I’m paying $70 per 10,000 points)
    2. It would have cost me $210 using your technique (since I’m paying $70 per 10,000 points)
    3. It would have been cheaper to simply pay at the rate of $88.99 (per night) x 2 = $177.98

    Please clarify.

  18. @Fareez Ismail – That’s true and why you have to check the price carefully.

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  23. I have done this trick and got 30k points. If the hotel finds out you are doing this can they kick you out? Can I get in trouble?

    I am staying at a holiday inn and the manager is a real B!tch, she always treats me rude and with disrespect and acts like she doesn’t want me there.

    The employees do not know anything there and she is the only one who knows what to do.

    The other night I stopped by front desk and told the guy I was extending my stay and had a confirmation number. I asked if he knew how to do it and if not then I could stop by in the morning and let them know. He acted like he knew how to do it when he did not and he extended my stay through the in house system instead of by my reservation. SO he was boneheaded and acted like he knew what he was doing when he should have said he didn’t know!!

    Then the manager blamed me. It is incredible. My main worry is this room is nice and the points break is unbeatable. I am just worried they are going to research and find out I do this trick. The manager questioned me “I thought you were out of points!! Did you buy more!!???”

    This hotel is on points break now. She asks me HEY! your points were empty last time!! Hey how are you getting your points!! Did you buy more points!!??!

    Why should she question me like this?

    It is making me very nervous! Should I just leave this hotel? They act like they want me out. I cause no problems and am very quiet and ask for nothing nor do i complain. I think they can get 150 a night here and they are a corporate hotel.

    They treat me like I am an enemy and shady and ask inappropriate questions!

    What should I do?

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