The Unintended Way to Earn Priority Club Gold & Platinum Elite Status

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Million Mile Secrets reader Jay (thanks!) wrote in to let me know of an unintended way to earn Priority Club Gold or Platinum status.

Priority Club is the loyalty program of the IHG group which includes Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, and Staybridge Suites.

Confusingly, Priority Club elite status (Gold or Platinum) is not valid at InterContinental hotels, which have their own Ambassador and Royal Ambassador elite status.

Priority Club Gold & Platinum Status

You earn Priority Club Gold status after earning 20,000 points or staying 15 nights.  Gold status is pretty meaningless because all you get is a 10% bonus on points earned.

You earn Priority Club Platinum status after earning 60,000 points or staying 50 or more nights.  This is not quite as good as the elite status in other hotels (Hyatt, SPG, etc.) because you only get a 50% bonus on points earned and the possibility of an upgrade.

Emily and I have had luck getting upgraded (most recently at the Holiday Inn Resort in Phi Phi), but most often we’ve not received anything for being Priority Club Platinum.  However, you may have better luck getting upgraded with Priority Club Platinum status outside the US.

Unintended way to get Priority Club Gold & Platinum elite status

Priority Club recently devalued their award chart.  However, only up to mid-March,  you can book a hotel using points at the old rate.

You can either call and have the agent book the hotel for you at the low rate.

[Here’s where it gets interesting.]  Or you can book the hotel using points online at the higher rate.  And then later call Priority Club and ask them to credit you with the difference in points.

For example, you booked the Intercontinental Grand Stafford in Hong Kong for 50,000 points online.  However, it used to cost only 40,000 points.  You can call Priority Club and ask them to credit your account for the 10,000 extra points (new rate of 50,000 points – the old rate of 40,000 points).

If you do call to ask for a goodwill point credit, use tpeflyer’s great script to get connected to an agent quickly.

And the extra points which they credit to your account (goodwill points) COUNTS towards elite status.  Thanks again to Jay for sharing this!

I already have Priority Club Platinum status, but Emily doesn’t.  So I booked her for 2 nights at a Holiday Inn which now costs 50,000 points for the 2 nights (25,000 points a night X 2 nights) but used to cost 30,000 points a night (15,000 points X 2 nights).

I then called Priority Club and explained to them that I wanted them to credit Emily’s account for the extra points 20,000 points  used (50,000 – 30,000).  The extra points appeared as a “Goodwill” in Emily’s account and counted towards her elite status.

Most hotel reward reservations can be cancelled without penalty before arrival (but double check) and travel plans do change.

So if you’ve booked a stay at a Priority Club hotel which increased the amount of points needed to redeem for an award night, don’t forget to call in and ask for the difference between the old and new rate to be credited to your account (and earn elite status along the way).

Loyalty Traveler has a great analysis of the points change at InterContinental hotels.  And Loyalty Lobby has a list of points changes as well.  Crowne Plaza & Hotel Indigo added a 35,000 point redemption level as well, so if you see any Crowne Plazas or Hotel Indigos priced at 35,000 points a night, you know that the old rate was 25,000 points.

Similarly, Candlewood Suites added in 20,o00 points per night level, so if you see a Candlewood Suite priced at 20,000 you know that the old rate was 15,000 points.

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84 responses to “The Unintended Way to Earn Priority Club Gold & Platinum Elite Status

  1. To me, this amounts to stealing from the company.

    Will it work…yes

    Does it cross a line morally imo…yes

    This is more of a scam than a scheme

  2. I’m not sure that describing this as a secret is appropriate now that it’s posted here, is it?

  3. Another poster also noted that PC would eventually take the goodwill points back if the reservation is cancelled. I would have a really hard time taking advantage of something involving ‘goodwill’ points to boot… On a funny note, wonder what the welcome amenity will be for those who earn platinum using several cancellations (after PC sorts it out) – a bouquet of dead flowers? Half drunken bottles of water?

  4. Can you get status via credit card points?

  5. THIS TOPIC SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSTED!!!!!!! Now the points awarded WILL be taken back. Thanks for killing this opportunity —-

  6. This is funny. Surely now that you have identified your wife that they will take this away from her. It would have been easier and more straightforward to do a status match from Hilton.

  7. My point of view. If you already have booked a reward room or plan to, it is good to know that we can ask for the additional credit back. I agree it is risky and even harmful to abuse JUST to get the status, but still thanks for sharing!

  8. @rich It is funny how people want to milk the opportunity all by themselves. Unless you came up with this trick you have no right to tell Darius not to post this trick and if you did you should have never shared it with anyone.

  9. Good post. You are living up to the MMSecrets name. This is the differentiating factor for this blog: you will post the tricks that the other blogs feel pressured not to.

  10. @TR Yes, you do get Platinum Elite status with the Chase PC card.
    It takes 60K points to make Plat, and you get that with the card.

  11. @Robert I do not think so. The card only goes with the Gold Elite status (see application page: http://www.mychasecreditcards.com/ihg/pcrofferspage260k). If the 60K points with the card counts, then it is pointless for Chase to mention the Gold Elite status in the application page.

  12. It’s crazy that people would say Darius spoiled the secret here but no one says anything when Gary from View From the Wing posted about the Hilton Gold status using Infinite card the first time it was available. How’s that fair to Darius? Keep Posting Darius, your site has always been my landing page.

  13. Lets face it, PC status is useless. Unless it makes you feel better about yourself for having useless status than this hack really has little redeeming value except for the endless moral debate.

  14. I didn’t understand the point that PC Platinum is not valid at InterContinental Hotels. Is that true?

  15. @ Fabio Vilela
    Intercontinental Hotels has their own status separate from Priority Club- Ambassador and Royal Ambassador status- which entitles you to different things. For example, Royal Ambassador status gives you perks like free mini bar, etc., only available in the Intercontinental program. I believe you have to pay to be a member as well, but don’t quote me on that one.

  16. Cancelling the reservation crosses a line. I get all my points,miles, and status from credit card spending and churning-but I actually spend the money and couldn’t sleep at night cancelling reservations or making returns after minimums are met and the miles posted,etc. It is one thing to take full advantage of deals, loopholes, etc. but there should not be anything written encouraging people to cross the line into unethical territory.

  17. If you buy the IC Ambassador membership (worth it) and you are PC Plat, your Ambassador status is “Platinum Ambassador”. That’s how we have been recognized at ICs, so the PC Plat status may be of value.
    I have always just earned my PC Plat the old fashioned way – by credit card application bonuses !
    As usual, great information Million Mile Secrets !

  18. Silly boy

  19. Thanks for spoIling this, and ensuring that loopholes get closed. Tool.

  20. worldtraveller2

    Darius! love the moral debate here and SO GLAD you post about it! ha ha Rich and friends!

  21. I accidentally stumbled upon this when I booked a vacation stay in January for later this year — I foolishly “snoozed” until the required points had increased (by an absurd 66%!), then contacted PR customer service to book under the old rate (15,000/nt instead of 25,000/nt).
    As I reported in a post on FlyerTalk, they booked it at 25,000/nt, then gave me a goodwill credit to make up the difference, as detailed in your post. After seeing this today, I checked and the goodwill points that they gave me pushed me to Platinum status, which I hope to parlay into a room upgrade on that vacation!
    I have no intention of cancelling that trip, but everything is subject to time constraints when the time gets here.

    Here’s my question:
    Are there any other hotel programs where I can use a status match to take advantage of my newly-acquired Platinum status with PC to upgrade those accounts?
    FWIW, I used the Visa offer to get bumped to Gold with Hilton and enjoyed my free breakfast throughout a recent stay!

  22. I have a trip coming up and will be reserving a few Holiday Inns on the way. Does this trick work for Holiday Inns as well (i.e., not just Intercontinental)? Is there a site that I can go to, to check what the point requirement WAS before January?

  23. @Li Does too, does too… :>}

    The offer that Priority Club wants you to settle for is the 30K offer, which does indeed only get you Gold. I’m pretty sure that’s the one you linked to. But thanks to Daraius, I had the link for the 80k offer, and Plat only takes 60K points. Or 50 nights if you pay for them. I assure you, I have only stayed some 8 or 10 nights at a PC location lifetime. I just checked my account on the PC website, and yes, it has me listed as Platinum.

    The 30K offer gets you Gold as long as you keep the card. The 60K or greater offers gets you Plat, but probably only for a year, then you drop back to Gold.

  24. So just to make sure I got this clear. No benefits at all at InterContinental as a PC Platinum?

  25. Oh, so you’re the douchebag from school that always promised you could keep a secret but just pee’d your pants with the excitement and told all.

    Well done asshole!

  26. @dim-wit Appropriate name you use :<}
    Let me get this straight. You come to this blog to learn how to game the airline and hotel system for your benefit. Then you get upset because Daraius posts strategies that you can use. Yet if he never posted those "secrets", you'd have no reason to even read this blog. dim-wit indeed….
    Not to mention, this is a very elegant and good hearted blog, and your sort of abusive language has no place here. Why don't you go post on Daily Kos instead?

  27. @Robert Henson

    You honestly think the people complaint get tips and tricks here?

    Get real! This post and a few others by darius are being quite well discussed on the real traveller sites, I’m not talking about flyer talk here.

    The trouble with posts like this is that he is taking things that are discussed and understood by thouse who do actually spend money on travel, and it is being spoon fed to the leaches who live off credit card bonuses and never truly spend a penny on anything.

    True frequent travellers (ie people who do spend some real money, have some real status) if they happen to get some better value in their scheme that is one thing, the schemes know some people put in more work that others.

    If however we are talking about people simply syphoning money out a scheme that is designed to reward people, and they are not real participants in the scheme, that just spoils things for everyone (spoils things for hotels, their true customers), everyone except the leaches.

    Make no mistake, this is being well discussed all over the place.

    • Interesting debate and thanks to all for their feedback! I’ve outlined my position before, and it hasn’t changed.

      @TR – You can get status with credit card points. That’s how I’ve qualified!

      @Li – The 60K counts towards elite status, but only during the 1st year. Afterwards you get Gold status just by having the card.

      @Fábio Vilela – InterContinental hotels have their own program where you can pay $150 for Ambassador status or earn Royal Ambassador status (top tier status). No benefits at an IC with just Platinum status.

      @Corinne & @Robert Hanson – Thanks for helping out with reader questions!

      @Footypjs – Thanks for posting the script (it was very helpful to get connected to a live rep)! Some hotels are good about upgrading Platinum, others not so good. You could status match and get trial status with Hyatt and Marriott, but you’d have to complete a minimum amount of nights to extend the trial status.

  28. Appologies for the typos, travelling and on a mobile device. Robert Hanson (not henson), but my comment still stands just with appologies for the typos.

  29. @li: Yes, the 60K credit card offer says Gold. But, indeed, you get Platinum because 60 K gets you that status. It surprised me, too. But I do actually have Platinum status due only to this card offer. I have never believed that Chase always gets it right.

    Platinum gets you the best available room at any Holiday Inn worldwide. They are everywhere in Europe. I have had very nice upgrades from the usual tiny European rooms.

  30. Excellent post Darius!

  31. @Zen No problem with the typos. The fact you can post at all from your cell or whatever has me in awe.

    I do disagree with your main point though. If the hotels and airlines begin to feel ripped off by non-spending “leeches”, they can easily adapt their programs to prevent that. Airline cards could easily require a $25K minimum spend for “bonus” miles. Hotel Gold and Platinum programs could be limited to actual nights stayed, or actual dollars spent. And yet, for the most part, they aren’t.

    A number of us here are now Hilton Gold, based on a “loophole” for a Visa card none of us actually possess. Hilton could have shut that down several months ago, and withdrawn the status from those who “qualified” that way. But they haven’t…..

    The credit card issuers know some people will cancel their “first year free” cards the day the fee comes due, and apply for more cards than they need simply to gorge themselves on “bonus” points. But for everyone who does that, there will be 10 or 100 others who will get the card, perhaps intending to cancel it, and never get around to doing so. Maybe because they get used to using it, maybe because they end up with a stash of points, and need to earn a few more to qualify for the next “free” service. Maybe because they are just not paying attention to payment dates.

    Trust me, these corporations are not stupid, and they will not let themselves get hurt for any length of time. So when Hilton lets a small number of us get instant Gold, it’s because they figure that X number of us will now book with them instead of Hyatt or InterContinental, just because we are Hilton Gold. They would alienate their most loyal clients if they just gave away Gold status, so they let us use a loophole to get it. It’s called plausible deniability.

    They let a small number of us on these sites get unearned Gold, and they hope we stay with them, buy expensive drinks at the bar, eat dinner in their restaurants, and begin to develop a brand loyalty with Hilton we otherwise would not have had. And when our friends ask where we stayed, we’ll say “we stayed at the X Hilton; it was really nice”. Now our non-freebie friends begin thinking of staying there too.

    Personally, I got a Chase Priority Club card, first year free, just for the 80K bonus points. Without that link from Daraius, I wouldn’t have bothered with it. I fully intended to cancel it before the fee is due next year. Then I used those points to book 3 free nights at the Crowne Plaza in Belgium next summer. But guess what, my next stop on that trip is Berlin, and my bonus miles are used up. So I ended making a paid reservation at the Berlin Crowne Plaza. I would never have thought to even look up CP otherwise. I probably would have stayed at the IBIS. But I thought, do I really want to go from staying at the CP to staying at the IBIS? And it turned out that with early booking, the CP wasn’t as much more expensive than the IBIS as I expected. So IHG has already made a profit from my “free” miles and complimentary Platinum status.

    I just read Gary’s post “Platinum gets you the best available room at any Holiday Inn worldwide. They are everywhere in Europe. I have had very nice upgrades from the usual tiny European rooms.” And since the second half of my trip next summer is still unbooked, I’m now going to check out Holiday Inns. If that works out, I’ll be motivated to find a way to stay platinum once my card status runs out.

    Sure, Daraius and Emily may never pay for a hotel room for the rest of their lives. But for everyone like them, there are dozens at least of people like me who will end up spending much more than I’m given in freebies. The easy to obtain freebies do pull me in, and I get to like it, and I end up paying to do more of it.

    I’m very sure the huge corporations we are “ripping off” included all of this in their marketing plans, and have concluded that they will come out ahead anyway. Should that not turn out to be true, they will quickly tighten things up until it does work for them. My best guess is that they are laughing all the way to the bank at our rip off attempts…..

    Don’t worry, be happy…

  32. @Robert Hanson

    I disagree with your anaylsis. The fact is people running these schemes in companies are not always anywhere near as smart at finding/understanding the weak points in their schemes as many of us instinctivly assume they are.

    I say this having personally discussed the topic/concept of this issue with the head (or deputy to the head) of frequent flyer schemes at 3 global major airlines, and a couple of highly placed people involved in the running of hotel schemes. Some people here will say bull, but if you are a true top tier spender, you get invited to events and actually get a chance to talk to them. Sadly I’m not a true TOP TOP spender, no where near, but I’ve been invited and know people who are.

    Often what we see as the true optimum ways to use programs (and hidden saddle points of maximum return when combining promos) they simply do not see until it is too late.

    And when the do see them, I can tell you they very often DO NOT SEE the very simple solutions . amendements which would solve the problem. So they evaluate major changes – because they fear the simple changes would lead to overly complex programmes, which their marketing people continuall tell them is the issue.
    We can often explain the virtues of a specific program far better than they can.
    We look at it as a logic puzzle, to identify best value – as we are sensible people.
    They often either view it as a 9-to-5 job, and/OR all their thoughts and understanding relate to the true spenders, so they don’t think about it properly from the perspective of the freebie chaser and are prone to make rash decisions/recations when, while not understanding the problem, they are confronted with it. When we could see the solution is simply to change X, and can’t believe/understand why they hadn’t seen or thought of it in advance.

    Additionally, with regard to signup/status bump forms. Often the abuse of these is not detected until quite late in the day, especially when the loyalty progamme is collecting the user data, but doesn’t have a live data setup in place back to the creditcard company etc, that is paying for / part paying for the promo to enable them to check eligiblity.
    Plenty of other reason as well.

    Now, in all these cases, scheme / promo / loophole, we (quite legitimatly) say they SHOULD have thought of it / stopped it / been aware of it. However, the reality is that they are not. As a result when they find out about such abuse, they often don’t know how to stop it propperly and close the whole area down – spoiling it for everyone.

    I’m not defending their lack of understanding of their own programmes, offers, T&C, and / or systems. However the reality is that HUGH MASS abuse often leads to bad outcomes when the become away of the issue, because of that lack of understanding.

    Lesser level s of abuse, where it is only thouse who put effort in to maximise return in the programmes are a different kettle of fish. The numbers are lower, they people generaly sue the schemes, so the loyalty budget is less wasted, the true cost is lower. Additionally the schemes know that such people exist and they will always research best value – they are happy with that, because it is customers who have to be enticed on that level, but when it becomes mas market, with zero efferot people doing it, then it hurts profits, then it gets put to a stop – for all.

    You say Daraius and Emily might never have to spend a penny again on travel, I have know idea of the current millage balances, but I very much doubt (at this level of exposing) they will be earning as much in the future. There will not be the opportunities. And by now ( doing this in his own name) it will be going on blacklists. I’d be amazed if he is able to do this himself for too much longer.

  33. I have to agree with Zen.

    This is exactly how the US Mint coin churning got shut down. Some bloggers blew the lid off, it caught everybody’s attention and the Mint was forced to shut it down.

    I know that bloggers need readership and traffic, but let’s leave these things in the forums, where information there is no secret and anyone who knows what to look for can still find it.

  34. The us mint deal closed because stupid people were going too far with it and trading in millions,yes MILLIONS, of dollar coins. They would get special permission from the Treasury to go over the limit on what they could buy. If people just met their credit card spend with the coins in order to get the sign up bonus and ended it at that it wouldn’t have been a huge deal. BUT, people took advantage. Darius and Emily are just trying to help newbies. He is in no way telling anyone to take this to extremes, he is saying that it’s logical in the “churn” game to take a loophole every once in awhile. The corporations here know exactly what they are doing and what they are allowing. Like the mint which knew what was going on but let people do it until the same said people went all over the place blabbing about the millions they were ripping off the Treasury for. It’s all a game. Churning is just as bad if you want to look at it that way… Everyone is screwing the credit card companies for sign up bonuses and then canceling before the annual fee comes up. A loophole worded differently.

  35. @kev and @zen
    I’m confused. So, you both think that this info should only be available to the people on the forums? Weren’t you ever a noob? What I gather is that you think it’s alright for the forum crowd to reap the benefits, but not the general public on the other blogs… Kind of selfish. And @zen- it’s messed up that you would call people leeches. A lot of people do this because they want to travel the world, but couldn’t afford to do it quite the way they would like to without the bonuses and “tricks”. Not everyone can afford to put all of that money out of pocket! That doesn’t constitute being a “leech” in my book. If you have a problem with the content here then dom’t come to this site. Stay on the forums with the self proclaimed “seasoned travelers/experts/travel gods”. Keep up the great job D!

  36. ZEN – get a life!

  37. @Corinne: Don’t kid yourself. You are a leech.
    And I agree with the choice words from a poster above about MMS. He is an absolute idiot for posting things like this that don’t need to be posted for leeches like Corinne to slowly (but surely) ruin.

  38. There is use and there is abuse. I feel this falls in the later.

  39. @ZEN
    OK, Zen, that “on my mobile device” excuse only goes so far. WTF does “However the reality is that HUGH MASS abuse often leads to bad outcomes when the become away of the issue, because of that lack of understanding” mean? Huh? What is “HUGH MASS abuse”, and why is it capitalized, and what is a “become away of the issue” anyway.

    You, as you tell us, have the ear of the three, THREE, “head (or deputy to the head) of frequent flyer schemes” of “global major airlines”, yet you are unable to explain to them how their programs have gone awry. Perhaps because you use phrases like “HUGH MASS abuse”? Anyway, they are too stupid to see it themselves, and you are unable to warn them of the danger they are in.

    Lets just make it very simple. There has been a marketing “scheme”, as you call it, for magazines that has worked well for decades. It involves advertising that one can sign up for a magazine with no risk of loss. If after getting four free issues, you are not happy with your decision to suscribe, “just write no thank you on your bill and owe nothing”. Now magazines are not a huge profit maker, but it’s not this marketing “scheme” that has done them in. In fact, it works so well, as I said, it’s been used for decades.

    This is no different from the airline and hotel “schemes” you describe. Yes, some people do get 4 free issues and cancel, but an even greater number sign up and either choose or forget to cancel. The magazine makes a profit on this “scheme”, and so do the hotels and airlines you say are getting “ripped off”.

    The reason airline and hotel executives don’t react to your explanation of how they are getting ripped off…well, I hate to put it this way, but they figure you are an ignoramus, trying to tell them how to run their very successful loyalty customer programs. They are just too polite to tell you that to your face. It works for them, it works for the business expense traveler, and it works for us, the “leeches”. Strangely, the only one it doesn’t work for is…YOU.

  40. @Corrinne

    No, I’m not saying only the forum crowd should reap benefits. The forums are free and searchable for anyone. So anyone can reap benefits just by looking there. That is, after all, how you go from being a noob to being knowledgeable, by doing research.

    The big problem is that the blogs take content from the forums but simplify things for the noob, and the noob doesn’t always know how to proceed with the information they’re given; they may blurt out something while on the phone with the CSR, or they may miss an important step which raise flags. This eventually causes the deal to die.

    The forums show you how to avoid all this (after all, it’s where the “scripts” came from on this post) in order to keep the deal going for everyone.

  41. @Kev The mint program went on for years, with bloggers blogging about it, and people pushing it far beyond any reasonble level. It was even in the NYTIMES, and yet it continued for even more years. Finally, it was on NPR, and this final news program ended it. It wasn’t the blogger coverage at all, it was NPR. I suggest you send your outraged emails to them….

  42. @Anon Let me see if I have this right. Corrine is a “leech”, because she is using a loophole you wanted to keep to yourself. So that you and the cognoscenti on Flyertalk could keep using it yourself, for your own benefit. Because you have the sole right to rip off the airlines and hotels, and Corrine the latecomer has no right to butt into a scheme you found first. You’re calling “dibbs”….

  43. @ Kev You say “No, I’m not saying only the forum crowd should reap benefits” Then you turn right around and explain why only the forum crowd should reap benefits.

    So as I understand you now, anyone can stumble onto the forums, and automatically do everything correctly with whatever they read. But people reading MMS will obviously do it all wrong, no matter how much Daraius tries to educate them. Obviously there must be an exam in the Forum one must pass, to prove their competence, before they call a CSR. Where do I find it?

  44. @Robert Hanson: Yes, you are absolutely correct. If Corrine “the leech” wants to know these tricks, Corrine should go research for herself on FT. The more “can’t be bothered to do any work to find deals themselves” freeloaders that jump onto the freebie bandwagon, the sooner the deal dies for all. Just see FatWallet if you don’t believe me. Seems this bow-tie wearing idiot MMS wants to start killing good deals off quickly a la FatWallet.

  45. The discussion is pointless. Daraius has clearly stated his intentions: to reveal the “tricks” and “secrets” that are usually buried in forums and only shared with those who are prepared to do the research to uncover them. As one of the latter I wish Daraius would stop acting like the saviour of the common traveller since by disseminating these ideas to every lazy parasite he is ensuring that the opportunities will be fewer and shorter lived. And the good ideas will go ever deeper under ground.

    Btw I use the term parasites advisedly. These are the people who feed off the ideas here for free and never contribute any ideas of their own. That’s the difference between this type of blog and the forums where”sharing” is the operative word.

  46. Everything that could be said, not to mention should be said, has been said. This thread is now closed for comments. Move along, move along…..

  47. I’m a little confused about the argument. Instead of being a right and wrong ethics discussion about whether the cracks in the programs should be exploited for unintended benefits, you people are arguing over which group of travelers has the right to be what some would say is unethical. I love the situational ethics among your arguments. Quite entertaining!

  48. @Anon What “tricks” have you been the first to find? You research on FlyerTalk, which makes you a “leech” as well just of the forums, not the blogs. This same info is on the threads on FT…don’t you think that there is more of a chance of corporations having their people scour the FT threads which are the most well know and FT forums being what is killing a deal? So, in a nut shell if I read FT I am not a “leech”, but if I get the same info here (broken down for the noob that the FT people won’t answer questions for on their precious FT forums) then I am a “leech”. Makes perfect sense now. Just to let you know this “leech” has just started to churn cards and have yet to reap the benefits of any free travel or stays. For the past decade I have been paying for all flights, hotels, etc. and to top it all off I am only looking for award flights and point and cash hotel stays. Not really something “leech” is known for.

    @Kev- There is a better chance of a noob messing up with the FT threads that aren’t simplified. Anyone could just as easily mess up either way (the scripts here or on FT). If you want to do things right you have to follow them to a T. Myself, being new, used D’s reconsideration line “script” and got approved by Chase after they denied me for “too many accounts/inquiries for credit with Chase Bank”. If I was going to mess it up I was going to do it no matter where I got the info from. I am certain that people have read an FT thread with a script and have failed!

  49. @Corinne Yeah, that’s why this whole useless discussion has gone on for too long now. I too can point out that I used Daraius script to get my 3rd Chase CC approved in 4 months, but so what. If I had said the “wrong” thing, would Chase have shut down the Marriott card I was asking for? No, they just would not have approved me. No loss for the next person at all. The only program they can point to that was “ruined” was the Mint program. But really, how much of a secret could that have been, with people walking into their banks with thousands of dollars in coin form ? I understand you needed to have a chance to respond to these silly attacks, and you have. Now lets all just move on to some subject that we can benefit from.

    If the FT trolls come back to harrass us, don’t feed them. Ignore them, and they’ll get bored and go away….

  50. @Robert Hanson
    That was, in fact, my last post which would feed into them. I just wanted to prove my point about how ridiculous their argument was to me. Keeping my fingers crossed about the trolls going away…

  51. just called yesterday on the Platinum line to book the Intercontienntal Singapore at the old rates. Spoke to 2 people before a supervisor “found” the old point requirements. If not for LT’s analysis, one would never know if the old points are indeed less. In the IS case, the old rate was 30,000 points per night, and now it is 40,000. 30000 is quite a good steal as singapore rates routinely go for 300-400 per night

  52. Darius: Big mistake —-

  53. Charles, you will like the Intercontinental Sing, my favorite hotel in Sing. But the prices for that hotel, and many other IC hotels, really vary depending on the dates. Of my three stays at IC Sing only one was more than $240 USD and made sense to use a Points and Cash trick, and as Robert points out above they got me for 3 stays so far and every other trip to Sing. That is why these discussions always seem so pointless to me, it is not like the IC chain or any other chain has a set price they have to get and anything less is hurting them. They are all working the system as hard as they can, moving the prices around, working resort fees and other fees into the mix, and to say that they are being cheated in any of these examples seems a little much to me.

    I like that there is discussion about the moral aspect of this game. I personally would never do the mint or the buy-and-return something for miles. But this seems a hurricane in a handbag.

  54. @leech (Corrine): Yes I’ve stumbled onto plenty of great deals, but I CERTAINLY wouldn’t be posting them here for fear of them dying from parasites (I like that word from an above commenter) like yourself and many others who don’t even bother to come on here, but rather just take info abuse til loophole dies. In fact I wouldn’t even post the better stuff I’ve figured out on FT/MP for the same reasons.
    @Robert Hanson: LOL, the only thing we can point to is the Mint for getting ruined by parasites? There are PLENTY of other deals that bloggers have ruined almost immediately by broadcasting them to parasites. Hmmm, VS Gold ruined by gleff a couple years ago. Amex Bump the Bonus ruined by almost all bloggers a few months ago, etc, etc, etc. If you paid me $1k per item I could come up with that bloggers have ruined over the years, I could likely retire now…………………..a very rich man. But feel free to continue on believeing that bloggers don’t slowly (or quickly) ruin it for all. Cuz the parasites like you gain at the expense of the people that are willing to put in a little brainpower and/or research to find things on their own. BTW, I hope PC cancels your wife’s elite status MMS!!!! Maybe I should contact them and let them in on your little scheme complete with your wife’s name.

  55. @Anon

    You who don’t even have the courage to post your own name…

    This is a troll free zone. Go get a life….

  56. @Robert Hanson

    Pot, Kettle?

    Anon makes a detailed, reasoned and intelligent argument.

    Just because you happen not to agree with him, your reaction is to call him names, make the ever-so-mature remark “get a life”…

    Which one of you is the troll…?

  57. This discussion is too stupidly pointless to continue.

  58. @Robert Hanson – I see you have no argument then. This is no surprise at all.

  59. You guys are getting upset over absolutely nothing. I received the courtesy points automatically after requesting a reservation at the old rate. That’s how the handle it – book at the new rate and give back the points as courtesy points. It is well known and in a press release from Priority Club that you can book at the old rate. So Priority Club certainly would not consider asking for that rate to be an abuse.

    I do not see anywhere where Darius advocates booking and then canceling to get the courtesy points. They would probably be taken back if you cancel anyway.

    It sure would be nice if folks would get their facts straight before blasting away.

  60. Great job, Darius. Keep it up!!!

  61. Not to mention that the 80,000 points from the Chase Visa PC card count towards your elite status and grant you Platinum status instantly. I don’t know why they don’t promote that.

  62. I made legitimate, intended-to-use bookings and got courtesy credit. Had to cancel my plans due to work changes. Guess what? The status-qualifying courtesy points have been pulled.

  63. I did this exact thing but not on purpose. I had already booked 5 nights in Ireland and needed to change my reservation for 4 nights instead. The rep on the phone told me the points went up 10,00o per night, thus it was a 40,000 point difference, but since I had already booked the hotel over a month before I needed to change my nights, without question she Good-willed me 40,000 extra points and then immediately reused them to put toward my updated itinerary, I believe that was the correct thing to do, as I should have not had to pay the new price for something purchased over a month before price went up just because I needed to cancel one night. Anyway, I was happy to see that it had counted toward my next years reward, wasn’t expecting that but was a nice surprise!

  64. And thanks to you for a great tip. I was planning an early spring trip to the Asheville Indigo assuming it would still be 25,000 a night. After reading I quickly made the move to reserve for three nights and ask for the grace period. They happily applied 30,000 extra points for the three nights difference. I certainly don’t feel like this is taking advantage of the company as a certain reward structure was expected when accrual of points began. I could see some people taking advantage of the ‘deal’ but a grace period certainly seems fair! Cheers to the Hawaii trip and thanks for an awesome blog.

  65. Hi Darius,
    I’m short of 40k points to renew my platinum status.
    How many times can I do this to refund the goodwill points?

  66. any link for the Priority club 80k bonus?

  67. ANON, KEV and ZEN just keep getting whipped by Robert Hanson and Corrine.

    Robert is spot on. Loyalty programme people KNOW that by giving a carrot, they reap the harvest.

    Lamers like ANON and Co. “stumbled onto plenty of great deals” themselves (posted by others no doubt) but are unhappy people like Corrine “stumbled” onto this blog and found a great deal? Get a life!

    If Darius and other people dont post deals, be it on forums or blogs, how would you, ANON and CO. lamers and all, leech from your all high and almighty podium? Do you expect me to believe you came up with the deals? You think “deciphering” FT talk equals to coming up with a deal? What is your basis that someone is more deserving of a deal? You claim that people like Corrine dont spend on travel, blah blah blah. What rubbish of an excuse. I am sure there are many people who can decipher FT and spend LESS than people like Corrine. Corrine has clearly stated she spends mucho moolah on her travels. So shut up. Corrine is entitled to the deal as per your requirement.

    And if Zen is such a big shot, why is he/she trying to find loopholes anyway? Let me get this straight.. you get invited to parties/events where you met 3 different “heads of frequent flyer schemes” and “highly placed people involved in the running of hotel schemes”? Gee.. really? So frequent flyers and hotel guests get to meet the people who came up with these schemes? Did you meet both the airline people and the hotel people at the same event? Are you saying the hotels and airlines jointly hosted an event together? Really? 3 different competing airlines and multiple rivals hotels worked together on some grand event to reward the same target customers each competing airline and hotel are vying for? Or did you mean you met them during separate events? Oh…. I just remenbered you said you are “no where near” a big spender and only big spenders get invited …. but you got invited? To multiple events? OOPS BUSTED!

    Hahaha! There are no such events for frequent flyers or hotel guests. Plain and simple. There are only events for “big spenders” or HNWI. But who organises these? Financial institutions. NOT airlines or hotels.

    Let me tell you what events HNWI get invited to: live events, fashion shows, movie premieres, GPs, etc. Sometimes they have sit-down meet-and-greet dinners and mingle-about-galas-cum-charities organised to “reward” their best customers. And thats only because it is their way of selling more financial products. Bankers/RMs turn up. Not their head of credit card loyalty programmes, much less “heads of frequent flyer schemes” not affiliated with the banks. So yes. I do know all these because being an HNWI, I frequently attend such events with my numerous teams of financial advisers to discuss what to do with my oodles and oodles of moolah. And we discuss credit card sign-up bonuses and lament at how so many “leeches” online read about them and sign up for credit cards for the bonuses and then cancel their cards? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA….. please…..

    If Zen still insists to have met the “heads of frequent flyer schemes” of “3 global airlines” , I am sure he can easily produce their business cards which I am sure these “heads of frequent flyer schemes” would have happily distributed during the course of said fictional events. I’ll even give Zen points for attempting to photoshop.

  68. Darius – Is there a way of getting Priority Platinum instantly w/o applying for the Priority card. I am trying to get Priority Platinum so that I can get Hyatt to give me a Diamond Challenge and then apply for Chase Hyatt card while I am a Diamond to get 2 suite nights.

  69. I was trying to find out if Platinum Elite at PriorityClub Rewards was recognized at IHG properties (because I usually stay at the Palazzo), and you said on a couple of occasions that no benefits are conferred at IHG properties for Platinum Elites. However, I dont think thats true: the FAQs at the Ambassador page pulled today (Jan. 3, 2012) listed the following:
    “As an InterContinental Ambassador, will I receive the same benefits at all properties within the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) family of brands?
    No, Ambassador benefits apply exclusively at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. However, Priority Club Rewards member status and benefits apply to the entire IHG family of brands.“.

    So, am I reading this wrong?

    • @Stratos – Priority Club has a confusing program where Ambassador status is valid only at InterContinental hotels, but regular Priority Club status counts at other non-Inter-continental hotels. And the elite status benefits don’t count when you are on an award stay.

  70. Hey Darius!

    This question has more to do with your trip to Thailand and specifically, Ko Phi Phi. I’m staying at the Holiday Inn Phi Phi Island (like you did) on cash + points. They honored the old rate of 25000 PC points via phone, but I chose 15000 PC + $70. While the room is a great deal, the transportation TO and FROM the resort by speedboat is 15000 THB each way! (Approx $500 USD each way)

    What did you choose for transportation on your visit to Ko Phi Phi? I’m sure you found a much better deal than that 🙂

    Also as a Platinum member, what type of room upgrade did you get?

    Thanks!
    Richard

    • @Richard – Ha! That’s a post in itself. I booked a cheaper ferry online, but the driver bailed on us halfway to Phi Phi, so we went back to the dock at Phuket and booked a ferry to Phi Phi. The Andoman Wavemaster makes trips to the HI in Phi Phi for much less. We got an upgrade to the coral seaview studio.

  71. “The Unintended Way to Earn Priority Club Gold & Platinum Elite Status”

    – FYI, effective 2013, points given to members as goodwill to honor the old point requirement no longer count to the member’s status. What would be counted are just the points for stays, from partners, meeting rewards points and bonus points package points. Tough luck.

  72. Theaverageamerican

    I see there is a lot JEWS!!!! in here. Milking every system to your advantage but if it was your business being taking advantage of because of a loop hole you would be suing everybody.

  73. Or, you could just buy Gold status with money ($50 last I checked). Now that you have gold status, flaunt that shit; and if you find the smallest thing to complain about make it ‘the thing that ruined your trip’ you should be able to score 20k in points each time. Should only cost a couple hundred dollars and the emotional health of any hotelier you accost. Priority club points basically cost the hotel nothing, and are way overvalued by the members; somewhat of a win-win if you don’t care about the degeneration of human decency and the ever increasing sense of arbitrary entitlement.

    All in all, we will tell you what you want to hear until you leave us alone.

  74. Oh, yeah; once you’re a platinum member – everything you say must begin with “But, I’m a Platinum Member”.

  75. The $200 fee and what you get is nothing, A $200
    fee for what Marriott, and hilton honors are free with platinum status. They
    say the room upgrade ,the fresh fruit,water and gift only apply when you stay
    at a intercontinental hotel. I have stayed at intercontinental hotel and did
    not receive anything and the room upgrade was the same room on a higher floor.
    My wife is currently staying at the intercontinental and tey did the exact same
    thing and were both members.When you call the ambassador hotline its a 3rd
    party overseas call center that is designed to kindly go away.I am canceling my
    priority club credit card , and going somewhere else. I would also like
    to add if your using the reward night besure to bring the certificate that they
    send with the welcome kit or you will not get your free night. I had to send it
    fed ex out because i didnt read the fine print. The ambassador club couldnt send
    an certificate by email like marriott or hilton honors.I noticed the above post
    with the clarifications from the ihc employee. You could give us any helpful
    advice like i just did. Thanks for nothing ihc