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Emily and I are at the Willard Intercontinental in Washington DC – thanks to Priority Club’s Sweet Dilemma promotion where you earned 1 night for every 2 nights stayed at ANY Priority Club property. We used my United bump vouchers ($400 vouchers for volunteering to take a later flight on an oversold flight) for the air tickets – so our trip to DC was for free! I’ll post a full trip report soon, but here’s a preview 🙂
Sweet Dilemma was the awesome Priority Club promotion in Q4 2010 where you could earn 1 night for every 2 paid stays at ANY Priority Club property.
This was a phenomenal value since you could stay at very cheap Candlewood Suites or Holiday Inns and redeem for rooms at very expensive InterContinental Hotels – for example, the Willard in Washington DC, the Amstel in Amsterdam, the InterContinental Park Lane in London and the InterContinental LeGrand in Paris!
For example, if you stayed 2 nights at a Candlewood Suite hotel for $60 per night, you would have spent $ 120, but would have earned 1 free night at any Priority Club hotel (excluding Asia-Pacific).
This 1 free night had a value of $650 per night at the Amstel, $680 at the InterContinental Park Lane in London, and $ 588 at the InterContinental LeGrand in Paris – a TERRIFIC value!
At the same time, Priority Club was running their Crack The Case promotion where you had to complete certain Priority Club related-tasks to earn points.
Crack The Case Tasks Were:
- Apply for a Priority Club Credit Card – 60,000 Priority Club points (I used the 80,000 point Priority Club offer instead for another 20,000 points!)
- Stay at 3 Priority Club brands – earn 2,200 Priority Club points
- Stay 2 Saturdays – earn 1,700 Priority Club points
- Opt-in for emails – earn 10,000 Priority Club points
- Take a survey – earn 2,000 Priority Club points
- Stay 10 nights – earn 5,600 Priority Club points
I would earn another 106,000 Priority Club points, in addition to the points for completing the individual tasks, by completing 5 out of the 6 tasks above.
I completed tasks 1 to 5 and earned the 106,000 bonus Priority Club points + 95,900 (80,000 +2,200 +1,700 +10,000 +2,000) for a total of 201,900 Priority Club points!! I also got 2 free nights at any InterContinental Hotel – all by staying for 4 nights at cheap Holiday Inns and Candlewood Suites.
I had already planned on staying for 3 nights at Holiday Inns during this promotion so I went on a mattress run (where you stay in a hotel solely to complete a promotion or earn elite status or points) at a Candlewood Suite in Kansas City for $70.
Here’s how I valued my haul of Priority Club Points:
- 1 Priority Club point is worth $0.6 so my haul of 201,900 points was worth $1211.40
- I valued my 2 free nights at any InterContinental at $240 each – since it costs 40,000 Priority Club points for a room at the Willard InterContinental, and you can buy 40,000 Priority Club points using the Cash & Points trick for $240
My total gain was $1211.10 + $480 = $1691.10! That’s a return of 2415% or 24 times my investment of $70!
This is why I love earning miles and points and how I get to have Big Travel with Small Money!
Even if I had not had any Priority Club stays planned, I would have gone on mattress runs to complete the Sweet Dilema and Crack the Case promotions because the payoff was worth MUCH more than the $210 (3 nights @ $70 per night) needed to stay at cheap Priority Club hotels.
Bottom Line: You can use the right airline and mile promotions to your advantage and have Big Travel for very Small Money!