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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.