Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Upcoming Changes To The Priority Club Rewards Chart

I received an email this morning notifying me of upcoming changes to the Priority Club rewards chart starting on January 18, 2012. The most obvious changes are the additional tiers that have now been added to several IHG brands:
  • Holiday Inn / Holiday Inn Express - New 20,000 tier (sandwiched between the 15,000 and 25,000 tiers)
  • Candlewood Suites - New 20,000 tier (higher)
  • Staybridge Suites - New 25,000 tier (higher)
  • Crowne Plaza - New 35,000 tier (higher)
  • Hotel Indigo - New 35,000 tier (higher)
  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts - New 50,000 tier (higher)

Old Priority Club Reward Chart (prior to January 18, 2012):

New Priority Club Reward Chart (starting January 18, 2012):

Basically, besides Holiday Inn Club Vacations, every IHG brand now has a new tier added, with 5 out of the 6 brands adding a higher tier. This doesn't bode well for most of us, as it probably portends an overall devaluation on January 18th. According to Priority Club themselves, 25% of properties will have an increase in points cost, while 20% will have a decrease. While that doesn't sound too bad at first glance, it's important to note that the maximum decrease anyone will likely see is 5,000 points, while the maximum increase will likely result in an additional 10,000 points (all on the most desirable properties no less).

Priority Club is offering a 2-month grace period after January 18, 2012, which allows anyone to book reward nights at the old rate, or rebook a reward if the points requirement has decreased. However, this can only be done by calling in. The old rates will be unavailable online after January 18, 2012.

Loyalty Traveler makes a good point by saying that Priority Club doesn't publish a master list that shows the redemption rate of every hotel in their portfolio. This makes it extremely difficult to find out exactly which hotels have had their rates increased or decreased after the changes occur. You must already have specific hotels in mind, and have checked the old rates by looking up each hotel individually on the Priority Club website prior to January 18, 2012. My suggestion is to plan ahead and think of destinations you will most likely visit this year, and look them up to jot down the old rate. This way, it will be easier to see if any hotels have changed their points requirements after January 18, 2012.

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