There is some confusion as to whether or not this new benefit only applies to current Platinum Elite and Gold Elite members, but until I get confirmation to the contrary, it does seem like it is open to everyone. Please let me know if you are a current cardmember without status, and you have not been upgraded.
Since you can already achieve Platinum Elite status by earning 60,000 points in one year, and there are current Chase Priority Club Visa bonus offers for up to 80,000 points, having this added benefit isn't exactly groundbreaking. However, if you do keep this card past the first year, having automatic Platinum Elite status renewal is definitely an added bonus.
I must say, I typically don't keep many credit cards that have an annual fee after receiving the sign-up bonus. However, I've already held on to my Chase Priority Club Visa way past the one-year mark, and now I will for sure keep this account open indefinitely. They've really done an excellent job with creating an array of benefits and perks that people actually enjoy:
- An annual free night at any InterContinental Hotels Group hotel worldwide
- No foreign transaction fees
- A 10% rebate on all Priority Club point redemptions - up to 100,000 points back each year
- Earn 5 points per dollar spent at all IHG hotels, 2 points per dollar spent on eligible gas, groceries and dining, and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else
- The $49 annual fee is waived for the first year
- And now, Platinum Elite Status for as long as you keep the card
Be aware that Platinum Elite status is recognized at all IHG hotels except for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, which offer their own distinct Ambassador loyalty program. While severely devalued and rather easy to achieve, Platinum Elite status still offers a few good benefits such as:
- 50% bonus on base points earned
- Complimentary room upgrades when available
- Guaranteed room availability with 72 hours advance notice
- Priority check-in and exclusive Platinum Elite customer service line
When I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Times Square, I was upgraded to a Times Square view room as a Platinum Elite member, plus access to the concierge lounge. So depending on the hotel, you can actually receive some nice perks.
There is a Chase Priority Club Visa offer for 80,000 bonus points after your first use that has been floating around for some time now. Apparently, it is a targeted offer. However, anecdotal evidence on FlyerTalk has shown that anyone applying from that link has been able to get the same offer confirmed. Note that the application page does not have any indication of the 80,000 bonus points offer. But once you are approved, you can call in to reconfirm your sign-up offer. If you run into any problems with getting the 80,000 bonus points offer, you can still refer to the 60,000 bonus points offer that is publicly available to everyone.