Priority Club Tightens Restrictions on Which Points Count Towards Elite Status; Upgrades Elite Benefits

There is good news and bad news pertaining to the InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards frequent guest loyalty program.
First, the bad news: Starting January 1, 2013, Priority Club Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points will be divided into two categories: status points and non-status points, in order to better clarify the threshold for Gold and Platinum elite membership levels.

  • Status points will include qualifying room rate and partner points from qualifying activities; while the qualifying room rate also include: flexible room rate, corporate rate, GDS corporate rate, negotiated room rates by state, regional and local governments, and special leisure rate confirmed in HOLIDEX Plus system assigned by InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Non-status points will include promotional points, points voucher, point purchase, point transfer and point deposit

Easier — and potentially less expensive — alternative methods to earn Priority Club Rewards Platinum elite status than the traditional method of staying at InterContinental Hotel Group properties worldwide include using the Priority Club Rewards Black Visa credit card if you are a resident of the United Kingdom, which has a £99.00 annual fee but awards Priority Club Rewards Platinum elite status automatically. If you are a resident of the United States, this Select Visa credit card allows you to maintain Priority Club Rewards Platinum elite status as long as you keep the credit card.
The good news is that benefits have been upgraded for Priority Club Rewards frequent guest loyalty program members with elite status as follows:

  • Club Member
    • Welcome drink
  • Gold Member
    • Welcome drink
    • 15 percent off difference in room rates to upgrade to Club Floor or suites, or Club Lounge access when upgrading to Club Floor
    • Free in-room Internet access
  • Platinum Member
    • Welcome drink
    • Free upgrade to next room category
    • 30 percent off difference in room rates to upgrade to Club Floor or suites, or Club Lounge access when upgrading to Club Floor
    • In-room amenity
    • Free in-room Internet access

The free in-room Internet access will not be available until January 1, 2013 — but the other benefits are available now. Terms and conditions apply with the new benefits.
Unlike with the unannounced changes to be implemented by the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program, FlyerTalk members do not appear to be disappointed, unhappy or upset with the new change in policy pertaining to the new restrictions as to which Priority Club Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points count towards elite status.
I qualified for Priority Club Rewards Gold elite status this year by depositing what will be known as non-status points, but I have not taken advantage of that elite status primarily because there is nothing about it that is all that special to me — even with the upgraded benefits, to be frank. Additionally, I will most likely lose my elite status next year anyway, so the tighter restrictions on which Priority Club Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points will not really affect me anyway.
With the way the Priority Club Rewards frequent guest loyalty program gave away points — such as for completing short surveys — I never really expected for them to count towards elite status anyway, and it is probably best that the Priority Club Rewards frequent guest loyalty program points be distinctly differentiated.

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