The fall 2010 Priority Club promotion title Sweet Dilemma probably encapsulates the feelings of many members for this offer. Promotion registration is required by December 20, 2010. You must register for either free nights or double miles/points.
The good news:
- You can earn one free night after two stays, up to five free nights during the promotion period September 20-December 31, 2010.
- You can redeem free nights beginning November 1, 2010 for hotel stays from December 1, 2010 through May 31, 2011. Free nights can be booked at http://www.priorityclub.com/bookfreenights
- Sweet Dilemma free nights offer appears to be combinable with the Crack the Case promotion.
The bad news:
- Asia-Pacific region IHG hotels are not participating in the free nights portion of this Priority Club promotion. You cannot earn free night credit or redeem free nights in Asia-Pacific hotels. Stays in Asia-Pacific region are eligible only for double points or miles portion of this promotion offer.
- If you register for free nights, then you will not earn any base or elite points or miles during the promotion period from September 20 through December 31, 2010, even after you maximize the free night offer of five nights. So if you complete 10 IHG hotel stays by October 1, you will earn five free nights but you will be ineligible for earning base points and elite points on all your paid stays for the remainder of 2010.
- Free night reservations may not be cancelled without forfeiting free night credit.
- Double points or miles begins with second stay at any IHG hotel worldwide.
Loyalty Traveler Analysis:
Two stays at a Holiday Inn and you can have a free night at an InterContinental Hotel. Most Priority Club members will likely get the best value from free nights. A free night is worth 30,000 or 40,000 points for an InterContinental Hotel. This promotion is potentially worth an equivalent 200,000 points for someone who maximizes the use of free nights at upper tier InterContinental Hotels.
The general consensus among Priority Club members on the value of points is $6 per 1,000 points. The five free nights offer has a potential $1,200 promotion bonus value. Redeeming your free night for a $240+ InterContinental Hotel night is likely an easy exchange to find considering the high cost of luxury class InterContinental Hotels. Just remember that you cannot use free nights for Asia-Pacific region hotels.
I see this IHG offer as a low entry promotion given the easy access to over 3,000 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels with rates under $100 per night. Earning a high value luxury class hotel night for two stays costing under $200 is a great value promotion opportunity.
Earning five free nights for under $1,000 over the next few months is a way to meet your hotel needs this fall while earning enough nights for a high-value vacation in 2011. Five nights at a hotel like the InterContinental Amstel in Amsterdam next spring can easily be a $2,000 value.
I recommend throwing as many short hotel stays to Priority Club as your top alternative to your primary hotel program. And if Priority Club is your primary hotel program, then you may want to get your five free nights and shift some hotel stays over to another hotel program for extra bonuses this fall. The exclusion of base and elite points through December 31, 2010 for all stays completed after maximizing the free nights offer is a real drawback for high frequency Priority Club members.
You may have a not so sweet dilemma if Priority Club is your main program. Choosing free nights as a Priority Club platinum member means forgoing 25 points per $1 for your stays from Sep 20-Dec 31, 2010. It will take you $6,000 to $8,000 in hotel spend to reach the equivalent value of 150,000 to 200,000 points you will receive with free nights.
This IHG fall 2010 promotion announcement leaves only Hilton HHonors left to announce its major fall 2010 promotion. Starwood went with double base points based on nights and triple base points with 10 or more nights. Hyatt has 10,000 points per 5 nights. Marriott has MegaBonus offers for up to two free nights, but the free nights are only valid for the lowest 4 of 8 hotel award categories. Marriott also has triple miles. Compared to the other bonuses this is a high-value, low hurdle to earn promotion offer from IHG Priority Club.
Loyalty Traveler promotion rating = 5 keys (one of best promotions of 2010)
Terms & Conditions clause shows combinability of Sweet Dilemma with Crack the Case promotion offer:
14. Frequency Credits:
(a) During Free Nights Promotion Period: Once registered for the Free Nights Promotion and during the Promotion Period, Members will not earn base or elite Priority Club points, airline miles, or any other frequency credit earning preference Members have chosen (“Frequency Credits”) for the room rate, food and beverage charges or any other incidental charges for any stays at any IHG hotel (except at hotels in those countries in which the Promotion is void), whether pursuant to this Promotion or otherwise, even if the Member has previously registered for, or is otherwise qualified for, another promotion and even if the Member has already earned the maximum of five Free Nights during the Promotion Period. In other words, participation in this Free Nights Promotion excludes the receipt of base and elite Frequency Credits for stays from the date of registration for this Free Nights Promotion until December 31, 2010. Bonus Frequency Credits, however, will be awarded pursuant to the terms of any other promotion in which Member is participating.