Finally Priority Club gets in line with other hotel loyalty programs by organizing its hotel awards by categories rather than brands. The new Priority Club Reward night chart will parse out the 4,500+ InterContinental Hotels Group properties in nine categories from 1-9.
Changes will take effect Friday, January 18, 2013.
Members can book hotels at the current brand award category points cost until March 18, 2013 for properties that increase in point cost January 18, 2013.
There has been grumbling on the web this week over the changes. Many members see this as a huge devaluation.
We will see the real impact at the end of next week.
There are certain to be many properties rising in award points cost. Of course this means there will be increases to hotels in cities like New York where the Candlewood Suites had a bargain award night rate compared to its average room rate.
Some hotels will drop in reward night cost.
Personally I was not particularly happy about seeing Crowne Plaza hotels with rates around $100 per night requiring 25,000 points for a free night. More categories will hopefully allow the properties to be divided up in a way that correlates better with their hotel rate averages.
Priority Club Reward Night prices vary per hotel property and are classified per price category. To find the number of points required for your stay, simply check the availability of your preferred location and stay dates.
The Reward Night chart above is effective January 18, 2013. If the hotel that you originally planned to book now requires more points, simply call the to reserve your Reward Night and ask for the original point price. This offer is valid through March 18, 2013.
Are 9 categories of hotel awards in Priority Club too many?
- Club Carlson = 6 categories
- Hyatt = 6 categories
- Hilton = 7 categories (+ Waldorf-Astoria)
- Starwood = 7 categories (+ Cat-5, 6, 7 peak season rates and uber-7s)
- Marriott = 8 categories (+ 5 categories Ritz-Carlton)
In some ways this change might be beneficial compared to the Priority Club award structure change exactly a year before on January 18, 2012 when the different hotel brands added tiers. That change meant a Crowne Plaza or Hotel Indigo was either 25,000 or 35,000 points. Now these properties can be re-sorted with some landing in the 30,000 points category 5.
InterContinental Hotels will have five categories from 30,000 points to 50,000 points to divvy up the properties and this will likely mean a reduction of 5,000 points for some hotels from their current points level. And others will increase 5,000 points or more.
Priority Club Reward Nights chart in place from Jan 18, 2012-Jan 17, 2013.
FlyerTalk has a threadon the changes which is not too insightful yet, but likely will be a good resource come January 18, 2013 when the real analysis of the Priority Club Reward Night changes can take place with accurate data.
Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.