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Priority Club Free Nights or Double Points Sweet Dilemma

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)

Links: IHG Priority Club Sweet Dilemma Promotion

Sweet Dilemma FAQ

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.

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Sweet Dilemma Fall 2010 Promotion


  • Jeff Bianco August 30, 2010

    Do we think that the Entertainment Card rate is a “qualifying rate”? It is bookable through the Holiday Inn site.

    Text from the promotion:

    What is a Qualifying Rate? are most business and leisure rates, including the hotel’s Advance Purchase Rate, Best Flexible Rate, worldwide sales negotiated rate, national/regional/local government rate and specified leisure rates as confirmed by IHG’s Holidex® Plus reservations systems. Qualifying Rates do not include net wholesale individual and group rates, certain package rates, employee discount rate, friends and family rate, crew rate, special discounted contract rates, seasonal worker rate, travel club discount rate, travel industry discount rate, distressed passenger rate, Priority Club Reward Nights/airline Hotel Reward rate, most rates booked through most third party web sites, complimentary hotel stays and any other rates not defined above as a Qualifying Rate.

  • Ric Garrido August 30, 2010

    Good question and I do not know the answer.

    Anyone else know?

    My gut feeling is Entertainment rates do not count.

    Time for a phone call to Priority Club.

  • dracs August 30, 2010

    Very informative analysis like always!!

  • Ken August 31, 2010

    My offer was for 209,300 bonus points:

    60k for Priority Club CC
    1k for survey
    10k for email opt-in
    5.6k for 10 room nights
    4.4k for staying at 2 brands
    3.3k for staying 2 saturdays

    even without the CC, I’m looking at roughly 150k bonus points + 5 free nights (Sweet Dilemma) + platinums status (currently Gold) + base points of 5-10 per dollar for about $850 in hotel spend for the 10 nights. Definitely in.

    BTW I’ve never made a stay at IHG before, which is why my offer seems to be better than others.

  • Ken August 31, 2010

    whoops, meant to post that under the ‘crack the case’ blog

  • Jeff Bianco August 31, 2010

    Priority Club told me that the Entertainment Card rate was not a qualifying rate. They said that generally anything more then 30% off is not a qualifying rate.

  • Ric Garrido August 31, 2010

    I have seen it mentioned before that rates greater than 30% discount may not earn points.

    I check Entertainment rates occasionally but I’ve never booked one with IHG.

    There are many rates in other hotel chains where I had a greater discount than 30% on special rate offers, mistake rates and best rate guarantee claims and I always received points and credit. I’d be interested to know how lenient IHG Priority Club actually is with discount rates.

    Entertainment discounts seem to be treated more like a third party group rate similar to an online travel agency rather than a AAA or corporate group discount.

  • David September 1, 2010

    Is there any way to stack US Airways Grand slam promo on top of the sweet dilemma and crack the case promo? Im planning a mattress run already and would love to get some hits with US airways as well…

  • Ken September 2, 2010

    David –

    Great point! I forgot about the Grand Slam. I’m assuming we could stack this one with it, and get up to 6 hits?


    Add in some of the free offers listed in this FT thread and we’re in business.

    What are your thoughts, Ric? I’m assuming we’d just have to specify miles vs. points, and designate US Airways as the partner?

  • Daniel October 20, 2010

    Could someone please confirm that AAA is an eligible rate for the sweet dilemma promotion?

  • Ric Garrido October 21, 2010

    I can confirm that AAA discounts are eligible. But please do not sue me if I am wrong.

    Seriously though, as long as I have participated in hotel loyalty program promotions (about 20 years), I have never encountered a AAA rate that did not qualify for any hotel loyalty program promotion.

    AAA rates are a standard group rate discount that is an eligible rate for any hotel loyalty program promotion.

    Keep in mind though that hotel room rate Best Rate Guarantee claims against a hotel chain are not applicable to AAA rates.

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  • kathryn davie November 16, 2010

    I hope tis qualifies me for free night

  • Denise December 4, 2010

    I’m a little late in posting this-but I earned a free night using the Entertainment Card Rate. Maybe because it is bookable through the IHG website, and would earn points if one was not using the room for the free night promotion.

  • Ric Garrido December 5, 2010

    Great to hear Denise. I have not been seeing Entertainment rate available at IHG hotels I checked lately. I’ll have to try it out if I can find the rate.

  • Dave March 14, 2011

    I lost my Platinum Status thanks to this so called ‘sweet’ dilemma promotion! Normally I achieve Platinum status based on 60,000 points accrued per year, not staying 50 nights. I did not anticipate that during the promotion, I would have 10 hotel stays and tens of thousands of points that WOULDNT COUNT towards my Platinum Status. Now, I was dropped to Gold Member because I lost at least 50,000 points + 10 nights off what would count towards Platinum. I screwed myself picking the free nights because I lost my top tier status and double points under Platinum status until I can reach 50 stays or 60,000 points. And I also found out I have to use the 5 free hotel nights I earned under the promotion by May 31, about 6 months after the promotion ended. Succcccks!

  • Nick March 14, 2011

    @Dave, have you tried emailing CS to see if you can retro-actively switch the earning? Used optimally 5 free nights is about $2000 worth, not to be sniffed at.

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  • جمال June 23, 2011

    ماهي شروط الاشتراك

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