Very quietly, and without bothering to promote it or even advertise it as a card benefit, Priority Club has added free status as a benefit to its credit cards.
As a reminder, there are two different Priority Club credit cards, both issued by Barclaycard and both Visa branded.
The generic Priority Club card has no annual fee and comes with a sign-up bonus of 10,000 Priority Club points (good for 2,000 Avios). It earns 1 point per £1 spent.
The Priority Club Black card has a £99 annual fee but earns 2 points per £1 spent (4 per £1 for foreign spend). It also offers a voucher for a free hotel night (worth up to £250 if spent wisely) when you spend £10,000. The sign-up bonus is usually 20,000 points but if you look under Credit Cards Update above you will see an ‘open to all’ link offering 30,000 and a theoretically targetted link offering 40,000.
(If you want to know more about the cards, click on Priority Club under ‘Categories’ below and it will bring up all of the recent posts on PC and the card.)
Anyway … my wifes latest card statement contained this news:
Priority Club Rewards are delighted to offer you guaranteed Gold Elite status for as long as you hold a Priority Club Rewards Visa Card. Not only will you earn points every time you spend on the card but you can enjoy all the privileges of elite status every time you check into an IHG hotel. If you hold or upgrade to the Priority Club Rewards Black Visa we’ll increase your status to Platinum.
Now this is not a bad deal, especially on the Black card. Let’s be clear – Priority Club Platinum status is the least rewarding of all of the hotel chains top status levels, with no guaranteed benefits! You will, however, usually find most hotels make an effort to do something for you. This can range from a good upgrade and free club access, to something as mundane as a free Kit-Kat (Holiday Inn Sheffield, I’m talking about you!).
PC Platinum is also fairly easy to earn anyway, requiring just 60,000 points. You can usually earn this from a modest number of stays given the large number of bonus point promotions Priority Club offers (see this post and this post for examples).
That said, lifetime Priority Club Platinum simply for paying £99 a year for the credit card is not a bad deal. It may even encourage me to retain my wifes card, although if you do pay the £99 fee then you might as well make the effort to put £10,000 through the card as well to get the free night voucher.