Today, as you’ve probably noticed, is January 1st. Happy New Year to you!
It is also the day that Priority Club (the loyalty scheme for Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc) makes a massive change to its loyalty scheme.
As I posted two weeks ago, Priority Club has changed their terms and conditions to show that, as of today, only base points earned in hotels will count towards the 60,000 point requirement for Platinum. No elite bonus points, no promotional points – and that is where 90% of my earnings came from.
The only exceptions are credit card earnings and specific bonus point promotions run by the hotels directly.
This is a massive, massive change, which will probably cut the number of Platinum members by over 50%. And yet there has been no official notification to members yet!
Thousands of people will be staying in Priority Club hotels tonight in the expectation that their stay will get them a lot nearer Platinum renewal than they think. Hundreds of thousands will have made non-refundable bookings for the next few months for the same reason. It is totally inexcusable.
What is even worse is that Priority Club has mailed a lot of members with targetted promotions for the first quarter. I will recap these in a couple of days, but they are typically ‘stay 4 nights and get 10,000 bonus points’. These points have always counted for status in the past and many bookings will have been made for this quarter assuming the same. A lot of people are in for a big surprise.
(In fact, some people have already had a big surprise. Priority Club has bungled its IT implementation of these new rules and they seem to have kicked in from December 29th. Anyone who was desperate who has tried to top up their status in the last couple of days is now trapped in email limbo with the call centre.)
Of course, you cannot contact PC to complain about this, because their Philippines contact centre is pretty useless. Of course, when you have 60 MILLION members – as Priority Club does – the logistics can easily overwhelm you. But a quick email to everyone would not have been a strain.
I am also an InterContinental Ambassador member, and I haven’t heard anything via that channel either. Truly pathetic.
(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)