Over Easter, I will be answering a number of the reader questions that were submitted via this article. If you didn’t take part this time, don’t worry as I will be re-running this feature in the Summer. Feel free to expand on or critique my answer using the Comments section below!
Today’s question – the last in this series – is from Jason who asked:
“I need 25k Priority Club points in the next 3 months …. I have platinum status in 2013. If I take out their credit card with the link posted [on the ‘Credit Cards Update’ page] and get 40k will the platinum status run for 2014? or what the best way to get the points required.”
Priority Club is the loyalty scheme for Holiday Inn, HI Express, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental, amongst others. The InterContinental in Cannes, photo above, is one of their hotels I have used in recent months.
The first point to flag is why you need 25,000 points in three months? Status in Priority Club runs on a calendar year, so you actually have until December to get the points you need. (Or perhaps you meant you want them for a redemption you are planning?)
Priority Club changed their rules this year on earning status. Now, when you stay in a hotel, only base points count for status. Status bonuses or promotional points do NOT count.
This led to a massive shift in how you achieve status. Historically, given their generous promotions, you could get Platinum with 4-5 nights. Now, you would need to spend $4,000 to earn the 60,000 base points needed for Platinum. The number of Plats is set to drop hugely next year.
However, credit card points DO count for status. Even sign-up bonuses. Jason is therefore correct when he thinks that getting the Priority Club credit card is the way forward.
The Priority Club Black Visa will actually solve all his problems in one go. It has a £99 fee but, if you use the link on the ‘Credit Cards Update‘ page, you get 40,000 bonus points for signing up. These count for status and will get Jason over the 60,000 point threshold to remain Platinum.
However, the PC Black Visa has a secret perk – one which is not mentioned on its website. When you get the credit card, you get Priority Club Platinum status for as long as you keep the credit card.
You now have the crazy situation where – if you are a UK resident (there is also a US credit card) – you get Platinum status by:
a) spending $4,000 in their hotels, or
b) spending £99 on the annual fee for their credit card
I know which I prefer!
The people I feel sorry for are those who don’t live in the UK or USA, who have no choice but to try to spend $4,000 in order to retain their status. The good news for Jason is that, as a UK resident, the credit card can help him save his Platinum status.