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Two ‘not so special’ Priority Club promotions from Amex

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There is something distinctly weird about Amex Platinum and their special promotions. For every one they send you that might possibly be useful, there is one that is just fundamentally odd or poor value or downright deceptive.

If you have Amex Platinum, you probably received an email last week along these lines:

Enjoy 3 nights for the price of 2 at selected European InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.

Simply book between 13 June 2013 and 23 February 2014 for stays from and including 18 June 2013 to 28 February 2014.

REGISTER NOW – bookings must be made five days in advance. Escape to Europe and get even more out of your journey with your Platinum Card by your side. Offer is based on stays of a minimum and maximum of three consecutive nights based on two adults sharing standard twin/double room, on a room only basis.

On the face of it, this could be a decent deal. (Let’s ignore for a minute the fact that I have 3 nights already booked at the IC Dusseldorf and the promotion is not valid for those dates!)

However, it turns out that this is the same 3-for-2 deal that Priority Club has been offering for years, covering InterContinental plus Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Indigo and Holiday Inn Express!

I wrote about the Priority Club 3-4-2 it back in August 2012 in this article. If you click on the link in that post for the 3-for-2 deal, it shows you the same deals as with the Amex promo. And you don’t need to pay or even have an Amex Platinum to take part, neither do you need to register with Amex!

Meanwhile, over at Amex Network, the American Express special offers site, they are promoting two further Priority Club deals. These offer 2 nights for the price of 1, or 35% off.

Guess what? These are also the same deals that Priority Club has been running forever, and which can also be booked via the links in the post I wrote in August.

It is all rather odd. Amex has basically hijacked promotions that has been running for years and is implying that it is a unique deal for cardholders, when it isn’t anything of the sort! That isn’t to say that these are bad deals per se – they aren’t, I have booked them myself in the past – but they are open to anyone.

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Comments (19)

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  • Matt says:

    When I tried to register for the 2-1 nights offer I got the message that I couldn’t as the campaign was by invitation only…

    • Rob says:

      Even better! In that case, just use the link in the old post on Priority Club that I linked to above

      • Matt says:

        I mean your link doesn’t work either – seems only certain card holders are allowed to enrol in that offer

  • Dave says:

    I was a bit surprised when it asked me to register for an offer that’s open to all.
    I wonder if it’s IHG or Amex behind this. IHG may have marketed it as an exclusive offer for Amex cardholders just so that Amex would effectively give them either cheap or free publicity. On the other hand Amex may have known it was a public offer and just wanted to make it look like the card had benefits where none existed.

    • John says:

      Yeah the offers have really dried up, there aren’t any foursquare any more (and I missed all of them due to only getting my Amex at the end of April).

  • nicola green says:

    I also got the Melia offer and called the day i received the promo card in the mail and was able to get a Saturday night in November at the ME in London. So I was very pleased with this offer.

    • Rob says:

      It’s a shame the London one has no pool, or I would have booked it and then taken the kids down for a swim each day!

      Need to decide whether to do an overnight in Spain or use it in London. Annoyingly I have 4 hotel rooms in London booked for next weekend for a family event but this promo does not kick in until 2 days later!

  • Morgan says:

    The Melia deal is superb! Was able to get a Saturday night in September booked at the ME London – conveniently on my missus 30th birthday. Looks a great hotel and colleagues who have visited the Radio bar report back that it’s a unique place to visit.

  • avstar says:

    any chance of getting a headsup on the melia offer? I need to book a ME hotel…

  • Max says:

    Thanks Raffles.
    I’m due to cancel my Plat. card next week. Can I book the Melia hotel and take advantage of the free night promo or will they ask for my card during check-in?

    • Rob says:

      VERY good question! When do you want to use it? If next month, I would delay cancellation for the sake of £35 / month. Further out, you never know.

      Gut feeling is that you will be OK once it is booked and in the Melia system. And what can the hotel do if you don’t have your card? After all, Amex booked it so you clearly have one …!

      (EDIT – see also the comment below which implies you WILL need it)

      • Max says:

        I’ll book it anyway. Will call the Melia Hotel the day before, stating I don’t have my Plat. Card. Only if they agree, I shall proceed with check-in the following day.

        • Rob says:

          If you can get a booking ref you might be able to see the booking online anyway, so you’d see it was still intact. And by the time you stay, we will know from other people what the score is.

  • KenJohn says:

    Manage to get a booking at the Melia in London. It was for a Sunday night so I guess it was not going to be dificult. No conditions attached (like extra expenditure) other than there being availability.

    The Amex agent was commenting that this appears to be a popular offer with calls coming in.

    I believe the valid AMEX card may be required at the time of the stay. I understand from the Amex agent that the hotel will charge for the room with a credit being given by Amex. Sounds like an Amex arrangement rather than a hotel arrangement. If cancellation is within 24 hour of arrival then there will be charge for the room with no credit given by Amex.

    • Rob says:

      Not sure that can be right, because you will have incidental spend on your bill. How will Amex know the room rate, unless they are doing manual credits? The rules specifically do not mention you paying and Amex paying you back, which could be especially awkward if your bill was generated before they credit you.

  • TheOne says:

    I would suggest you need the AMEX card when you arrive to cover the cost of incidentals, otherwise we could book for anyone if we didn’t intend to use the offer. The room will probably get booked and some kind of arrangement for the ME to know it’s a complimentary night.

    Gonna book mine over the coming days

    • Rob says:

      You could book for a 3rd party anyway and lend them your Plat card and PIN for ID and incidentals. Issue is which countries require photo ID to be shown at check in.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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