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Why I churned the Priority Club Black Visa card

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‘Hypocrite!’  I hear you cry.  ‘That Raffles bloke wrote a long post last week saying that he rarely churns cards, and now here he is admitting to it’!

Well, not quite.  What I said is that I had never applied for the same card more than twice.  And this is my only second application for the Priority Club (now IHG Rewards Club) Black card.

Why?

Because they made me do it!

Priority Club Black

Let me explain.  I was looking at my personal targets for IHG’s ‘The Big Win’ promotion.  (You can check your own personal targets here by logging in.)

My original plan was to ignore it completely as I had no stays lined up.  However, I ended up staying at InterContinental LeGrand in Paris two weeks ago (review to follow) which changed the dynamics a bit.

Firstly, one of my ‘Big Win’ targets is 20,000 points for booking a room with the Priority Club Black Visa card.

In addition, I knew that this special link (EDIT, deleted as now dead) which offers a whopping 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points for signing up, is still working.  Every few weeks a reader uses the link – which is on our ‘Credit Card Updates’ page – and confirms they got the points.  The latest report was only a fortnight ago.  Note, though, that the link is currently not working as of Friday night as Barclays is having technical issues with the Priority Club Rewards card site.

Thirdly, I found myself with a large chunk of expenditure coming up in a fairly short period of time.  This includes a £2,000 council tax bill which – with certain Visa and MasterCards, but not all – my council mistakenly treats as debit cards and so processes without a fee.  I have a good chance of achieving the £10,000 of spending required to trigger my free night voucher relatively quickly.

(The free night voucher is valid for a year and is good for a reward night at any IHG property.  This is worth up to 50,000 IHG Rewards Club points if used at a top-end InterContinental, which is definitely where I will use it.)

I was therefore looking at receiving a total of 60,000 IHG Rewards Club points (40k from the application and 20k from booking one stay via ‘The Big Win’ with the card) which I would value at £300.  I would also value the free night for spending £10,000 at £250 as that is what I would otherwise pay at a good InterContinental.

In total, I make that £550 of value for £99 spent.

Barclays does not have an official policy on churning.  It is 18 months since I cancelled my original Priority Club Black and two years since I originally applied.  That seems to be good enough for Barclays.

Other reports from people who have reapplied for the Barclays-run Hilton HHonors card imply that a year from cancellation seems to be enough.

I have no moral qualms about churning this one:

IHG personally targeted me via ‘The Big Win’ with the additional 20,000 points for taking it out

My £99 card fee is non-refundable

I will definitely spend £10,000 on the card in relatively short order

Barclays will do OK out of me here.

My full review of the Priority Club (IHG Rewards Club) Black Visa is here if you want to find out more.


IHG Rewards Club update – November 2020:

Get bonus points: IHG’s current promotion is ‘2x’, which runs until 15th December 2020. You can learn more in our article here. You can register here using promo code 44480.

New to IHG Rewards Club?  Read our two-part overview of IHG Rewards Club here and here and our article on expiry rules here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards Club points, you can buy them here.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (40)

  • Neil says:

    Hmm…. I’m also waiting for the 20,000 get it to win bonus from applying for the black card in jan. Sounds like it’s not going to post automatically and I’ll have to contact IHG. I’m always a little reluctant to do this after hearing horror stories about people having their accounts closed for using bonus codes they weren’t targeted for.

  • Tom says:

    Frustratingly I got declined the credit card, but I expected to be, for legitimate reasons.

    The reason it was so frustrating is that my bonus for the card was 20k, but the big win bonus is 84k, so that card is effectively worth 104k points!

    Do you think it’s worth me appealing to IHG’s kind nature to see if they will giive me a different goal?
    I’ve got two more mattress runs for the end of April, which there’s no point in me completing if I can’t get the card.

    • Alan says:

      Absolutely worth contacting them. I’d try the Global Care team via Twitter. I think for this particular task it should have been one of the options but you should only be required to complete (for example) 7 out of 8 tasks to get the Big Win – they seem to have done this for some people but not for many others. If you’ve applied in good faith then they should either just give you the points or give you a different target. Good luck and let us know what they say!

      • Waribai says:

        Yes, mine said complete 6 to get the big win but they are now insisting that I get the credit card too!

      • Tom says:

        Will give it a go – what’s the twitter username, is it just @IHG ?

        • Rob says:

          IHGCare or IHG_Care or similar

          • Tom says:

            Thanks… No joy unfortunately. This is the reply…

            “Unfortunately, we are unable to adjust the offers provided on your Big Win 2014 offers. We suggest that you contact Barclay directly for further assistance regarding your Visa application. ”

            I won’t contact Barclays as I know the reason why they declined me.
            I’ll now go and cancel the nights I had booked to complete he promo.

            Never mind.

          • Alan says:

            Sorry to hear that Tom, very frustrating – their loss though as you say given the nights you’re now going to cancel.

  • Makeitmyhome says:

    Hi Raffles,

    There would always be some people who will criticize you in everything you do… You simply can’t keep everyone happy.

    With this blog of yours, you have made me look at credit cards/airline loyalty programs with respect. Previously, I used to ignore these schemes thinking I am never going to accumulate enough points to redeem something worthwhile. I am sure thousands (if not millions) would have benefited in the same way.

    Keep doing the good work.

  • tje says:

    Hey
    Not entirely related, but does anyone have a screenshot saved of the site showing platinum membership as a benefit for the black card. I’m platinum through to next year off the back of legitimate stays, however now that the card has disappeared from the IHG and Barclays sites, I envisage an argument next year should I not hit platinum and require the status via the card. I’d like to have a PDF or screen shot on file to chase them with.

    • Rob says:

      It was never on the Barclays sites. There is a promotional IHG video knocking around (the link probably still works) which promotes the Platinum card as a benefit.

  • tje says:

    Sorry, when I said barclays site, I meant their white labeled ‘online-card.co.uk’ which has the microsites for all their branded cards. Might check archive.org/waybackmachine and see if there’s anything there.

  • Adam says:

    Link through from Big Win site to apply for this has been down for days…anyone else getting this? Time running out to apply, receive and book a stay before end-April!

    • Duncan Anderson says:

      I’ve been trying since Saturday and still no joy. Looks like Barclaycard’s poor service extends to new applicants too

      • Alan says:

        I’ve seen this mentioned on FT too. Apparently they can still take applications by phone, but that would mean missing out on the 40k sign up bonus!