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Why I churned the Priority Club Black Visa card

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‘Hypocrite!’  I hear you cry.  ‘This guy 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.  This is my only second application for the Priority Club (now IHG Rewards Club) Black card.


Because they made me do it!

IHG Rewards Club

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 Le Grand 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 a special link which offers a whopping 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points for signing up was still working. 

Every few weeks a reader uses the link – which is on our ‘Credit Card Offers’ 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 One Rewards update – December 2022:

Get bonus points: You will earn bonus IHG One Rewards points on stays between 13th October 2022 and 31st December 2022. You can choose between 2,000 points for every two nights or 10,000 points for every four nights (not cumulative). Read this article for full details. You can register here.

New to IHG One Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.

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

You will receive a 100% bonus if you buy IHG One Rewards points by 29th December 2022.

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 Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (40)

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

  • davef says:

    You’ll have to chase IHG once you’ve booked it. Book it to win hasn’t tracked for anyone as far as I can tell.

    And nearly a month after they manually added the 20k points I’m still waiting for it to track in the Big Win for the 60k completion bonus to be awarded after completing the challenge. Poked IHG 3 times and ‘they’re dealing with it”.

    • James67 says:

      Are you calling or emailing them?

      • davef says:

        Email. It does eventually get results and I don’t have to put up with their ridiculous call centre.
        It’s so frustrating that they set up promotions they can’t track though. I had to chase the PCR Visa 30k points bonus and the platinum status upgrade as well.

        • James67 says:

          Thanks. I expect I will have to do so too. I think the card issue is with barclaycard rather than I HG though.

    • John says:

      This is the main reason that I have moved to Hilton this year, IHG couldn’t get a straightforward promo right last year.

      Frankly I think it’s irresponsible to encourage taking out a card for this sort of promo, even if everyone here is responsible with money :p

    • Fred says:

      Oh, I see… I had 14-15 bookings made by the PCR card, none of these have been tracked. I was even bothered to delete the stored card information in my account and newly created the same credit card entry choosing the “PCR credit card” option, but no chance. It’s only 2,000 pts for me, so cared less though…

  • James67 says:

    I think you will be ok but big win does say apply for the 30k card and use to book one night for 20k points. It does have an apply button inside the big win site for the 30k offer. If they have some way of tracking this then perhaps the 40k offer will not trigger big win. I too have just churned but used 30k link inside big win site to be on safe side. Temptation was too much to resist: £99 fee gets me platinum next year and 2 Saturday night stays using 2 branda and best flexible rate one night (total £110) will net me ca.100000 points. Will bank me 4 nights in CP Osaka or 10 nights HI Wembley for £210!

    • Alan says:

      I used the 40k link and IHG have confirmed my stay, paid for using that card, is eligible – just have to wait for the 20k to now post!

  • rob says:

    Waiting for big win points to post is very frustrating! It looks like I will complete it for the first time this time round

  • Flyoff says:

    Raffles your comment about the credit card fir your council tax is interesting. I have previously used 3Vs but these are being blocked with my council. I did try the fee based £50 cards from Tesco but these were wrongly identified as credit cards and a charge made so I processed them through NSI. I will try some other cards on the site.

    • Mark B says:

      It would be appreciated if you, Raffles or anyone else can post up what credit cards work without a fee for Council tax

      • Rob says:

        Depends entirely on your council. It is basically an error on the Kensington system. MBNA BMI goes through as a debit ( or did last year and 2012). Will try PC this year first.

        • Mark B says:

          Ok thanks, will try the MBNA cards (American Airlines and when it arrives Virgin Atlantic) with my Council

  • reds says:

    Got the card via the 40k link a few months ago. The 40k points posted quickly but was only given the gold tier. E-mailed IHG and the reply was ‘show us where on the application did we offer you the platinum tier!’.

    • Alan says:

      Try IHG care via Twitter – they eventually sorted out Plat status for me.

    • Rob says:

      It is on the IHG site! Complain again, they will do it.

  • Waribai says:

    Also have applied for similar reasons. The pin came through the post on Monday but haven’t received the card yet. Do you know how much longer it takes?

    Got a stay on 29th April checking out on 1st May. Hopefully, it counts!

    Yes, thought of trying it with the council tax and also for npower utilities in advance!

    • Brian says:

      Hope it counts for your sake, too, but you might have been better off booking two single nights!

    • Kipto says:

      I applied via the link a couple of weeks back and have received the card and spent on it to activate the 40000 points. The customer service centre is dreadful though. There is nothing in the paperwork that comes with the card to inform you that you will get 40000 points or platinum status which involves frustrating calls and being passed around the world. The points and platinum status have been promised within 6-8 weeks. I don’t know if others have experienced similar or whether there is a quicker way of getting the points as I need to book some stays. In addition if booking ihg hotels now when I am gold status if when I stay at a hotel four months away does the status upgrade at the time or is it when you book ?

      • John says:

        All barclaycard CS is equally awful but they do like handing out compensation

  • Bev says:

    I downgraded my black card as it was up for fee paying time, I was categorically told that I will never be allow a black card again once I down grade it.
    Seems very strange that they won’t want my money again in the future!
    Perhaps I should cancel it and reapply next year?

  • pazza2000 says:

    I had problems with my free night also, it unexpectedly expired a month before the date given. Took much contact to get it reinstated. I recommend going via their web experience team based for any issues that can’t be resolved at the front end.

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