Preferred Hotels Group is not a hotel chain. It is, effectively, a marketing consortium made up of a number of independent hotels from around the world.
Whilst it is one of the British Airways Executive Club hotel partners, I have never covered it before. I thought it was time to correct that.
There are over 650 hotels represented from 85 countries. The three brands used are ‘Preferred’, ‘Sterling’ and ‘Summit’ although almost all of the hotels trade under their historic names. The phrase ‘A member of Preferred Hotels / Sterling Hotels / Summit Hotels’ is usually tacked on the end. Confusingly, some of the hotels are also members of other loyalty schemes!
In London, for example, the group is represented by ME London (also part of Melia Rewards), The Bentley, The Stafford, The Lanesborough (currently closed, was also part of SPG), Lancaster London, The Beaumont, The Mandeville and The Draycott Hotel amongst others.
Preferred Hotels has its own reward scheme called iPrefer. You can see full details here. The good news is that you can double-dip by taking both iPrefer points and Avios or other airline miles.
iPrefer is basically a cashback scheme. For every $1 you spend, exclusive of tax, you earn 1 point. For every 2,500 points you earn, you receive a $50 gift certificate.
There are two problems here:
You need to spend $2,500 post-tax before you receive anything back
You can only use the vouchers against another stay at a Preferred Hotels Group property. Hotels may accept the vouchers against meals or spa treatments if you are not a guest but this is purely at their discretion.
Even though the benefits are pretty feeble, you might as well join for two reasons:
All iPrefer members receive free internet just for signing up
You can, as I mentioned above, double-dip with earning miles so you are not sacrificing anything
Earning Avios with Preferred Hotels
You earn Avios points simply by handing over your British Airways Executive Club card at check in. The standard rate is 500 Avios per stay.
Until 31 March 2016 (yes, 2016), Preferred is offering double Avios points. That means 1,000 points per stay.
You need to stay for at least two nights to receive double Avios. A number of hotels are also not participating. Further details can be found on the Preferred Hotels site – click on ‘Miles & Points’ and scroll down to ‘Double Miles’.
I am currently updating my master list of all hotel brands which offer Avios points and will publish it soon.