Posted by Ric Garrido

Priority Club Rewards has posted new category assignments at 4,500+ InterContinental Hotels Group properties worldwide. Supposedly 30% of hotels went down. Those hotels apparently are not in my neighborhood and much of California has seen a deleterious devaluation of Priority Club points with numerous hotels rising by 40% in reward night cost.

I primarily travel the coastal corridor of California along Highways 1 and 101 in central coast and north coast California, and Interstate 405 and 5 in southern California. Looks to me like any IHG hotel within 10 miles of the Pacific Ocean coast went up in points required for a reward night. Holiday Inn Express and Holiday Inn hotels in California seem to be the biggest devaluation with many hotels rising from 25,000 points to 35,000 points per reward night. 

I am thankful I had the opportunity to clean out my Priority Club points balance this week on great value hotel reward stays at InterContinental and Crowne Plaza hotels for 2013 stays.

San Francisco, California area is one of the Unluckiest Losers

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This “Lost Nights” chart is one I recreated in HHonor of the Priority Club Luckiest Loser promotional campaign launched by Priority Club in February 2010 in response to Hilton HHonors January 2010 hotel category reassignment and points devaluation.

The new Priority Club Rewards hotel reward nights are based on a nine category hotel assignment system from 10,000 to 50,000 points per night.

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New Priority Club Reward Nights system effective Jan 18, 2013.

  • Category 1 = 10,000 points
  • Category 2 = 15,000 points
  • Category 3 = 20,000 points
  • Category 4 = 25,000 points
  • Category 5 = 30,000 points
  • Category 6 = 35,000 points
  • Category 7 = 40,000 points
  • Category 8 = 45,000 points
  • Category 9 = 50,000 points

The former system priced reward nights by hotel brand and just one year ago today on Jan 18, 2012 Priority Club Rewards added tiers to many of the brands that previously had been one price point regardless of hotel location or average daily rate.

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Priority Club Reward Nights with brand tiers launched one year ago today on Jan 18, 2012.

Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express

  • 10,000
  • 15,000
  • 20,000
  • 25,000

Candlewood Suites

  • 15,000
  • 20,000

Staybridge Suites

  • 20,000
  • 25,000

Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo

  • 25,000
  • 35,000

Holiday Inn Club Vacations

  • 27,500

InterContinental Hotels

  • 30,000
  • 40,000
  • 50,000

In 2011 and up to Jan. 18, 2012 the Priority Club Reward Nights chart looked like this:

image

Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express

  • 10,000
  • 15,000
  • 20,000
  • 25,000

Candlewood Suites

  • 15,000
  • 20,000

Staybridge Suites

  • 20,000
  • 25,000

Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo

  • 25,000
  • 35,000

Holiday Inn Club Vacations

  • 27,500

InterContinental Hotels

  • 30,000
  • 40,000
  • 50,000

In February 2010 Priority Club ran a major global promotion called “The Luckiest Loser” aimed at Hilton HHonors points devaluation when the loyalty program restructured award charts and the reassignment of hotels resulted in hotels worldwide increasing by 20% in reward cost.

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This chart was created by Priority Club illustrating the devaluation of Hilton HHonors points in January 2010 when Hilton introduced category 7 award nights and reassigned nearly every hotel in the global chain to a higher reward night category costing more points.

In fairness to Priority Club’s new Reward Nights categories, I did find a hotel in California that actually dropped in points cost:

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Crowne Plaza Concord dropped from 25,000 to 20,000 points.

And one hotel I recommend as a good deal at the 10,000 points category 1 level is The Lodge at Running Y Ranch Klamath Falls, Oregon for a summer getaway destination and launch point for Crater Lake National Park visits.

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The Lodge at Running Y Ranch Loyalty Traveler review July 23, 2012.

Crater Lake National Park Rim Drive and Dip – LT post July 24, 2012.

I am happy I had the opportunity to redeem all my Priority Club points three days ago when several hotels that were 35,000 and 40,000 points were available for less than 24 hours Monday to Tuesday morning at 15,000 points. Apparently those reward rates were a website mistake rate glitch.

LoyaltyLobby blog re-posted a list of the former Priority Club Reward Nights rates on his blog today. You can compare rates on Priority Club’s site to LoyaltyLobby’s list to see Priority Club Reward Night rate increases in effect as of today.

The good news out of all this is Priority Club members can book hotel stays at the former Priority Club Reward Nights cost through March 18, 2013 by calling Priority Club and requesting the lower reward points rate.

The Reward Night chart above is effective January 18, 2013. If the hotel that you originally planned to book now requires more points, simply call the Priority Club Service Center to reserve your Reward Night and ask for the original point price. This offer is valid through March 18, 2013.

Priority Club Reward Nights

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

13 Responses

  1. LOL! Walnut Creek, my hometown. Good to know I can get a cheap redemption if I should ever need to stay 4 miles from home, I guess…?

    Comment by Jennifer S on January 18th, 2013 at 11:05 am
  2. I think redemptions back home never provided much value with IHG. But there are (now) some great values in international redemptions.

    Just made a post http://www.tjacobi.com/13232755/priority_clubs_new_award_chart_the_good_the_bad_the_ugly.php

    Cheers from Northern CA!

  3. Funny you mentioned the Central CA 101 corridor. I like taking weekend wine trips to the Paso Robles and Santa Ynez regions and often like to stay in the Holidays Inn Express’ in Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles. All of them were 25,000 and now are 30k, 35k, and 30k a night respectively. Considering you can usually find prices in the low $100′s for these places, it hardly ever made sense to pay with points in the first place and now it makes even less sense.

    This whole devaluation will definitely weigh on my mind in the future for where I stay. I used to think PC points were not a bad deal considering my travel patterns but now they they pretty much collectively have been devalued 15%+, I’ll start looking around at other options. It doesn’t help either that their PointsBreaks lists have been pretty boring lately.

  4. Your blog puts Crater Lake NP on my To-Do-list!
    I booked 2 nights @Keywest for the Spring Break weekend when the Crowne Plaza was 15k/nt several days ago. Now I am so worried that what if they do not honor my booking at checkin? I don’t have a backup plan at that expensive town. Do you think my worries are necessary?

  5. Ahh yes, and my personal go-to when visiting dear old mom:

    HI Express Santa Cruz. Opened May 2009, on point break for 3 months at 5,000, then 15,000. last January jumped to 25,000, now going to 35,000. C’est la guerre…

  6. At least there’s SOME good news! CP Jerusalem went down to 20k, also I think a few European properties went down a bit for HIXs. I also like that IC Moorea went down though we aren’t going there until 2015 so I hope that rate holds. Surprised the IC Papeete didn’t also go down.

  7. [...] days and in some cases, the devaluations were huge, but there were some bright spots.  Once again, Loyalty Traveler has an excellent blog about it.  Another hotel point specialist blogger, Loyalty Lobby has a great [...]

  8. Ack – thanks for the heads up. As I feared, 20% devaluation for both the HIX San Luis Obispo and HIX Avila Beach. Both of these hotels are currently selling summer weekend nights for $171 non-ref, the normal rates approach $200/nt so a good place to use points. I am going to book the summer travel now.

  9. @Jen – Do not worry about the Key West hotel not honoring the reservation at the reduced reward rate.

    Priority Club would have canceled the mistake rate bookings by now if they had planned to not honor them.

    I start my first 15,000 points per night 3-night stay next week at a Crowne Plaza that is once again 35,000 points per night.

    Comment by Ric Garrido on January 19th, 2013 at 7:25 am
  10. In Australia, almost every hotel has leapt at the chance to go to the new maximum (which in most cases means a change from 25K to 35K). Hey, what’s a 40% devaluation between friends?

    Personally, I cancelled my pending reservations with IHG and cancelled my Priority Club credit card as well. It just isn’t competitive, especially given the quality of many of the hotels.

  11. Thanks for an announcement, will take into account.

  12. [...] California is Big Loser in new Priority Club Rewards (Jan 18, 2013). [...]

  13. [...] California is Big Loser in new Priority Club Rewards (Jan 18, 2013). [...]

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