Many business travelers rate Intercontinental Hotel Group’s Priority Club rewards program as the best in actually gaining you free stays. Plus the points in your account never expire, which is a huge advantage compared to many competing programs.
The Priority Club marketers are taking this up a notch, however, by taking direct aim at Hilton’s recent point devaluation in its Hhonors program, which has been widely criticized, even though Hilton has tried hard to plead their case that they deserve the bump. IHG has launched a new Luckiest Losers promotion that encourages customers to sign up and turn their pain into gain. “”If you’re a Hilton HHonors member, you may have noticed that your account is feeling about 20% lighter. At Priority Club Rewards, we value your loyalty and we’d like to make up for what you’ve lost with Hilton.”
What that means is they’re giving away 1,000 Priority Club points just for you filling out the form with both your Hhonors number and your Priority Club number, along with the points you have in the Hilton Program. I did that and got instant confirmation of the additional points. Nice.
That’s not all though. The top 20,000 “losers” will get a 20% bonus based on the balance of points in the competitors program. Then the “luckiest loser”—the entrant who had the most Hhonors points to lose, will get an amazing 2 million Priority Club points. That’s enough to take care of many long vacations at top resorts.
Like the airlines, Hilton, Starwood, and Marriott have all engaged in these point devaluations at one time or another, suddenly making a hotel that used to require 20,000 points now require 40,000, or taking a ho-hum hotel that required 40,000 and putting it in with the nicer resort hotels requiring 50,000. In Hilton’s case, it’s happening in a period where actual paid rates and occupancy have dropped dramatically. This effectively makes all points worth less, points that some members spent 100 or more loyal nights accumulating, so it’s interesting to see the Intercontinental group tapping into that anger and frustration to highlight their differences.
You’re not hurting for choices with this Priority Club program though: brands range from the top-end Intercontinental down to to Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Select, Candlewood Suites, and more.
[Photo by Tim Leffel, author of Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune]