Old Jan 4, 2015, 9:40 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: SPN Lifer
Program Overview

This thread is designed to give an overview of Priority Club (PC) (now known as One Rewards), Ambassador and Royal Ambassador membership to Priority Club newcomers. Please read this thread carefully before posting – your question may be answered here. And if it isn’t, we’ll add it after you’ve asked it for the benefit of others!

The key point to understand is that Priority Club POINTS can be earned and spent at all brands in the portfolio. However, the main benefits of Priority Club STATUS are only valid at Holiday Inn, HI Express, Staybridge, Indigo, Crowne Plaza etc – not InterContinental. InterContinental has its own status programme called Ambassador, which uniquely amongst hotel chains cannot be earned – it must be bought. Ambassadors may be upgraded at IC’s discretion to Royal Ambassador, the highest level.


Section 1 – Priority Club and earning and spending PC points

The full T&C's of PC membership can be found here: http://www.ihg.com/hotels/us/en/glob...care/member-tc

PC membership is free. You can sign up via www.priorityclub.com, or – if you try to make a booking online without being a member – you will prompted to sign up during the booking process. You will receive 1,000 bonus points if you sign up during the booking process, according to the PC T&C's.

There are four levels of status:

There are changes underway in 2015 / 2016, see http://www.ihg.com/hotels/gb/en/glob...copper_4.13.15 for details from mid 2015.

Additional changes were made in 2022.
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/intercontinental-hotels-ihg-one-rewards-intercontinental-ambassador/2065906-ihg-program-update-march-2022-a.html


Club
is the basic level. The only benefits are late check-out (at hotel discretion) and a free newspaper (ditto). So, basically, nothing!

Silver
is achieved after 10 nights.

Gold
is achieved after 40 nights or 60,000 points.
You can also buy Gold membership for $50 through the PC website although the benefits are so weak that it is not seen as worthwhile. Key benefits here are priority check-in, which basically means your paperwork is done in advance – there is no separate hotel line to join - and 10% bonus base points.
Amex Centurion members in some countries get PC Gold as a perk of the package.

Platinum
is the mid tier level, after 40 nights or 60,000 points.
Platinum members should receive a room upgrade (except at HI Express properties which don't have premium rooms) as well as 50% bonus base points and 72-hour guaranteed availability. Note that the 72-hour guaranteed room pledge is limited to one room per member, the hotel can impose black-outs and you likely to pay full rack rate – you cannot book a reward night this way.

Diamond (Spire though 2023)
is the highest level, after 70 nights or 120,000 points.
The new tier get all benefits of the Platinum tier and 100% bonus on base points as well as the member could nomine a member for Platinum status or received an additional 25000 points.
Spire Member currently receive a free night at new Kimpton Hotel (Link to thread with information about this benefit). Spire Members also receive early check is as of December 2017

Please note that for Intercontinental Hotels, there is a separate programm called Ambassador with two levels. It has its own thread, which you could finde here http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/inter...formation.html
Priorityclub Status does not get you anything at an Intercontinental Hotel

The benefits of PC Platinum are not as good as Starwood Platinum, Marriott Platinum, Hyatt Diamond or Hilton Diamond. You should not expect a suite upgrade, club access or free breakfast (although you will occasionally get these) and you may have to push to get anything at all. The trade off is that PC Platinum is substantially easier to earn than any other hotel top tier status due to the number of points promotions PC runs.


As a reminder – PC Gold or Platinum benefits (apart from the 72-hour guaranteed availability and bonus base points) do NOT apply at InterContinental hotels, although you may be able to secure a minor upgrade or later check-out. The Ambassador and Royal Ambassador programmes for IC guests are explained later in this thread.


Common questions about Priority Club membership and PC points:

How long does status last?
PC status is based on calendar year.
When you are promoted, you retain your new status for the rest of the current year and until 31st December of the following year. PC has a ‘soft landing’ system so a Platinum who does not requalify drops to Gold for a year before dropping back to Club.

Do my ‘earned points’ reset when I hit Gold?
No.
When you hit Gold, you are promoted immediately and then only need another 40,000 points in that calendar year to hit Platinum. If you do not hit Platinum in the same year as achieving Gold, you will need to earn the full 60,000 points in the following year to go from Gold to Platinum.

Do I get free breakfast or Club access?
No.
No level of PC membership offers a guaranteed free breakfast or Club access although Plats will occasionally get them on a discretionary hotel-by-hotel basis. Members living in EMEA can redeem PC points for vouchers for a free breakfast (4,000 points per person per day) at any EMEA non-InterContinental branded property - these must be ordered through the website and you need to allow time for delivery.

How many points do I earn per stay?
10 points per US$1, except for Candlewood and Staybridge which offer 5 per $1. This is officially based on the pre-tax amount and some services charged to your bill are excluded – see the small print.

Intercontinental has given a flat 2,000 base points per stay in the past, bnut is now also within the general earning structure.

Do PC points expire?
Yes, from May 2016 IHG will expire all points for IHG Rewards Club Members if they have not earned or redeemed any points at all in the previous 12 months.

Do I get points for incidental spend on reward stays?
Yes
There might be some exception if the hotel charges on behalf of third parties (e.g. parking, spa)

Do I get stay credit on reward stays?
Yes

Do all rates qualify for points and stay credit?
No
This is one of the main problems with the programme. Whilst there are some obvious exceptions (Expedia bookings, tour operator bookings, flight crew / employee rates etc) there is an additional rule that hotels in North, South and Central America do not earn points at rates rates which are 30% lower than the ‘Best Available Rate’ for that night. Some hotels impose this, some don’t. Some hotels outside of these regions also try to disqualify discounted rates for points, even if the rate was booked through the PC website and was publicly available. If you don’t get points, you can usually get the decision reversed by e-mailing Priority Club and reminding them that this rule does not actually exist. Note that hotels in Asia Pacific DO give points for 'locally negotiated rates' according to the T&C's.

If you book a stay using ‘two nights for the price of one’ offers then it is PC policy to give points and stay credit for one night – again, if you don’t get this then e-mail PC and they will correct it.

You cannot earn points from two different hotels on the same night - one will always post with 0 points. Bear this in mind if planning a mattress run.

Do I still earn points if I book through a cashback website such as quidco.com or fatwallet?
Yes
because these bookings are completed through the PC website and not through a third-party website such as Expedia.

Will I receive points and a qualifying night if I book a room using my account for someone else?
Officially not -
You have to stay and pay yourself (ie no group bookings) to get the points. In reality, though, you should get the points if you have booked the room using your account. To increase your chances, add the name of whoever is using the room as an 'additional guest' when making the reservation, and in the comments section add 'Second guest: XXX XXXX, will arrive first'.

Will I receive points on multiple rooms?
Yes in the US and Canada, except InterContinental-branded hotels and only for 10 or less rooms. Your PC number must be on ALL rooms, or alternatively the charges from the others rooms must be transferred to your bill before payment. Anywhere else in the world you will only receive the points for your own room no matter how many rooms you have booked under your account.

Do all points count towards status?
No
unfortunately this is no longer the case. In the past, all points (base points, bonus points, credit card sign-up, credit card spending, points purchased, points transferred via Amex Membership Rewards or from another PC member) have counted towards status. Nowadays, only the points earned through the stay will count for the status, i.e. the points for room rate, incidentals, elite status, but not longer bonus points. There is only one exception, if you buy a hotel package including bonus points - these hotel package bonus points will count towards status.

Can I transfer points to another member?
Yes,
but you need to pay $5 per 1,000 points. You need to download the form from the PC website and fax it to them. Transferred points count towards status progression for the recipient, but count against status progression for the transferror. It has been posted on FT that members who live in the Asia-Pacific region can transfer points for free to another Asia-Pacific based member by calling the service centre - I cannot verify this myself.

Can I purchase points online?
Yes.
There are usually a couple of promotions each year where you can receive 10% or more bonus points when purchasing points. Purchased points usually did not count towards status anymore.

Can I collect airline miles instead of points?
Yes,
you can choose to take 500 miles per stay in most airline schemes instead of points. However ... this is not recommended for regular stayers because if you choose 'airline miles' as your earnings preference, you will not be allowed to sign up for the majority of the PC bonus points promotions. You are usually better off collecting points and then, if you want miles, transferring them to your preferred airline at 10,000 PC points = 2,000 airline miles.

How many points do I need for a free night?
Rates vary. InterContinental redemptions are usually 50,000 points (40k or 30k at some places). Crowne Plaza and Indigo are always 35k / 25k, Candlewood always 15k, Staybridge always 20k. Holiday Inn and HI Express are 15k (very occasionally 10k) but are 25k in peak cities like London, Paris, New York etc. In these cities you will therefore clearly get better value from a 25k Crowne Plaza stay than a 25k HI Express stay!

Are nights ever discounted?
PC has a small number of ‘points break’ rewards each quarter, at which a small number of hotels globally offer rooms at 5,000 points per night. A new list is released quarterly and hotels disappear when their quota is full, often within days. Locations vary but don’t expect IC London to appear any time soon!

What room categories are available for redemption?
In general, InterContinental properties only make the lowest room category available for reward nights. HI, CP, Indigo etc hotels often make a larger range of rooms available, occasionally including suites, at no additional points cost, but this is strictly done on a property-by-property basis.

Are there blackout nights?
PC has a ‘no blackout’ policy. However, this is NOT the same as the Hilton ‘if we have a room, its yours’ policy. All it means is that a hotel is obliged to make at least 1 room per night available for redemption, and when its gone, its gone. In general, though, availability is good and you would be very unlucky not to find any rooms available in a major gateway city on any particular night.

Does PC open up extra reward availability on request for Platinum members?
No. There have been occasions where FT’ers have contacted PC and they have persuaded a hotel to open up extra rooms, but this is not common and certainly would not happen for anyone below Platinum level.

Can I cancel a reward night, and when do I get the points back?
You can usually cancel online until the day before arrival. Points are deposited back into your account immediately - if you cancel a booking, log out and log in again, they will be back and available for use.

Are there other redemption options?
Yes.
Interesting options include vouchers for breakfast or dinner at hotels for 4,000 or 7,500 points respectively (not valid at IC’s, only available to members living and redeeming in EMEA), store gift vouchers (choice varies by country of residence) and American Express ‘anyhotel, anywhere’ gift cards that can be used to pay for ANY hotel in the world that takes Amex. Whilst not the greatest value, the Amex gift cards can be useful if you have a lot of points and there is no suitable PC property in your vacation destination. You can also transfer points to airline miles at a ratio for most programmes of 10,000 points = 2,000 miles.

Does PC comp status?
Generally not, although it never does any harm to ask if you are Platinum in another programme and can show that you have a number of PC stays booked. There is no point asking for a Gold comp given the minimal benefits of the Gold tier and the fact that being Gold does not make it any easier to achieve Platinum.

Print Wikipost

IHG Rewards Club Programm Information

Old Apr 27, 2008, 6:01 am
  #1  
Moderator: InterContinental Hotels and Germany
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This newly created thread is dedicated to discussion and information about the IHG Rewards Club Programm. It was taken from the former master thread about the programm, which was once created by Raffles, which has been edited. Since we think, that everybody should have the ability to add new information and discuss this topic with a dedicated thread, this one was created.

The Wiki at the top of the thread can be edited by flyertalker who has 90 post and is registered on flyertalker for more than 90 days.

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moderator of the IHG Forum

Last edited by FLYGVA; Jan 4, 2015 at 10:23 am
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Old Jan 4, 2015, 10:27 am
  #2  
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The previous discussion of Priority Club / IHG Rewards Club and Ambassador Programm could be found here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/inter...er-thread.html

This thread is now closed.

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Old May 21, 2015, 10:25 pm
  #3  
 
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New VIP Level?

So is there a New Level for Priority Club and what does it do?
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Old May 22, 2015, 8:38 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by gkbiiii
So is there a New Level for Priority Club and what does it do?
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/inter...ards-club.html
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Old Jan 14, 2018, 10:32 pm
  #5  
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The new benefit for Spire Members (free night at Kimpton Hotels was added to the WiKi
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Old Jan 16, 2018, 4:17 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by FLYGVA
The new benefit for Spire Members (free night at Kimpton Hotels was added to the WiKi
​​​​​​
This does not at all seem to be an IHG Spire benefit, but something unique to Inner Circle Kimpton people who happen to be Spires as well at the same time.
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Old Apr 14, 2022, 4:12 pm
  #7  
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When do my points expire?

I don't have status. I understand that my points are supposed to expire after 12 months of inactivity.

I have some points from having an IHG credit card many moons ago. Somehow these points have not expired.

They were about to expire so, some time in late 2019 (or very early 2020?) I booked a week at an IHG in Fiji (some nights using points) for a trip in November 2020. We all know how that turned out.

So after it was cancelled, I assume that the redeposit reset the expiration. And I assume that they were extended during covid. Anyway, my points are still there.

On the website no expiration date is given.

When do my points expire? I'm staying at an IHG in July. Am I good or do I need to do something to extend before then?
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Old Apr 14, 2022, 11:52 pm
  #8  
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If you have no loyalty status, no account activity for 12 months, and there are no exceptional extensions such as for a pandemic, your points will expire.
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Old Apr 15, 2022, 12:19 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
I don't have status. I understand that my points are supposed to expire after 12 months of inactivity.

I have some points from having an IHG credit card many moons ago. Somehow these points have not expired.

They were about to expire so, some time in late 2019 (or very early 2020?) I booked a week at an IHG in Fiji (some nights using points) for a trip in November 2020. We all know how that turned out.

So after it was cancelled, I assume that the redeposit reset the expiration. And I assume that they were extended during covid. Anyway, my points are still there.

On the website no expiration date is given.

When do my points expire? I'm staying at an IHG in July. Am I good or do I need to do something to extend before then?
Sounds like your CC issuer hasn’t informed IHG that you are no longer an CC holder and the CC flag is still on your file. Has your status dropped down to base level?
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Old Apr 16, 2022, 3:20 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by 336
If you have no loyalty status, no account activity for 12 months, and there are no exceptional extensions such as for a pandemic, your points will expire.
I have not done anything since my 2020 reservation was cancelled and my points are still there a year and a half later.

Originally Posted by chrism20
Sounds like your CC issuer hasn’t informed IHG that you are no longer an CC holder and the CC flag is still on your file. Has your status dropped down to base level?
Oh that might be it. My status is Club, which appears to be no status. My credit card has been closed for at least 5 years.

When I called, the guy told me that my points would expire after 12 months of inactivity. I asked him for an exact date and he said Dec 31 2022.
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Old May 13, 2022, 8:07 pm
  #11  
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I have updated the Wiki to include a link to the changes from March 2022, and changed the elite levels from three to four, with the new qualification levels.

I understand one can earn 1,000 points if making an IHG booking when signing up for One Rewards. Are there other ways to get points when signing up, such as a referral?
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Old Dec 31, 2022, 8:17 am
  #12  
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Give that the new IHG One Rewads Program is not in place for half a year, a new thread was created, which tries to cover the aspets of the elite benefits and the milestone bonus as well. The information provied by SPN Lifer was copied in the wiki of the new thread.

The new thread is here.

I am going to close this thread

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