Looking at Priority Club’s new rates for award redemptions

As I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, Priority Club announced they would be changing their award costs at many hotels as of January 18, 2012, which was yesterday. Keep in mind that Priority Club will actually let you book under the old award rates for the next two months by calling the service center. So while you’ll see the new rates online, the old rates are still available by phone.

While they’re still changing some of the prices as we speak, the changes I’ve seen thus far are largely nonsensical, and that’s putting it nicely. I’m actually wondering if it’s opposite day and they got all the coding wrong.

For example, the InterContinental Warsaw went from 30,000 points per night to 40,000 points per night, despite regularly having rates around $100-150USD per night.

Conversely, the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora went from 40,000 points per night to 30,000 points per night, despite having rates of $700USD+ per night, and consistently being one of the most expensive InterContinental hotels.

Perhaps the strangest direct comparison of all is that the InterContinental Hong Kong remained at 40,000 points, while the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong went up in price to 50,000 points, despite the fact that the rates are always a lot lower.

On one hand I have to assume it’s an error, though there’s one way that this can be justified. Keep in mind how loyalty programs have to pay for reward nights. If occupancy isn’t high, they pay the hotel just slightly above the marginal cost. If, on the other hand, the hotel is full, they have to pay close to the flexible rate. So maybe their pricing was driven more by the occupancy level of hotels as opposed to the rates. Either way, this really doesn’t make all that much sense.

The same is true in Germany, where the InterContinental Berchtesgaden went from 40,000 points per night to 30,000 points per night, while the InterContinental Frankfurt went from 30,000 points to 40,000 points per night, despite the former having consistently higher rates.

Color me puzzled!

Comments

  1. Appreciate the overview/comparison – Had a 40k booking for Berchtesgaden which I have just changed to a 30k one !

  2. Thanks for the heads up Lucky! I’ve just rebooked a 7 night stay at the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora for a saving of 70K points.

  3. If you’re headed to Paris, be sure to book the old rates on the phone for the Paris Opera Grands Blvds at 15k. It’s gone up to 25. Pity…it was one of the best bargains in PC!

  4. I don’t understand it either, but I hope Berchtesgaden stays at 30K…I’d love to return to Germany and see more of the mountains and free is my kind of price 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  5. Although it is a bit odd, if they leave the rates like this, it appears that redemption rates have actually gotten lower for some of the better/more expensive properties. This looks especially nice for you with your new love for Berchtesgaden. As with any change, we will have to wait until they are done messing with it and see how things really end up.

  6. The bora bora rooms were for old staff quarters, not the overwater bungalows, so 30k was probably too much for those rooms anyway. Who wants to go all the way to bora bora and then stay on an island? And why are there no pictures of the staff quarters rooms anywhere on their website? Anyway, I’m showing 50k now as well so maybe the ‘error’ was fixed.

  7. Most people seem to have positive experiences with upgrading to overwater room when booking villa. Especially if your Ambasador. If RA then even better. Plus I believe after booking points stay the staff will email you prices to upgrade to overwater. You can pay it, negotiate with them on upgrade, or take your chances that your status will get you an upgrade.

  8. @ Angela — Though you could previously pay to upgrade to an overwater bungalow, and the rates were pretty reasonable.

  9. I’m on the line with PC Rewards and they are refusing to give me the old rate.

    Is there a special number that I need to call?

  10. Oops – spoke too soon!

    I had a little over 127,000 points – planned to book for 8 nights at 15,000/night.

    They gave me the room, but, as I understand it, charged me the bumped up price of 25,000 points per night and credited my account the additional 80,000 points necessary to cover it.

    Thoroughly confused, but I have my room for the 8 nights I wanted it.

    Thanks for the heads up to call PC service desk!

    As much as I love the staff there, 25,000 points per night is a HORRIBLE rate for this hotel, as it can booked for $115/night! Even at 15,000 points/night, it’s a questionable deal, but I have the points and would prefer to save the $900+.

  11. Thank you so much for this post! We have a trip planned to Tahiti later this year and were able to save 10K per night!

    Awesome!

  12. If it helps anyone, they won’t let you book the old cash and points reward levels over the phone, only straight up points. I called to book Holiday Inn Paris Notre Dame (now 25,000 points), and they said I could do the old 15,000 points but not 10,000 plus $30.

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