Priority Club offering a 40% bonus on the purchase of points — worth it?

Priority Club is offering a 40% bonus on the purchase of points through October 15, 2012. You can purchase a maximum of 50,000 points per calendar year, and points post within 24-48 hours. It’s also worth noting that the transaction is processed by points.com, so this wouldn’t qualify as hotel spend on your credit card (if you have one that earns bonus points for hotel spend). The normal cost to purchase points is as follows:

1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
11,000 – 25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000 points
26,000 – 50,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points

As you can see the rate gets progressively lower the more points you purchase. If you purchase 50,000 points you’d pay a total of $575, and you’d get 70,000 Priority Club points with the 40% bonus. That comes out to ~0.82 cents per point.

You can do better than that any day of the week just by purchasing and refunding cash & points bookings, which will allow you to essentially purchase points for 0.7 cents each.

That being said, there’s one key difference — points purchased through the above promotion qualify towards status with Priority Club, while points purchased through the cash & points “trick” don’t. Earning 60,000 Priority Club points gets you Platinum status, which may be worthwhile for some. Platinum status gets you a 50% points bonus, room upgrades based on availability (just don’t expect much), and late check-out subject to availability. Unfortunately you don’t technically get room upgrades at InterContinental hotels even though they belong to Priority Club, as they have their own Ambassador loyalty program.

So is it worth purchasing the points just so you can get close to Platinum status? Probably not. If you were planning on otherwise purchasing points through the cash & points trick for 0.7 cents, is it worth paying the ~0.12 cents per point premium to get Platinum status? Probably.

And keep in mind that purchasing points with Priority Club can make sense for hotel redemptions. InterContinental hotels go for 30,000-50,000 points per night, so at 0.7 cents per point that’s $210-350 worth of points, which is in many cases substantially cheaper than the best available rate at properties.

Comments

  1. Thanks, Lucky. Now I understand why their site keeps crashing when my friend tries to transfer me his last 3K points. They would rather sell me the same points for the ridiculous price. Nope, I won’t be buying and rewarding that behavior!!!

  2. Ben,
    If you plan on staying at an InterContinental hotel, then you should join the Ambassador program since it gives you a free weekend night. Am I missing something?

  3. Since an easy way for most to get and keep PC Platinum status is through their co-branded Chase card, I wouldn’t buy miles at this price.

  4. @ Singapore Flyer — Absolutely, especially if you have a stay over a weekend, which more than pays for the cost of membership with the BOGO certificate.

  5. United Airlines is also having a 40% off sale going on right now for purchasing miles. You have to go through their promotion page link though… and oddly enough they don’t link to that via their public site. (Annoying.)

  6. I signed up for ambassador at check-in last week at the Manila Intercon. While the price has gone up to $200 annually, they gave me an instant upgrade to a junior suite, which over several nights more than justified the $200, plus the BOGO and other benefits.

  7. Priority club platinium status is as easy getting as posting a letter and it frankly get you nothing!!!!yeah room upgrade means parking view instead of street view.

  8. On the contrary…

    I recently got Platinum and have stayed 3 times since getting it. I was upgraded to suites every single time.

    Perhaps I got lucky

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *