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.