Priority Club rebranding their loyalty program — now IHG Rewards Club!

Priority Club has just announced a rebranding of their loyalty program:

This year, IHG celebrates 10 years of hosting travelers in its family of hotels around the world. We are one of the world’s largest hotel companies and have been rewarding our guests through the world’s first and largest loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards.

In this anniversary year, we have improved and renamed our loyalty program to IHG® Rewards Club. It will offer members the opportunity to earn and enjoy great new benefits as they stay across our 4,600 hotels in nearly 100 countries.

More important than any name change are the benefits. And there is actually some meat along with this change, and not just lipstick. Some of the new changes include the following:

  • Free internet worldwide for all members in 2014, starting with Gold Elite and Platinum Elite members in July 2013. This is HUGE, given that previously not even Platinum members received free internet as a published benefit.
  • Fast track to elite status when you stay in more than two of their brands. I’m not sure what exactly this means, though I suspect we’ll hear more on this soon.
  • Reward nights now count towards elite membership status. If this means elite members get elite benefits on award stays as well, this is HUGE and long overdue. It was always a slap in the face to be an elite member redeeming points and be put in a base room simply because it was a reward booking.
  • Nights earned beyond what’s needed for elite membership status will count towards Platinum status the next year. This is a nice benefit, though I sure hope most people aren’t earning Priority Club Platinum status by staying 50 nights. If you’re in the US, just having their credit card gives it to you for free.

Anyway, these are some exciting changes, and unfortunately the only details available as of now. It’ll be interesting to see what else they have in store for us. My hope is that they also merge the Priority Club Rewards and Ambassador program into one, as it’s lame to have a separate loyalty program for InterContinental hotels, and not honor elite benefits from the rest of the chain there.

(Tip of the hat to Jeff)

Comments

  1. Free internet for Gold and Plat somewhat offsets the recent point devaluation, but what I would really like to see is free breakfast like Hilton gives Gold and Plats and SPG gives Plats.

  2. I think he has gone from being a top to being a bottom. I guess all the smoking meat flukes has gone to his head!

  3. Well lets keep in mind how hard is it now to achieve platinium (out of US),bonus, elite and promotion points do not count anymore,so the number of elite will sharply drop,beside IHG has been inconsistant all the way and i dont trust any improvement,its just a name change with empty promisses.

  4. ‘HUGE’ is a rather superlative word for the fact that internet if free and award stays count. PC was a crappy program, this lipstick won’t make it prettier. Oink!

  5. Good news I guess. +1 on the ambassador and platinum merge or maybe just add another level.
    I’m disappointed in the fast track idea as it may dilute the top tier. I wish they would have a way to carry over some points and not just nights.

    Maybe I’ll finally be able to book the one bedroom suite at my favorite Candlewood on points 🙂

  6. IF AND ONLY IF…”this means elite members get elite benefits on award stays as well, this is HUGE”

  7. Meh Much ado about nothing. 🙁

    Free internet means they just catch up to HHonors Gold, but without the free breakfast. Even the European discount chain Ibis gives free internet to everyone.

    News about status qualification is irrelevant. The $49 PC card gives you instant Plat and a yearly free night anywhere, so no need to even think about qualifying. Really nothing valuable here at all. Mere advertising hype to distract us from the recent devaluation.

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