If you earn Priority Club points wisely and spend them efficiently, the program can be a tremendously valuable.
Let’s talk first about the best way to spend Priority Club points.
PointBreaks: How to Redeem Points Like a Bandit
Every few months, Priority Club updates a list of hotel locations that are called PointBreaks. The list features a limited number of properties and offers heavily discounted point redemption rates for a limited time. The room is only 5,000 points per night.
If you’re selective about your property, this can be one of the most lucrative hotel promotions.
A couple of years ago, our family spent three nights in the Crowne Plaza in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The hotel room rates are over $250 per night. I was happy to use 15,000 points and save $750 in hotels.
Tip: Even though the current list of PointBreaks locations appears to be valid until October 15th, 2012, each location is subject to capacity limitations. That means once they sell out their designated number of rooms for that hotel, it will be removed from the list. The early bird gets the worm.
If you have any travels coming up between now and October 15th, 2012, you should see if your destination has a PointsBreak availability.
How to Supercharge Your Priority Club Points Balance
1. Take advantage of multiple promotions when staying at a Priority Club location.
Back in July, we had a family reunion in Enid, Oklahoma. My preference was to stay in the Hampton Inn because I have gold status with Hilton. However, the rest of our immediate family was staying at the Holiday Inn. The two nights were going to cost us more than we spent for a week in Kuala Lumpur. That didn’t set well. However, I decided to take advantage of a topcashback.com cash back offer of 16%. In addition, I signed up for the promotion to get $75 back when you stay two weekend nights at a Holiday Inn. At least that reduced the $250 bill to an actual cost of around $135.
But when you have a website called Help Me Travel Cheap, there is still work to be done.
I’d heard that Priority Club allows you to stack promotions. You’re more likely to get multiple point promotions if you sign up for them a day or two before arriving. So the day before we arrived, I signed up for a whole slew of promotional offers.
I found a list of current promotional offers on this page. I honestly don’t remember how many I signed up for, but if it looked like I was eligible, I signed up.
Here’s the end result for my two night stay:
- Regular earning = 2,353. That’s how many points I would have earned if I didn’t do anything else. This is the base earning of 10x per dollar.
- Platinum Bonus – 1,176. Matched from my Hilton Gold status which now comes with the Hilton Reserve card.
- Elite Member Next Stay Bonus = 3,000
- New Member Bonus = 1,500
- 20,000 Points or 4,000 miles bonus = 1,000
- Anniversary Bonus Offer = 1,000
- Points for Booking Online = 250
- Next Stay Bonus = 1,500
- 20,000 Points or 4,000 Miles = 1,000
- Weekend Stay Bonus = 5,000
- Total Points Earned on a two night stay = 17,779
That’s especially sweet because if I use those points at a PointBreaks location, I can turn the points earned into 3 free hotel nights.
2. Get the Priority Club credit card.
This should be a no brainer for readers of this blog. The best current offer is 80,000 Priority Club points.
3. Transfer Ultimate Rewards.
Typically, I wouldn’t suggest transferring Ultimate Rewards to Priority Club, as that typically doesn’t offer a very good redemption value for your points. However, if there is an expensive PointBreaks location you’ve been eyeing up, then it’s hard to go wrong transferring 5,000 UR points to Priority Club.
4. Buy the miles.
There are a few ways to do this.
- You can buy points directly from Priority Club. The cost is $13.50 per 1,000 points (up to 10,000 points, and then the price drops to $12.50 per 1,000). Thus, 5,000 miles would cost $67.50. Not bad for one night in a hotel.
- You can buy points from Ultimate Rewards to transfer to Priority Club.
- Make a booking with cash and points. (You buy points in the process.) If you end up canceling your reservation, you keep the points. For $70, you can get 10,000 points.