Priority Club recently announced that it is offering a 40% bonus when you purchase points through their partner, Points.com, through October 15. Although most times buying points from airlines or hotels doesn’t make a lot of sense, I think Priority Club is a special case. First, their points tend to be relatively cheap. The price on this offer goes as low as 1.15 cents per point before the bonus; with that 40% bonus they are just a hair over 0.82 cents per point. Second, points purchased from Priority Club are usually elite qualifying, meaning you not only get a bunch of points but also an easy route to elite status. And that status can be used for requesting a status match or challenge at another hotel program as I’ve described in the past.
Before you jump on this offer, let me make two other things clear:
There is a cheaper way to get points. If you have a few thousand points to start with, you can try making an award reservation with Priority Club for a hotel that you can’t afford. You’ll be given the option to buy the extra points you need, up to 10,000 more points for $70. Then you can cancel that reservation and keep the points. Using this trick, which is always available, points will only cost 0.7 cents each compared the 0.82 cents price I calculated for this limited-time offer.
There is a cheaper way to get elite status. You can purchase Ambassador status from InterContinental Hotels for only $200. This is sort of a loyalty program within a program and includes mid-tier Gold status with Priority Club along with 5,000 bonus points at sign-up and a free 2-for-1 weekend stay certificate.
So why would you want to buy points through this promotion? Because if buying points gets you both a good price AND elite status, then that combination is a better deal. Buying 60,000 points at 0.7 cents each is $420. Buying Ambassador + Gold status is $200. That’s a total cost of $620.
How to maximize the current offer
If I don’t especially need Ambassador status (which is only good at InterContinental hotels), then I can buy 43,000 points through the current promotion, get a bonus 17,200 points, and pay only $494.50. That will get me the same 60,000 points I need, and they’ll be elite qualifying so I get Priority Club Platinum status good at Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and other Priority Club brands. Platinum status hasn’t been the most rewarding in my experience, but it’s still decent given how easy it is to earn.
Are 60,000 points worth roughly $500? I think they can be. You can book a night at a Holiday Inn for about 15,000 points, and that might be worth $100-$120 depending on the property. I used 50,000 points this summer to book two nights at the Venetian during a special promotion, and those nights would normally cost over $250 each. Finally, there are occasional “Points Breaks” promotions throughout the year where certain hotels, even the occasional InterContinental or Crowne Plaza, will cost only 5,000 points per night.
The bottom line is if you get a good deal on your redemption–and these offers are out there–then the Platinum elite status that comes with the points becomes effectively free. And now that you have top-tier status with one hotel program, you can try using it to get a match to another program you’re interested in even more. I earlier wrote a post all about how to match status between programs, and I earlier used this exact trick with Priority Club to get a challenge to Diamond status with Hyatt’s Gold Passport program.