**UPDATE: The Priority Club credit card is now the IHG Rewards Club credit card. Check out our new review on the new card here.**
A couple years ago, InterContinental Hotels and Chase revamped the Priority Club credit card (which is a Visa Signature card). How do the current rewards and benefits stack up against the competition in 2013? How much is the 80,000 points offer really worth and is it still around?
Disclosure: I do no advertise this card. This is just my honest opinion about it. All info and opinions about this card are presented without warranty.
Which hotels participate?
InterContinental Hotel Group is a mega-parent company and most people don’t realize how many different hotel chains they actually own.
Aside from those properties operating under the InterContinental name, there’s Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites – and the most popular – Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.
For each dollar spent, you get the following…
- 5 points at all InterContinental Hotels (listed above)
- 2 points on gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
- 1 point on all other purchases
Each year you keep the Priority Club Visa card, you will receive a certificate for a free night’s stay – this is emailed 6 to 8 weeks after the anniversary of your enrollment date.
Of course, the above Priority Club Rewards really mean nothing without knowing how much the points are actually worth! Their value can vary greatly depending on how you spend them, but here are a few examples to give you an idea:
Priority Club PointBreaks – These are the best value; only 5,000 points per night. Too good to be true? Sort of. At any given time there’s usually only a few dozen locations participating, which are usually (but not always) smaller cities. For example, in my home state of California, the only participating hotels at the time of this review were in Merced, Fresno, Santa Nella, and Vacaville.
Holiday Inn Express – The “value destinations” are usually 10,000 points per night. If the price of the room would have normally cost you $100 with tax, then this is an okay deal because you will be getting around 1 cent per point. However if the “value destination” only would cost you $60 or $70 in cash, then it is less lucrative. For the Holiday Inn Express “special destinations” it appears 20,000 points can be expected.
Holiday Inn – It appears once can typically expect the “value destination” to run 15,000 points and the “special destination” to be 25,000 points.
Crowne Plaza – At 25,000 points per night, this has the potential to be a good value in expensive cities.
InterContinental Hotels – 30,000 points per night, which like the Crown Plaza, could offer a good ROI in pricier locations (where the cash rate would be more than $300/night).
Retail Gift Cards – You can also cash out your Priority Club credit card points for partner gift cards from major retailers at a rate of 20,000 for $50 or 38,000 for $100. That equates out to be almost a quarter-percent rebate on your regular spending… so obviously your best bet is to use them for hotel stays.
Then there’s a 10% points rebate. With the Priority Club Rewards card, you get 10% of the points you spend rebated back to your account. So if you spent 25,000 points, you would get 2,500 points credited back to your account (up to 100k points back per year). When you think about it, that basically means that with this credit card your Priority Club points will be worth 10% more than normal.
The annual fee is $49.
- As long as you’re a Priority Club Rewards Visa cardholder, you qualify for Gold Elite Status in the Priority Club program.
- There’s no foreign transaction fee
- You get the Visa Signature benefits.
The Priority Club credit card has been around for many years. In the past it wasn’t all that enticing, but the new program is definitely a huge improvement. However the big downside is that the value of your points may average as low as 1/4 to 3/4 of a cent each, depending on how you redeem them.
That’s why the Priority Club 80,000 points credit card offer they were running earlier in 2013 wasn’t even that good, since the dollar value of it may be as little as $200 depending on how you use the points. And the current offer last I checked was no longer 80,000 points, but only 60,000 points… that’s worth as little as $150 in my book, which is hardly a compelling new account signup offer.
So this card only makes sense if used strategically and you frequently stay at InterContinental hotels. But even then, you may be better off with a different card so consider all your choices.
Written or last updated October 26, 2013