This afternoon I spoke with Tony Glover, a Senior Vice President at Chase who has responsibility for several of their co-branded credit card relationships.
He was sharing the news that Chase just launched a new suite of benefits for the Priority Club card that are pretty unique. This of course is the loyalty program for Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, and Holiday Inn hotels.
- Annual free night certificate. These are valid for a year and are good at all Intercontinental Hotels properties except their handful of all-inclusives. I specifically asked, it’ll work at the Intercontinental Thalasso on Bora Bora and other top-end properties.
- 10% rebate on Reward Night redemptions, up to 100,000 points rebated per year.
- No foreign currency transaction fee.
They’re offering 30,000 points with first purchase. I’ve seen better signup offers in the past, but I haven’t yet found better for this new card.
The card earns 5 points per dollar at Intercontinental Hotel Group properties, so worthwhile for spend when staying with them (or as I am wont to do, worthwhile for large meeting spend on the card).
It offers 2 points per dollar on gas, groceries, and dining – there’s better leverage for this kind of targeted spend elsewhere.
All other spend earns only one mile per dollar, I’d certainly rather earn an airline mile or more likely one Starwood point than one Priority Club point. So while it’s a great card to have, it’s not top of the wallet for most spend.
But there’s no annual fee the first year, and afterward the $49 fee is certainly paid for in the value of the annual free night certificate.
And once you have the card, it becomes your go-to for foreign spend, previously folks would use a Capital One card perhaps because they didn’t tack on the foreign currency conversion fee – it’s nice to be able to spend abroad and still earn ‘real’ points albeit at a modest rate.
Plus the 10% rebate on points redemptions is a nice benefit for Priority Club regulars.
They also throw in Gold status for as long as you have the card, but that’s not really a meaningful benefit.
One point per dollar means it takes $30,000 or more in spend for a night or more at an Intecontinental hotel property. It takes perhaps $15,000 spend for a night at a Holiday Inn, or even more. In contrast, $12,000 in spend on the Starwood American Express will get you a ‘Category 5’ Westin or Sheraton.
This isn’t the card for most spend, and there’s no threshold bonuses or other extra encouragements. But it’s a good niche player that’ll be useful to many folks who engage the Priority Club program and for international spend.
The card is of course worthwhile just for the annual free night and signup points bonus. The only reason to consider holding off is in hopes that Chase will bring back a 100,000 mile bonus for the British Airways car if you don’t already have one or in hopes that there’ll finally be a Hyatt-branded Chase card…