Priority Club Cracking Down on How They Calculated Points for Elite Status

Loyalty Lobby writes that a change to the terms and conditions of Priority Club related to how status will be earned starting January 1 was posted to the chain’s Chinese website.

Previously, Gold status was earned after accumulating 20,000 points in a calendar year and Platinum status earned after accumulating 60,000 points in a year.

The new system will distinguish between status points and non-status points.

So purchased points, transferred points, and ‘promotional’ points will no longer count towards status. It is not clear, however, how ‘promotional’ points differ from “partner points from qualifying activities” which will continue to count towards status. One possibility is that all of the stackable promotions that can be earned for a single stay may not count towards status (I’ve earned as many as 40,000 points in one rather inexpensive stay before).

This may thin the ranks of elites in the Priority Club program. Which can be seen as a devalation — plenty of people who would have previously earned platinum no longer will. Or it could be seen as a positive for folks who earn status the hard way (maybe there will be more rooms available for upgrade or the status will be seen as more valuable when not everyone has it).

Or perhaps they will even begin to make the status worth having. Currently most Priority Club hotels offer free internet, but internet is not a benefit of top tier status. Neither is breakfast. Neither is late checkout.

And while Platinum status affords a 50% bonus on points earned from in-hotel spend, and an upgrade benefit, the upgrade benefit is perhaps the most limiting of any major hotel chain (emphasis mine):

Hotel Room Upgrades for Platinum Members: Platinum level members will be offered a complimentary upgrade, as determined by the hotel, which might include rooms on higher floors, corner rooms, newly renovated rooms, or rooms with preferred views. The upgrade will be offered at time of check-in, based on availability, and will only apply to the member’s personal guest room. The hotel is not required to upgrade members to suites or specialty rooms. Upgrade benefit will not apply to rooms booked as a Reward Night reservation.

The upgrade benefit is entirely at the discretion of the hotel, does not apply on reward nights, and it would entirely be within the terms of the program to call a higher floor the Platinum upgrade.

As easy as it’s been to earn status that’s understandable. Now that they’re apparently going to limit the points that actually count towards status, I think it’s more than reasonable to expect them to get serious about the benefits the program offers to elite members.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’ve found CPs and HIs to be quite good with giving very nice upgrades to myself as a Platinum.

  2. For $49 annually, the Chase branded credit card earns an annual free night anywhere in the system, 10% off award redemptions, and Platinum elite status.

  3. @HansGolden – yeah, me too, no real complaints other than the lack of formality. My only complaint is no elite or Ambassador recognition on points stays, but a small price to pay i suppose for 4,500/night Points Breaks.

  4. It would be nice to see some better benefits, not holding my breath but perhaps this will be coming.

    As with HHonors, it’s now way easier and cheaper to have status with a simple credit card.

  5. @HansGolden very much a YMMV bu certainly it’s not something promised by the program.
    @Delta Points — great, but the benefits are still mediocre. I won’t be sad to lose Platinum if I lose Royal Ambassador status

  6. well it’s fair to earn status by status points earned. However, on the other hand I think PC needs to do better with the benefits for the Elite members, I do not see any major difference on benefits provided to Platinum members compared to Club members

  7. Carl, i haven’t seen 4,500/night Points Breaks? always 5K no?

    i hope they make a policy of benefits on award stays, particularly for IC’s, it’s good they’ve introduced the 15 points per $ spend for IC’s in North America, hopefully follow with benefits on award stays, the biggest downfall to the Ambassador/PC program IMHO. I applaud all efforts by Gary et al to keep reminding them

  8. @Tim O’Brien

    You get 10% of redeemed points back if you are a credit card holder. Hence 4,500 points.

  9. “>it’s good they’ve introduced the 15 points per $ spend for IC’s in North America”- I thought ALL IC’s only gae 2k points per STAY? Anyone? Where can I find that it says 15 pts per $ at ICs in North America?

  10. I just earned a flat 2000 points for an IC stay last week.

    This makes PC less attractive to me and makes Hilton more attractive but it does make me more interested in the PC credit card and also continuing my ambassador membership.

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