Priority Club’s Big Facebook Lie: You Will Not Get This Suite on Points

Priority Club posted on their Facebook page that it’s so tough to give up your incredible Priority Club points, except when redemption options are this good


  • Priority Club does not offer any way to redeem you points for suites. Only standard rooms are offered by the program. That’s in stark contrast to Starwood, Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton which all make premium rooms available for additional points.
  • Priority Club does not honor elite upgrades on points stays. They’re also the only major chain to officially treat award stays as less rewarding than paid stays. Your ‘reward’ for all of your loyalty is the opportunity to redeem for the lowest category room and to be stuck there. In practice the Intercontinental Times Sqaure does upgrade Royal Ambassador members on points stays although they provide a letter saying benefits don’t apply on award stays.

Priority Club’s False Facebook Promise. You will not get this room when you redeem your points.

Nonetheless, hoarding is a very bad idea. Priority Club’s devaluation this year shows that points don’t get more valuable in the future than they are today.

(HT: Priority Club Insider)

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. You are correct the IC TS upgraded me too, and I got the same letter. However when I raided the mini bar late one night, they never charged me. But I really would like the opportunity to use my over 1 million PC points for a premium redemption. HELLO Priority Club WAKE UP!

  2. Sorry Jeff but I disagree with part of your analysis. Yes, you should not hoard and points devalue. Totally agree. However, I do not see where they refer to you getting a suite. The caption says a hotel like this and not a room like this. Therefore, the picture could be of a lobby or a lounge. I do to see any promises about the type of room.

  3. “Lie” seems quite strong. The caption shows a “hotel like this one”. They don’t promise this exact room, or even this exact hotel.
    Otherwise I agree with you. And I don’t approve of chicanery like this.

  4. “Which makes the photo highly misleading, no?”

    No. Perhaps if the photo didn’t have text on it, but it does.

  5. The clear implication is you’re getting what’s in the picture when you redeem your points there.

    They don’t show a picture of THE BUILDING to say you get to redeem for that hotel.

    They show a picture of a room — that you are not permitted to redeem your points for.

    The marketing folks at Priority Club should realize thats a problem — not so much with the Facebook picture, but with the program itself.

  6. No, the clear implication is exactly what it says, that you can redeem for “a free night at a hotel like this one.” No more, no less.

  7. If you acknowledge it as a ‘trick’ and describe it as ‘highly misleading’ then I’m not sure how big a criticism it can be that you’re making of the post title. 😉

  8. Wow, everyone needs to chill out. Overreacting to the title a little, aren’t we? Besides, its clear they are lying liars.

  9. Priority Club’s devaluation is not really that bad, unless you like staying at crappy Holiday Inns.

  10. Gary, in response to this false advertisement (as I see it) can you please do a quick summary of the ins/outs of requesting upgraded room stays with the competition?

  11. I agree it is misleading, if they showed a wonderful lobby where you can get a room in a hotel like that, then absolutely… but it is clear they are showing a room (look how high up the view is, it’s not a lobby). You might end up in a room that is the size of a closet in that hotel and that is the best you can get no matter your status.

    Other point about status, I stayed at the IC SGN and after talking to the manager she agreed we should have some benefits even though on a free night. My point was look, I pay my hard earned money to earn these free nights and then when I use them, all of a sudden “THEN” you don’t value my loyalty, only when I’m giving you money. So why be loyal if you only value me when you’re getting something from me. She agreed and gave us the club lounge use for 3 days.

  12. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Brugge Belgium last summer on points. On the reservation I requested an upper floor room overlooking the Burg Square. On check in, before we could ask, they told us we had been upgraded to a two room suite, with yes, that premium view over the square. The room we reserved retails at $330, the one we were given goes for over $500. But then, since I have the Chase Priority card, I am Platinum with Priority. 😀

    Of course, that CP is an older hotel, nothing like the photo above, and only 3 stories high at that. In a small tourist town, not a Metropolis. I agree the above ad is intentionally misleading….

  13. Priority Club is one part smoke and one part mirrors it’s fallen way down on my list of programs
    And even Royal Ambassador it’s one silver lining has made qualifying confusing by making it tougher to qualify without notifying the membership in advance in anyway not that there ever was any published standards for qualifications

    I’ll echo everyone else that not honoring loyalty and recognition of your loyal customers for award nights is like plunging a knife in their back for their loyalty
    Even many of their hotels realize this whom refuse to cooperate with this pathetic stingy rule and do upgrade defiantly whic I applaud
    The rule serves little purpose except to make sure any bright customer rethinks their loyalty by staying elsewhere
    Greed and stupidity at its finest moment

  14. We stayed at the Inercontinental in Chicago on points a year or two ago for one night. I am Platinum as a result of having a the credit card. Our friends who paid cash were in a standard room.

    We were upgraded to a 1500 sq foot suite with a bedroom, living room and dining room combo and a sitting room.

    It was however, a Saturday night, which is probably a slower night at that hotel.

  15. Totally agree, Gary – misleading advertising here. Suggest others do as I have done and report it on FB 😉

    Even with the devaluation, at least Hilton still give you elite benefits on points stays!

  16. Platinum status (easily obtained with the Priority Club credit card bonus) is supposed to get you the best room available upgrade upon arrival. I have had some upgrades in Europe to some very nice rooms with kitchens, the rooms being way larger than I need. But then, I don’t travel for the purpose of enjoying hotels.

  17. @Gary Steiger – Yes, in theory – although IME most are pretty poor in giving upgrades. However the key bit that is misleading is that IHG don’t honour either PC Plat or Ambassador/RA status on points stays, only on revenue stays – hence their Facebook picture is completely misleading.

  18. I agree that this is mis-leading. I’d probably not call it a “big lie”, but I clicked on the headline, so it worked.
    I do think that PriorityClub offers a lot more than is on paper:
    I’ve been Platinum for a few years, Ambassador via promo this year, and have received room upgrades on paid and free nights regularly. These were always REAL upgrades to suites or much nicer rooms (not like SPG, from standard room to same room on SPG floor). The REAL upgrades were a lot more frequent than with SPG, Marriott or Hilton.
    I realize it’s sometimes up to the property and I’m not “entitled” to them, but the more I enjoy the pleasant surprise.

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