- Level: Platinum Ambassador
- Expiration date: 01/13 (Platinum) 01/12 (Ambassador)
- Qualifying nights in 2011: 23
- Number of points: 225,987
- Points earned in 2011: 234,637
How did I earn these points? Obviously by resting my head for 23 nights at IHG properties in the first 4 months of 2011, but more importantly, by signing up for every possible Priority Club Promotion (check FrequentFlyerBonuses.com, PriorityClubInsider and FlyerTalk.com) This earned me 109,637 points. So how did I end up with 225,987 points? Well, I bought them. Last week, DiscoverAmerica.com had a promotion where you could buy PriorityClub points at a discount (compared to the official rate on PriorityClub.com) I bought 5 packages of 25,000 points for a total of 751,50USD (527,95EUR on Amex) I’ll keep these 125,000 point aside to spend on days when room rates at InterContinental hotels are very high. Example: A night at IC Amstel Amsterdam could cost 625 euro (i.e. Queen’s Day) Booking it using points would cost me 40,000 points, thus only 168,94EUR (527,95EUR / 125,000 * 40,000 = 168,94EUR)
How can you take advantage of buying points? Well, you can buy a maximum of 40,000 points per year, the official way, via PriorityClub.com for 460USD. Not really interesting, except when you have no points at hand and are confronted with room rates higher than 460USD. But there’s an other, much more economical, way of buying points. As soon as you have 5000 points on your Priority Club account, you can start booking reward nights with points+cash. Example: A Holiday Inn express charges 15,000 points for a reward night. Choose the option 5000 points + 60USD cash for the remaining 10,000 points. These rewards nights are cancelable, so what happens when you cancel the reward booking minutes after the confirmation? Your original 5,000 points AND the extra 10,000 points which you bought for 60USD are transferred back to your account. A loophole to buy points at 60USD per 10,000. More info at PriorityClubInsider.com Disclaimer: I prefer not to use this method extensively as I want to avoid my PriorityClub account being suspended. That’s why I preferred to buy points at a similar rate via the DiscoverAmerica promo.
Where did I spent points? Spent three free nights at IHG properties year-to-date: 2 nights at Crowne Plaza Times Square on NYE and one night at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand (picture report and video of my Royal Suite) Those were not paid by points rather by free night awards from last year’s Sweet Dilemma promotion. I did spent 20,000 points on an upcoming reward night at IC Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport for my South African Mileage Run. The total award fee was 30,000 points. I chose the “points + cash” option: 20,000 points + 60USD. The best available rate for my May 21, 2011 stay was 291EUR.
HYATT GOLD PASSPORT
- Level: Diamond
- Expiration date: 30 Jun 2011
- Qualifying nights in 2011: 2
- Number of points: 31,669
- Points earned in 2011: 30,316
How did I earn these points? In April I signed up for Hyatt Gold Passport Status Match Challenge Before I only had 1353 points on my account of two nights in 2010. My two night stay at Park Hyatt Seoul earned me 6316 points. Again, I used a DiscoverAmerica offer to buy 24,000 points for 250USD (175,43EUR on Visa) This offer had a much better value than the DiscoverAmerica PriorityClub promotion and was sold-out in minutes. You can buy up to 40,000 points per year at Hyatt.com, but those 24,000 points would have cost me 576.00USD Have a look at the Hyatt Gold Passport Redemption Rates to see what 24,000 points can buy me.
MILES AND MORE
- Level: Frequent Traveller – Star Alliance Silver
- Expiration date: 02/13
- Number of award miles: 136,033
- Number of status miles earned in 2011: 9,637