Priority Club to Allow Free Nights Any Hotel ? Even Competitors?
||:: Late-Breaking News
(Posted: Apr 26, 2005)
InterContinental Hotels Group announced today a new feature to Priority Club Rewards that will members who reside in the U.S. to redeem their points toward stays at more than 500,000 lodging establishments worldwide.
?Even though we are the largest hotel company in the world, we can?t be everywhere,? said Steve Sickel, senior vice president, Priority Club Rewards, IHG. ?So we want to give our members the flexibility to redeem their points toward stays at any hotel, regardless of brand affiliation. Loyalty is a two-way street. By rewarding our members with this flexibility, we believe we?ll gain even greater loyalty and more repeat business from them.?
To make this offering possible, Priority Club Rewards is working with American Express Incentive Services. Members can redeem their points for an American Express-branded prepaid lodging card in denominations valued between $100 and $250. This card can be used as payment at any lodging establishment where the American Express Card is welcome.
Though the card may only be used for hotel stays, any incidentals that could normally be charged to a room can be paid for with the card. These rewards have no blackout dates or capacity restrictions and can be used anytime, at any hotel, anywhere.
Redemption levels begin at 29,000 points for a $100 card, up to 59,000 points for a $250 card. Though those levels are high compared with standard Priority Club IHG redemptions (which range from 11,000 to 30,000 points per night), they are about on par and even slightly better than other, non-travel related awards. Gift certificates to partner merchants, for example, generally run from 20,000 points for a $50 gift certificate to 38,000 points for a $100 certificate (presently, there is a 10% discount on such redemptions). Merchandise like the George Foreman Grill runs at about 29,700 points.
Additional details and future updates will be posted on http://www.priorityclub.com/anyhotel.
Industry watchers will note that though Priority Club is the first hotel program to offer ?redeem anywhere? flexibility, AirTran A+ Rewards pioneered the effort in the airline industry last year, offering members restriction-free flights on any airline to any destination.
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