I’m just back from a night out with the girls getting Salt-n-Pepa’d with the Amish Outlaws where a one night stay at a Holiday Inn Express earned me 1/5 of the ANNUAL requirement for Priority Club Platinum. Why am I not worried about getting 50 (the Platinum level stay requirement) or even 15 (the gold) stays under my belt? I took advantage of a loophole in the Priority Club system larger than a mack truck, but that doesn’t get a lot of press: the bonus points package.
I’m sure you’ve seen PC bonus points rates, but with the recent tightening of re-qualification standards (Loyalty Traveler does a good recap)there’s a compelling reason to take another look: Bonus point packages qualify for elite status.
Let me stress that again: the 1,3,5, or even 10,000 points PER SINGLE NIGHT STAY count towards the 60,000 Platinum qualification! The 10k bonus is rare, and isn’t even mentioned on the bonus promo page, but I stumbled upon the Holy Grail at a roadside Holiday Inn Express in Frederick, MD:
I could have titled this post “get Platinum in 5 stays”, but the 10k bonus rates are needles in the haystack…and I don’t anticipate many of you making mattress runs to the Holiday Inn Express in Frederick, MD. (Although some I have met at FTU just might;) I couldn’t re-create the 10k bonus rate at any other hotel, and I tried about 20. My suggestion is to definitely not just trust the bonus page search engine but to search “best available” for your destination and scroll all of the available rates…that’s how I found it. Hat tip to Milepoint Member Viguera who mentioned that a number of the mid-range LA area hotels have offered the 10k point rate lately, as has the Hotel Indigo in Brooklyn, NYC. The Hotel Indigo is also offering a (gulp!) 25K bonus point rate for $80 over flex that could get you to platinum in two stays!
Here’s a more re-creatable example (and there were lots in the 5k range so you could indeed buy 50k points at .2 cents each with 10 stays, which with your basic room spend should get you over 60k). I can recommend Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina as we stayed there just last year. Hampton is a nice alternative to the VA beach crowds and the Virginia Space Center is right next door.
Don’t forget about Pointbreaks, those gem 5,000 point resumptions that rotate every quarter. With this bonus, you’re effectively paying $10 for a Pointbreaks room!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Priority Club Visa (from Chase) also offers Platinum status. However, I prefer to keep my valuable Chase space open for Hyatt, BA, and of course Ultimate Rewards. I should also mention that any program is subject to devaluation, but at these prices I’m comfortable recommending both stocking up and going for Platinum.
What is the fewest number of stays you have needed to qualify for Priority Club Platinum? More importantly, do you know of any other hotels that are offering the 10k bonus rate? Please share!