Priority Club has again changed the number of points required to redeem for Any Hotel Anywhere cards. This change came unannounced.
The old redemption table gave better value for redeeming $250 card compared to lower value ones.
The new point requirement for these cards is flat. You get about the same value when redeeming for $100 or $250 one.
The percentage devaluation is from 6% to 18%.
Any Hotel Anywhere cards are very handy at times. They are basically prepaid American Express cards that you can only use at merchants that are coded as lodging i.e. you cannot use them at grocery stores. Yes. I have tried. There is no need to use them at InterContinental Hotel Group properties, but rather they are valid at any hotel worldwide that takes American Express cards.
Why would you redeem for Any Hotel Anywhere card?
1. The stay paid by Any Hotel Anywhere Amex card is considered as a regular paid stay regardless of the hotel you are using it. You can book a Hilton property and get all the benefits associated with your Hilton status plus the points as well.
2. You will get a folio that shows the amount you paid for the hotel. This comes handy if you are reimbursed for your stays by other party. You can cash out your points.
3. With InterContinental hotels the vast majority of Ambassador or Royal Ambassador benefits officially don’t apply on award stays. You may or may not get them depending of the property, however. This is entirely dependent of the hotel in question. If you pay using Any Hotel Anywhere card, you will get all the benefits of a paid stay.
4. Sometimes it is better value than using points. There are some InterContinental hotels that require 30K to 40K Priority Club points per night, yet their paid rates are sometimes low. It is actually cheaper to redeem for these cards and pay for the stay than use the points. You should always consider the number of points that you would earn from a paid stays as well.
I really don’t like the sneaky way that Priority Club uses to devalue their program. They should announce devaluation like this few weeks before so that everybody could plan accordingly.
The number of points that one can earn from InterContinental Hotel Group stays is quite high if you sign up for all the available promotions.
In 2009, when these cards were introduced to the Australian market, Priority club ran a 50% sale on AUD denominated cards. I redeemed all the Priority Club points that I had at the time (more than a million) and received around $9K worth of these Amex cards. You could get close to 0.9 cents value out of each Priority Club point. Today the value is about one third of this.