Priority Club is changing how the base points are calculated towards Gold or Platinum status. Currently, all the points earned through various promotions and buying points have counted towards the 20K requirement for Gold and 60K requirement for Platinum status.
Starting from 1st January 2013, PCR points will be divided into two categories: status points and non-status points. This is to better clarify the threshold for Gold and Platinum memberships. The status points will include qualifying room rate and partner points from qualifying activities. The qualifying room rate also include: flexible room rate, corporate rate, GDS corporate rate, state/regional/local government negotiated rate and special leisure rate confirmed in HOLIDEX Plus system assigned by IHG. Non-status points will include: promotional points, points voucher, point purchase, point transfer and point deposit.
This is really a huge change. Priority Club will start tracking status points and non-status points. Right now, you have been able to completely buy the Platinum status by buying Priority Club points or having the status in just 7 or so stays as I recently documented.
You can still buy the Gold status for $50 and it also comes part of the Ambassador status as well. You can get Gold/Platinum status with the Priority Club by just paying an annual fee for their Chase branded credit card in the US and there is a similar offer for UK as well. Royal Ambassador members will also receive an automatic Platinum status with Priority Club and this has also applied to referred members.
The current requirements for Priority Club elite statuses are:
Gold – 15 nights or 20000 points from all sources
Platinum – 50 nights or 60000 points from all sources
If you are few thousand points short of the Priority Club Platinum status, it may make sense trying to hit the Platinum this year. The status would be valid all the way to 2014.
The problem with the Priority Club is the very inconsistent elite benefits that come with the status i.e. internet access, club upgrades and breakfasts are not part of the status benefits even at Platinum level. If they are doing this change, that they apparently are, they should spice up the benefits considerably.