InterContinental Hotels Group Friends & Family Program

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InterContinental Hotels Group (InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Indigo, Candlewood Suites & Staybridge Suites) has their own rather public Friends Family program. I would only use this rate if I know someone working for the company, although there is public referral link available here.

intercontinental-hotels-group-friends-family

Here are few reasons why you shouldn’t be using this rate:

1. Doesn’t qualify for stay credit

2. The stay won’t earn points

3. Doesn’t qualify for other promotions i.e. prepaid gift cards

4. Shouldn’t earn cashback

5. Depending of the hotel is non-cancellable, non-changeable, and non-refundable

6. Priority or Ambassador benefits do not apply

7. The rate is not always very good

Due to the issues above, I would ONLY use this rate if the saving is really significant.

Now, we can have a look if there are savings to be had at number of properties using this offer:

Crowne Plaza Santiago de Chile

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crowne-plaza-santiago-ff

You could save $23.10 by using the Friends & Family rate compared to lowest available public rate.

InterContinental Dubai Festival City

intercontinental-dubai-festival-city-regular

intercontinental-dubai-festival-city-ff

The Friends & Family rate was not available for the lowest priced room but starts at the Club level rooms and then discounts suites as well. You could save 217 AED by using the F&F over the Advance Saver Rate.

InterContinental Singapore

intercontinental-singapore-regular

intercontinental-singapore-friends-family

You could save 45 SGD by taking advantage of the F&F offer.

Conclusion

In all these instances the Friends & Family discount yielded savings over publicly available rates, but the discounts weren’t big enough FOR me that I would forego all the benefits. I am sure that there are instances where the savings are more significant than on my three examples.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updates and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Priority Club promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Hotel Promotions Update (September 2012) Le Club Accorhotels, Best Western Rewards, Choice Privileges, Club Carlson, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club, Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest & Wyndham Rewards

Here our monthly blog post about hotel loyalty promotions. You can now find an updated list just by clicking the “Hotel Promotions” tab. This will be updated when promotions expire and new ones are announced throughout the month.

loyaltylobby-hotel-promotions

Accor Hotels – Le Club

There are no currently bonus point promotions for Le Club Accorhotels. We do, however, have available instant Platinum status with the program. You can find more about this by following the link below.

le-club-accorhotels-sign-up-august-2012-benefits

Accor A-Club / Le Club Accorhotels Platinum Status for New Accounts

Best Western Rewards

Best Western’s fall promotion for double/triple points is starting on September 23rd and ends on November 18th, 2012. You can read more about this promo by following the link.

Best Western Rewards Fall 2012 Promotion Double or Triple Points

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson

You can get triple points + 2000 bonus points by booking a breakfast package. This promotion is valid until December 31st, 2012 at selected Radisson & Radisson Blu locations.

radisson-breakfast-package

Book Breakfast Package Rate & Get Triple Gold Points at Select Radisson & Radisson Blu Hotels

You can get 100 free Club Carlson points per day by flipping through a photo book. This offer is valid until September 24, 2012.

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Get More Than 3000 Free Club Carlson Points – 100 Points Per Day

Club Carlson is celebrating 25 years of Country Inn & Suites by giving 25K bonus points for two night stays until October 14, 2012.

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Club Carlson: Country Inn & Suites 25 Years – Get 25000 Bonus Points For 2 Nights Stay

Radisson & Radisson Blu has an offer for Europe, Middle East & Africa. You can get 3rd night free and 2000 bonus points when you book for three nights and pay using American Express. This offer is valid until September 30th, 2012.

club-carlson-3-for-2-amex-offer

Radisson & Radisson Blu 3rd Night Free + 2000 Bonus Club Carlson Points

Club Carlson is offering double points at number of their properties in Europe, Middle East & Africa. This offer is valid until September 30th, 2012.

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Club Carlson Double Points in Europe, Middle East & Africa at Participating Hotels

Club Carlson has a redemption discount offer of 50% at number of properties in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. You can use your points at half the usual rate. This offer is valid until September 30th, 2012.

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Club Carlson 50% Redemption Discount At Select Hotels in Europe, Middle East & Africa

Club Carlson has a promotion for the Asia Pacific region. You can get 10K bonus points for stays of two nights or longer. You can earn the bonus points unlimited time. The promotion ends on September 30th, 2012.

club-carlson-apac-offer-10k-for-2-nights

Club Carlson Asia Pacific Promotion “Two Nights. 10,000 Points” – 10K Bonus Points For Stays Of Two Nights Or Longer

Here are few other interesting posts about the Club Carlson program:

There is an elite offer for 2 for 1 and 4 for 2. You need to be a Gold or Concierge member to take advantage of these discounts that are valid in Europe, Middle East Africa.

Club Carlson Gold/Concierge Elite Member Offer – Stay 2 Pay 1

Club Carlson Gold/Concierge Elite Member Offer – Stay 4 Pay 2

You can get a Club Carlson Gold through a status match or being a shareholder:

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson Status Match

Club Carlson Gold Status for Rezidor Shareholders

If you have a friend or family member working for any Carlson hotel, you maybe eligible for the Friends & family discount:

Carlson Hotels Friends & Family Discount

Choice Privileges – Choice Hotels

Choice’s fall 2012 promotion is valid until November 14th, 2012. You will earn at the minimum 8000 points for every two stays.

choice-fall-2012-promotion

Choice Hotels Fall 2012 Promotion for Maximum of 8000 Bonus Points for Every Two Stays

Hilton HHonors

Hilton’s Triple Your Trip promotion for double points for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Stays, and triple for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday stays until September 30th, 2012.

hilton-hhonors-3q-2012

Hilton HHonors 3rd Quarter “Triple Your Trip” 2012 Double or Triple Points Promotion

Hilton HHonors and Delta has teamed up offering triple Delta SkyMiles at selected Hilton family of hotels until September 20th, 2012.

hilton-hhonors-delta-q3-2012-triple-miles

Triple Delta SkyMiles for Stays at Selected Hilton Family of Hotels

Hilton is offering instant Gold status until 2014 and bonus points/miles for American, Delta, JetBlu, United, US Airways, and Virgin American frequent fliers. This offer is targeted.

hilton-offer-american

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status Until March 2014 for American, Delta, JetBlue, United, US Airways, and Virgin America Frequent Fliers + Bonus Points & Miles (Targeted?)

Here are some other important posts:

You can read about getting a status match with Hilton HHonors:

Hilton HHonors Gold & Diamond Status Match & Challenge & Fast Track Offer

Hilton HHonors Gold VIP Fast Track Offer Through MVP Program. Gold Status After Four Stays or Nine Nights During 90 period

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status for Visa Infinite Card Holders

It can make sense to use Virgin Atlantic as Double Dip partner and then transfer the miles back to Hilton. You can read more about this here:

Hilton HHonors Double Dip Strategy with Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club

Hyatt Gold Passport

Hyatt’s fall 2012 promotion is valid from September 1st to November 30th, 2012. You will earn 5000 bonus points after 5 nights and 10000 bonus points for every additional five nights for maximum bonus of 65000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.

hyatt-imagine

Hyatt Gold Passport Autumn “Imagine the Possibilities” Promotion

Here are couple of other important posts:

Hyatt also offers status matches/trials. You can read more about them here:

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Status Match – Hyatt Diamond Trial Challenge As Of 2012

Sometimes it makes sense to use Hyatt Stay Certificate instead of paying. You can read about more of them here:

Hyatt Stay Certificates – Way to Save Money On Hyatt Stays

InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club

The beauty of Priority Club is the onslaught of ongoing overlapping promotions that you can triple/quadruple dip.You can read about my average Priority Club point earnings when all the promotions are factored in here. I have also written about different type of Priority Club promotions here and what you can expect to earn for your first stay if you sign up for an account here.

Just a word of warning. Some of these promotions may require an address to be in a specific country/area like United States. I take absolutely no guarantees what will post to your Priority Club account. They may also conflict with a promotion that you have already signed up for and just return an error message.

There is an interesting “Roles To Rooms’ promotion for total of 15K bonus points for four stays. This promotion appears to be geographically targeted to Asia Pacific region.

priority-club-roles-to-rooms

Priority Club “Roles to Room” Promotion: 15000 Bonus Points for Four Stays

Quarter 3 Stay bonuses

These started on July 1st and will end on September 30th, 2012. You should sign up for an offer that you know you can achieve

5000 Bonus Air Canada Aeroplan Miles for a Stay

This is a nice bonus for a stay in Canada. You need to have the stays by December 30th, 2012 to be eligible for the bonus miles.

Priority Club “Sweetheart Deal” $100 Visa Prepaid Debit Card for Each 3 Night Stay within 90 Day of Wedding

Priority Club is offering a $100 rebate for every stay of 3 nights or longer within 90 days of your wedding, This promotion is valid until the end of 2012.

Priority Club $25 Gift Card Offer for Booking Directly Online

You can get up to five codes that you can redeem for various gift card by booking online or mobile on any of IHG branded websites.

Priority Club Meeting Rewards Offer of Triple Points

You can get triple Priority Club points for meetings by switching your account to Priority Club Meetings Reward member.

Priority Club Surveys for 2000 Points or More

There are number of surveys that you can do in number of different languages for a quick 2000 Priority Club points, if you haven’t done any of them earlier. This is a quick way to get some points. My points posted immediately.

Sign Up For Priority Club Shopping Emails & Get 500 Points

You can get 500 Priority Club points for just signing up for the shopping email.

Priority Club Welcome Survey for 1000 Bonus Points

Not sure what is going on with this promotion, but you can try to see if it works for you.

Install (Not Required) Priority Club Shopping Toolbar & Get 300 Points

You can get easy 300 points by installing a Priority Club shopping toolbar.

You can register for the following promotions at priorityclub.com/register. You need to have the email address associated with the Priority Club OR the Priority Club account number available AND the four digit code associated with the promotion.

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102 1000 Bonus Points

This is most lucrative of the offers. You will get additional 1000 Priority Club points per stay for 90 days after your sign up. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

1000 Bonus Points for 60 Days – 8108 1000 Bonus Points

You will receive 1000 bonus Priority Club points per stay for the next 60 days after registering for this promotion. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221 3000 Bonus Points

This works for sure if you are a Platinum member, but could work for Gold’s as well. Doesn’t hurt to sign up, right? You will get 3000 bonus Priority Club points for your next stay. You will need to have the stay within 90 days after signing up. You can only earn this once.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 7489 3000 Bonus Points NEW

This is another 3000 bonus points for an elite member. It posts for sure if you are Platinum but might work for a Gold account as well. You need to do the stay within 90 days of registering for this offer.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120 – 1500 Bonus Points

You will get 1500 Priority Club bonus points for one stay after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days.

New Member Bonus – 3107 1500 Bonus Points

This is a new member bonus, but works for existing members as well. You will get onetime 1500 Priority Club bonus points after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days after registration.

Next Stay Bonus – 5109 1500 Bonus Points

This should be open for elite and non-elite members. You will get onetime bonus of 1500 Priority club points after a paid stay. The stay must be within 90 days after registration.

Weekend Stay Bonus – 3136 5000 Bonus Points

This should be open for all. You will get 5000 Priority Club bonus points for a two night weekend stay. Weekend is typically defined Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights. The stay must occur before the end of 2012. This promotion may require your Priority Club access to be in the United States. The promotion did post for me after a while. This promotion can be done several times.

Platinum 5000 Bonus – 3168 – 5000 Bonus Points

Not sure exactly how this works, but here’s the info about this offer: We’re pleased you have continued to stay with us and are now even closer to earning exclusive Platinum Elite benefits and 5,000 bonus points. All you need to do is register and stay with us 5 more nights before 30th November 2012. It would be our pleasure to reward your loyalty with exclusive Platinum Elite benefits. Keep staying with us and you’ll soon be there. We look forward to helping you make it to the top: Platinum Elite status!

Marriott Rewards

Marriott has their usual fall MegaBonus starting on September 15th and ends on January 15th 2013. You need, however, register for the promotion by October 31st, 2012.

marriott-rewards-fal-2012-megabonus

Marriott Rewards Fall 2012 MegaBonus

Update on Marriott Fall 2012 MegaBonus Choices

You can earn triple airline miles tarting on your second stay on Marriott’s MegaMiles promotion that ends on October 30th, 2012.

marriott-megamiles

Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Promotion – Earn Triple Airline Miles

Here are three other posts about Marriott Rewards:

You can get Southwest Rapid Rewards points for Marriott Gift card purchases.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Points for Marriott Gift Card Purchases

Marriott also offers status matches or taste of Platinum/Gold. You can read more about the procedures of getting one here:

Marriott Rewards Gold & Platinum Status Match – Taste of Platinum & Gold Challenge

If you haven’t been targeted to any of the promotions or you would like to change to another one, you can follow the instructions to get the promotion fixed for you.

Changing Targeted Marriott Promotions

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Ritz-Carlton has an offer for 30K bonus points for a stay of four nights or longer. This offer is valid until October 15th, 2012.

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Ritz-Carlton Rewards Extraordinary Returns – 30000 Bonus Points for a Four Night Stay

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood launched their much anticipated SPG Nice Choice promotion on May 1st that hasn’t gone down too well. You can read about the initial leak, my ability to confirm that the leaked information was real, and the strategy that you should take. Essentially, this is a double or triple Starpoints promotion that is very weak compared to free night promotions that SPG was running during 2010 and 2011. Note that you needed to choose what you would like to earn and when by June 30th, 2012.

Starwood’s next promotion Better By The Night begins on October 1st and ends on December 20th, 2012. You will receive double Starpoints for stays of 1 to 2 nights and triple points for stays of 3 nights or longer.

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SPG Better By The Night Autumn 2012 Promotion for Double or Triple Starpoints

You can get 500 bonus points for booking made on the iPhone SPG app or 250 points for bookings made on spg.com.

spg-better-by-the-night-booking-bonuses

SPG Better By The Night Online & iPhone Booking Bonuses

Westin Kierland and Sheraton Wilde Horse Pass have exciting bonus points opportunity. Stay once at both properties and earn 10000 bonus Starpoints.

Stay at Westin Kierland & Sheraton Wild Horse Pass for 10000 Bonus Starpoints

You can get 1000 Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for booking a special (expensive) rate plan.

1000 Bonus Delta SkyMiles or US Airways Dividend Miles for Sheraton Club Bookings

Here’s a post about Starwood status match opportunity:

Starwood doesn’t offer straight status matches, but they can offer you a challenge:

Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum Status Match – Platinum Challenge

Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham’s summer promotion is coming to an end on September 13th, 2012. You can earn quadruple points or miles.

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Wyndham Rewards Summer 2012 Promotion for Quadruple Miles or Points

InterContinental Royal Ambassador Renewal Requirement

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Edit: There might have been a glitch on the Priority Club website that shows the Ambassador downgrade as a Royal Ambassador Renewal. I will update this post when I have further info.

InterContinental Royal Ambassador is the status above the Ambassador. Joining the InterContinental Ambassador program costs $200. I know it is somewhat confusing that you collect Priority Club points on your InterContinental stays, but Priority Club Gold or Platinum benefits do not apply. I have written about buying the Ambassador status and if it makes sense to pay for it, and about the InterContinental Royal Ambassador status and kit.

intercontinental-royal-ambassador-renewal

InterContinental Royal Ambassador Requirement

The Ambassador Service center has never come clean about the exact requirements for the Royal Ambassador status. The line that they tend to give out is that you need to be within 1% of the all Ambassadors to be “elevated” to a Royal one and that the award stays and stays at non-InterContinental hotels of the IHG wouldn’t count.

After you buy your Ambassador status the Ambassador service center will monitor the number of stays that you have and, if you meet the qualification for the Royal Ambassador, you will just see a line in your account history about this. Couple of weeks later you will receive the kit on mail.

Those that earn the status will also receive a referral certificate that they can use to upgrade an Ambassador to Royal Ambassador status. These sometimes end up being sold on eBay for around $500.

InterContinental Royal Ambassador Renewal

You were upgraded to Royal Ambassador status, referred by a friend/colleague, or bought it off of eBay. Now, you would like to renew it on your own, but unsure about the qualification requirements. You are then in as dark as everybody else when it comes to renewing the Royal Ambassador status.

The requirement for renewal is the same vague “being in the 1% of the Ambassador members” as is getting the Royal Ambassador in the first place.

It was been widely speculated on FlyerTalk that the requirement would be around 60 paid InterContinental nights. This is not the case, however, based on me personal experience.

My Royal Ambassador renewal was processed on August 31st and I had the following number of IHG, InterContinental Hotels Group, stays in the previous 12 months:

28 paid InterContinental Nights at 8 different hotels

13 paid non-IC Nights (Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express & Crowne Plaza)

= 41 PAID NIGHTS

15 award InterContinental Nights at 4 different hotels (13 on Point Breaks)

1 InterContinental night free on BRG (Best Rate Guarantee)

1 award non-IC Nights

= 17 AWARD NIGHTS

 TOTAL OF 58 NIGHTS

Conclusion

The Ambassador service center or Priority Club never have clearly communicated the exact requirement of getting or renewing the Royal Ambassador status.

Based on my experience, the award and non-InterContinental nights do count in as well. There is no other explanation why my account would have been renewed at just 28 paid InterContinental nights.

I believe that the requirement is about 60 nights that can be a combination of awards and non-InterContinental nights as well.

Priority Club “Roles to Rooms” Promotion: 15000 Bonus Points for Four Stays

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Priority Club has launched a new promotion “Roles to Rooms” that is valid from August 30th to November 30th, 2012. You will earn 2500 bonus points after 2nd stay, 5000 bonus points after third stay, and 7500 bonus points after fourth stay. Note that this promotion is based on STAYS and not on NIGHTS.  You need to register for this promotion. The promotion code is 1114.

Please note that I have an update about this promotion that you can fine here.

priority-club-roles-to-rooms

Note that this offer is apparently somewhat targeted. It didn’t work for a family account that had the address in the States but did allow registration for an account that is based in Asia. If you get an error message that the offer code is invalid, then this offer is not available in the country that your Priority Club account is based.

The promotion didn’t show up on “My Promotion”, but that is not always indicative whether the bonus points will post or not. I will have three IHG stays this coming weekend and will post an update if the bonus points posted or not.

Conclusion

This is a nice addition to the other current Priority Club point promotions that I wrote about earlier this week. You can access the other posts here and here.

This offer is at least geographically targeted i.e. if your account address in the States, the promotion won’t register for you. I was able to register an account that was based in Asia, but won’t know for sure, whether these bonuses posts or not, before my stays this coming weekend. I’ll keep you updated.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updates and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Priority Club promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

InterContinental Reviews Coming….

Two weeks ago I wrote an article about leaving a review of the InterContinental property that you have visited. I just received an email from InterContinental about this functionality. It is launched in phases and the property that I reviewed, InterContinental Manila, will be included in November.

Many thanks for your interest in the new Guest Reviews program for InterContinental Hotels. As a valued guest your opinions are important to us, but especially to those looking for the right hotel or resort for their next trip.

The Guest Reviews program is launching in phases across the globe. InterContinental Manila Guest Reviews will be launching by end of November of this year, and at that time we will publish your review. We apologize for the delay in publishing your review but do value your thorough and honest opinions.  To that end, we would be glad to notify you at this email address once your review is published.

There has been lot of noise about fake online reviews lately about pretty much anything. According to some scientific study, large percentage of TripAdvisor reviews are fake and done by people who have never set their foot anywhere near the property they arr writing about. These surveys that can be left only by guests that have actually stayed at the property can thus be more believable, although I would rather leave them on a non-branded website.

Why Hotels Love Resort Charges & Why You Should Hate Them?

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Resort fees, also sometimes called “facility” or “service” charges, are spreading like a cancer to properties that are no resorts, and are becoming more difficult to avoid.

Here are eight reasons why hotels love “scamming” using resort charges:

1. Able to advertise a lower headline price and bury the extra charge to tax section.

2. Preferential display when searched using the price on hotel search engines.

3. Save on some taxes on municipalities that don’t collect taxes on “resort” charges.

4. Collect resort charge on award stays.

5. Collect resort charge on third party bookings i.e. Expedia, Hotwire, Booking.com, Priceline etc.

6. No need to pay for travel agent commission for amount of the resort fee.

7. No need to award points for the frequent guest program for the resort fee portion.

8. No need to pay franchise fees for the resort charge portion.

Here are three examples how these charges are displayed:

Westin Las Vegas Resort Charge
Westin Las Vegas Resort Charge

Westin Las Vegas the old Maxim hotel that was closed for couple of years. The property charges a “service” fee of $11.50 that is buried to the itemized rate display.

St Regis Puerto Rico Resort Charge
St Regis Puerto Rico Resort Charge

St Regis Puerto Rico. The resort charge is displayed on the search and the wording that the base rate excluded the resort fee of $60 per night that is included in the full price.

Hyatt Regency Palm Springs Resort Charge
Hyatt Regency Palm Springs Resort Charge

Hyatt has hidden the resort charge to rate details. The price breakdown that is shown only includes the taxes but shows the total with the resort charge included.

What do you might get for these resort charges?

Water bottle, free internet, usage of wellness facilities, free local and 800-phone calls, use of pool or then none of these might be included. If you happen to be an elite member with the hotel, most of these would be covered by your elite benefits regardless.

Conclusion

Resort charges are nothing else than a clever way for hotels to advertise a lower headline price and hide the accommodation charge that is not a tax to the tax breakdown. I absolutely hate hotels that do this. Then there are hotels like Westin Las Vegas or Hyatt Palm Springs that are not resorts and have started to charge service/resort fees.

You can always request for the resort charges to be waived or discounted on the basis that you didn’t use the services or that they are part of the elite level benefit package. Quite often the hotels are willing to waive these fees rather than argue with the customer.

Priority Club Promotions for August 2012

The beauty of Priority Club is the onslaught of ongoing overlapping promotions that you can triple/quadruple dip.  You can take your points earnings to a new level by making sure that you have sign up for all the offers. You can read about my average Priority Club point earnings when all the promotions are factored in here. I have also written about different type of Priority Club promotions here and what you can expect to earn for your first stay if you sign up for an account here. Remember to sign up for all the other Priority Club one time bonuses that I have listed here.

Just a word of warning. Some of these promotions may require an address to be in a specific country/area like United States. I take absolutely no guarantees what will post to your Priority Club account.  They may also conflict with a promotion that you have already signed up for and just return an error message.

Quarter 3 Stay bonuses

These started on July 1st and will end on September 30th, 2012. You should sign up for an offer that you know you can achieve

Summer Bonus of up to 20K Priority Club Bonus Points

You will get 1000 bonus Priority Club bonus points per nights + 250 points per stay for booking online. This offer is valid until September 3rd, 2012.

5000 Bonus Air Canada Aeroplan Miles for a Stay

This is a nice bonus for a stay in Canada. You need to have the stays by December 30th, 2012 to be eligible for the bonus miles.

Priority Club Vacation Pay Offer

You can get a $75 prepaid MasterCard after a rebate for a two night weekend stay. This offer is valid until September 3rd, 2012.

Priority Club “Sweetheart Deal” $100 Visa Prepaid Debit Card for Each 3 Night Stay within 90 Day of Wedding

Priority Club is offering a $100 rebate for every stay of 3 nights or longer within 90 days of your wedding, This promotion is valid until the end of 2012.

Priority Club $25 Gift Card Offer for Booking Directly Online

You can get up to five codes that you can redeem for various gift card by booking online or mobile on any of IHG branded websites.

Priority Club Meeting Rewards Offer of Triple Points

You can get triple Priority Club points for meetings by switching your account to Priority Club Meetings Reward member.

If you have feedback on any of these promotions or if I have missed any current promotion that should be included on the list, you can leave a comment below or send me an email to john@loyaltylobby.com.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updates and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Priority Club promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

Priority Club Targeted One Time Bonuses August 2012

This is a monthly update of Priority Club one time promotions that are valid. These are all combinable with other promotions as long as they are not conflicting. If the code doesn’t work for you, you have signed up for the same or variant of the same promotion previously. You can read more about different Priority Club promotions here and about what you might expect to earn for a new account here.

priority-club-one-time-bonuses-august-2012

These nine promotions and the surveys/tool bar/quizzes should work for all. The Elite member next stay bonuses probably require a Gold or higher status with Priority Club, however. The weekend 5K bonus points may require an address in the United States.

Priority Club Surveys for 2000 Points or More

There are number of surveys that you can do in number of different languages for a quick 2000 Priority Club points, if you haven’t done any of them earlier. This is a quick way to get some points. My points posted immediately.

Sign Up For Priority Club Shopping Emails & Get 500 Points

You can get 500 Priority Club points for just signing up for the shopping email.

Priority Club Welcome Survey for 1000 Bonus Points

Not sure what is going on with this promotion, but you can try to see if it works for you.

Install (Not Required) Priority Club Shopping Toolbar & Get 300 Points

You can get easy 300 points by installing a Priority Club shopping toolbar.

You can register for the following promotions at priorityclub.com/register. You need to have the email address associated with the Priority Club OR the Priority Club account number available AND the four digit code associated with the promotion.

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102 1000 Bonus Points

This is most lucrative of the offers. You will get additional 1000 Priority Club points per stay for 90 days after your sign up.  Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

1000 Bonus Points for 60 Days – 8108 1000 Bonus Points

You will receive 1000 bonus Priority Club points per stay for the next 60 days after registering for this promotion. Just enroll just before your first stay to maximize the earning period.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221 3000 Bonus Points

This works for sure if you are a Platinum member, but could work for Gold’s as well. Doesn’t hurt to sign up, right? You will get 3000 bonus Priority Club points for your next stay. You will need to have the stay within 90 days after signing up. You can only earn this once.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 7489 3000 Bonus Points NEW

This is another 3000 bonus points for an elite member. It posts for sure if you are Platinum but might work for a Gold account as well. You need to do the stay within 90 days of registering for this offer.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120 – 1500 Bonus Points

You will get 1500 Priority Club bonus points for one stay after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days.

New Member Bonus – 3107 1500 Bonus Points

This is a new member bonus, but works for existing members as well. You will get onetime 1500 Priority Club bonus points after signing up. You need do stay within 90 days after registration.

Next Stay Bonus – 5109 1500 Bonus Points

This should be open for elite and non-elite members. You will get onetime bonus of 1500 Priority club points after a paid stay. The stay must be within 90 days after registration.

Weekend Stay Bonus – 3136 5000 Bonus Points

This should be open for all. You will get 5000 Priority Club bonus points for a two night weekend stay. Weekend is typically defined Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights. The stay must occur before the end of 2012. This promotion may require your Priority Club access to be in the United States. The promotion did post for me after a while. This promotion can be done several times.

Platinum 5000 Bonus – 3168 – 5000 Bonus Points

Not sure exactly how this works, but here’s the info about this offer: We’re pleased you have continued to stay with us and are now even closer to earning exclusive Platinum Elite benefits and 5,000 bonus points. All you need to do is register and stay with us 5 more nights before 30th November 2012. It would be our pleasure to reward your loyalty with exclusive Platinum Elite benefits. Keep staying with us and you’ll soon be there. We look forward to helping you make it to the top: Platinum Elite status!

If you have feedback on any of these promotions or if I have missed any current promotion that should be included on the list, you can leave a comment below or send me an email to john@loyaltylobby.com.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updates and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. We will always make a post when there is an exciting Priority Club promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

How to Work Numerous Priority Club Promotions?

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There are always a number of different kinds of Priority Club promotions that you can take advantage of. Some of them are combinable with each other but then some are not. I hope that this post clarifies the situation.

1. Quarterly Stay-Bonuses

Priority Club has been sending out targeted offers for years for X number of points after Y number of nights.

There are normally 3 to 4 thresholds of 5K, 10K, 15K, and sometimes 20K points after certain number of nights. You can only register for ONE of these promotions. After you have registered, you cannot change the selection.

You should always register for the version of this promotion that you are certain to achieve.

2. Global Promotions

These are the type of promotions that Priority Club advertises on print media and often all over the properties as well.

They are not tied to quarters but can vary in length and promotion type. This year (2012) there has been two global promotions so far; one for double points or miles and the other one for 1000 extra Priority Club points per night.

3. Welcome Back / New Member Bonuses / Next Stay Bonus

These are normally emailed or mailed. You will receive a code that yields anywhere from 1000 to 3000 points for one stay. Sometimes these are eligible only for Gold or Platinum Priority Club members.

4. Anniversary Bonus Offers

These are very lucrative ones. You will typically receive 1000 bonus points per stay for 60 to 90 days after you sign up. Sometimes they only work for Gold or Platinum member accounts.

5. Ambassador Accelerator

After you sign up for Ambassador membership, you are then eligible for 20K bonus points for every 15 nights spend at InterContinental hotels. You are not automatically signed up for this offer.

6. Airline Specific Offers

Sometimes there are offers for double/triple airline miles in selected airline programs. I don’t always write about these as I don’t find them to be very lucrative. You have to choose miles as your earning option and these often conflict with some other bonus points promotions.

7. Hotel Specific Promotions

Sometimes hotel advertises a rate or rates that include number of bonus Priority Club points. Often these rates are higher than some other discounted rates that the property offers. These tend to be geared towards reimbursed business travelers that may find it beneficial to book artificially high rate but which includes bonus points that the traveler can later use i.e. for their vacation.

8. Rebate Promotions

Priority Club has had different kind of rebate promotions in the past few years. They normally require a two night weekday or weekend stay. Then you need to fill out rebate forms and mail them out to the rebate processed and hope that they correctly fulfill the promotion. Your reward is normally a MasterCard or Visa prepaid debit card for $50 or $75.

9. Other One Time Bonus Points Promotions

There are often promotions that could be brand specific i.e. earlier offer of 15K bonus points after 6 nights at InterContinental hotels or 5000 bonus points for a weekend stay.

10. Surveys / Quizzes / Toolbar / Shopping Promotions

There are number of onetime bonus opportunities that are not tied to stays at all. These tend to come and go. You can earn thousands of points per year just completing them all as they come.

Most of the time you can double or triple dip (or even more) multiple Priority Club promotions if you plan correctly.

Things to keep in mind:

1. Your account may not be eligible for specific promotion

You may get an error message that you have signed up for a promotion or the promotion code is invalid. This normally means that you have already signed up for a variant of the offer.

2. Geographical Requirement

Some promotions may require for your address on file with the Priority Club to be in the certain region (mainly in the United States. If your address in in UK, the promotional points just won’t post.

3. My Promotions

The promotion may show in your “My Promotions”, but it doesn’t mean that the points will actually post. You need to fulfill the terms and conditions of the promotion as well that are sometimes unknown.

4. Delayed Promotional Points Postings

Some promotions don’t actually yield the points at the time your stay posts. There are some bonuses that can post weeks after the qualifying activity has happened. It just shows up as an additional line on your points history. This depends how Priority Club does their sweeps.

5. Conflicting promotions

Sometimes signing up for one offer will disqualify you from other one. There is no way to unregister after you have signed up for an offer. Earlier in the year there were two different offers for InterContinental stays. After I signed up for one, I was disqualified from the other one.

Under no circumstances should you call Priority Club regarding a promotion that you were NOT originally targeted for.

I know, it is terrible that certain promotion won’t register or the points post. I have gone through this numerous times with Priority Club. You should never, however, call and inquiry about promotions that you were not targeted for i.e. received an email offering the promotion or a post card on the mail.

I will post about new Priority Club bonus points opportunities as they happen.

Make sure that you have signed up for our blog email updated and follow us on Twitter and like on Facebook. I will always make a post when there is exciting Priority Club promotion or bonus point opportunity around.

InterContinental Koh Samui Taling Ngam Resort, Thailand – Review of My Stay

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intercontinental-koh-samui-baan-taling-ngam-resort-view-of-the-lower-level-from-lobbyThis is one of those hotels that have an interesting history. At one point in time, it was operated under the Le Meridien brand and owned directly by the now disgraced and bankrupt Lehman Brothers investment bank.

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Location

The hotel is located on the exact opposite side of the Koh Samui airport. The ride from the airport to the resort can take from anywhere 45 to 60 minutes depending on the traffic. The distance itself is not that great but the road infrastructure is very bad on the island.

Koh Samui Airport to InterContinental hotel
Koh Samui Airport to InterContinental hotel

The location from the mainland ferry and the city, where all the government services are located, is about 20 minutes ride away.

Resort

The reception building is built on the mountain and you have great views of the beach and the sea from the units that are on the main building and from the high villas.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - View of the Beach from Reception
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – View of the Beach from Reception

There are three types of accommodations at this resort:

1. Regular hotel rooms on the main building

2. Villas on the hill

3. Villas on the beach

Check In

I was coming from the nearby Conrad Koh Samui resort where I had spent two nights. The problem I have with Koh Samui island is the lack of taxis. You are forced to use either hotel cars or “taxis” that refuse to use meters. You can rent a car to get around as well, but as I said earlier the traffic is very chaotic.

I had booked the most basic accommodation as an Royal Ambassador and counting in on my luck with a nice upgrade. The hotel had preupgraded me to one of the mountain villas.

As is the custom in Thailand, the front desk photocopies your passport and swipes your credit card. I also met the customer service manager who happened to be a gentleman from Sweden and had worked for this resort for quite a few years already.

Villa 614

This was an upper part of a villa that probably had been a single unit in the past. It wasn’t a suite but a very spacious room with a sitting area, work desk, bed in the middle, shower and the vanity area in the back.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - Suite 614 Bed
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – Suite 614 Bed

The toilet is somewhat weird. It was in a very small space resembling a tiny closet. This was an obvious afterthought.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - Suite 614 Sunset View
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – Suite 614 Sunset View

The best part of this villa was the fantastic view of the sea from the very large balcony area that had plenty of space and really nice sitting area.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - Suite 614 Balcony
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – Suite 614 Balcony

The minibar with the wine “cellar” was one of the most complete that I had seen at any hotel. The problem was that only the minibar beverages inside the fridge were complimentary per the Royal Ambassador benefit letter that I received. I think that this is rather understandable for the wine but not for the other alcohol. I hadn’t come here to party so it was ok with me.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - Suite 614 Sitting Area
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – Suite 614 Sitting Area

I had a nice fruit presentation waiting in the villa, but the problem was the number of tiny fruit flies that it had attracted. I had to promptly move it to outside.

After a while, I became curious, why the temperature of the villa hadn’t come down at all regardless of the unit blowing at the full speed. I called maintenance to fix it. It took two hours for them to realize that the air compressor unit was faulty and that they would need to move me to somewhere else.

Villa 510

So, after the air compressor fault, I was moved to a proper ocean view villa with its own small pool. It also had a direct beach access from the villa. This was much better location than the 614.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - Suite 510 View of the Villa
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – Suite 510 View of the Villa

It had a separate bathroom with a large tub, indoor and outdoor showers, toilet, and vanity area.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - Suite 510 View of the Sea
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – Suite 510 View of the Sea

The bedroom wasn’t as spacious as in the 516 but really liked the own pool and sitting area outside with sun chairs etc.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - Suite 510 Bed
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – Suite 510 Bed

This was only a short walk away from the main pool and some restaurants.

There was some water leagake between the tiles. I had a maintenance coming to have a look at it twice, but they couldn’t fix the problem. This was in the bathroom.

Breakfast

The room package that I had booked included a breakfast. I could either use the room service or the main restaurant close to the reception area where it was served. I decided to use the room service for the first morning and the restaurant for the second.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - Suite 510 Breakfast
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – Suite 510 Breakfast

I had a rather unhealthy breakfast with some Heineken by the pool.

Restaurant breakfast the following morning was better than what I had expected. They had plenty of hot and cold options to choose from.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - Breakfast Cereals
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – Breakfast Cereals

Overall, if you prefer privacy and having a leisurely lunch, it is probably better to use the room service. For greater selection and getting out of the villa, then go to the restaurant.

Fitness Center

This was bit of a disappointment. It was within a short walking distance from the villa, but wasn’t as comprehensive that I would have expected. They didn’t have any headphones available, although they had cardio machines with built in TV’s. Luckily, I had brought mine.

Royal Ambassador Benefits

After the initial problem with the first unit, I was very satisfied with the upgrade that I received. You really cannot expect the resort to give the wine selection as minibar beverages, but they should have included at least some of the other alcohol besides the beers.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort Royal Ambassador Welcome Letter
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort Royal Ambassador Welcome Letter

It was a nice touch from the manager to send a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine after the problems I had with both of the units.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort - Suite 510 Sparkling Wine
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – Suite 510 Sparkling Wine

Conclusion

I have been to several resorts in Koh Samui previously; Renaissance, Le Meridien, and the Conrad Koh Samui. The Conrad is more luxurious but at the same time is about the double the price compared to this InterContinental resort. There is no beach at the Conrad but there is one at the InterContinental.

InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort Beach Pool
InterContinental Koh Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort Beach Pool

Overall, I really liked this resort. The only downside that I can think of is the location exactly on the opposite side of the island from any nightlife activities.

The couple of issues I had were solved amicably and I am sure that I will return to this resort in the next 12 months.

Priority Club Welcome Survey for 1000 Bonus Points

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Priority Club has been sending out a short survey for new members and giving out 1000 bonus points for completing it.

priority-club-welcome-survey

Please note that this is intended for new accounts and the points do not post instantaneously. The terms and conditions only suggest that you must be signed up for Priority Club rewards email offers to be eligible for this.

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Thanks for our reader sLeEpLeSs in BaNgKoK for this tip.

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Conclusion

This is about the easiest 1000 Priority Club bonus points that you can get.

Priority Club: Select Holiday Inn Resort Flash Sale Using Points at 50% Off

Priority Club has 16 Holiday Inn Resorts on flash sale using points at 50% off until noon today EDT. You can access this offer here.

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All these resorts are on sale from September 4th until October 2nd, 2012 for 12.500 Priority Club points per night from the usual 25000 points per night.

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Conclusion

This is a very good offer if you can take advantage of it. Priority Club has had few of these flash sales recently and you usually need to act fast.

You Can Now Write a Review about InterContinental Hotels on Their Website

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You can now write a short review of the InterContinental hotel where you have stayed at on their website. Starwood launched a similar initiative late last year.

As always, I wanted to test this review process and decided to write a short review of InterContinental Manila where I stayed at this past May. You can access the review submission interface by going to http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/reviews/write-a-review/manila and switching the city at the end.

IC Review Manila
IC Review Manila

You need to have your reservation number, last name, and the date of check out available. It seems that they want to validate that these reviews are done by actual hotel guests.

IC Review Manila Stars
IC Review Manila Stars

Then you will give hotel the overall guest experience rating. As you can see, my stay at this property was very good.

IC Review Manila Write Up
IC Review Manila Write Up

You need to do a write up of between 75 to 500 words. I decided to point out that they honored most of the Royal Ambassador benefits even on an award stay.

IC Review Manila Pros Cons
IC Review Manila Pros Cons

Then you can check some pros and cons about the hotel.

IC Review Manila Photos
IC Review Manila Photos

I do have quite a few photos of this hotel but decided not to upload any of them.

IC Review Manila My Info
IC Review Manila My Info

They want some basic information about me.

IC Review Manila Preview
IC Review Manila Preview

You can then have a look at the preview.

IC Review Manila Thank You
IC Review Manila Thank You

Just submit and you are done.

Conclusion

It seems that leaving review of properties is slowly coming to all hotel websites. Personally, I prefer reading on an independent website like TripAdvisor or FlyerTalk than the branded site. I just always have a feeling that they really don’t want to publish reviews that are critical of the property in question.

There are also lots of rules regarding what you can write if you want your InterContinental review published. The terms are whopping 1139 words. The submission guidelines are somewhat reasonable few hundred words.

Let’s see if my favorable review of the InterContinental Manila will get published on one day.

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