New Priority Club Point Breaks List Is Out – Valid Until May 31st, 2012

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InterContinental Hotels Group’s Priority Club is about to launch their second quarter 2012 Points Break list. Point Beaks are great way to use Priority Club points at deep discount as all these hotels are only 5000 Priority Club Points per night. The list is not available yet, but the hotels are bookable at the lower 5000 Priority Club points per night rate.


I will do another post when I have access to the complete list.


There are few of jewels on this list. The Holiday Inn Bangkok that is next to the InterContinental hotel is excellent value at 5000 Priority Club points per night. This is one of the better Holiday Inn hotels in the system, and I have stayed there number of times. Of course hotels in Bangkok aren’t really that expensive.


Another good one, which I will book for few days, is the InterContinental Hotel Asiana in Saigon. When I was in Ho Chi Minh City last time, they were about the open this hotel in few weeks’ time.  This one is a good value as the price of western hotels has really gone up in Vietnam recently.


Manila is not for everyone. It is one of the most chaotic cities to get around. I thought that I was going to miss the flight just sitting on the traffic jam. Anyway, the InterContinental there is also an excellent value for 5000 points per night. I have not stayed at this property before as I was staying at Mandaring and Hyatt when I visited there few years ago.

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club 2nd Quarter Stay/Night Bonuses


Apparently IHG’s Priority Club has two different promotions running for stays/nights that are mutually exclusive. The other one is based on the number of nights stayed and the other one is based on number of stays.

These are the lowest nights/stays to earn the maximum number of points. There are other variations of this offer as well. The best offer is the 10 stays for 15K Priority Club points if most of your stays are no more than a night. Alternatively, you can sign up for the nights based promotion.

You can register for these promotions at Please note that you can only choose one of these offers and it cannot be changed later. This promotion starts on April 1st and is valid until June 30th, 2012.

Nights Based


Stay 3 Nights Get 5000 Bonus Points – Code 1385


Stay 7 Nights Get 10000 Bonus Points – Code 1387


Stay 15 nights Get 15000 Bonus Points – Code 1391

Stay Based


Stay 3 Times Get 5000 Bonus Points – Code 1393


Stay 6 Times Get 10000 Bonus Points – Code 1395


Stay 10 Times Get 15000 Bonus Points – Code 1397

Hualuxe – New InterContinental Hotels Group Brand Aimed at the China

Hualuxe. Hua + luxe. Aimed at somewhere between an InterContinental hotel and a Crowne Plaza. Apparently the InterContinental Hotels Group is trying to come up with a brand that would be better suited to the Chinese market than their current ones.


Here’s how IHG describes the brand:

Tradition – Long-celebrated traditions are reflected in every aspect of the physical hotel design and are brought to life through a refined welcome experience, deep-rooted tea culture and signature food & beverage throughout the hotel from our Fu Lin restaurant to late night noodle bar

Rejuvenation – Natural surroundings from the green arrival, to the lobby garden and resort inspired bathroom helps our guests break away from the pressures of their busy lives and be reinvigorated for the challenges ahead

Status – Recognition and respect are fundamental in Chinese society.  A seamless VIP arrival, a unique Club Lounge experience and specialty food and beverage ‘hosts’ throughout the hotel serve to underpin the importance of our guests and ensure the hospitality they receive and in return give to their business partners is flawless

Familiar Spaces – A range of public/private spaces are thoughtfully set out across the hotel.  From multi-function suites, rejuvenation centre and tea house we’ve created a unique set of facilities for a wide range of social interactions and business meetings


They also made a nice rendition what a property might look like and posted it on YouTube

Not sure what to think of this. Of course the Chinese market is becoming more important by the year for the hoteliers, and the current Western brands may not be tailored closely enough for the target Chinese audience. Building a hotel brand from a scratch is always a long process, however. Eagerly awaiting for these to appear on the Points Breaks sometime in 2013.

InterContinental Ambassador Free Weekend Night Certificate – Rate Code IBAMB

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Back in October, I wrote about if it makes sense to buy an Ambassador membership for InterContinental hotels. One of the things that you get, when joining, is this Ambassador free weekend night certificate.



In the past you could book any rate (corporate/suites/discounted) for two nights. You would just hand the certificate at check in and they would only charge for the first night. This was changed two years ago, however. You need to use the website to make the booking. If you cannot get the website to work, you can call the reservations and reference the rate code IBAMB.

This certificate can be used for Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday night stays. In the Middle East this is Thursday and Friday or Friday and Saturday nights.

The Ambassador Free Weekend rate is basically the best flexible rate. Most of the time you can save significantly by booking this rate and using the certificate, but sometimes a hotel can have sale rates that are far less than the best flexible rate.

At the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong the Ambassador Free Weekend Night certificate prices are exactly the Best Flexible rates. At the same time the hotel is having an advance purchase rates that are 10% less that the best flexible.


Ambassador Free weekend Night certificate rates


Three Priority Club Points Promotions That You Should Sign Up For

Last week, I had couple of InterContinental Hotels Group stays in Kuala Lumpur. I signed up for few new promos that I hadn’t done previously to see how/if they work. You can sign up for these promos using the following link and plugging in your Priority Club number and the four number promotion code.

These three promotions should work for all. The Elite member next stay bonus probably requires a Gold or higher status with Priority Club, however.

Anniversary Bonus Offer – 6102


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 earnings.

Elite Member Next Stay Bonus – 5221


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.

Welcome Back Bonus – 2120


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

Priority Club One Day Sale – 50% to 75% off Normal Redemption Rates

The new Priority Club One Say sale is on again. These discounted rates are bookable until 11.59PM EST on 15th of March, 2012.


They have again 12 properties on the sale list that includes one InterContinental hotel as well. This Cleveland property is not really that expensive in the first place. You should always consider if it makes sense to use points even at a lowered rate.

The Crowne Plaza hotels in Okinawa and Curitiba are good value using points. Brazil especially has become very expensive country in the past few years. Indigo Liverpool at 12.5K and Holiday Inn Express Shanghai Pudong at 7.5K are not that shabby offers either.



You can access this sale at

InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Night Based Promotion For The 2nd Quarter of 2012

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UPDATE: Please note that some of these are actually based on STAYS rather than on NIGHTS. I will update this in the next few days to clarify which are based on STAYS and which are based on NIGHTS. There is NO rush to register as this one won’t start before April 1st, 2012. 

IHG’s Priority Club just launched their stay/nights based bonus points promotion for the 2nd quarter of 2012. This offer is valid from April 1st until June 30th, 2012.

Normally Priority Club member is targeted to one of these based on their stay history, but that doesn’t prevent registering to one of the other offers if they decide to do so.

Please note that you can only register for ONE of these, and once you have registered you cannot change it.

Stay 3 get 5000 points Code 1385
Stay 4 get 5000 points Code 1386
Stay 7 get 10000 points Code 1387
Stay 8 get 10000 points Code 1388
Stay 10 get 10000 points Code 1389
Stay 12 get 10000 points Code 1390
Stay 15 get 15000 points Code 1391
Stay 18 get 15000 points Code 1392

Depending how many nights you expect to stay during the second quarter, you should choose 3, 7, or 15 nights version of this promotion.

You can then use the following link for registering:

Last Call For Priority Club Awards At Old Point Levels – March 18th, 2012

On January 3rd InterContinental Hotels Group’s Priority Club announced that some hotel categories were changing on January 18th resulting 25% going up, 20% going down, and the rest was staying the same.

Priority Club didn’t want to provide a list of hotels changing categories due to “competitive” reasons. Both Marriott and Starwood moved some hotels, but didn’t have a problem providing a list of properties. I manually went through all the InterContinental’s and made a list of the new points requirements compared to old ones.

At the same time Priority Club announced that they would honor the old redemptions levels until March 18th. You can book the hotel using the new points rate and call Priority Club to have them to give you goodwill points for the difference.  These goodwill points will count towards your Priority Club Gold/Status.


I took advantage this couple of weeks ago when I was staying at a Holiday Inn Suva (Fij). Made the booking using Priority Club points and later called the customer service. Rep posted the 5000 points as a goodwill one.

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


UPDATE: If you signed up for the challenge after May 31st and successfully complete it, your Hyatt Gold Passport status will be valid until the end of February 2014.

Hyatt has a nice little program, and I have been a Diamond member since 2004. The program has grown significantly since 2004 mainly by Hyatt acquiring both Amerisuites, which were later converted to Hyatt Places, and Summerfield Suites, that became Hyatt Houses. Both of these acquisitions were a way for Hyatt to enter the limited service market i.e. Hilton’s Hampton Inn.

Sign up for our daily blog updates by email and follow us on TwitterFacebook for not to miss any valuable program information and promotions that Hyatt Gold Passport offers.

How to get matched to Hyatt Diamond status?

Hyatt ended doing direct status matched back in 2010. Since then Hyatt has started to do challenges called Hyatt Diamond Trial. You can probably still get a direct match, but you need to do it through a hotels sales department, and it is probably quite a hassle.

 Do you have any of the following statuses?

– Hilton Gold (you can get one easily using this or this) & Hilton Diamond

– SPG Platinum

– Marriott Gold & Platinum

– Priority Club Platinum

Hyatt may match others as well, but it could be worth printing your stay history that shows significant stay activity.

You will be awarded a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Trial, which is in fact a full-fledged Diamond status for 60 days. You will get all the Diamond level benefits during this 60 day period including the four Diamond Suite Awards that are valid up to 7 days each. You can use these to upgrade any paid stay (eligible rate) to a suite at a property that is not on the exclusion list, and has confirmable suite inventory available at the time of request. You need to do the request over the phone as the website is incapable of processing these.

Timing of the Diamond Trial

If you request your Diamond trial now and complete the required number of nights (12), your Hyatt Diamond status will be valid until February 2013. You need to complete the required 25 stays or 50 nights before end of this year to qualify for Diamond status all the way until 2014.

It might be better idea to start the Diamond challenge/trial in the second half of 2012. If nothing has changed, your status should then be valid until February 2014 after doing the required 12 nights in 60 days. Unfortunately I am not aware of the exact cut-off date for this.

Process of requesting the Diamond Challenge/Trial

Do you have a Hyatt Gold Passport account set up? If not it is probably best to set it up online first. Then you need to call (this would be my choice) or send an email request to the service center using the online web form.

You should then receive a following reply within 24 hours:

Thank you for contacting Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service. I
appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

Regarding your inquiry, currently a Diamond Trial Offer is available.
You will receive trial Diamond membership for 60 days with proof of top
tier status with one of our competitors program.  However, you must
complete 12 nights in 60 days to maintain Diamond tier through February
of 2013.  You will also receive 1000 bonus points on your first six
eligible nights within 60 days, up to a maximum of 6000 bonus points.

Please note this offer can only be made one time and can not be extended
beyond the 60 day period.

Please note the list of competitors that Hyatt Gold Passport will match:

Hilton Gold VIP or Hilton Diamond VIP
Marriott Gold or Marriott Platinum
Starwood Platinum Preferred Guest
Priority Club Platinum

Please email or mail a statement of your account activity with a
competitor to us for processing at:

PO Box 27089
Omaha, NE 68127-0089

To find more details on our exclusive Diamond status please visit us
online at:

I appreciate your support of Hyatt and the Gold Passport program. Please
let me know if I may assist you further.


Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service

You can mail the requested documents to the above mentioned address or email them to

They should process the documents within 24 hours and you can then immediately see the updated status by logging in to your Hyatt Gold Passport account.

Note that theoretically this is only once in a lifetime (or program account). You should probably do it if you plan on staying with Hyatt to experience the Hyatt Diamond treatment. As a bonus you will also receive 1000 bonus Gold Passport points for first six of your eligible night during this period.

US Airways Dividend Miles Hotel Points 50% Conversion Bonus Offer – Ends March 31st, 2012

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US Airways has been very predictable of running continuous promotions for buying, gifting, transferring, or converting, money or points to Dividend miles. Their latest offer is 50% bonus for points conversions from number of hotel programs. US Airways run identical offer last year.

Please note that according to the Terms and conditions you can only earn the conversion bonus ONCE.


The beauty of Dividend miles program are the rather generous routing rules, competitive award chart, ability to earn and burn on all Star Alliance carriers and then some, and these continuous offers from Dividend miles.

Essentially, US Airways is selling miles at a reasonable rate that enables the travelers like you and me to experience international business and first class at a fraction of the cost.

But, as always when you are dealing with award space, you need to be flexible and often book either well in advance or at a very last minute. I tend to typically do the latter. When airlines realize that they have unsold business and first class inventory, they often dump it to the award inventory few days before.

There are some drawbacks with US Airways Dividend miles as well. You will end up paying some fees unless you are top tier on their program. There is a booking fee (up to $50) as these cannot be booked on the web, and a quick ticketing fee ($75) if you book less than 21 days in advance. There are no fuel surcharges, however. The US Airways may not be the most stable of the airlines, and there has been some chatter lately of some changes to come. I would do a transfer or buy miles without hesitation, if I know how I would spend them in the next 6 to 12 months.

Look at the conversion partners

The conversion partners this time are Best Western, Choice Privileges, Club Carlson, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, Priority Club, Starwood Preferred Guest, Wyndham Rewards, and La Quinta.


I am only concentrating on Club Carlson, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest conversion possibilities. I don’t believe that the other options provide too much value unless you just need to top off your Dividend Miles account for small number of miles.

Club Carlson


This is very straightforward offer. 100K Club Carlson points would transfer with the 50% conversion bonus to 27K Dividend Miles.

Hyatt Gold Passport

I don’t think that this is a good use of Hyatt Gold Passport points, but this is the last opportunity to transfer them to US Airways and earn the conversion bonus. You cannot earn Dividend Miles or transfer Gold Passport points to Dividend Miles after March 15th, 2012. Hyatt announced their discontinuance of this and some other airline partnerships on February 23rd.


50K Hyatt Gold Passport points would become 37.5K Dividend Miles after Hyatt’s and US Airways’ conversion bonuses. It is actually not that shabby at all.

Marriott Rewards

I transferred close to a million Marriott Rewards points when AA was running somewhat similar conversion bonus before their partnership with Marriott Rewards ended. It was the major push to take me over 2 million lifetime miles in AA’s program and granting me a lifetime AA Platinum status.


The key here is to use Marriott Rewards points for travel packages that have a miles component as well. You can get a seven night award category 1 to 5 Marriott Rewards property and 120K (180K with conversion bonus) US Airways Dividend Miles for 270K Marriott Rewards points.  This is what I did few years ago with AA. The hotel part of this is valid for a year. I was, however, able to extend them by an additional year, but it is no longer possible. There aren’t that many interesting cat 1 to 5 in North America, but there are quite a few in Asia.

Starwood Preferred Guest

This is my favorite hotel program when it comes to transferring points to partners. Starwood has a nice list of partner airlines where you can dump points when needed.


For every 20K Starpoints you transfer, you will receive a 5K miles bonus from Starwood. With the US conversion bonus 20K Starpoints becomes 37.5K Dividend Miles. Note that you can transfer only 60K Starpoints per day to US Airways if you want to maximize the bonuses. This would be 112.5K Dividend Miles.

Here are the Terms and Conditions of this offer that can also be found here.

Eligibility: Offer void where prohibited by law. No registration required. Only miles converted with an activity (‘eligible activity date’) date between March 11, 2012 and March 31, 2012 will earn a bonus. Earning bonus miles: Bonus miles are in addition to Dividend Miles awarded by hotel partners for points conversions. Only hotel points that are converted into Dividend Miles from March 11, 2012 – March 31, 2012 are eligible. Hotel bonus miles do not count towards Preferred status. Bonus miles will post 6-8 weeks from date of the eligible activity date. Dividend Miles members will earn only one bonus when they transfer hotel points into Dividend Miles during the promotion. Dividend Miles members will earn a 50% bonus. Eligible activity date: Eligible activity date is based on the date the qualifying partner records the mileage transaction, and not necessarily the date on which the transaction occurred. US Airways assumes no responsibility for how qualifying partners record activity dates. Check with the applicable partner to confirm policies and procedures for recording activity dates. The last date that activity from a qualifying partner can be received by US Airways for bonus miles consideration is April 10, 2012, regardless of the eligible activity date for such activity. General terms: All US Airways Dividend Miles terms and conditions apply. You may opt out of US Airways emails at any time. US Airways is not responsible for the quality or delivery of goods and/or services provided by Dividend Miles partners. All Dividend Miles partner terms and conditions apply. Partner offers are subject to change without notice. Hotel transfers (points to miles conversions) are subject to terms and conditions as stipulated in your agreement with your hotel program.

Comparing Lifetime Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood Status Options

Hyatt, Marriott and now also Starwood has realized that giving out a lifetime status after meeting some pretty tough revenue, number of nights, and number of years in the program could be an important part to make members stick with the chain long term.

I have already independently written about Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood requirements. Currently neither InterContinental Hotels Group (Priority Club/Ambassador) nor Hilton offer a lifetime incentive for their members.

My preference in easiness of achieving the top tier lifetime status in these three programs is as following:

1. Starwood Lifetime Platinum

Requires only 500 nights (now all nights count including cash & points/award) + 10 years of Platinum membership

This is in my opinion the easiest. The night requirement is not onerous. The only “real” requirement is the fact that you need to have Platinum status for 10 years. These years do not need to be continuous, but other years do not count for lifetime Platinum.

2. Marriott Lifetime Platinum

Requires 2 million points, 1000 nights & 12 years as a Marriott Rewards member.

The biggest hurdle is the number of night’s requirement, although all the nights count including the ones from credit card + possible meeting ones.

The 2 million point’s requirement might sound high, but in reality it is not considering how many points you will earn from the stays including all the status based bonuses, Megabonus promotions, and points from the credit card spend.

You need to have been at least ones a Platinum member during your membership of the program.

3. Hyatt Lifetime Diamond

This can be the easiest or hardest depending how much you spend. The requirement is one million base points. These are NOT the lifetime points that you can see in your account, but only points that are from eligible revenue before any additional bonuses. It translates to $200K in Hyatt spend that is credited towards Hyatt points. If you have credited some of the stays to airline miles, none of those count for this lifetime status.

The only other requirement is the requirement of having been a Gold Passport member for 10 years. There is no need to ever have a status with Hyatt.

InterContinental Minibar Get’s The Royal Ambassador Treatment


One of the benefits of being a Royal Ambassador with InterContinental is the complimentary minibar beverages (including the alcohol) on paid stays. The minibar should be refreshed daily.

Most of the InterContinental hotels do adhere to this, and give out complimentary snacks as well, although this is not required by the program. Some properties even extend this benefit to award stays, although again not required.

Then there are some InterContinental hotels like the one here in Kuala Lumpur that specially “prepares” the Royal Ambassador’s minibar prior to arrival.

Can you spot the differences between these two?

Regular Minibar at the InterContinental Kuala Lumpur


Royal Ambassador Minibar at the InterContinental Kuala Lumpur 


White and red wine both gone and replaced by two generic water bottles. Also the Ferrero Rocher chocolates gone. Half of the beers and some soft drinks gone. No energy drink and some fruit juices either. They do this minibar clean up quite cleverly. They remove the price list so that a Royal Ambassador guest cannot be sure what should be included.

Last night, I actually asked one of the ladies who were working in the lounge if they do this for all Royal Ambassador. She was borderline embarrassed to say that they do. What really surprised me is the fact that the minibar here never included any hard liquor. Only some red and white wine in small bottles that cannot be that expensive.

InterContinental Bangkok used to clear their minibar from hard liquor, but they had 2 deciliter bottles not the usual tiny minis. They did stop this practice, however. I hope that InterContinental Kuala Lumpur would star adhering to the Royal Ambassador benefits. Maybe this has something to do with converting this hotel from Nikko to InterContinental brand.

Holiday Inn Suva, Fiji – Review of My Stay

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Isn’t it quite remarkable that a Holiday Inn is the best hotel in the capital? This was the case with Suva that is the capital of Fiji. I had zero expectation as one should always have when booking a Holiday Inn. Some of them are nice but lots of them are not so nice, to put it very kindly. This one in Suva? It was actually one of the nicer ones to my surprise.

[nggallery id=39]

There is another hotel, Novotel Suva Lami Bay, that you may also consider when exploring Suva. It is ten to fifteen minute drive from the center of Suva and they provide a shuttle several times a day. I think that overall Holiday Inn was better.


The hotel is located in the center of Suva. It is very close to all government buildings and nightlife. The location really couldn’t be better as everything is within a walking distance.

Check In

I should always remember that when you are in somewhere in Pacific everything that just happens slower. There was one person checking in before me, but the process was taking forever. I asked the agent if he could page someone to come help him with check ins/outs. He then paged a lady to help him.

I had made an award reservation, because the paid rates that are bookable on their website were on the high side. This property was shown as 20K Priority Club points per night, but it is still bookable until 15th of March using the previous points requirement per night that was 15K/night. For some reason the lady was asking me a printed copy of the award reservation. According to her, they had had some problems with Priority Club reservation made using points and they request the guest to provide a copy of the award reservation. This was solved by forwarding a copy of the email to the hotel from my phone.

After these email confirmation issues were solved, I was checked in to a nice second floor room facing the ocean. This property had an additional Platinum amenity. You could choose one snack item or get a free drink coupon to the bar. I chose the latter.

Room 276

The room was nice for a Holiday Inn. It wasn’t the most modern but quite well kept up. I would imagine this to be the only Holiday Inn in the entire world where the free water for brushing teeth is Fiji.  There was a nice view from the balcony to the pool area and to the sea.



The pool itself wasn’t huge, but there were people enjoying it. I would come to Fiji and stay in this business hotel for vacationing purposes. There are other hotels in Fiji that are targeted to more leisure crowds.


Food & Beverage Outlets

I only had few drinks in the evening and some iced teas in the following afternoon in the hotel, and thus cannot comment about the quality, service, and the price of food & beverage. There are plenty of places to eat and drink within a walking distance from the hotel.



This was a perfect hotel to explore the city of Suva. There is a large park next to the hotel that houses the history museum of Fiji that is definitely worth visiting. All the government buildings are next door to this hotel.

You have to accept that the service here is not really up to the standards that you might have come to expect even from a Holiday Inn. The stay overall, however, was good.

If you have Priority Club points, this is a very good place to burn some of them. The paid rates are high compared to number of points required.

Priority Club One Day Sale – 50% to 67% off Regular Redemption Rates


This Priority Club One Say Sale is apparently their new weekly feature. I don’t mind as it is always great to save when you are redeeming points.


These discounted rewards are only available until midnight Thursday EST.

This time they have 12 properties from 50% to 67% discount off their regular redemption rates. I don’t understand why they have the InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Financial Center on this list as this property NEVER has any paid or redemption availability. I again checked ten different dates during this redemption sale period and none was available.



You can access this sale at

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