I’ve joined and used the Priority Privilege membership program a couple of times over the last few years, and used the benefits sporadically, but to great effect, over the course of 12 months membership each time.
Update: at this point (in July 2014) it looks like the Priority Privilege program is being closed down to new members, with existing member benefits continuing for the duration of membership. I’ll update this guide when I hear more.
What is the Priority Privilege program
Priority Privilege is a paid membership scheme that gives members a set of vouchers and discounts to use for significant savings on stays at hotels in the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental) hotels, across Australia, NZ and some other countries across Asia/Pacific, including Fiji and Vanuatu.
For the last year I had membership, here’s how I used the Priority Privilege benefits, and what I saved:
|2 nights for price of 1 certificate||$355|
|$50 hotel credit voucher||$50|
|Breakfast for 2 certificate||$60|
|Crowne Plaza Newcastle|
|2 nights for price of 1 newsletter offer||$260|
|50% off dining for two||$21|
|10% off advance purchase rate||$25|
|Cost of membership||$289|
Even though I only had 3 eligible hotel stays, I still managed to save nearly $500, and the savings also ensured I felt OK with spending more to have larger, more comfortable rooms, which ultimately improved my stays in these 3 hotels.
What are the documented benefits of Priority Privilege
The benefits of membership re articulated pretty clearly on the Priority Privilege website and fairly easy to use and understand. Membership is currently set at $309 annually.
The participating hotels are:
- Crowne Plaza Canberra
- InterContinental Sydney
- Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach
- Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley
- Crowne Plaza Newcastle
- Crowne Plaza Norwest
- Crowne Plaza Terrigal
- Holiday Inn Darling Harbour
- Old Sydney Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Parramatta
- Holiday Inn Potts Point
- Holiday Inn Sydney Airport
- Holiday Inn Warwick Farm
- Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn
- Gagudju Lodge Cooinda
- InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort
- Crowne Plaza Gold Tower Surfers Paradise
- Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise
- Holiday Inn Cairns
- Holiday Inn Townsville
- InterContinental Adelaide
- Crowne Plaza Adelaide
- InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
- Crowne Plaza Melbourne
- Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport
- Holiday Inn On Flinders
- Crowne Plaza Perth
- Holiday Inn Perth City Centre
South Pacific – Fiji Islands
- InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa
- Holiday Inn Suva
- Crowne Plaza Auckland
- Holiday Inn Auckland
- Holiday Inn Rotorua
- Crowne Plaza Queenstown
- InterContinental Wellington
- Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu
And the headline benefits are:
- 10% off the Best Flexible Rate for any number of stays
- 10% off the Advance Purchase Rate (which is non-refundable) for any number of stays
- Two ‘Stay 2 Nights for the Price of 1’ certificates
- Two 25% off Best Flexible Rate certificates, with the discount value for a the full duration of a stay
- Up to 50% off dining at participating hotel restaurant outlets
- A Breakfast for Two certificate
- A $50 Hotel Credit certificate
Beyond these benefits, you’ll also get to earn IHG Rewards points for any stay you make when using the Priority Privilege discounted rates. This is pretty valuable, as IHG Rewards points can easily stack up on single night stays – have a read of the IHG Rewards guide for more.
Conclusion – Priority Privilege Membership Program
For $309 you’re going to receive a range of discounts and benefits. These are ideal for two sets of travellers. First, those like me – if you like to eye up ways in which to leverage memberships and loyalty programs for high-value opportunities, Priority Privilege is great – it’s possible to very easily earn back the price of admission in just one stay.
Secondly, there’s the true frequent traveller – if you self fund your own leisure or business travels and you could have a choice to stay in InterContinental, Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza hotels, then leveraging the certificates AND ongoing booking benefits could easily add up to substantial savings.
Advanced Priority Privilege hack: Easily research Priority Privilege discounts by using the right discount rate preference codes
The Priority Privilege website allows members to research availability through use of a country/city based form containing participating properties. This doesn’t allow non-members to research the kind of discounts on offer to members to assess the value proposition of the program. However…there is a way around this.
The Priority Privilege discounted rates are based off a set of ‘rate preferences’ (discount codes) applied to participating hotels in the Priority Club online booking engine. These rate preferences can be manually applied to any accommodation search – but the rate codes and the method to apply them is not generally known.
The rate codes for each discount type are as follows – once you’ve clicked on the link for any of the codes, you’ll need to change both the destination (city/town) and the Rate Preference dropdown to select and apply the rate preference.
- 10% off Best Flexible Rate – IDPMF
- 25% off Best Flexible Rate voucher – IDPMC
- 10% off Advance Purchase rate – IDPM5 for bookings more than 5 days away, IDP14 for bookings more than 14 days away, and IDPLS for bookings for bookings more than 30 days away
- Stay 2 nights for the price of 1 voucher – IDPBG
- Special Offer – IDPP2 (seems valid for bookings in Jan, March, May, August, October and December)*
- Special Offer – IDPSP (seems valid for bookings in Feb, April, June, July, September and November)*
- Stay 2 nights for the price of 1 in China – IDPBC (not sure if this needs a voucher)
The special offer rate codes apply to the offers sent out in the Priority Privilege newsletter; however sometimes these rates are broadly available outside of the specified offer month, so it can be worth checking.
The accessibility of using the cards by the public means anyone can book the Priority Privilege member rates – but as the hotel asks for your membership card and your certificate for eligibility, you still need to be a valid member when staying to obtain the discount.
Hopefully this makes assessing the value of the program to you for future stays much easier.