UPDATE: It looks like I goofed. Multiple readers have stated that they have received the full 10% Priority Club points rebate even for Points & Cash awards. I don’t know why my experience (a year ago) was different. Please disregard this post!
If you have the Priority Club Select Visa and you’ve booked a Priority Club Points & Cash award, you should cancel it. Here’s why…
Priority Club Visa cardholders are automatically given a 10% rebate on all award redemptions (up to 100,000 points back per year). If you book Points & Cash, you’re not getting as many points back as you could be. So, cancel your award and then rebook fully with points (make sure of award availability first, though!).
Buy points by cancelling
Chances are, if you booked a Points & Cash award, you did not have enough points to book the room outright. Once you cancel your award, though, you will have enough points! The reason is that when you cancel a Points & Cash award, you do not get your cash refunded – instead, Priority Club credits your account with the full number of points required for the redemption. For example, if you paid 40,000 points plus $70 for a night at the InterContinental pictured below, you would get back 50,000 points when cancelling the reservation. In other words, you would have bought 10,000 points for $70. This is a well known and easily reproducible trick for buying Priority Club points for less than a penny each (.7 cents each).
Book the full award
Now that you’ve canceled your Points & Cash award, rebook the same hotel completely with points. Thanks to your Priority Club Visa, you’ll get 10% of the points back – more points back than you would have before. The value of this trick increases with longer stays. Suppose, for example, you had booked a 5 night stay for 40,000 points + $70 per night. By following the above advice, the total points used for this award will increase from 200,000 points to 250,000. As a result, your 10% point rebate will increase from 20,000 points to 25,000 points.
Is it worth it?
Well, the points savings here are pretty small, so I’d say this trick is really for those strongly committed to maximizing their points. Of course, if that’s you, you’re probably more likely to book Priority Club Point Breaks for only 5000 points per night anyway…