Mother/Daughter Europe Trip: Saving $405 on Two Nights in Amsterdam

  • Transatlantic flights – Check!
    (we saved $1746)
  • Flights to and from Venice – Check!!
    (we saved 20%)
  • First hotel booking of the mother/daughter Europe trip – Check!!!
    (we saved $405)

A few weeks ago, I heard about upcoming changes to the Priority Club point redemption rates. I kept an eye out for the changes, because this would directly affect my planned hotel bookings since I was going to redeem Priority Club points (obtained through the Chase Priority Club credit card).

A timely post over at Million Mile Secrets reminded me that the changes were live, and that the new award redemption rates were posted. So I went on over to the Priority Club website and sure enough, the redemption rates had increased for the hotel where we were planning to stay in Amsterdam (the Crowne Plaza, about 300 meters from Amsterdam Centraal).

I called the number on the website, and was transferred a few times before I could find someone who knew what I was talking about. The first person in the general reservations department didn’t even know what I was talking about, the second person I was transferred to in the Priority Club points department didn’t even keep me on the line long enough for me to explain what I wanted, the third person I was transferred to in the general reservations department (again) transferred me to the Priority Club points department (again!) after I explained I wanted to book with points. Normally I would be frustrated by all this transferring, but it happened so quickly it might have taken 2 minutes total.

The person I finally spoke with at the Priority Club points department was friendly and was able to help me book the hotel I wanted, and finally I was transferred to her superviser for payment of the fees for the “points plus cash” option.

Photos of Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre, AmsterdamThis photo of Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre is courtesy of TripAdvisor

It took me a while to figure out what was actually happening with the booking – the accents were thick and the process was a little convoluted. While you have until March 18, 2013 to book at the old rates (you have to call them on the phone, you can’t book the old rates on the website), you don’t actually book at the old rates. This is where I got confused.

  • Your hotel is booked at the current, new rate (in my case, 40k points per night).
  • You get credits added to your account to account for the change in rates from the old redemption requirements (in this case, 5k points per night).
  • If you book the points+cash option, your cash is converted to points and applied to the total (I chose the $70=10k points option).

So if you can follow that process, this is what it looked like:

  • 10,000 points added to equal the old redemption requirements
  • 20,000 points added due to points + cash option
  • 80,000 points redeemed in total for two nights
  • BUT only 50,000 points redeemed out of my account (and $140 out of pocket)

Confusing, right? Anyway, we’ve now got our hotels booked for the first two nights in Europe!!

I paid $140 (which will be split between the two of us) for two nights at hotel that would normally have cost $545 for two nights. That’s a savings of $405! And even better, because I booked it with my Priority Club Visa, I’ll get a 10% rebate on points redeemed. We’ll just have to wait and see if that is 10% of the 50,000 out of my pocket (5,000 points rebated), or 10% of all points redeemed, which would be 80,000 (8,000 points rebated). Either way, that is enough to book one night at a Points Break hotel, or to get a good discount on other locations.

Photos of Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre, AmsterdamThis photo of Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The next step in the planning process will be to decide on lodgings in Paris, Venice, and in the several Polish cities we’ll be visiting. I’m leaning toward Airbnb for Paris and possibly parts of Poland, but I’ll be booking a hotel in Venice with some credit card points since our time there is short, and all forms of lodging there are expensive.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Credit Cards, Lodgings, Planning

Tags: , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. The Crowne Plaza is very close to a famous beer bar in Amsterdam- In De Wilderman. Check out ithinkthereforeiamsterdam.wordpress – a great Amsterdam-based blog for more gems!

Trackbacks

  1. Itinerary Planning Process: Amsterdam and Brussels « Wander One Day
  2. My Gut and My Brain: Booking with Airbnb in Paris « Wander One Day
  3. Trip Planning Timeline: Months in Advance « Wander One Day

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