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The entry level status tier is called “Insider”, and the benefits are excellent:
- Early Check-in
- Late Check-out
- Free Internet
- Room Upgrade
For context, the major hotel loyalty programmes require at least 10-20+ nights at their hotels before they offer anything like all of those benefits, so this is quite an interesting move by iPrefer. I suspect there may be some ambitious membership recruitment targets to meet, and we’re fortunate enough to be the beneficiaries!
It’s also worth pointing out that iPrefer offer status matches to their ‘Elite’ tier too – just email proof of your status with another hotel loyalty programme to iPrefer@preferredhotels.com
‘Elite’ only officially gets you a welcome amenity in addition to the ‘Insider’ benefits, but I imagine the upgrades are better too.
Are the hotels any good?
Preferred Hotels & Resorts claims to represent “the finest and most diverse global portfolio of independent hotels and independent hotel experiences”. I don’t know about that, but they certainly have some great places!
In total, there are about 550 hotels to choose from, spread out over 80+ countries, so there are more opportunities to take advantage of ‘Insider’ status than you might think.
Here are just a few of the properties that I’d love to stay at:
The Upper House is widely regarded as one of the very best hotels in Hong Kong, but with prices to match its reputation, I’m probably not going to be staying there any time soon.
New York is well represented, with the stunning Sherry-Netherland and The Mark being the pick of the crop. Again, prices are definitely outside my usual travel budget, but for a special occasion, maybe?
Perhaps more realistically, the State Hermitage Museum Hotel in St. Petersburg looks fantastic, and is surprisingly affordable (due to the collapse of the Ruble presumably). Prices start at well under £100 per night.
This is InsideFlyerUK – there’s always something more!
‘iPrefer Points’ aren’t really anything to get too excited about – you earn 10 per $1 USD, but require 12,500 to get a $25 discount. This means you get 2% back, which is far from impressive.
Fortunately, there is a promotion on at the moment for 12,500 Bonus Points ($25.00) per ‘eligible stay’. The offer appears in the bottom left when you search on the iPrefer site, but I can’t find the terms and conditions anywhere to confirm what ‘eligible stay’ means.
You can also receive frequent flyer Miles (choices include BA, Virgin, American, Etihad, Alaska, United etc) on top of ‘iPrefer Points’, and there’s a Double Miles bonus for 2+ night stays. This means you get 1,000 Miles rather than 500.
In short, sign up – it’s free, the benefits are good and some of the hotels are amazing!