I Prefer Hotels: Get instant Authority status (free breakfast & lounge access) with Mastercard

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Mastercard cardholders can get instant I Prefer Authority status for a year, with free breakfast and lounge access perks.

You may not have heard of I Prefer before, but it’s the loyalty programme of a loosely-affiliated group of upscale and luxury boutique hotels. With 650 properties across 80 countries, their footprint is about 70% as large as Hyatt’s. 

Participating hotels in Singapore include The Fullerton and Fullerton Bay Hotel, One Farrer, and Royal Plaza on Scotts. Other well-known properties include The Siam in Bangkok, The Sanchaya in Bintan, and Royal Lancaster in London. 

Mastercard is now offering instant I Prefer elite status, with World Elite cardholders getting fast tracked all the way to Authority, the invite-only tier of the scheme. This includes perks like free breakfast and lounge access, as well as space-available upgrades. 

I Prefer Offer

Get instant I Prefer status with Mastercard

The Siam Bangkok

From now till 31 January 2023, Mastercard holders in Asia Pacific can enjoy instant I Prefer status as follows:

  • World Elite Mastercard: I Prefer Authority status
  • World Mastercard: I Prefer Elite status
  • Platinum & Titanium Mastercard: I Prefer Explorer status
  • Gold, Classic & Standard Mastercard: I Prefer Insider status & 2,500 bonus points

Obviously the offer for World Elite Mastercard is the best, but there’s only three such cards in Singapore that I’m aware of:

  • Citi Prestige
  • OCBC Premier World Elite Debit Card
  • UOB Lady’s Solitaire Metal Card

I wasn’t even aware that I Prefer Authority status exists (the name just conjures Eric Cartman in my mind); apparently it’s a new invite-only tier introduced in July 2021. The perks of each tier can be found below:

Click to enlarge

Once status is upgraded, it will be valid for one year. Subsequent requalification follows I Prefer’s regular requirements:

  • Explorer: Spend at least US$2,500 in a year
  • Elite: Spend at least US$5,000 in a year

There’s no indication of how you requalify for Authority. 

If you don’t have an I Prefer account

If you don’t already have an I Prefer account, you can sign up via the links below:

I’m assuming that everyone should have at least a World Mastercard, and curiously enough there doesn’t seem to be any sort of verification anyway. 

Under the referral code field, you can copy and paste my referral code to enjoy 1,000 bonus  points on sign up (worth US$2, don’t get too excited).

51d77862-7e04-45da-bb37-8f5c697dc947 

The account will be created immediately, with the 1,000 points credited. 

If you already have an I Prefer account

If you already have an I Prefer account, follow these steps to get upgraded:

  1. Email [email protected] the following
    • Subject Title – “Mastercard Offer – Status Match”
    • Full Name per I Prefer’s membership registration
    • Email used to register for I Prefer membership 
    • I Prefer Membership Number (Existing members who enrolled previously might have a 5-digit or 10-digit alphanumeric number)
    • Type of Mastercard  – World Elite, World, Platinum, Titanium, Gold, Classic or Standard
  2. You will receive an email reply from I Prefer within 7 business days upon successful upgrade.

I’ve sent in an email already, and was upgraded within 24 hours. Surprisingly, they didn’t even ask for verification…

How useful is I Prefer status?

The (rather underwhelming) Fullerton Sydney- no discernible I Prefer Elite benefits

I’ll level with you: my experiences thus far as an I Prefer Elite member (obtained courtesy of a status match) have been nothing short of meh.

At the Fullerton Hotel Sydney, Hotel Munchen Palace and Hotel Maximilian, I got nothing more than a drinks voucher (after making noise)- no upgrades, no late check-out, no welcome amenity. The staff seemed altogether unfamiliar with the programme.

However, there may be some value in I Prefer Authority, since it offers actual, concrete benefits like breakfast and lounge access. That could save you a chunk of money, and give you some nice evening cocktails to look forward to every day.

According to the I Prefer terms and conditions, you’ll need to book through the following channels to enjoy points and benefits: 

  • IPrefer.com, PreferredHotels.com, PreferredGolf.com, StayBeyondGreen.com
  • Preferred Hotel Group call centers
  • Travel agent bookings (other than online travel agents including, but not limited to Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia, and Hotels.com)
  • Hotel website
  • Hotel direct bookings, e.g. phone bookings

Here’s the thing though: I’ve previously made bookings via the hotel’s official website and been told at the front desk that I had to book through I Prefer to receive benefits.

That could just be an unfamiliar front desk associate making up rules, although if you want to spare yourself the argument and if the rate is the same, then bookings via I Prefer might be the better option.

Conclusion

Royal Lancaster London

Mastercard is offering complimentary I Prefer status, with World Elite Mastercard cardholders enjoying the invitation-only Authority tier. This gives you free breakfast and lounge access, and while elite recognition may be patchy across the programme, costs you nothing to obtain. 

This offer is available till 31 January 2023, and status earned is valid for one year- so there’s no rush to apply, unless you believe it might get yanked ahead of time (which given the lax verification requirements, is quite possible).

(HT: Justin)

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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chk

I can only apply for Elite but it doesn’t come with free breakfast even…..

Mike

The hint is “no verification”. I just signed up and already given Authority status – no card number needed.

billy

so can i submit upgrade to authority without giving card number?

Mike

Unfortunately, now they ask for verification by asking for your CC number.

John

anyone got first 6 digit to share?

Anthony

Does debit world elite work?

anon

Does this apply to the debit cards from DBS?

Andy

They removed my 1,000 referral bonus points once they verified my credit card details. Puzzling…

Louis Tan

From their email to me: “the referral bonus points you received at the time of enrollment will be deducted as the terms of this offer state that multiple promotional enrollment offers cannot be combined”.

Feels like a lot more could be done with the signup mechanism to reduce all this manual work…

cheesecake

This was the response I got. “We are pleased to confirm your Authority status, and have removed the 1,000 referral bonus points. Per the stated terms of this promotional offer, only one enrollment incentive may be awarded. As the Authority status and referral bonus are both separate enrollment incentives, we are able to honor one or the other. If you would prefer to keep the 1,000 bonus points, please let us know – we can restore those points and downgrade your membership to Insider status.” It wasn’t clear from the onset that getting Authority status means forfeiting the 1,000 referral… Read more »

S&S

Hello XXXXX,   Thank you for your request regarding our partner promotion with Mastercard® APAC.   To ensure qualification for the I Prefer Authority status upgrade, please send us a picture of your World Elite Mastercard showing the following information: Full Name First 6 digits of your card number Card Name “World Elite”   For security purposes, please ensure only the above information is visible when providing the image. If you are taking a picture of the back of the card, please cover the cv2 numbers and all other credit card details.    Your upgrade will not be applied until verification is… Read more »

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