Choice Privileges is back with its annual “Members Only Madness” promotion. If you’re open to making a purchase of points, you’ll receive up to a 40% bonus until December 1, 2020 depending on how many you buy. Even if you’re not so sure about it, if you’ve never taken a look at the loyalty program for Choice Hotels, now is as good a time as any.
Over the course of this week, Choice Privileges will release various offers as part of its Members Only Madness promotion and today they revealed a bonus for buying points. The largest bonus of 40% applies to purchases of at least 20,000 points; if you purchase fewer points you’ll get a smaller bonus:
Buy 3000-7000 – get a 20% bonus
Buy 8000-19,000 – get a 30 %bonus
Buy 20,000+ – get a 40% bonus
The limit one can purchase has been raised to 250,000 points as part of the promo.
Terms and Conditions:
* Tuesday’s Deal: Transactions must be completed between 9 AM EST Nov 16, 2020 and 11:59 PM EST Dec 1, 2020 to be eligible for this bonus offer. Must be a Choice Privileges® Rewards Program member; Points will be posted to your Choice Privileges account within 24 hours after your transaction is complete. Purchased points do not count toward Elite Status or Lifetime Elite Gold Status. Transactions are final and non-refundable. Offer may not be valid for all members. All other terms and conditions of the Choice Privileges Rewards Program apply. Choice Hotels reserves the right to amend these terms or terminate this promotion at any time. Price includes all applicable fees. There is a 3,000 minimum purchase that applies; see site for details. Members may normally buy or receive up to a total of 180,000 points in a calendar year; during the term of this promotion, that limit is raised to 250,00 points annually. Purchased points are not refundable and are applicable towards all Choice Privileges rewards.
Choice periodically offers similar 40% bonuses or discounts of 25 or 30% off the price. The last such bonus was only a couple of months ago. Hence this deal is not the best ever but it’s still a good offer if you have any plans to book a Choice hotel in the future and are confident you’ll come out ahead by buying points. Prices are in USD and remember that because the transaction is processed by Points.com you’ll have to pay HST.
If, for example, you plan to use your points for three nights at a 10,000 point hotel, you’d buy 22,000 (+8800) for $217.80 USD which would come to around $328 CAD after conversion and HST. If you were to stay three nights at the 10,000 point Clarion Collection in Karlskrona, Sweden before your cheap overnight ferry to Poland, it would be a significant savings, but using them at the Comfort Inn in Dartmouth, NS would be a more modest savings. You definitely need to do your research before you buy points.
Choice Privileges Quirks
The Choice program has a few peculiarities that folks should be aware of…
- Members may only book reward stays 100 days in advance
- Reward rates vary by season and day of the week (except at Nordic Choice properties)
- To see all the rooms available on points you need enough points in your account to book
- At some hotels suites are available for the same number of points as a standard room
Although the 100 day booking window is annoying, I view Choice Privileges as something of an underrated program. Its points-earning promotions have a nice predictability (8000 points after two qualifying stays) and until 2020, a great way to load up on points cheaply was through the annual U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways sale. (That event was scheduled to happen back in the the spring and the website continues to say “check back soon for more information on Daily Getaways for 2020” so who knows when it will actually happen.)
For the majority of properties, you can only see the redemption rates for the period ending April 15, 2021. If you happen to remember the point rates at specific hotels last year, it’s possible those will return but there’s no way to know for sure. Buying points speculatively carries risk but if you have some flexibility with your plans it’s likely you’ll be able to redeem them at a good value.
Cyber Monday Discount
The press release also mentions a 30% discount when you book on November 30, 2020 for a paid stay at a Choice-branded hotel.
If you feel you have a reasonable grasp on the Choice Privileges program and foresee a return to travel in the relative near future, buying some points might not be a bad idea. If you don’t currently have enough points to see room types at a certain hotel, feel free to shoot me an email so I can check for you.