I recently wrote about the newly released reward rates at Choice hotels from mid-April till the end of June. Well, there is now a nice discount for buying Choice Privileges points till February 4th. If you’re interested in a Europe trip and have some flexibility in your travel plans, you can really save on lodging by purchasing points and redeeming them wisely.
First, it’s important to figure out how much you’ll actually be paying for these points. Prices are displayed in USD and Canadian residents pay HST.
The discount is 30% off when you buy at least 5000 points and you can purchase up to 120,000 points in a year. When Choice does a promo like this it’s usually either a 30% discount or a 40% bonus. The Daily Getaways sale that will hopefully happen again this spring has even lower prices but those points sell out fast and don’t count toward your yearly limit.
With this sale you have time to ponder the possibilities and see if it makes sense to purchase. It’s generally not a good idea to buy points speculatively. You should have a redemption in mind to ensure you get value for your money.
Keeping in mind the additional currency conversion and HST calculations, here are some sample prices:
In my post last week I highlighted some of the hotels with rates of 8000 or 10,000 points per night in the April 16 – June 30 time period. Here are a few of those with the corresponding “Best Available” paid rate. The numbers below reflect an average rate over a 3-night stay from April 17-20. Since you cannot book reward stays more than 100 days out, I wanted to be sure I was looking at actual availability.
London, England – Comfort Inn Hyde Park
Paris, France – Comfort Hotel Sixteen Paris Montrouge
Galway, Ireland – The House Hotel, Ascend Collection
An annoying aspect of the Choice website is that you cannot see the specific room types available if you don’t have enough points in your account. But you’ll at least know if larger capacity rooms exist if you put 3+ adults in the search and it shows availability. And, as above, it’s not uncommon to see a higher category room available on Choice points.
If you have any plans to travel to the Nordic countries, note that Choice reward rates are not seasonal there and can be a terrific value in an otherwise pricey region. Here are two examples and although I’m using April dates, the number of points required will be the same in the middle of summer, unlike the rest of Europe. For these I used the “change currency” option at the top of the page to display the rates in CAD.
Stockholm, Sweden – Clarion Hotel Sign
Bergen, Norway – Hotel No. 13, Ascend Collection
Buying Choice points at a discount can be a great way to score low hotel rates. Just be sure to do the math carefully so you know what you’re paying and how much you will save. For me, the goal with loyalty programs has always been to look for sweet spots like these. My stays at Choice hotels in Europe with purchased points in 2018 were a great value and perhaps someone reading this can enjoy a similar outcome this spring.