Here is another discount on buying hotel points. This can be a great way to save on lodging in Europe. If you have any desire to visit Stockholm (which you should), it’s a good city for using Choice Privileges points to get a nice hotel for a low cost. When my parents and I spent three nights in Stockholm several years ago, we stayed down in the bowels of a boat. It was clean and near a metro stop. Breakfast was included and most importantly, it was within our budget. Scandinavia can be a real challenge to the budget of a frugal traveller and points can be a good way to stretch your dollar. Here are a few examples using this promotion.
From now till September 6 you can get up to a 30% discount on a purchase or gift of Choice Privileges points. Members may buy up to 50,000 points per year. Here’s how the discount breaks down:
5000-14,000 – 10% discount
15,000-29,000 – 15% discount
30,000-39,000 – 25% discount
40,000 – 50,000 – 30% discount
If you max it out and buy 50,000 points it will cost $385 USD (reg. $550). Canadian residents must pay HST so the total should be around $580 CAD if my math is correct. What can you do with 50,000 Choice Privileges points? Back to my Stockholm example. The Clarion Hotel Sign, a well-located and well-reviewed hotel is only 10,000 Choice Privileges points per night. Hot breakfast is included. On a sample 5 night stay of Sept. 11-16 the lowest cash rate is 2470 Swedish krona or $379 CAD per night. So by purchasing points it will cost you $116 CAD per night instead.
The key is to find hotels with low point redemption levels that are otherwise pricey. Another example is in Norway. Consider the Hotel No. 13, an Ascend Collection property in the scenic city of Bergen. It’s in a great location, breakfast is included and reviews are very good. The points price is 12,000 per night and the cash rate on a sample 4 night stay Sept. 11-15 is 1805 Norwegian krone or $280 CAD. So it would be $145 CAD per night with 2000 points left over. If you’re looking to visit a place with dramatic scenery, I can recommend the “Norway in a Nutshell” tour from Bergen. Here’s a photo I took:
If you’d like to spend a while in Ireland, the Clarion Hotel Dublin Liffey Valley is only 8000 points. Cash price on sample dates of Sept. 11-17 is 101 Euro per night or $147 CAD. Doing the points purchase would cost $97 CAD per night in comparison.
A final example is the Comfort Hotel Bolivar in Rome. This hotel’s points rate varies from weekday to weekend. 5 nights Sunday to Thursday Sept. 11-16 would be 10,000 per night. Cash rate is 219 Euro or $320 CAD.
If you decide to go this route there are a few things of which to be aware. Availability on points can disappear and changes in point rates occur periodically. I would purchase the points and make the booking quite soon afterward. Choice Privileges restricts how far out one can make a reservation. Regular members may only book 30 days in advance for stays in the U.S. or Canada and 60 days for hotels outside the U.S. or Canada.
If you’re interested in collecting Choice Privileges points, it’s a good idea to pay attention to current promotions, like the one I mentioned back in June that goes till August 18. There will likely be another to replace it shortly thereafter.