I was a wee bit concerned that this old standby from Choice Privileges would not be back, as that has been a trend among hotel loyalty programs lately. However, it has returned and it’s the same promotion we’ve seen many times in the past. After two qualifying stays, you get 8000 points, which is enough for a free night at some Choice hotels. This promotion goes from March 7 to April 26, 2020.
It works like the recently announced Wyndham Rewards promotion. After your second qualifying stay you’ll receive a point top-up, giving you at least 8000. The stays must be separate – two consecutive nights at one hotel will only count as a single stay, even if booked under two reservations.
Stays must be booked through the Choice website – online travel agency bookings do not count, and the minimum qualifying rate must be equivalent to at least $40 USD. One must be a resident of Canada or the United States to be eligible, but stays outside North America will qualify subject to some exclusions.
Importantly, you must ensure that your Choice Privileges account is set to earn points, not miles, before you register for the promotion and before you make any hotel reservations. I once missed out on this bonus even though I had set my earning preference to points before check-in. I’m not certain if it was because it was set to earn Aeroplan miles when I registered for the promotion or when I booked the hotel. Either way, if you can, set your account to earn points before you register and before you book any stays.
No Limit on Bonuses
A big difference between this Choice promotion and others like Wyndham’s or Best Western’s is the ability to earn the 8000 point bonus multiple times.
If you’re going on a long road trip, this is just the kind of promo where you can rack up points. Or if you don’t mind doing a bit of hotel hopping, the bonus points might compensate for the inconvenience of changing hotels.
Where Are These 8000 Point Hotels?
If you plan to collect Choice points, it’s important to be familiar with how the program works. Unlike other hotel loyalty programs, one can only redeem Choice points for stays within the next 100 days. The reward rates are seasonal and vary between weekdays and weeknights.
For example, if you go to the page for The House Hotel, Ascend Collection, in Galway, Ireland, you’ll see this unusual piece of info when you scroll down the page:
Unfortunately, hotels with reward rates as low as 8000 points per night are very hard to find in North America.
Here’s one Ontario example to prove they actually do exist…
Japan has a history of good Choice point options such as this one in Tokyo…
Europe is where you’re most likely to find hotels at the 8000 point level even in places like London, Paris, Strasbourg, Cologne and Salzburg…
I know that standards vary, but the Choice hotels I stayed at in Prague (Clarion Inn) and Dresden (Quality Inn) were both very nice and exceeded my expectations.
This promotion is somewhat misleading when it says you’ll earn a “free night” after two stays. Still, it’s been a recurring offer for so long that any regular Choice point collectors will know what they mean. If you’re new to the Choice program, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with its quirks and sweet spots so you can maximize your points.
Remember to watch for the US Travel Association Daily Getaways sale that will happen sometime in the next few months. Point packages are typically sold at a great low price and are snapped up quickly.
With the loss of the IHG Accelerate promo and the beloved PointBreaks, and various other devaluations and downgrades in the hotel loyalty world, it’s reassuring to see Choice Privileges bring this one back.