Jun202008

Choice Hotels Privileges Elite Fast-Track Offer

Choice Privileges has a special offer, “AGOLD” for new members to earn low level Gold elite membership with a nights count double promotion.

Join Choice Privileges by September 30, 2008 and all qualifying nights will count double through the end of the year. Gold elite normally requires 10 nights in a calendar year and with the “AGOLD” promotion will take only 5 nights. The primary benefit of Gold elite membership is 10% bonus points and special offers.

The Choice Privileges specialist I spoke with over the phone stated the double nights only count towards the 10 nights for earning Gold elite membership and will not fast-track a new member to Platinum (regularly 25+ nights) or Diamond (regularly 40+ nights) through nights count double qualification. Unfortunately, the high value benefits like an expanded rewards night booking window from 30 days to 60 days for platinum elites and 90 days for diamond elites and the significant points bonuses come with these higher elite levels.

While the offer specifically states Gold elite will be earned after 5 nights in 2008, there are no terms and conditions published that specifically prohibit the double nights from counting towards higher status of 13 nights for Platinum or 20 nights for Diamond.

It might be worth pursuing the clarification of the terms and try to get in writing whether this promotion will work for elite membership in Choice Privileges beyond the Gold elite level. Interested travelers may benefit from working this promotion for a higher status. The possibility of earning Choice Privileges Diamond elite with 20 nights in 2008 may be a high value loyalty scheme.

In any event, new members of Choice Privileges can at least earn Gold elite membership with just 5 nights before the end of 2008 and maintain Gold elite membership through 2009 with the Choice Privileges “AGOLD” promotion.

Choice Hotels – Overview

More than 5,500 hotel members and more than 450,000 rooms in Choice Privileges makes this program a benefit for travelers in smaller towns and cities across the USA. The program even offers international hotel properties in 40 countries and territories. USA hotel members are around 4,500 with about 355,000 rooms. Nearly 1,000 hotels are currently in development with additional room capacity approaching another 200,000 rooms for the USA in the coming few years.

Choice Hotels also have about 45,000 rooms in Europe and over 400 hotel members. There are over 330 hotels and 25,000 rooms in Asia/Pacific with Australia and New Zealand well represented. Choice hotels have a small market share in Latin America. There are only about 100 Choice hotel members in the western hemisphere outside the USA and Canada. There is one Choice hotel in the Middle East and none in Africa. Choice Privileges enrollment passed 5,000,000 in 2006.

There are 10 hotel brands in the Choice Hotels family [brand hotel data from (2007 report)].

1. Comfort Inn – Choice Hotels flagship brand, USA 1,434 hotels ; international 532 hotels; 2007 Average room rate in USA = $79.68 in 2007

2. Comfort Suites – USA 481 hotels; international 10 hotels. This brand will grow rapidly with almost 300 hotels currently in development. Room rate data combined with above.

3. Quality Inn – USA 828 hotels; international 382 hotels
Average room rate in USA = $70.30 in 2007

4. Sleep Inn – USA 346 hotels; international 24 hotels
Average room rate in USA = $69.67 in 2007

5. Clarion – USA 167 hotels; international 115 hotels
Average room rate in USA = $80.86 in 2007

6. Cambria Suites – 9 hotels in USA; brand opened in 2007 as an upscale hotel brand and rooms are larger with plasma TVs, refrigerator, CD stereo, microwave, upscale bath, and a sofa-bed, in addition to main bed. There are 60 more Cambria Suites in development. No Average room rate data for 2007. (Online check for Boise, ID on June 6, 2008 showed regular rate of $79-89 for one night.)

7. MainStay Suites – USA 30 hotels; average room rate in USA = $70.04 in 2007

8. Suburban Extended Stay – USA 54 hotels; average room rate in USA = $40.13 in 2007

9. EconoLodge – USA 825 hotels; international 45 hotels
Average room rate in USA = $54.40 in 2007

10. Rodeway Inn – USA 276 hotels; international 6 hotels; budget category hotel brand
Average room rate in USA = $53.24 in 2007

International properties are concentrated in Canada (273 hotels), Australia (224 hotels), France (103 hotels), UK (86 hotels), Norway (69 hotels), Sweden (60 hotels), Brazil (48 hotels), Germany (42 hotels), Japan (42 hotels), New Zealand (30 hotels) and a scattering of hotels in nearly 30 other countries.

[Note: Choice Privileges has a rule prohibiting points for stays in Norway, Sweden, and some other smaller Baltic countries].

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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