Choice Privileges has made a significant change to its hotel loyalty program for 2010 with the inclusion of reward nights as elite qualifying nights for membership status. Hilton HHonors has counted reward nights for elite membership qualification for years and now Choice Privileges is another hotel loyalty program offering elite qualification nights for hotel stays using points.
For the traveler who desires lower average room rates on paid stays and wants additional elite credit for reward nights, this is great news for Choice Privileges members. Reward nights just might be the difference you need to move up an elite level.
The primary benefit of a higher elite status in Choice Privileges is the extended advance booking window for reward nights. One of the restrictive limitations of Choice Privileges is the short booking window using points for hotels in the USA. General members residing in the US may only use Choice Privileges points for a hotel in the US within 30 days of the hotel stay. The booking window is extended to 60 days for free night bookings at international properties.
Choice Privileges Gold members can book up to 40 days in advance and Platinum members up to 60 days in advance for US hotel stays. There is no advantage for international reward bookings since General members, Gold elite, and Platinum elite can all book up to 60 days in advance for hotels outside the USA.
Only the highest elite level diamond members of Choice Privileges have a longer advance booking window of 90 days for using points. Diamond elite requires 40 nights in a calendar year. Diamond is the elite goal for Choice Privileges members seeking improved access to reward nights as this membership level gives the Diamond elite an additional 30 days for exclusive reward inventory among the nearly 10 million Choice Privileges hotel loyalty program members.
- Choice Privileges Reward Nights Count for Elite Qualification
Choice Privileges Offers a Luxury Side
Hilton HHonors loses another hotel loyalty program exclusive advantage, although Choice Privileges is a different market segment of travelers and will likely have limited impact on luring Hilton HHonors members from the fold.
The eleven hotel brands of Choice Privileges may cater to the budget and mid-market hotel traveler, but there are many free night redemption options for luxury hotels with hotel partners in the Preferred Hotel Group for 30,000; 45,000; or 60,000 points per night. (link to Choice Privileges Preferred Hotel Group partner hotels)
Barcelo Resorts in Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic are one of the best values for free nights using Choice Privileges points with rates starting at 10,000 points in off-season (8.5 months of the year) or 16,000 points per night in high season (Dec 19, 2009-April 1, 2010).
Choice Privileges Barcelo Hotels link: http://www.barcelo.com/BarceloHotels/en-GB/Choice/Barcelo-Choice
Military Members Receive Instant Elite Status in Choice Privileges
Choice Privileges Armed Services program offers complimentary Gold elite membership to active duty or reserve military members, retired military, National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, and eligible spouses and dependants. Link to Choice Privileges Armed Services program.
Choice Privileges Hotel Brands
Related Loyalty Traveler posts:
2009 Choice Hotels Brands: http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2009/07/13/choice-hotels-international-profile-by-numbers/