Posted by Ric Garrido

Choice Privileges spring promotion allows members to earn 8,000 points after two hotel stays between March 8 and May 8, 2011. The advertising pitch Choice Privileges uses is “Stay Two Separate Times Earn One Free Night” and in smaller print “at over 1,500 hotels”.

Choice Privileges Promotion registration is required. This offer is only available for US and Canada residents.

Choice Privileges hotel rewards start at 6,000 points and the website actually provides a list of hotels at 8,000 points or less.

The two lowest category hotel rewards in Choice Privileges are 6,000 points and 8,000 points. Many of these hotels have average daily rates under $60 per night. The other 4,500 hotels in the Choice Privileges system will cost more points for a reward night with many hotels pushing 25,000 to 35,000 points per night.

Choice Hotels is currently at 11 hotel brands:

  1. Comfort Inn
  2. Comfort Suites
  3. Quality Inn and Suites
  4. Sleep Inn
  5. Clarion
  6. Cambria Suites
  7. Ascend Collection
  8. MainStay Suites
  9. Suburban
  10. EconoLodge
  11. Rodeway Inn

There are several fine print details to this offer.

All Choice Hotels brands participate, but stays at EconoLodge and Rodeway Inn economy brands or MainStay Suites and Suburban extended stay brands only qualify for the two-stay 8,000 points with individual stays of two or more consecutive nights. This sort of makes sense since these brands earn points at 50% the rate ( 5 points/$1) of other Choice Hotels brands (10 points/$1).

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Loyalty Traveler analysis:

A feature of Choice Privileges members need to be aware of is the reward redemption booking window that is far more restrictive than most other hotel loyalty programs. General members are only allowed to book reward nights in the US or Canada within 30 days of stay and within 60 days for international reward reservations. This window is expanded for elite members.

Choice Privileges Elite Booking Window for Reward Nights

  • Gold elite (10 nights/year) = 50 days.
  • Platinum elite (20 nights/year) = 75 days.
  • Diamond elite (40 nights/year) = 100 days.

 

Promotion Offer is 8,000 Total Points and not 8,000 Bonus Points

Choice Privileges promotions are different from most hotel loyalty promotions in that the total points earned will be 8,000 points after two stays, regardless if your two hotel stays cost $140 or $770.

Earning Example 1 is based on $140 in hotel spend.

Assume one $80 stay at Clarion Hotel and one $60 stay at Comfort Inn = $140.

$140 earns 1,400 Choice Privileges base points. Member will receive 6,600 bonus points for 8,000 total points after two stays.

Earning example 2 is based on $770 in hotel spend.

Assume one $420 6-night stay ($70/night) at MainStay Suites = 2,100 points ($420 x 5 points/$1)

Assume one 5-night stay for $350 at Quality Inn ($70/night) = 3,500 points ($350 x 10 points/$1).

Member earns 5,600 base points from these two stays and receives 2,400 bonus points to reach 8,000 total points for two qualifying stays.

Despite the member staying 11 nights in two stays and spending five times the hotel spend in the second earning example, the total points earned is the same 8,000 points as the member earns who stays two nights at two hotels for $140. This makes Choice Privileges promotions a good hit-and-run deal for the not-so-loyal Choice Privileges member.

Update March 26 – I received an email today from a Choice Privileges representative stating the minimum bonus points to be given for this promotion is 5,000 points after two stays. This term is not currently listed in the promotion FAQ.

This changes the example points calculation originally posted to:

Member earns 5,600 base points from these two stays. However, because the points required to meet the 8,000 point threshold is 2,400 points and that is below the minimum bonus for the promotion, the member will receive a 5,000 point bonus on top of the 5,600 base points, for a total 10,600 points.

 

Also, a stay of 3 or more nights at Choice Hotels earns a $50 Restaurant gift card

This offer looks stackable with the concurrent promotion of a $50 restaurant gift card for a 3 night or longer stay in one of six cities. Book by March 15 for a stay completed by April 15. This Loyalty Traveler post describes the restaurant deal. The six cities will likely change in the next couple of weeks after the March 15 booking deadline. Check back to see if there is a new selection of cities later in March for the restaurant deal.

 

Conclusion: 8,000 points is a good bonus for two inexpensive stays. I picked up 8,000 points last year and I’ll probably pick up another 8,000 points when I hit the road over the next two months and drive through places where Choice Privileges is one of the better hotel choices in a small, rural town of California.

8 Responses

  1. With points expiring and all other restrictions, choice is no choice to me.

    Choice needs to change its practices.

  2. Regarding James’ comment:

    That is an important point to make. Choice points expire at the end of the 2nd year after they are earned, even if you have more earning on your account. For that reason, if all else is equal, we choose non-Choice hotels for paid stays and burn Choice points quicker for award stays.

    This helps their competitors as the competitor’s points stick around longer and are more likely to be devalued while the Choice points are used up.

    On the plus side for Choice: You can find Choice hotels almost anywhere we’ve gone in the continental US.

  3. I received an email today from a Choice Privileges representative stating the minimum bonus for this promotion is 5,000 bonus points after two stays.

    This changes my example where I showed a member earning 5,600 base points after $770 in hotel spend and only 2,400 bonus points from this promotion. The member will earn 5,000 bonus points for a total of 10,600 points.

    Apparently 5,000 bonus points is the minimum bonus for this promotion after two stays.

    Hopefully the FAQ for the promotion will change to reflect this term as it is not posted anywhere in the promotion details that I see.

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