One of the best values in hotel loyalty programs this season was a blanket of hotels across Europe available for 8,000 points per night through Choice Privileges award stays from September 16 – November 30, 2013.
There are dozens of hotels at 8,000 points per night in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and more through November 30. Several of these hotels in London and Paris have rates over $200 per night meaning Choice Privileges points are worth over $25 per 1,000 points. That is a high value redemption considering a Choice Privileges member can buy up to 20,000 points for $11/1,000 points.
Choice Privileges currently has a promotional offer through December 15, 2013 for 10% bonus points on purchases. This means $11 buys 1,100 points. This brings the purchase price down to $165 to buy 16,500 points, enough for two nights at hotels with 8,000 points award nights. Some of these hotels in Paris and London currently have published rates over $400 for two nights.
Clarion Collection Hotel Etoile Saint Honore, Paris, France
- 2-night stay November 26-28, 2013
- Award Rate = 16,000 points ( 2 nights @ 8,000 points).
- Nonrefundable Rate = €397.10 = $535.94 USD (2 nights at $267.97).
- BAR = €418.00 = $564.15 USD (2 nights at $282.08).
This is incredible redemption value for Choice Privileges points. Most Choice Hotels in Paris are lower cost, around $150 per night, yet still a great redemption value for 8,000 points per award night.
The Bad News on Awards in the Western European front
Unfortunately, the 8,000 points hotel awards in Paris and London and many other places in Europe are only available through November 30, 2013.
Choice Privileges has published the next two seasons of award rates and few hotels in Europe appear to remain at 8,000 points.
Choice Privileges Seasonal Dates for Awards in Europe
- December 1 – January 31, 2014
- February 1 – April 15, 2014
Choice Privileges differs from other hotel loyalty programs by offering a short window of seasonal award rates from 8 to 10 weeks long as shown above for the next two seasons. Hotel award cost can change every two or three months for a Choice Hotel.
Clarion Collection Hotel Etoile Saint Honore, Paris, France rises from 8,000 points award nights through November 30, up to 25,000 points per night for the next six months from December 1 through April 15, 2014.
In general, award rates will rise for Choice Hotels in Paris, London, Munich and other European cities for the next six months. 25,000 points is the high end of the award rate and most hotels look to be at the 16,000 to 20,000 points level. There are more than 200 Choice Hotels in Europe so this is a broad generalization based on sample rates in a few major cities.
Italy seemed to have more moderate rises in Rome and Venice.
Ireland is sitting at 8,000 points per night for the next six months at its handful of Choice Hotels around Dublin.
I always wonder each season, after the Paris and London hotels and many other European cities drop to 8,000 points per award night, whether or not we will see a European widespread seasonal sale again for Choice Hotels at 8,000 points per night. These seasonal sales are like an IHG PointBreaks with great value for points at nearly any hotel in Europe.
We will see in late-January what late-spring award stays in Europe holds for Choice Privileges travelers.
Choice Privileges 60-Days Rule for International Award Reservations
Even more limiting for Choice Privileges members is the limited advance booking window for award stays. Most hotel loyalty programs allow members to book a hotel award stay up to one year in advance.
Choice Privileges members in US and Canada can only book an international hotel award stay up to 60 days before arrival. This window is reduced to only 30 days before arrival for US and Canada residents to make award stay reservations at Choice Hotels in US or Canada. Elite members get an extended window for booking award stays.
This is an important rule to know since your residency determines the international zones where your booking window for award stays increases from 30 days domestic region to 60 days for international regions.
US/Canada: If you reside in the U.S. (including U.S. Territories) or Canada you must make your free room night reservations personally through the Program Line or through your online profile no more than 30 days prior to your planned arrival for stays in the U.S and Canada or 60 days prior to your planned arrival at all other locations worldwide.
EMEA: If you reside in Europe, the Middle East or Africa, you must make your reward night reservations personally through the Program Line or through your online profile no more than 30 days prior to your planned arrival for stays in Europe and the Middle East or 60 days prior to your planned arrival at all other locations worldwide.
Asia-Pacific: If you reside in Australasia (including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and Fiji) you must make your reward night reservations personally through the Program Line or through your online profile no more than 30 days prior to your planned arrival for stays in Australasia (including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and Fiji) or 60 days prior to your planned arrival at all other locations worldwide.
Mexico-Central America-Caribbean: If you reside in Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean, you must make your reward night reservations personally through the Program Line or through your online profile no more than 30 days prior to your planned arrival for stays in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean or 60 days prior to your planned arrival at all other locations worldwide.
Rate Analysis for Choice Privileges Award Stays in Venice
This is a good place to share any 8,000 or 10,000 points hotels you see offered in Europe.
Comfort Hotel Diana, Venice, Italy rises to 10,000 points per night through April 15, 2014.
Per Night Rates at Comfort Hotel Diana in Venice for April 1-5, 2014 are €171.25 = $231.12 USD.
The award rate will be 40,000 Choice Privileges points. A member can buy 20,900 points now for $209 and in January 2014 buy another 20,000 for $220.
- 4-night stay published rate = $924.48
- 4-night award stay 40,000 points = $429 to buy 42,000 points.
This rate analysis shows there are potentially high savings on hotel rates in Europe through April 15, 2014. But you will not be able to book an award stay for April 1-5, 2014 until the end of January. Assuming it is available.
Let’s wait and see if the Choice Privileges 8,000 points special offers across Europe return again in the spring.
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.