Feb252014

Return of Choice Privileges 8,000 points for 2 stays Feb 27-May 14, 2014

The problem with running a recurring promotion like Choice Privileges 8,000 points after two stays or Marriott MegaBonus is the flak that arises when the promotion is downgraded. Choice Privileges last promotion from 12/12 to 2/19 offered 3,000 bonus points per 2 stays. Marriott MegaBonus went from two offers with free night certificate after two stays at category 1-5 hotels down to category 1-4 as the standard offer for the current promotion.

Choice Privileges promotion registration is required.

2-night stays required at four Choice brands

Trips at Econo Lodge®, Rodeway Inn®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, or MainStay Suites® hotels must be a minimum of two consecutive nights to qualify as an eligible stay. These are the economy and extended stay brands of Choice Hotels.

The other brands in Choice only require a 1-night stay to be eligible for this promotion. Choice Hotels other brands are Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites and the Ascend Collection.

250 Points Elite Bonus

Elite Diamond and Platinum members will receive 250 Choice Privileges bonus points with every qualifying trip if they book on ChoiceHotels.com; these members can also book directly with a hotel but will not earn the 250 bonus points.

How Choice Privileges counts bonus points for this promotion

Choice Privileges offer for 8,000 points is variable bonus points since the bonus is only the points needed to reach 8,000 points after two stays.

For example, spend $100 per night at a Clarion Hotel for two 1-night stays and $200 in hotel spend earns 2,000 base points. The bonus will be 6,000 points to reach 8,000 points. Spend $500 on two 3-night stays at Comfort Inn and earn 5,000 base points. The bonus will be 5,000 points since there is a minimum bonus of 5,000 points after two qualifying stays with this offer.

The bonus points are maximized with minimal spend. Stay twice on 1-night $50 stays at a Quality Inn and earn 1,000 base points and 7,000 bonus points.

Choice 8k promo

Choice Privileges advertises this offer as ‘earn one free night at over 1,500 hotels’. This claim is based on the fact that about 25% of the 6,000+ hotels in the Choice Hotels brands globally are at the 6,000 points or 8,000 points level. In the USA, many of these low tier hotels are at the low end of the economy chain segment and may be located at the low end of the socioeconomic neighborhood of the city where you are staying.

Europe on 8,000 points per night, maybe?

The real value of Choice Privileges points comes with travel to Europe and other places outside the USA where the award rates tend to be far lower for better hotels than in the USA.

In Fall 2013 most Choice brand hotels in Europe, including London and Paris, in Comfort Inn, Quality Inn and Clarion brands were seasonally available for 8,000 points per night. Choice Privileges has not had widespread hotels listed at 8,000 points per night since November. Most of the urban hotels are now 20,000 to 25,000 points per night.

Current Choice Privileges award seasons posted for hotels

  • February 1 – April 15, 2014
  • April 16 – June 30, 2014

Choice seasons

Choice Privileges Reward Night Seasons for Comfort Inn Vauxhall, London

Choice Privileges only allows members to book award reservations for international hotels outside your home region within 60 days of arrival. High elites have a longer booking window up to 100 days. Award rates for hotels have been posted through June 30, 2014. We will need to wait until after April 15 to see what July and August award rates will be.

Scandinavian Value with Choice Privileges points

One of the great values for Choice Privileges are the 150 or so hotels in Scandinavia with award nights mostly at 16,000 to 20,000 points per night. Some of these hotels have $250+ room rates.

Clarion Oslo

Clarion Hotel Royal Christiana Oslo, Norway is available for 16,000 points per night or $276 per night. This is a fine hotel in central Oslo near the train station.

Clarion Royal Oslo

Clarion Hotel Royal Christiana Oslo photo from my March 2013 visit to one of the world’s most expensive cities. $20 for a Big Mac at McDonald’s and $15 for a glass of beer at a restaurant makes a hotel room with a free breakfast a big travel budget savings.

It remains to be seen if 2014 will see Choice Hotels in Europe drop to 8,000 points again for one of the seasons in the second half of 2014. I am sitting on more than 150,000 Choice Privileges points that I hope will take me to some nice hotels at low award rates this year. If not, I know the points will offer value on road trips through the rural western U.S. where many towns offer little loyalty choice besides Choice and Wyndham brand hotels.

*****

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.

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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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Comments

  1. I did a little research after you mentioned how expensive Oslo was and it was really interesting. I have a trip to Norway/Sweden on my bucket list and did not realize it was so pricey. I mean, I know that Europe in general is not cheap, but I didn’t realize about that area specifically.

  2. I also love to use my cp points for Europe stays -2 years ago I stayed at Stockholm clarion sign it was 8 or 10,000 points a night and as I was checking in the guy next to me was paying 340.00 for a room
    im a hyatt or Hilton diamond but these chioce promotions are great only for European travel as the clarions are much nicer in europe

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