Last week I wrote about the new Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash reward nights option. Members can use 8,000 points per night and pay $7.50 per 1,000 points for the remaining points needed for the reward stay. This option is available on hotel reward stays at 10,000 points or higher per night.
The original Choice Privileges Rules and Regulations posted last week stated Points Plus Cash reward nights were not elite qualifying nights. This seemed strange since standard reward nights are elite qualifying for Choice Privileges status levels.
I received an email from a Choice Hotels representative stating Points Plus Cash reward nights count as elite qualifying. The Choice Privileges terms and conditions have changed to reflect this benefit.
Points Plus Cash reward nights do not:
a. Qualify for bonus points offered as part of any other promotion through Choice Hotels. This includes, but is no limited to, the national promotions such as Take Two Separate trips, Earn One Night Free.
b. Earn elite bonus points.
Points Plus Cash reward nights count toward Elite status.
The terms and conditions clarify two main questions being asked this past week by members. Points Plus Cash reward nights count for elite status, but do not count as eligible stays for promotion bonuses and will not earn elite bonus points.
Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash Trick
I have redeemed 16,000 Choice Privileges points for a Comfort Inn stay in Utah when room rates were about $130 after tax. Under the Points Plus Cash system, the room could be purchased for 8,000 points + $60.
This is a typical redemption opportunity in the USA.
The value I place on Choice Privileges points is for a hotel like Clarion Collection Hotel NO13 in Bergen, Norway. This is a cool, boutique hotel I stayed in last September.
Clarion Collection Hotel NO13, Bergen, Norway is 12,000 points per night. A 2-night stay in February will cost 24,000 Choice Privileges points using the standard reward.
Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash will cost 16,000 points + $60. Essentially, a member can buy points at the rate of $7.50 per 1,000 points compared to the normal purchase rate of $11 per 1,000 points.
The main issue with buying Choice Privileges points is a 20,000 points per calendar year limit. That rule is now far less a limiting factor since members are allowed to purchase up to 250,000 points per calendar year when buying points through Points Plus Cash reward nights.
Choice Privileges also works like IHG Points & Cash trick where you can buy points for a reward stay, cancel the reward stay and the points are re-deposited into your account.
9. If you cancel your reservation in accordance with the hotel’s cancellation policy stated on your reservation confirmation, all points used for the reward night, including those purchased through Points Plus Cash, will be re-deposited into your Choice Privileges account.
This can be a route to growing your account balance. If you have 16,000 points, you can book a 2 night stay at a 25,000 points per night hotel and buy 34,000 points for $255 at the rate of $7.50 per 1,000 points.
Cancel the reward stay and you have 50,000 points in your account.
$255 to buy 34,000 points can be a good investment, particularly in Scandinavia.
Back to Clarion Collection NO13 in Bergen. 50,000 points is sufficient for four standard hotel reward nights at 12,000 points per night.
Or book 6 nights in Bergen for 48,000 points + $180.
When starting with 16,000 points, a Choice Privileges member can buy 34,000 points for $255 with a reward stay that is cancelled and then use 48,000 points + $180 to book a 72,000 points reward stay for six nights.
Total cost = 16,000 points + $435.
Don’t have 16,000 Choice Privileges points?
You can buy 8,000 points through Choice Privileges regular channels for $88 and then use Points Plus Cash rewards to build your account balance.
Is it worth it?
Six nights February 13-19 at Clarion Collection NO13 has a published rate of $1,504 USD. This stay can be booked for 48,000 points + $180. A Choice Privileges member from the USA with no points can buy 8,000 points for $88 to start the Points Plus Cash reward trick.
Total cost to buy 72,000 points = $568. Total savings on the published rate for Clarion Collection NO13 = $936. Average nightly rate drops from $250 per night to $95 per night to stay in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
This example shows how a Choice Privileges member can use Points Plus Cash reward nights to save more than 60% on the published winter rates for Clarion Collection Hotel NO13 in Bergen, Norway.
Be smart about how you use this trick. Take your time to accrue points. A reservation reward stay here and there that is canceled will not likely raise alarms. If you buy 100,000 points in a day by booking and canceling Points Plus Cash stays, then you might find yourself facing an account audit.
Loyalty Traveler posts:
Choice Privileges launches Points Plus Cash rewards (Jan 23, 2015)
http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/loyalty-traveler-trips/ has a listing of Nordic Choice Hotels where I stayed last summer using Choice Privileges points.
- Oslo, Norway walking on a summer day (Sep 6)
- Hotel Review Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo, Norway (Sep 6)
- Hotel Review Clarion Collection Hotel Bastion Oslo, Norway (Sep 7)
- Think before you eat whale meat (Sep 8)
- Six days in Norway and $6 spent on food (Sep 9)
- Hotel Review: Farris Bad, Ascend Collection Larvik, Norway (Sep 10)
- Hotel Review Farris Bad Kaupang Suite upgrade (Sep 10)
- Hotel Atlantic Sandefjord offers whaling culture experience and beds too (Sep 11)
- Hotel Atlantic Sandefjord, Clarion Collection (Sep 13)
- Oslo Sandefjord Torp Airport low cost flights (Sep 12)
- USA Branded Bergen (Sep 12)
- Oops! Radisson Royal Bergen hotel damaged Bryggen UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Sep 12)
- Walk like a Norwegian up Floyen in Bergen (Sep 13)
- Think before you eat Norwegian farmed salmon (Sep 13)
- Biked, hiked and psyched about Bergen (Sep 15)
- Clarion Collection No 13 Bergen, Norway (Sep 15)
- Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen, TripAdvisor #1 hotel – Part One (Sep 16)
- Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen – Part Two (Sep 16)
- Bergen Line to Oslo, 500 km by train (and bus) – Part One (Sep 18)
- Bergen Line to Oslo 500 km by train part two (Sep 19)
- How I stole 2 nights at The Thief Oslo with points (Sep 23)
- Hotel Review The Thief Oslo Room 603 (Sep 23)
- The Thief Oslo by design (Sep 24)
- Clarion Collection Folketeateret Oslo is recommended Nordic Choice Hotel (Sep 27)