Mar042015

Nordic Choice Club Guide for North Americans

This post looks at the benefits of being a Nordic Choice Club member for North Americans traveling in Scandinavia. As a Choice Privileges member residing in North America, you can redeem Choice Privileges points for stays at more than 180 Nordic Choice Hotels in Norway (92), Sweden (83), Denmark (4), Latvia (1) and Lithuania (1).

The catch with Nordic Choice Hotels is you cannot earn Choice Privileges points when staying on a paid rate. You must join Nordic Choice Club to earn Nordic Choice Club points when traveling on paid stays at Nordic Choice Hotels.

The Nordic Choice Club guide for North Americans looks at the benefits of Nordic Choice Club membership. There are some points redemption advantages to Choice Privileges rates for some hotels. There are some advantages to Nordic Choice Club membership that may favor crediting some U.S. Choice Hotels stays to Nordic Choice Club if you travel to Scandinavia.

Choice Privileges Silver + Nordic Choice Club Blue

Last September I earned Choice Privileges Silver elite status after staying at Nordic Choice Hotels in Norway for two weeks while spending more than 200,000 Choice Privileges points. Choice Privileges counts reward stays for elite qualification. Silver elite is earned after ten eligible nights. All my 13 nights at Nordic Choice Hotels in Norway were paid with Choice Privileges points. I had no out-of-pocket hotel expenses for my two week trip.

Room rates in September 2014 summer season averaged $400+ per night when converted from the room rate in Norwegian Krone for the room category I booked. One of the best features of booking reward nights with Choice Privileges points was the availability of upgraded rooms for standard reward prices. I booked several of my hotel nights in suites.

The currency exchange rate today in March 2015 at 6.32 NOK = 1 USD has fallen steeply in the past six months to 7.80 NOK = $1 USD. That is a 23% decline in the value of Norway’s currency in six months, meaning the USD buys more for 2015 travel in Norway. Those $400 per night Nordic Choice Hotel rooms from 2014 might only be $300 per night in summer 2015. Norway is one of the top five most expensive economies in the world. Still, I lived two weeks at Nordic Choice Hotels with daily free breakfast included. Clarion Collection Hotels, where I spent about half my nights offered a light dinner meal too.

These food photos are a reminder to my wife that she will not go hungry if I take her to Norway and Sweden for our WOW trip Boston to Copenhagen via Iceland in July 2015.

Oslo CC hotel dinner-1   Oslo CC hotel dinner-2

The relationship between Choice Hotels and Nordic Choice Hotels is a confusing one for American travelers. Choice Privileges members from the USA can redeem Choice Privileges points for any of 180 Nordic Choice Hotels in Scandinavia and the Baltics.

Most Nordic Choice Hotels are listed for Choice Privileges reward nights at the 16,000 points level for one free night. Some hotels are 8,000 and 10,000 or 12,000 points and some hotels like Oslo’s The Thief are 20,000 points per night for Choice Privileges members. These are great deals for hotel stays on points.

Nordic Choice Club is your loyalty program when it comes to earning points for paid stays at Nordic Choice Hotels

Nordic Choice Club

Americans can join Nordic Choice Club. I joined in 2008. They even sent me a physical card.

Basics of Earning Nordic Choice Club points

You earn 1 point per Swedish krona in room rate at Nordic Choice Hotels.

You earn 1 point per Swedish krona when you eat at the restaurant while staying at Clarion Hotels, Quality Hotels, Quality Resort Hotels and Nordic Hotels & Resorts in Norway and Denmark.

You earn 750 bonus points per night when you stay at a Choice Hotel outside of the Nordic and Baltic region. Don’t forget to send your receipt to Nordic Choice Customer Service. Send the receipt to booking@choice.no.

You earn 10 bonus points for each euro spent when you stay at Sokos Hotels. There are more than 50 Sokos Hotels in Finland, Tallinn, Estonia and St. Petersburg, Russia.

1.00 US Dollar = 8.35 Swedish Krona (March 4, 2015)

1.11 US Dollar = 1.00 EUR

xe USD-SEK-3-4-15

Nordic Choice Club Spend for one free night

Assume a room at a Nordic Choice Hotel in Sweden is 1,000 SEK ($120 USD) and the hotel night earns 1,000 Nordic Choice Club points. Spending $1,200 USD to earn 10,000 points for one free night at most hotels is not too impressive an earn rate in the Nordic Choice Club scheme. But better than nothing, since paid stays at Nordic Choice Hotels do not earn Choice Privileges points in a North American account.

There are some advantages for Nordic Choice Club compared to Choice Privileges on the redemption side of points equation. There are also some advantages to Choice Privileges points for hotels like The Thief Oslo at a discount points reward rate compared to Nordic Choice Club.

Oslo CC hotel dinner-3     Oslo CC hotel dinner-4

Nordic Choice Club 750 points for stays in Choice Hotels elsewhere

One interesting feature of Nordic Choice Club is a fixed earn rate at 750 points per night for stays at Choice Hotels outside of the Nordic and Baltic region. This includes over 5,000 Choice Hotels in the USA. You can earn 750 points per night for stays in the USA. This might be more points than you would get crediting a MainStay Suites night to your Choice Privileges account.

Nordic Choice Club Sokos Hotels partnership covers Finland and St. Petersburg too

Sokos is the largest hotel chain in Finland. Nordic Choice Club has a partnership with Finland’s Sokos hotel chain for comprehensive points earning coverage of Nordic countries with more than 50 hotels around Finland and hotels in St. Petersburg and Estonia. This feature of Nordic Choice Club provides a benefit unavailable through Choice Privileges.

There does not appear to be an option to redeem Nordic Choice Club points for reward nights at Sokos Hotels.

Sokos Hotels map Finland

Nordic Choice Club Redeem Points

There are many Nordic Choice Hotels with lower priced reward nights at 10,000 points compared to their 16,000 points rate with Choice Privileges. This is a reason why crediting Choice Hotels stays in the USA to Nordic Choice Club for 750 points might be a better value than earning Choice Privileges points when it comes time to redeem points for hotel stays in Norway and Sweden.

Nordic Choice Club Bonus Nights table-3-4-15

The deal is a person with points in both Nordic Choice Club and Choice Privileges can take advantage of lower rates on different days of the week and in summer period.

In Nordic Choice Club, Clarion Collection Hotels are only 10,000 points per night on weekends Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Choice Oslo Christiania

The food pictures in this post are from the complimentary dinner buffet at the Clarion Collection Hotel Christiania Teater in Oslo, Norway. This hotel is 20,000 points through Choice Privileges points, but only 10,000 points for one free night on a weekend using Nordic Choice Club points.

Clarion Collection hotels in Nordic Choice Hotels are distinguished from other Nordic Choice brands by offering guests a light dinner buffet in addition to free breakfast. In Norway, this generally means a savings of $40 to $80 per night on the cost of food. Clarion Collection Hotel Christiania Teater in Oslo had one of the best dinner buffets I saw when in Norway.

Nordic Choice Club Reward Nights at 10,000 bonus points:

  • One weekend night (Fri-Sat, Sat-Sun Sun-Mon, the day before a public holiday or a public holiday) for two people at Comfort Hotel, Quality Hotel, Clarion Hotel, Clarion Collection as well as Yasuragi Hasseludden, Skt Petri, Nordic C Hotel and Nordic Light Hotel.

or

  • One weekday night (Sunday til Friday) for two people at Quality Resort or Selma Spa+ and Stenungsbaden Yacht Club

Oslo CC hotel dinner-5   Oslo CC hotel dinner-6

Nordic Choice Club Reward Nights at 20,000 bonus points:

  • One weekday night (Monday til Friday) for two people at Comfort Hotel, Quality Hotel, Clarion Hotel, Clarion Collection as well as Skt Petri, Nordic C Hotel and Nordic Light Hotel.

or

  • One weekend night (Friday til Saturday, Saturday til Sunday or the day before a public holiday or a public holiday) for two people at Quality Resort hotels or Selma Spa+, Stenungsbaden Yacht Club, Yasuragi Hasseludden.

or

  • One night for two people at Farris Bad or Copperhill Mountain Lodge.

Nordic Choice Club Reward Nights at 20,000 bonus points or more gets you:

  • One night at selected Choice hotels in Europe. An overview of the hotels to which this applies will always be published on the Nordic Choice Club website.

or

  • One hotel night for 2 at The Thief for 30,000 bonus points.

Nordic Choice Club summer 2015 June 19 – August 16,  10,000 points for Reward Nights

“Between 19th of June and 16th of August 2015 we have other bonus point rates. During the summer period mentioned a bonus night at Comfort Hotels, Quality Hotels, Clarion Collection, Clarion Hotels, Nordic Light Hotel,
Nordic C Hotel and SKT. PETRI will cost 10,000 bonus points all days.

During the same period the price of a bonus night at Quality Resort, Stenungsbaden Yacht Club, Yasuragi, Copperhill Mountain Lodge, Farris Bad and Selma Spa is 20,000 bonus points all days. A bonus night at The Thief cost 30,000 bonus points, as usual.”

Since most Nordic Choice Hotels are 16,000 Choice Privileges points and only 10,000 Nordic Choice Club points, you might want to consider crediting Choice Hotels stays outside of the Nordic countries to earn 750 points per night with Nordic Choice Club. You can earn free nights more quickly.

Another advantage of Nordic Choice Club is there is no booking limitation like the 60 days window limiting the booking of international hotel rewards with Choice Privileges points until 60 days before your stay. You can book summer 2015 dates with Nordic Choice Club points now.

Nordic Choice links:

Nordic Choice Club member benefits – Silver elite members (10 nights in 12 months) have access to 2-for-1 rates on weekends and Gold elite members (35 nights in 12 months) have access to 2-for-1 rates any day. Anyone have knowledge of the availability of these rates?

Nordic Choice Club Free Nights table,

Nordic Choice Hotels map

Nordic Choice Hotels map

Sokos Hotels (Finland) – Nordic Choice Club hotel partner

My Norway Nordic Choice Hotels Trip September 2014

Floyen-city-view_thumb.jpg

Bergen seen from Mount Floyen

  1. Oslo, Norway walking on a summer day (Sep 6)
  2. Hotel Review Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo, Norway (Sep 6)
  3. Hotel Review Clarion Collection Hotel Bastion Oslo, Norway (Sep 7)
  4. Think before you eat whale meat (Sep 8)
  5. Six days in Norway and $6 spent on food (Sep 9)
  6. Hotel Review: Farris Bad, Ascend Collection Larvik, Norway (Sep 10)
  7. Hotel Review Farris Bad Kaupang Suite upgrade (Sep 10)
  8. Hotel Atlantic Sandefjord offers whaling culture experience and beds too (Sep 11)
  9. Hotel Atlantic Sandefjord, Clarion Collection (Sep 13)
  10. Oslo Sandefjord Torp Airport low cost flights (Sep 12)
  11. USA Branded Bergen (Sep 12)
  12. Oops! Radisson Royal Bergen hotel damaged Bryggen UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Sep 12)
  13. Walk like a Norwegian up Floyen in Bergen (Sep 13)
  14. Think before you eat Norwegian farmed salmon (Sep 13)
  15. Biked, hiked and psyched about Bergen (Sep 15)
  16. Clarion Collection No 13 Bergen, Norway (Sep 15)
  17. Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen, TripAdvisor #1 hotel – Part One (Sep 16)
  18. Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen – Part Two (Sep 16)
  19. Bergen Line to Oslo, 500 km by train (and bus) – Part One (Sep 18)
  20. Bergen Line to Oslo 500 km by train part two (Sep 19)
  21. How I stole 2 nights at The Thief Oslo with points (Sep 23)
  22. Hotel Review The Thief Oslo Room 603 (Sep 23)
  23. The Thief Oslo by design (Sep 24)
  24. Clarion Collection Folketeateret Oslo is recommended Nordic Choice Hotel (Sep 27)

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. Note that, like the Choice Privileges program, there is an absolute expiration of points. Activity does not extend them. Only earn when you know you plan to spend them in that time frame.

    Unlike the Choice Privileges program, it is 3 years after earning, not at the end of a year.

    Status is also based on a 12 month period based on when you joined, not a calendar year basis.

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