Mar282016

Nordic Choice Hotels offer high value for Choice Privileges points

This article focuses on the value of Choice Privileges in Scandinavia, a region where Choice Privileges points are almost always worth more than the U.S. dollars in your wallet. Choice Privileges points are a valuable travel currency in Norway and Sweden.

Nordic Choice Hotels

Nordic Choice Hotels is a Norwegian-based hotel chain with its own hotel loyalty program – Nordic Choice Club.

Nordic Choice Hotels is a Norwegian company with 187 hotels in six countries:

  • Norway (93 hotels)
  • Sweden (84 hotels)
  • Denmark (4 hotels)
  • Finland (2 hotels)
  • Latvia (1 hotel)
  • Lithuania (1 hotel)

Nordic Choice Hotels are in five Choice Privileges hotel brands:

  1. Ascend Collection (complimentary breakfast)
  2. Clarion Collection (complimentary breakfast and dinner meals)
  3. Clarion Hotels (only breakfast)
  4. Comfort Inn (complimentary breakfast)
  5. Quality Inn (complimentary breakfast)

Two aspects of Nordic Choice Hotels to point out for U.S. travelers are all hotel brands offer free breakfast, even when staying at Ascend Collection hotels.

The other point of significance is some hotels in Norway and Sweden are Clarion Collection hotels like Clarion Collection Hotel Oleana and Clarion Collection Hotel No13 in Bergen, Norway and some hotels are branded Clarion Hotels, like Clarion Hotel Admiral Bergen.

Clarion Hotels Bergen

The difference is Clarion Collection hotels in Scandinavia offer both a complimentary breakfast buffet and a complimentary light dinner buffet. This dinner benefit can be significant savings in Nordic countries where the average price of a restaurant meal is generally $30+ USD.

Clarion Malmo dinner

Dinner buffet plate from Clarion Collection Hotel Temperance, Malmo, Sweden – Sep 2015. Choice Privileges reward night = 8,000 Choice Privileges points.

Breakfast is a standard feature for Scandinavian hotels in most hotel chains. This can be a big deal for an Ascend Collection luxury hotel like The Thief Oslo, the pet project of Petter Stordalen, billionaire owner of Nordic Choice Hotels. The Thief Oslo breakfast benefit basically equates to a luxury hotel free breakfast, kind of like being a Hyatt Diamond elite at a Park Hyatt.

Choice Privileges Members can redeem points, but do not earn points at Nordic Choice Hotels

It is important to understand the relationship between Nordic Choice Hotels and Choice Privileges as a U.S. traveler. Choice Privileges members in the USA region can book a Nordic Choice Hotels reservation online through the ChoiceHotels.com website within 60 days of arrival date for the hotel stay using Choice Privileges points.

The catch is Choice Privileges members will not earn Choice Privileges points on paid stays at Nordic Choice Hotels. You need to join Nordic Choice Club To earn points on paid stays at Nordic Choice Hotels.

Fine example of Choice Privileges points value at Nordic Choice Hotels

I could fill many blog posts covering the value of Choice Privileges points. I already have over the past two years. I included some links at the end of this post.

Here is one example of the kind of value I will get from Choice Privileges points. I purchased a United Airlines ticket a couple days ago flying Stavanger Norway SVG to San Francisco SFO for $562 round trip departing in July and returning to Stavanger in September.

I already booked a great hotel deal with a 2-for-1 Club Carlson gold member elite rate for Radisson Blu Royal Stavanger in September at $71 per night, however, room rates at the Radisson are over $200 per night in July.

I am unable to check for reward availability as a Choice Privileges Platinum member until 75 days prior to arrival. Basic Choice Privileges members can only book reward stays at international hotels within 60 days of arrival. I’ll be checking for Choice Privileges reward night availability in Stavanger for a July stay as soon as I reach that 75-day booking window.

Here are sample rates for one of seven Nordic Choice Hotels in Stavanger, Norway in mid-May.

CLARION COLLECTION HOTEL SKAGEN BRYGGE, Stavanger, Norway

Tuesday May 10 – Thursday May 12

  • Choice Privileges Standard Reward 20,000 points per night = 40,000 points for two nights ($80 per night through Daily Getaways purchase = $160)
  • Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash Reward 6,000 points + $105 per night = 12,000 points + $210 for two nights. ($258 total buying Daily Getaways Choice Privileges points at $4/1,000 points).
  • Double Standard room = $192 per night or $384 total for 2-night stay.
  • Double Superior Room = $228 per night or $556 total for 2-night stay.
  • Daily Getaways points purchase price = $160 to $258 total for two nights in Stavanger. This is cost when buying Choice Privileges points during April 4 Daily Getaways for rooms with $384 to $556 room rates.
  • The option for either a Standard Room or Superior Room is another  feature of Choice Privileges reward stays at Nordic Choice Hotels. Some hotels offer higher category room types for no additional cost. I have booked confirmed suites in the past 18 months with a standard Choice Privileges reward using points at hotels in both the USA and Scandinavia.

Clarion Stavanger award nights May16

Clarion Stavanger paid rates May16

Daily Getaways Choice Privileges points sale

Monday April 4, 2016

Here are four offers for Choice Privileges points I will be seeking to buy on Daily Getaways next week. Forget all the hotel brand marketing associated with each offer page. You are simply buying Choice Privileges points. There is no restriction for how you redeem your Daily Getaways portal purchased points.

Choice Privileges points

$90 for 20,000 points = $4.50 per 1,000 points. (220 available; limit 2 sets).

$132 for 32,000 points = $4.13 per 1,000 points. (655 available; limit 2 sets).

$155 for 36,000 points = $4.31 per 1,000 points. (785 available; limit 2 sets).

$160 for 40,000 points = $4.00 per 1,000 points. (380 available; limit 2 sets).

Potential to buy 256,000 points for $1,074 per member account.

Points usually sell out before I can make four purchases from each offer to maximize the deal. Last year I was able to buy 172,000 points during the Daily Getaways sale.

Daily Getaways 16 Comfort Suites offer

This offer is to buy 32,000 Choice Privileges points. There are no redemption restrictions on the use of those 32,000 points. Stay 2 nights at Comfort Suites is simply brand marketing and not a restriction or limitation on the points purchase. This is an offer to buy 32,000 points.

256,000 points buys about 15 free nights in Scandinavia

The good news for me is the Choice Privileges points are on sale the first day of the five weeks of Daily Getaways 2016 offers. Hopefully there will be fewer people aware of Daily Getaways on the first day and leave the Choice Privileges points buying to us Choice Privileges loyalists who appreciate their hotel stay value.

Over the past five years I purchased several hundred thousand Choice Privileges points through the annual Daily Getaways offer. Last year I used up my 172,000 Daily Getaways purchases of Choice Privileges points for around $730 before the end of summer. Those 172,000 points were redeemed for over $2,000 in hotel room rates in Florida, Copenhagen, London, Bergen and Arctic Norway.

I had to buy another 100,000 more points paying $7.50 per 1,000 points through Choice Privileges sales and Points Plus Cash stays.

I redeemed over 200,000 points for two weeks in Norway in September 2014. Oslo was considered the most expensive city in the world at the time. The points I purchased for a little over $800 through Daily Getaways were redeemed for 13 nights in Norway for rooms with average nightly rates of $400.

Choice Privileges are a valuable travel currency in Norway and Sweden.

My flight plans take me to Sweden and Norway again this summer. I will likely need at least ten hotel nights.

Choice Privileges points are my primary hotel discount strategy for Sweden and Norway travel.

  1. What $385 in Choice Privileges points bought me in Europe
  2. Clarion Collection Hotel Temperance Malmo, Sweden food alone worth 8,000 points
  3. Clarion Collection Hotel No 13 Bergen with dinner at Hotel Oleana
  4. Clarion Collection Hotel Arcticus Harstad, Norway
  5. Clarion Bergen Airport modern style
  6. Tiny Room Comfort Inn Westminster London
  7. Skt. Petri Hotel Copenhagen, Nordic Choice Ascend Collection
  8. Hotel Review Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo, Norway (Sep 6, 2014)
  9. Hotel Review Clarion Collection Hotel Bastion Oslo, Norway (Sep 7, 2014)
  10. Six days in Norway and $6 spent on food (Sep 9)
  11. Hotel Review: Farris Bad, Ascend Collection Larvik, Norway (Sep 10)
  12. Hotel Review Farris Bad Kaupang Suite upgrade (Sep 10)
  13. Hotel Atlantic Sandefjord offers whaling culture experience and beds too (Sep 11)
  14. Hotel Atlantic Sandefjord, Clarion Collection (Sep 13)
  15. Clarion Collection No 13 Bergen, Norway (Sep 15)
  16. Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen, TripAdvisor #1 hotel – Part One (Sep 16)
  17. Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen – Part Two (Sep 16)
  18. How I stole 2 nights at The Thief Oslo with points (Sep 23)
  19. Hotel Review The Thief Oslo Room 603 (Sep 23)
  20. The Thief Oslo by design (Sep 24)
  21. 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.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. The limit buy for any one offer is 2? Last year you bought max 2 for each offer until it responded out-of-stock?

  2. @MarkM – Correct, you can buy two sets of points from each offer. Last year I bought 80,000 points to start and then maybe 72,000 and 20,000 points. After the first few seconds, most of the sets of points are reserved while members have a time limit to make the purchase. Sets go back in the pool when someone does not buy. Getting these deals is often a matter of refreshing the page until you get lucky. Hot items are usually gone within first couple minutes of sale.

    Choice Privileges points are one of the more popular items in Daily Getaways.
    Hyatt points are probably the quickest sell-out points.

  3. Any clue on how to improve your chances in getting in? My wife and I tried separately in different locations to buy any of the Choice packages last year from the minute it became available and tried for the next half hour with no luck. Any ideas?

  4. @Ed – I align my clock with a computer atomic clock a few minutes before the sale. Around one minute before the sale starts I begin clicking the Daily Getaways link and continually refresh until the sale opens.

    I prioritize the items and click on the item I want most first. Hopefully I can get to a second item and possibly even a third before they are gone.

    Most years I get in to buy one points item for any sale I desire without problem. Hyatt points are generally the only points I have missed out on completely a couple of years.

  5. So it’s only possible to buy one package of Choice points at a time? Do they really sell out in minutes? Wonder if it’ll be possible to buy 4 packages..

  6. How long does it take to get the points into your Choice account? A few days after your purchase?

  7. I wasn’t able to get anything. Very annoyed. I was able to get to checkout, but first, I was being asked to provide a US residential address, which I didn’t expect. Second, when I tried to put a random US address for my Canadian AMEX, it was rejected. Which of course is, from what I now gather, is an AMEX issue, since they are more strict about making sure your billing address matched. Still very annoyed… nobody really talked about this before the sale.

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