The competitive advantage of Choice Privileges is the number of hotels in remote locations where road travelers will find no other loyalty program hotels. My recent trek into the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California revealed small towns with options for Choice Hotels, Wyndham Hotels and Best Western where Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and Courtyard had no presence.
Choice Privileges advertises this recurring promotion as “Stay Twice, Earn a Free Night”, but actually the member earns 8,000 points which are sufficient for a free hotel night at the two lowest tier reward levels of 6,000 and 8,000 points. Two thirds of Choice properties are in the 10,000 to 20,000 points categories.
There are about 1,500 hotels in the 6,100 member hotel chain franchise offering free nights at the 6,000 and 8,000 points level. Loyalty Traveler published a hotel reward category analysis of Choice Privileges on May 1.
This bonus offer is valid for stays from May 19 through August 11, 2011 and only for US and Canada residents. Choice Privileges General members and Gold elite members may earn the bonus up to four times for 32,000 points. Platinum and Diamond elite members may earn this bonus up to 10 times during the promotion period for 80,000 points.
Loyalty Traveler analysis:
Choice Privileges promotions are different from most hotel loyalty promotions in that the total points earned will be 8,000 points after two stays, regardless if your two hotel stays cost $140 or $770. Elite member bonuses are additional points earned to the promotion bonus points.
Example 1: Earning is based on $140 in hotel spend.
Assume one $80 stay at Clarion Hotel and one $60 stay at Comfort Inn = $140 hotel spend.
$140 earns 1,400 Choice Privileges base points. Member will receive 6,600 bonus points for 8,000 total points after two stays.
Example 2: Earning is based on $770 in hotel spend.
Assume one 6-night stay for $420 ($70/night) at MainStay Suites = 2,100 points ($420 x 5 points/$1)
Assume one 5-night stay for $350 ($70/night) at Quality Inn = 3,500 points ($350 x 10 points/$1).
Member earns 5,600 base points from these two stays and receives 2,400 bonus points to reach 8,000 total points for two qualifying stays.
Despite the member staying 11 nights in two stays and spending five times the hotel spend in the second earning example, the total points earned is the same 8,000 points as the member earns who stays two nights at two hotels for $140. This makes Choice Privileges promotions a good hit-and-run deal for the one-night stand Choice Privileges member.
Bottom line: Choice Privileges has the best value promotion for summer travel compared to Wyndham Rewards and Best Western Rewards. My road trips this summer will take me to several places where my only choices are Best Western, Choice and Wyndham or no loyalty program. I view Choice Privileges as the most rewarding option for best bonus points promotion for this summer’s travel.
Hotel Brands: Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, Ascend Collection.
Hotel Reward Partners: Preferred Hotels Group, Barcelo Resorts
Promotion Terms & Conditions:
Reservations must be made at ChoiceHotels.com or 800.4CHOICE at qualifying rates and Choice Privileges member number must be provided upon check-in. After a second qualifying stay with arrival between 5/19/11 and 8/11/11, you will be awarded enough bonus points to redeem at the 8,000 point Choice Privileges reward night level. For Econo Lodge®, Rodeway Inn®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, or MainStay Suites® hotels, a stay is defined as two (2) or more consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs. For Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Quality®, Sleep Inn®, Clarion®, Cambria Suites® or Ascend Collection® hotels, a stay is defined as any number of consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs at any property included in the Choice Privileges program. Members that register for this promotion may earn up to four (4) free nights, Platinum and Diamond members that register for this promotion may earn up to ten (10) free nights, and members that do not register for this promotion may earn up to two (2) free nights. Allow 72 hours from check-out for points to post to your account. A free night at most Choice Privileges locations requires more than 8,000 points. You must maintain an address in the U.S. (including U.S. territories) or Canada to be eligible for this promotion. For program details, eligible rates, eligible countries and point redemption rules, visit choiceprivileges.com.
Related Loyalty Traveler post: 100% Bonus Miles for Choice points to United Mileage Plus through June 6.
2,500 Choice points = 1,000 UA miles.