Oct212015

Choice Privileges $550 for 65,000 points

Choice Privileges points are on sale through November 24, 2015. The limited time offer is 30% bonus points when you buy 13,000 or more points.

The 30% bonus points lower the standard purchase price rate from $11.00 per 1,000 points to $8.47 per 1,000 points.  The 30% bonus kicks in with a 13,000 points purchase making 16,900 points $143. The maximum purchase limit is $550 for 65,000 points.

Choice Privileges buy points Nov24

Here is why I find this to be a good deal for hotel rate discounts.

Investing $143 for 16,900 Choice Privileges points

The key point to remember with Choice Privileges is when the member’s account has 8,000 points, then the member can use Points + Cash rewards to grow points balance by paying $7.50 per 1,000 points booking Points Plus Cash rewards.

The simple strategy is Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash redemption allows a member to pay 8,000 points per night and book a 20,000 or 25,000 points per night hotel using credit card payment to buy the remaining points needed for a standard reward at the rate $7.50 per 1,000 points. The points portion of a Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash reward is always 8,000 points per night.

The remainder of the points needed beyond 8,000 points per night are purchased at time of booking. Points are sold at rate of $7.50 per 1,000 points. The points purchase is nonrefundable. If you cancel the Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash redemption stay, then the points you purchased go back into your account, along with the 8,000 points per night you redeemed.

Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash Redemption example: Book two nights at a 25,000 points hotel for 16,000 points + $255. The $255 payment buys 34,000 points.

A member can go from 0 points to 16,900 points with a $143 purchase. Redeem 16,000 points for a 2-night stay at a 25,000 points per night hotel offering Points Plus Cash reward stay.  Buy 34,000 points for $255 during the Points Plus Cash stay reservation. Cancel the reservation sometime after booking.

Cancel the Points Plus Cash reward stay and the account has 50,000 points.

50,000 points is sufficient to book six hotel nights using Points Plus Cash rewards.

Comparing this sale to other Choice Privileges sales in 2015

Choice Privileges points have had two better sales this year. The first was April’s U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways when points were sold at an average cost of about $4.30 per 1,000 points. There were limited packages and even if you wanted to buy points, you had to be quick and lucky. I purchased 172,000 points. That was sufficient for about 12 hotel nights, mostly in the USA.

In July, I purchased another 50,000 points for $385 during a 30% price cut sale at $7.70 per 1,000 points.

In September, I booked another 6 nights on Points + Cash Rewards in Denmark, Norway and Sweden buying 8,000 points for $60 per Points Plus Cash night and redeeming 8,000 points for hotels in Norway at 16,000 points per night. Typical room rates were $150 to $250 per night in Norway and Copenhagen.

I can’t keep enough Choice Privileges points on hand.

The problem is I already purchased the maximum annual limit of 50,000 Choice Privileges points for my account in 2015. I can’t buy or receive any more purchased points in 2015. In January 2016, I can buy another 50,000 Choice Privileges points. The points are really valuable in Scandinavia.

My wife as a workaround for more points

My wife’s account has not received any purchased points in 2015. She does not have any Choice Privileges points in her account. I have shown how to quickly grow an account to 50,000 points for $398.

We can start with 65,000 points for $550. That gives me 8 nights to play with for Points Plus Cash redemptions.

Family members can book Choice Privileges hotel stays for other family members without needing to be present for the hotel stay.

A member may redeem a reward night for an immediate family member (spouse, partner, children, parents, in-laws, brothers and sisters). Immediate family members (spouse, partner, children, parents, in-laws, brothers and sisters) can use the free night even if the member is not occupying the room.

When booking a reward night for someone other than yourself, be sure to ask the reservation agent to include the name of the guest in the notes field of the reservation.  When booking a reward night through your online profile, be sure to include the name of the guest who will be staying in the room in the “Special Request” field.

Choice Privileges T&C

Choice Privileges points have high value to me for hotel stays in Scandinavia. My current long-range planning looks like I will be in Scandinavia for about 15 nights over the next year. I have some Choice Privileges points gardening to tend to.

Choice Privileges Stockholm reward rates

Stockholm, Sweden hotels Choice Privileges Reward Rates

Clarion Hotel Sign 1,540 SEK = $187 USD.

  • 10,000 points Redemption value = $18.70/1,000 points

Nordic C Hotel Ascend Collection 1,240 SEK = $150 USD.

  • 16,000 points Redemption value = $9.38/1,000 points

Nordic Light Hotel, Ascend Collection 1,640 SEK = $199 USD.

  • 20,000 points Redemption value = $9.95/1,000 points

Choice Privileges Stockholm rates

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. Are Choice Points still transferrable to SW Rewards to count towards companion pass eligibility? I have read conflicting information.

  2. Ric,

    Thanks for the useful post as always.
    Do you see any points + cash availability in London, GB for next April or May?
    I just did some random search and showed nothing avail. (please note I don’t yet have any choice pts). Maybe it did not show b/c I have 0 pts…

    Thanks.

  3. The option to transfer Choice points to Southwest does not appear on the Web site, but a CSR assured me it’s still available by phone.

    Note that the date you request the transfer is the key date. For example, if you request the transfer on December 27, 2015, but the transfer does not complete until January 5, 2016, the points count towards your 2015 (not 2016) Companion Pass.

  4. Choice Privileges is tricky since you can only book 60 days in advance. I think you have to be within the booking range to see Points Plus Cash.

    I have under 8,000 points at the moment and I can’t see Points Plus Cash reward stay specifics either for any hotels.

  5. Hey, Rick.
    Do you know if the choice points expire if there is no activity within a certain time period?
    And can I buy choice points using a choice hotel gift card?

    Thanks.

  6. I cannot but the points. Get following error “The Choice Privileges number you entered is invalid. Please enter a proper account number.”. Strange.

  7. @overland – Points in Choice Privileges expire at the end of the year, two years after posting to account. Buy points October or November 2015 and they expire December 31, 2017. Buy points January 2016 and they expire Dec 31, 2018.

    Points purchases in most (all?) hotel programs go through Points.com. I doubt a Choice Hotels gift card will work on Points.com.

    I know nothing about the Southwest Companion Pass, except that people use Choice Privileges points to reach the 100,000 points goal for the Southwest Pass. I have used most of my points for Scandinavia hotel stays. That is the sweet spot of the program for me.

  8. Thanks for the analysis, quality as usual and best on Boarding Area by far.

    Haven’t really considered Choice before but after your analysis and searching some dates in December, turns out there is good value to be had. The Cambria Times Square is opening soon and going for 10,000 points per night, which is an absolute steal at AUD$120 when buying points.

    @miro are you using a US or Canada domiciled account as others are not permitted to buy points.

  9. Checked again today and it’s now 20,000 points per night, less than 24 hours later. Today is meant to be their opening day.

    Also snagged a night at The Thief Oslo, which I am really looking forward to after your review.

  10. @Milton – The Thief Oslo is a wonderful hotel. I’d love to get my wife there.

    I think many people have a preconception of low quality Choice Hotels in the USA and don’t realize that Nordic Choice Hotels are run as a different hotel chain owned and managed by Scandinavians. I have not had a bad hotel yet when staying at a Nordic Choice Hotel in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The Thief is ranked as one of the top hotels in Norway.

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