Feb292016

Choice Privileges rewards for Scandinavia bookable online again

Choice Hotels redesigned its website last month and there was a temporary loss of award bookings for Nordic Choice Hotels and some international Choice Hotels properties, like in Japan. This functionality has now been restored.

Readers of Loyalty Traveler may know that I have redeemed several hundred thousand Choice Privileges points for Nordic Choice Hotel stays in Denmark, Norway and Sweden over the past two years. The deal with Nordic Choice Hotels is the 180 member Scandinavian hotel chain operates its own Nordic Choice Club hotel loyalty program. You can only earn points for paid hotel stays with Nordic Choice Club. The real deal for Choice Privileges members is the ability to redeem points for reward nights at Nordic Choice Hotels.

In 2014, Oslo was considered the most expensive city on the planet for a tourist. By my McDonald’s Big Mac benchmark (McD is nearly everywhere), a $20 Oslo burger price set the tone for why I lived on store-bought chili-flavored tuna in between breakfast (all Nordic Choice Hotels) and sometimes evening meals (only at Clarion Collection hotels) when I traveled for two weeks around the Norway in September 2014. The best deal I found during my two weeks were Subway sandwich specials for about $6 USD. Clarion Collection Hotels in Norway kept me fed through most of the day with breakfast, fruit mid-day and light evening buffet dinner and sometimes even a full buffet dinner.

The typical Clarion Collection Hotel in Oslo or Bergen was a $400 to $500 per night room or 16,000 Choice Privileges points. I redeemed over 200,000 points for around $6,000 in hotel rooms in September 2014.

Good news for tourists to Norway is the oil economy collapse has meant the Norwegian krone devalued about 35% against the U.S. Dollar over the past year. The unaffordable has become plain expensive.

Choice Hotels Bergen room rates

Nordic Choice Hotels in Bergen, Norway

  • Clarion Collection Havenkonteret = 2,180 NOK = $250 USD.
  • Clarion Collection Bergen Airport = 1,995 NOK = $229 USD.
  • Clarion Collection Hotel NO13 = 1,920 NOK = $220 USD.

Choice Hotels Bergen Reward night rates

Clarion Collection NO 13 = 12,000 Choice Privileges points

  • Redemption value = $18.33 per 1,000 points.

Clarion Collection Havnekonteret = 16,000 Choice Privileges points

  • Redemption value = $15.62 per 1,000 points.

Clarion Hotel Bergen Airport = 16,000 Choice Privileges points

  • Redemption value = $14.31 per 1,000 points.

I have stayed at all three of these Bergen, Norway hotels. I stayed five nights at Clarion Collection Havnekonteret in Bergen in September 2014 when the room rate was over $500 per night or 16,000 Choice Privileges points.

The redemption value for Choice Privileges points at many Nordic Choice Hotels in Scandinavia far exceeds the acquisition cost of purchasing Choice Privileges points either at the regular purchase rate of $11 per 1,000 points or the even lower purchase rate opportunity through Points Plus Cash rewards to buy at $7.50 per 1,000 points.

Loyalty TravelerChoice Privileges $550 for 65,000 points (Oct 21, 2015) explains how you can buy points for $7.50 per 1,000 points using Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash rewards.

Reviews of Nordic Choice Hotels from my travels

  1. Clarion Collection Hotel Temperance Malmo, Sweden food alone worth 8,000 points
  2. Clarion Collection Hotel No 13 Bergen with dinner at Hotel Oleana
  3. Clarion Collection Hotel Arcticus Harstad, Norway
  4. Clarion Bergen Airport modern style
  5. Skt. Petri Hotel Copenhagen, Nordic Choice Ascend Collection
  6. Hotel Review Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo, Norway (Sep 6, 2014)
  7. Hotel Review Clarion Collection Hotel Bastion Oslo, Norway (Sep 7, 2014)
  8. Hotel Review: Farris Bad, Ascend Collection Larvik, Norway (Sep 10)
  9. Hotel Review Farris Bad Kaupang Suite upgrade (Sep 10)
  10. Hotel Atlantic Sandefjord offers whaling culture experience and beds too (Sep 11)
  11. Hotel Atlantic Sandefjord, Clarion Collection (Sep 13)
  12. Clarion Collection No 13 Bergen, Norway (Sep 15)
  13. Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen, TripAdvisor #1 hotel – Part One (Sep 16)
  14. Clarion Collection Havnekontoret Bergen – Part Two (Sep 16)
  15. How I stole 2 nights at The Thief Oslo with points (Sep 23)
  16. Hotel Review The Thief Oslo Room 603 (Sep 23)
  17. The Thief Oslo by design (Sep 24)
  18. Clarion Collection Folketeateret Oslo is recommended Nordic Choice Hotel (Sep 27)

The rise of Norwegian Airlines and WOW Air and the decline in airfare prices from California to Europe via Scandinavia has made me a frequent traveler through Bergen, Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen.

I will be in Copenhagen and Stockholm next month to make my return to California on $150 one-way Norwegian Airlines tickets ARN-OAK. Then in July I am back in Stockholm again for the Travel Blog Exchange conference TBEX.

I plan to build up my Choice Privileges currency over the next four months for Nordic Choice Hotel stays during our summer trip.

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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