Mar072016

How two $36 EconoLodge nights get me to 20,000 Choice Privileges points

This week I have a Choice Privileges action plan. I want 20,000 Choice Privileges points in the next 30 days for a reward stay at a $200 per night hotel at a Nordic Choice Hotel in Stockholm for April 2016. I currently have 235 Choice Privileges points in my account.

I could simply buy 20,000 Choice Privileges for $220, but what is the point? Paying the Stockholm room rate is cheaper.

Choice Privileges current promotion offers 8,000 points after two Choice Hotels stays.

Choice Hotels Brands:

  1. Comfort Inn
  2. Comfort Suites
  3. Quality Inn
  4. Sleep Inn
  5. Clarion Hotels
  6. Cambria Suites
  7. Ascend Hotel Collection
  8. MainStay Suites
  9. Suburban Extended Stay
  10. EconoLodge
  11. Rodeway Inn
  12. Partner hotel chain: Preferred Hotels & Resorts (reward nights available using Choice Privileges points; no Choice Privileges points earning).
  13. Partner hotel chain: Nordic Choice Hotels (reward nights available using Choice Privileges points; no Choice Privileges points earning).

Two $36 EconoLodge Monterey Nights

The fact that it is slow winter travel season in Monterey with hotel room overcapacity in a town that relies on tourism for its hotel industry, I can book an EconoLodge a couple miles away in Monterey for $36.00 per night on a AAA rate any night this week.

Changes to Choice Privileges last month made Choice Hotels budget and extended stay brands EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn, Suburban and MainStay Suites full points earning brands in the Choice Privileges loyalty program at 10 points per U.S. Dollar in base room rate. Previously these brands earned 5 points per dollar.

Another Choice Privileges change is the current 8,000 points after two stays offer does not require 2-night stays at the four budget and extended stay brands. 2-night stays were a regular term in the many previous versions of this offer to appear over the past few years.

The EconoLodge promotion rule change means I can spend $82 for two separate one night stays at EconoLodge Monterey and earn 8,000 Choice Privileges points. I can then use 8,000 points to book a Points Plus Cash reward night at a 20,000 points per night hotel for 8,000 points + $90.

Total spend = $172 to acquire 20,000 Choice Privileges points and earn two elite night credits for 2016 Choice Privileges status.

Benefits of Choice Privileges Elite Gold and Platinum

10 elite nights in a calendar year Jan 1-Dec 31 for Choice Privileges Gold offers a 50-day advance booking window for reward stay travel for USA residents at USA hotels compared to normal 30-day window for Choice Privileges base members. Choice Privileges reward nights count for elite qualification.

I hold Choice Privileges Platinum with 20 elite nights and a big advantage with a 75-day international booking window for reward stays compared to the 60-day window for base and Gold members. Since 2014 I have earned Choice Privileges elite status primarily from reward nights at Nordic Choice Hotels in Denmark, Norway and Sweden redeeming Choice Privileges points.

Paid stays at Nordic Choice Hotels do not earn Choice Privileges points or elite credit, however, reward nights at Nordic Choice Hotels in Scandinavia redeemed with Choice Privileges points earn elite night credit. The cost to simply buy Choice Privileges points and redeem reward stays compared to the published rates in super expensive Scandinavia generally provides a rate discount.

Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash

Last year Choice Privileges added Points Plus Cash allowing members with 8,000 points per reward night to buy the remaining points for a reward stay at the rate of $7.50 per 1,000 Choice Privileges points.

My plan this week is book two stays at EconoLodge Monterey Fairgrounds for $82 all-in and earn 8,000 Choice Privileges points. Then I can buy 12,000 Choice Privileges points for $90 with a Points Plus Cash reward. For $172 I will have 20,000 points and I can book the hotel room I want in Stockholm for $172 in points rather than pay the $200 room rate. And earn another Choice Privileges elite night credit for 2016 status.

Better yet, after 8,000 points are in my Choice Privileges account, I can grow my balance to 40,000 points for $240 all-in with a Points Plus Cash strategy.

$322 for 40,000 points reduces my acquisition cost for 20,000 points to $161. That is a 20% room rate discount on the $200 per night Stockholm hotel.

Anyway, the first step to 20,000 or 40,000 Choice Privileges points is to book two nights this week at the EconoLodge Monterey and earn 8,000 Choice Privileges points after two stays.

Loyalty TravelerChoice Privileges Stay Twice Earn 8,000 points Mar 3 to May 5, 2016 (March 3, 2016).

Loyalty Traveler – Choice Privileges expands Points Plus Cash rewards for Preferred Hotels & Resorts partner rewards requiring 10,000 points per night + cash copay. Buy up to 250,000 points per year with Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash (March 2, 2016).

Loyalty Traveler – Choice Privileges 2016 program changes (Feb 17, 2016).

Loyalty Traveler – Choice Privileges launches Points Plus Cash rewards (Jan 23, 2015).

Loyalty Traveler – Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash Trick (Jan 30, 2015).

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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  1. You’re right about that. I just called the Choice Privileges Service Center and was told that your extras 500 points for staying midweek are in addition to the 8,000 points for two stays. So possible to earn 9,000 points if both stays are midweek.

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