Choice Privileges today launched a flash sale for points purchases with 50% bonus points when you buy 5,000 to 50,000 points at their regular purchase rate of $11.00 per 1,000 points. This sale runs from Tuesday October 4 to 11:59pm Friday, October 7.
$55 for 5,000 points buys 7,500 points after bonus. This reduces the rate from $11 to $7.34 per 1,000 points. The maximum purchase in a calendar year is normally 50,000 points, but you can pick up 75,000 points for $550 in this sale. Then, as of January 2017, you are eligible to buy another 50,000 points (or more during these kinds of limited time sales) during the 2017 calendar year.
I redeemed 56,000 Choice Privileges points last week for 6 hotel nights in New Zealand with lowest published room rates at $650 USD. I can replace those points buying 57,000 points during this flash sale for $418.00.
Value I find with Choice Privileges points are international hotels
Over the past five years I have purchased and redeemed 100,000s in Choice Privileges points. I have only redeemed a few nights in the USA using my points. USA hotels in Choice Privileges, if they are at all nice hotels, are generally high priced in the 20,000 to 30,000 points range. And the low points hotels are often dumps I would not want to stay in for the night. I rarely find a good value redemption in the USA using Choice Privileges points.
Scandinavia provides an incredible travel savings due to Nordic Choice Hotels being run as a separate entity from Choice Hotels for about 180 hotels in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Baltic countries. Nordic Choice Hotels has its own loyalty program, Nordic Choice Club, for earning and redeeming points.
Choice Privileges members cannot earn points for paid stays at Nordic Choice Hotels. Yet, Choice Privileges members can redeem points for reward nights at Nordic Choice Hotels. It is that facet of Choice Privileges points that has allowed me, a budget traveler, to spend some 30 to 40 hotel nights in Denmark, Norway and Sweden over the past three years.
Scandinavia is one of the world’s most expensive travel destinations. Many of the hotel nights I stayed in Nordic Choice Hotels for 12,000 to 20,000 points per night were hotel rooms with $300 to $500 per night rates. Forget your preconception of the quality of Choice Hotels based on what you have seen in the USA. In Norway, I have stayed in Nordic Choice Hotels that are firmly in the luxury category and comparable to luxury hotels in other major chains like Marriott, Starwood and Hyatt.
Here are some examples of my hotel stays in Scandinavia using Choice Privileges points:
Hotel Review Clarion Hotel Energy Stavanger, Norway (July 2016 Suite for 12,000 points).
Stockholm Clarion Hotel Sign great deal on points, convenient airport train access (July 2016 10,000 points).
Clarion Collection Hotel Temperance Malmo, Sweden food alone worth 8,000 points (Sep 2015 8,000 points).
Clarion Collection Hotel No 13 Bergen with dinner at Hotel Oleana (Sep 2015 12,000 points).
Clarion Collection Hotel Arcticus Harstad, Norway (Sep 2015 16,000 points).
How I stole 2 nights at The Thief Oslo with points (Sep 23, 2014). The Thief is the flagship property of Nordic Choice Hotels.
I hold Choice Privileges Platinum elite (20 nights in calendar year) primarily through reward nights that are counted for elite qualification. My hotel nights in New Zealand next month will put me into Platinum elite status once again for 2017. The main advantage of Platinum elite is I can book reward nights 75 days in advance for domestic and international hotels. That is a good advantage to have when it comes to getting reward night reservations confirmed at international hotels two weeks before the masses have access to them at 60 days before arrival.