Dec142016

Why you should buy 6,000 Choice Privileges points or none at all

Choice Privileges announced an end-of-year buy points promotion for a 30% discount thru Dec 26, 2016.

At first I thought this might be a good purchase opportunity, but then I was kind of surprised to see the purchase rate at $7.70 per 1,000 points. That is actually 30% off the $11.00 per 1,000 points normal rate to buy Choice Privileges points. In my head, I mistakenly calculated a 35% discount rate to $7.15. I would be a buyer at a rate below $7.50 per 1,000 points.

$7.70 per 1,000 points is only a good deal if you do not currently have 6,000 points in your Choice Privileges account.  And you only get the 30% off discount rate when you buy at least 35,000 points for $269.50.

  • Buy 5,000 – 19,000 points 10% off = $9.90 per 1,000 points.
  • Buy 20,000 – 34,000 points 20% off = $8.80 per 1,000 points
  • Buy 35,000 – 50,000 points 30% off = $7.70 per 1,000 points.

From email I received for this offer: “We’ve also raised your annual purchasing limit, so you can buy up to 30,000 more points this year. Your points don’t expire as long as you stay an active member, so feel free to treat yourself!”

The page only shows a maximum 50,000 points. In early 2015 there was a 20,000 points purchase limit. In July 2015 I purchased 50,000 Choice Privileges points during a sale. So I am not sure if this 30,000 points more refers to last year’s increased purchase limit change or if this sale allows a member to buy up to 80,000 points in 2016?

Choice Privileges 30% off Dec 12

Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash Reward Nights for unlimited cheaper points at $7.50 per 1,000 points.

My best piece of advice for Choice Privileges members is to always be sure to keep at least 6,000 points in your account and preferably 18,000 points for opportunities to quickly grow your account balance when you need Choice Privileges points for reward nights.

One example of the value of Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash Rewards

Yasuragi, Ascend Collection, Stockholm, Sweden

Yasuragi homepage

Reward nights at Yasuragi are 20,000 points per night.

The current 30% discount sale on Choice Privileges points allows a member to buy 40,000 points for $308 for two reward nights. This is a great discount for Yasuragi since room rates run $383 per night.

Yasuragi, Ascend Collection Feb 6-9, 2017 room rates

3 night stay = 10,548 SEK = $1,151.68 USD

Yasuragi $383 room rate Feb6-9

Yasuragi Choice Privileges Points Plus Cash Rates

6,000 points + $105 per night.

Choice Points Plus Cash Yasuragi 6K $105

Choice Privileges allows you to book any room available as a Points Reward night using 6,000 Points + $7.50 per 1,000 points to buy remaining points needed for each reward night. $105 buys 14,000 points for this stay. 18,000 points + $305 buys 3 reward nights at 20,000 points per night. $305 buys 42,000 points needed to book this 60,000 points reward stay at Yasuragi. 18,000 Choice Privileges points saves $846.68 USD on this 3-night reward stay.

Darn. Travel plans changed and I have to cancel the Yasuragi reward stay for February.

Immediately upon cancellation of the reward reservation, my account gains 60,000 Choice Privileges points. The 18,000 points I redeemed + 42,000 points I purchased for $305 instantly repopulate my Choice Privileges account. I bought 42,000 points for $305.

That is why there is no reason today to spend $308 to buy 40,000 Choice Privileges with this sale, unless you don’t currently have 6,000 Choice Privileges points in your account to take advantage of Points Plus Cash reward nights to grow your balance. 

On trips to Norway and Sweden, I have stayed many nights in hotels with room rates from $200 to $500 per night on reward nights costing 8,000 to 20,000 points with some stays in luxury hotels as nice as most Park Hyatt or JW Marriott properties.

Choice Privileges points are some of the most valued loyalty points I hold. I stayed six nights in New Zealand last month with 52,000 Choice Privileges points and saved over $600 in Econolodge hotel rooms. Choice Hotels span the spectrum of market segments from economy to luxury and with over 6,000 hotels worldwide, I find many uses for Choice Privileges points on reward stays.

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.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. This could be a good deal if you do lots of cash and points stays in expensive cities There is an annual cap of 250,000 points purchased through cash and points. Buying through this offer doesn’t count against the cap.

  2. Rick, I would like to extend the expiration of my (currently expires November 2017) points

    I will not be in a country with a choice or affiliated hotel until 2018

    My credit card and account have us address

    Thank you

  3. @Andre – Buy Choice Privileges points and that counts as a qualifying activity to add 18 months to points.expiration date.

    https://www.choicehotels.com/choice-privileges/faq

    As long as you are an active Choice Privileges member, your points will not expire. You must have at least one qualifying activity every 18 months to maintain an active status and retain your accumulated points. Choice Privileges points will be forfeited in accounts with no qualifying activity during the previous 18 consecutive calendar months.

    What does being an active Choice Privileges member mean? What is a qualifying activity?

    To remain active in the program and retain your points, you must have at least one of the following activities every 18 consecutive calendar months:

    – Qualifying point-eligible stay (earning points, miles, or Amtrak Guest Rewards points),
    – Redeeming Choice Privileges points (free nights, gift cards etc.)
    – Earning points with the Choice Privileges Visa® card (US members only)
    – Purchasing points
    – Referring a Friend*

    *The Refer-a-Friend option awards points to your account when a friend enrolls in the Choice Privileges Rewards Program and completes a point-eligible stay. The point forfeiture date will be based on the date the points post to your account, not on the date of the referral.

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