Apr282017

5 reasons not to buy Choice Privileges points in Daily Getaways

Choice Privileges points are on sale today at 1pm Eastern time, Friday April 28, 2017. Here are 5 reasons not to buy Choice Privileges points today. Four reasons are rebuttals to arguments I have made in the past for buying Choice Privileges points.

U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways offers today are Choice Privileges points.

40,000 points = $160

36,000 points = $155

32,000 points = $132

20,000 points = $90

Daily Getaways Choice Fri Apr28

Reason 1: Choice Privileges points expire after 18 months of no account activity.

I am still trying to figure out how to get value from my 7-figure Club Carlson points I accumulated from all those big bonus points promotions since 2011. I won’t be able to use Choice Privileges points within 18 months.

Reason 2: Choice Privileges points have great value in Scandinavia.

Trip to Norway? I’ll be on a cruise ship in the fjords. No need for hotel rooms.

And who cares about a 10,000 points reward nights in Stockholm or 20,000 points for a Swedish or Norwegian resort property?

If I stay in Stockholm or Oslo or somewhere else in Scandinavia, I will stay in Club Carlson hotels. Radisson Blu hotels have a respectably high 70,000 points per night reward rate in Scandinavia. I can finally quickly burn some of that 7-figure Club Carlson points balance I have been carrying for years. I might even find 105,000 points reward nights at Radisson Blu.

Reason 3: Some popular places with Choice Hotels are simply too popular with crowds of tourists.

Sure, both Prague, Czechia and Porto, Portugal have several Choice Hotels at 8,000 points to 12,000 points per reward night, but popular cities with tourists are not my daily getaways style of travel.

I want exclusivity. My travel style thinks Maldives and Mauritius. Some place I really can’t afford to live more than five days in that lifestyle, but hey, I want a hotel that makes me feel special.

Reason 4: Some Choice Hotels offer suites for standard reward night rates.

I can’t even burn through Hyatt and SPG Suite upgrades. I don’t need more hotel suites.

Reason 5 is my personal bias against encouraging you to buy Choice Privileges points today.

I don’t want competition for Choice Privileges points purchases today.

My objective is to buy 256,000 Choice Privileges points or as many as I can. A $1,074 investment will save me at least $2,000 on hotel room rates over the next year.

I want hotel rooms in Stockholm, and if I cruise Norway, I will most likely be cruising mountain trails on foot outside a city like Bergen with several Choice Hotels options for reward nights. Prague was crowded when I was there in January. July is going to be mind-blowing. A hotel room near the city center is desirable when I want to be off the streets this July.

 

Update: 45 minutes after sale launch and basically ended.

Bummed I was only successful in purchasing 36,000 points this year. By far the most difficult time I had buying Choice Privileges points on Daily Getaways since 2011.

I did not even get enough points to cover the 60,000 points for hotel bookings I want in June and July. Which means I revert to my back-up plan when I run low on Choice Privileges points.

Choice Privileges Points & Cash reward stays allow a member to buy up to 240,000 points in a calendar year with Choice Privileges Points & Cash reward nights using 6,000 points per night and paying $7.50 per 1,000 points for the remaining points needed.

As a simple example, a hotel reward night at 16,000 points per night can be purchased for 6,000 points + $75 on a Points & Cash reward night. Redeem 30,000 points for a 5-night reward stay and spend $375 to buy 50,000 points. Cancel the reward stay and get 80,000 points returned to Choice Privileges account.

I purchased 36,000 points for $155, or $4.31 per 1,000 points in today’s sale.

I will likely need at least 100,000 more Choice Privileges points for hotel stays in the next 12 months in places like Norway and Sweden, where Nordic Choice Hotels on points are the best deal around.

At $7.50 per 1,000 points I will pay $750 for 100,000 Choice Privileges points. That is about $325 more than I would have paid in Daily Getaways today if I had landed more purchase opportunities.

Still, I generally get a redemption value of about $15 per 1,000 points when I redeem Choice Privileges points. So, as long as the purchase price remains at $7.50 per 1,000 points with Points & Cash reward nights over the next year, I expect I will redeem about 150,000 points in 2017 for hotel reward nights at Choice Hotels. With around 12 hotel reward nights, I expect I will save $1,200 over the otherwise lowest room rates at comparable hotels.

Looks like I will be conserving my Choice Privileges reward stays and looking to burn more Wyndham Rewards points on GoFast stays over the next 12 months.

 

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. The real reason that you shouldn’t purchase points today is that you might like planning your vacations more than 30 days in advance.

  2. Only 36,000 points this year. Far below what I have purchased in past years.

    Looks like I will be paying $7.50/1,000 points with Points & Cash rewards for most of my stays this year.

  3. I had three browsers open on different computers and hit buy in first 2 seconds of sale on all three browsers. Only one browser loaded a purchase option. Unfortunately for me, the purchase that went through was only for one set of 36,000 points.

    I gave five minutes of consistent browser refreshing on other two computers while I completed purchase on third computer. Never got another chance to buy points.

  4. I only got one of the 36k after about 6 minutes – just kept trying. Someone must not have finished in time. I really thought it would have been easier this year because the SW companion pass transfer doesn’t count.

  5. I was lucky to get one of the packages even though I tried to buy right at 1pm. tried tried tried and finally got into one.

    @brteacher—if you have status you can book on points earlier based on status level.

  6. Rick – did you just start with only 1, or did it change from 2 to 1 automatically? I started with 2 and got nothing, so when I kept trying, I changed to 1.

  7. Fortunately, I scored the 40,000 package on the first refresh. I’m not normally that lucky! We’re going to (hopefully) use ours in Nova Scotia this summer where the points will save us 1/3 off the paid rate.

  8. Do you really have a 7 figure Club Carlson balance – like I do?

    I thought about trying for the offer, but with a 380K Choice point balance it just didn’t make sense to me.

  9. So I am new with the Choice Rewards program, but bought one of the packages since it was such a good deal. The problem is every time I search for award availability across all properties and numerous dates, it indicates there is award availability, and when I click “book now” it then tells me there is no availability for the night I selected. Any idea why I am unable to find any available award nights?

  10. @Derek – sounds like you are searching dates beyond the 30 day booking window (US/Canada) or 60 day booking window (international). If you look for award rates beyond your booking window, then website shows no rooms available.

    As a Platinum elite I can see and make award bookings 75 days from today in USA and international. If I try last week of July I see message,

    “Sorry, there are no rooms available on Monday, July 31, 2017 for 1 night.”

  11. @Lynn – I was flustered by only one browser clicking through to the purchase page and it was my wife’s mini-iPad I rarely use. I did not realize it was set to 1 points purchase and not 2 sets of points. But that might be the reason it went through to the sale.

    @Carl P. – I maintain a good earn and burn rate with Club Carlson due to their high bonus points promotions. My big balance was greatly reduced with 18 reward nights booked in May 2015 for London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm before the Visa card free night benefit on reward stays ended. Wife and I spent 8 nights at Mayfair London and several other Radisson Blu and Park Plaza hotels in London.

    Last week I redeemed Club Carlson 4 reward nights for summer travel and earlier this month I stayed 3 reward nights for 100,500 points redeemed in past month.

    I earned 70,000 points in Jan-Feb on $470 in hotel spend for 8 nights. I will earn 50,000+ points on 9 paid nights this summer.

    Sitting on about 150,000 points right now.

  12. So much for my belief that this year’s sale would be less competitive. I was only trying for one set of 2 and so I stopped when I got 2x36k.

    This frenzy reminds me of woot, with compulsive and competitive customers grabbing stuff they later regret buying.

    On the other hand, the quantities seemed low. I think I recall seeing 600 of some packages in past years. Am I remembering correctly?

  13. People use bots to bid these so they sell out within seconds . You have to be lucky to get one on a refresh.

  14. Any experience with how quickly these posted in previous years? Planning a vacation in a few weeks and getting antsy to spend the 40k (2 20ks) I got lucky enough to snag today.

  15. I thought I didnt do well getting 2 packages at 2 each, but apparently I did.

    I scored 2×32,000 and 2×20,000 for a grand total of 104,000 points.

  16. @nsx at FlyerTalk – you are correct about the quantities for sale. I had not realized there were far fewer points for sale than 2016. No wonder 2017 was so hard to buy Choice Privileges points.

    Last year there were 2,040 sets of Choice Privileges points offered in Daily Getaways compared to only 1,030 sets for sale this year.

    2016

    $90 for 20,000 points = $4.50 per 1,000 points. (220 available; limit 2 sets).
    2017 = 208 sets.

    $132 for 32,000 points = $4.13 per 1,000 points. (655 available; limit 2 sets).
    2017 = 310 sets.

    $155 for 36,000 points = $4.31 per 1,000 points. (785 available; limit 2 sets).
    2017 only 308 sets.

    $160 for 40,000 points = $4.00 per 1,000 points. (380 available; limit 2 sets).
    2017 only 204 sets.

  17. Last year I got all eight packages, my best showing ever. This year I clicked on the 40k package right at the 1 p.m. mark (I had an official clock open) and it was already sold out. I managed to buy two 32,000 packages and two 20,000 packages, which is certainly better than nothing. This is one of my worst years, though.

  18. Rick, am I correct in saying that a us getaways purchase will extend my existing points another 18 months?

    Also, having been status matched before, and now having dropped back to the lowest level, in practice can I be status matched again? (Using Carlson, or ihg or starwoood or Marriott )

    I managed to get 32000 at minute six , having been refreshing both the 32000 and 40000 from two minutes before 1 pm on two iPads. I only purchased to stop my existing points from expiring — not sure if I will get just over four tenths of a cent in value, I haven’t made it to Scandinavia in 35 years. Will probably just stay in an econolodge in a year or so at hopefully only 6000 or 8000 points, just to keep my account alive.

  19. 36,000 points deposited into my account May 8, 2017.

    6 Points Plus Cash nights booked May 8, 2016 for summer 2017 travel.

    $155 to buy 36,000 points in Daily Getaways + $255 to buy 34,000 points for Points Plus Cash nights = $410 spent for 6 hotel nights.

    Published rates for 6 hotel nights = $1,050.

    $155 to buy 36,000 Choice Privileges reduced hotel rate from $1,050 to $410 for 6 nights and reduced nightly rate from $175 to $69 per night.

  20. Anyone still waiting their points to post? It’s been almost 10 business days but no sign and Choice csr is not that helpful.

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