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Considering the turmoil surrounding the travel industry right now it seems a little odd to be writing about a hotel points sale but, between the fact that a little bit of normality may be a good thing and the fact that we’ll all be traveling again at some point in the future, I thought I’d write about the Choice Privileges Rewards point sale that launched today just in case it helps someone out.
Headline Terms & Conditions
- Transactions must be completed between 9:00 a.m. EST March 16, 2020 and 11:59 p.m. EST April 27, 2020 to be eligible for a bonus.
- Points will be posted to your Choice Privileges account within 24 hours after your transaction is complete.
- Purchased points do not count toward Elite Status or Lifetime Elite Gold Status.
- Transactions are final and non-refundable.
- Offer may not be valid for all members.
- All other terms and conditions of the Choice Privileges Rewards Program apply.
The Deal & The Math
This promotion may be targeted so not everyone may see a bonus as high as 40% while others may be fortunate enough to be targeted for a 50% bonus (the highest bonus Choice offers).
Here’s what my targeted offer looks like:
- Buy 1,000 – 4,000 points and get no bonus
- Buy 5,000 – 9,000 points and get a 20% bonus
- Buy 10,000 – 14,000 points and get a 30% bonus
- Buy 15,000 – 120,000 points and get a 40% bonus
Buying 120,000 (the full annual allowance) costs $1,188 and will net the buyer 168,000 points in total (after a 40% bonus has been factored in):
168,000 points at a cost of $1,188 = ~0.707 cents per point.
Is This A Good Deal?
I have to confess that I don’t keep a close eye on Choice Privileges but this looks like a reasonable, if not quite the best, deal I’ve seen in a while.
Earlier this year Choice was offering a 30% discount on the sale of its currency and that meant that points cost just ~0.690 cents each….but you could only buy up to 120,000 points. With this bonus, the cost per point is marginally higher but the number of points that can be purchased is significantly more.
Still, before there’s too much excitement about the apparently relatively low cost of points, there are a few things you need to know about Choice Privileges before you dive in.
If you don’t hold status with Choice hotels (and I suspect most people reading this don’t) there’s one critical restriction placed upon you when you come to redeem your points – you can only use points to make a reservation a maximum of 100 days ahead of check-in.
That’s a lot better than the old restrictions used to be (30 days for North America and 60 days for the rest of the world) but that’s still a restriction too far for me…and probably for a lot of people.
Having said that (and if the booking restriction isn’t an issue for you) there can be value to be had here…especially at the better properties which you’ll find in Europe.
If you’re in need of Choice points and have been targeted for a 40% discount (or better) this looks like a promotion you should be taking a look at to see if you can make it work.
If you’re not already a big fan of Choice Privileges there isn’t anything amazing to see here and you’re probably better of keeping your credit card in your wallet and moving on.