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Choice Hotels is currently running a promotion which, on the face of things, doesn’t look particularly interesting as it’s a promotion that appears to promise guests a $50 gift card after two stays. However, after a quick look a the terms it becomes apparent that there is more to this promotion than just a gift card so this is an offer that’s definitely worth a closer look.
Stay Twice & Get A Gift Card (Or Not)
The key to this promotion is that what’s actually being offered is bonus Choice Privileges points which can then be converted into gift cards but, as most miles and points enthusiasts already know, redeeming a loyalty currency for gift cards is rarely a great option.
Here’s what you need to know about the promotion:
- Registration is required (here) before checking out after your first stay
- Stay between 21 September and 15 November 2020
- Earn between 5,000 and 8,000 bonus points after the second qualifying stay on eligible bookings costing a minimum of $40/night.
- The number of bonus points awarded depends on the number of base points earned from the two separate qualifying stays, with points varying by hotel.
- The total of base points plus bonus points awarded will be at least 8,000 points
- Only open to the residents of the United States or Canada
- Stays at Choice Hotels properties in the following countries are excluded from this promotion: Japan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Guyana, and Ecuador.
Full terms and conditions can be found on the registration page.
The Promotion Explained
The terms and conditions make things seem a lot more complicated than they really are. Essentially, this promotion is guaranteeing that two stays at eligible Choice Hotels will earn a guest a minimum of 8,000 points.
For a limited time (through 15 December), 8,000 points are enough points to purchase a $50 gift card for select retailers (these gift cards normally cost 16,000 points), but with 8,000 points also being enough to book a free night at a wide variety of Choice Hotels around the world, a lot of readers will get a lot more value that way than by taking the gift card option.
Interestingly, I can’t see anything in the terms and conditions which would prevent someone from earning a minimum of 8,000 points more than once during the promotion period so, technically, it should be possible to earn a few free nights through 15 November and, assuming you’re careful which properties you book, this could be done economically too.
Two 1-night stays costing at least $40 each would be enough to earn 8,000 points, so if you consider the fact that the Choice Privileges program usually only awards 10 points/dollar, there is clearly a lot of bonus points up for grabs here.
As importantly, if you consider this offer from the perspective of an effective rebate (I value Choice points at 0.7 cents each), the 5,000 to 8,000 bonus points that are on offer here equate to a rebate of between $35 and $56. If you’re only booking cheap stays that can be a very good rebate to receive.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that Choice Hotels is also currently running a “Sunday night free” promotion for stays with check-in on a Thursday or Friday night. This could either be used to earn the bonus points in this promotion or in conjunction with the points that are earned to book a longer stay.
Choice Privileges is offering a minimum of 8,000 points per two stays made at eligible properties between 21 September and 15 November 2020. The promotion suggests that members exchange these points for gift cards valid at select retailers but most people will almost certainly get better value from the points by using them for free night awards.