The trick to booking a hotel in New York, Australia or Japan for just $55 per night

Oct 5, 2019

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The Choice Privileges hotel points program is greatly undervalued. And, I’m not the only one who thinks this — Choice lands atop TPG’s list of most undervalued hotel programs as well. If you’re looking to take advantage of some excellent redemptions, you have a new option.

Now through Nov. 2, targeted members have the chance to buy Choice points with up to a 30% discount. Let’s look into why you might want to do so — even if you haven’t considered Choice Privileges before.

In my travels around the world, I’ve used Choice points to stay in the heart of Osaka, Japan, in a two-room suite in Stuttgart, Germany, and in the heart of Frankfurt, Germany — each for just 8,000 Choice points per night.

While working from the TPG offices in late 2018, my wife Katie and I stayed for 14 nights in a “suite” in NYC for just 8,000 Choice points per night. While it was pretty basic, you can’t beat that award rate in the Big Apple. If you’re targeted for the 30% discount, you can buy the 8,000 points needed for that room for as little as $55 per night.

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Since we get such excellent value from Choice points — and there aren’t many ways of stocking up on Choice points — Katie and I have bought the maximum allowed each year. Plus, we buy more each year through Daily Getaways.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that Choice changes its point redemption amounts every couple of months. And unfortunately, that suite in NYC at the Gowanus Inn is no longer bookable with points. So, let’s consider some current sweet spots.

New York City

Hotel prices are notoriously expensive in New York City. If you’re interested in visiting the Big Apple without breaking the bank, there are at least two Ascend hotels in Brooklyn and a Comfort Inn & Suites pricing at 8,000 points per night for Friday and Saturday nights now through at least Nov. 30:

To score two weekend nights at one of these hotels, all you need to do is buy 16,000 points for as cheap as $111 — just $55 per night — and then redeem those points at one of these hotels:

If you want to stay during the week, those 10,000-point nights will cost you at little as $69 worth of purchased points.

Australia and New Zealand from $42 per night

If you’re heading to New Zealand or Australia in the next few months you can redeem just 6,000 points per night at the following hotels on Sunday-Thursday nights:

If you purchase points with the 30% discount, you can effectively pay as little as $42 per night for nights at these hotels.

Japan

Japan is one of my favorite places to get great value from Choice points. So, I checked out our options in Tokyo. Sure enough, there are a few 8,000-points-per-night options around downtown Tokyo — some close to the Imperial Palace and some only a short distance from Disneyland Tokyo. Each offers continental breakfast and has laundry on-site if you want to be ultra-budget.

During this promotion, you can buy points for as little as 0.69 cents per point. At that rate, 8,000 points cost just $55 per night — a solid discount to what the rooms are otherwise selling for.

These examples just scratch the surface of the lowest-cost tier of hotels. Depending on your travel plans and preferences, you can get great value from Choice points up and down the hotel spectrum.

Here’s the link to buy Choice points with up to a 30% discount now through Nov. 2

It’s important to note that TPG’s latest valuation of Choice points is 0.6 cents per point. So, buying points through this promotion isn’t a no-brainer. However, if you know how to use Choice points — like in parts of Europe and Japan or for these incredible sweet spots in the U.S. — buying points through this promotion can save you quite a bit on an upcoming trip.

Plus, there’s another reason that this buy points promotion is attractive: There aren’t many good ways of getting Choice points. Sure, you could transfer American Express Membership Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio, but it’s generally a poor use of a much more valuable currency. The best way of stocking up on Choice points through a credit card is to sign up for the Choice Privileges Visa Credit Card, which is currently offering 32,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Details of this Choice promotion

The regular price for buying Choice points is 1.21 cents per point ($12.10 per 1,000 points), but targeted member can drop that price to as low as 0.69 cents per point with this promotion. There are three versions of this offer: 20% discount, 25% discount and 30% discount. So, unfortunately not every member will be able to buy at the cheapest 0.69 cents rate.

If you were targeted for the 30% discount — netting the 0.69 cents per point purchase rate — you’ll need to purchase at least 5,000 points to get this rate. Here’s the breakdown of this promotion’s bonus tiers:

  • 1,000 to 4,000 points: no discount or bonus (1.21 cents per point)
  • 5,000 to 9,000 points: 30% discount (0.77 cents per point)
  • 10,000 to 120,000 points: 30% discount (0.69 cents per point)

If you’re like me and got the 25% discount, here’s how the promotion breaks down:

  • 1,000 to 4,000 points: no discount or bonus (1.21 cents per point)
  • 5,000 to 9,000 points: 25% discount (0.83 cents per point)
  • 10,000 to 120,000 points: 25% discount (0.74 cents per point)

For the unlucky few that were targeted for the 20% discount, the breakdown is:

  • 1,000 to 4,000 points: no discount or bonus (1.21 cents per point)
  • 5,000 to 9,000 points: 20% discount (0.88 cents per point)
  • 10,000 to 120,000 points: 20% discount (0.79 cents per point)

If you’re not targeted for the 30% discount, you get get a cheaper rate on points by using the cash and points option. Instead of redeeming 8,000 points for an award night, you can redeem just 6,000 points and pay $15 for the last 2,000 points. That’s a rate of just 0.75 — which is better than you can buy otherwise.

How to buy Choice points

To take advantage of the promotion, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Choice’s Buy Points page.
  2. Enter your name, Choice Privileges member number and email address to log in.
  3. Select the number of points you’d like to buy.
  4. Add your credit card details.
  5. Review the information, check the box to agree to the Terms and Conditions and click Pay Now to finalize the purchase.
  6. Your points should post to the designated account within 24 hours after your transaction is complete.

Keep in mind that the usual restrictions for purchasing Choice Privileges points apply to this promotion, including the following:

  • Points may be purchased in increments of 1,000 points up to a (newly-increased) maximum of 120,000 points per year.
  • Purchased points do not count toward Elite Status or Lifetime Elite Gold Status.
  • Transactions are final and nonrefundable.

In addition, you can only book award stays with Choice Privileges no more than 100 days prior to arrival, so you’ll want to keep your travel dates in mind before jumping in and purchasing points with this promotion.

Which credit card should you use?

Since this purchase is processed by Points.com, these purchases won’t code as travel. So, you won’t get 3x points from cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Citi Premier℠ Card. Note that while Points.com purchases on the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card have previously earned 3x points, recent purchases have only earned 1x point per dollar.

As a result, you’ll want to use the best non-bonus category credit card for your situation, such as The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express (2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 per year; then 1x) or the Chase Freedom Unlimited‘s 1.5% cash back.

For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please subscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.

Featured photo courtesy of L Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member — a hotel located in NYC available for just 8,000 Choice points per night.


This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about Choice’s “buy points” promotions, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for the latest offer. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older deals below.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined spending on travel, shipping purchases,  internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 22.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.