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The Choice Hotels brand is undervalued and underappreciated in the points and miles community — even landing in the first spot on TPG‘s list of The Most Undervalued Hotel Loyalty Programs. Although I’ve gotten great value from Choice points in locations ranging from New York City to Japan to Munich during Oktoberfest, I only recently learned about one aspect of the Choice Privileges program: Your Extras. Today I’ll go through how to maximize this perk for your next stay.

What is Your Extras?

Your Extras gives you something extra each time you check in on a point-eligible stay that includes a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night. You must opt into this program (directions are provided below) and select which Extra you want to receive, which can be done on the Choice website or app prior to check-in.

You can only earn one Your Extra per qualifying point-eligible stay, regardless of number of rooms, nights, check-ins and checkouts. In particular, checking out of a hotel only to check back into the hotel later that day won’t allow you to earn an additional Extra.

What Extras Can I Choose?

Your Extra options depend on your country of residence. If you’re a US resident, you can choose to earn one of the following:

  • 400 Choice Privileges points
  • 100 airline miles with participating carriers
  • $0.20 per gallon in Fuel Rewards savings at Shell or other select fuel stations
  • $2.50 Amazon.com credit
  • $5 Starbucks coffee card
  • $2.50 Uber trip discount

If you’re a Canadian resident, you can choose one of the following:

  • 400 Choice Privileges points
  • 100 airline miles with participating carriers
  • $2.50 Amazon.ca Gift Certificate
  • $5 Tim Hortons Gift Card
  • $5 coffee card

And, if you aren’t a US or Canadian resident, you can choose one of the following:

  • 400 Choice Privileges points
  • 100 airline miles with participating carriers

Fuel Rewards savings, Amazon credit, Uber trip discount and Starbucks coffee cards will be sent to your inbox immediately after check-in. Choice Privileges points will post to your account within 72 hours of check-out and airline miles will post within four to six weeks of checkout.

Which Extra is Most Valuable?

Since TPG has valuations for most types of points and miles, the following table contains TPG’s valuations for each type of Your Extra. The table below lists the options from highest value to lowest value.

Your Extra Amount Valuation
Starbucks coffee card* $5 $5
Tim Horton’s gift card (only for Canadian residents) $5 $5
Fuel Rewards savings* $0.20 per gallon, max 20 gallons $4 or less
Amazon credit* $2.50 $2.50
Amtrak Guest Rewards 100 points $2.50
Uber trip discount* $2.50 $2.50
Choice Privileges 400 points $2.40
Alaska 100 miles $1.80
Aeroplan 100 miles $1.50
Southwest Rapid Rewards 100 points $1.50
American 100 miles $1.40
United Airlines Mileage Plus 100 miles $1.40
Free Spirit Rewards 100 miles $0.40

*These Extras aren’t available at some Choice properties. If you’ve selected one of these Extras for a stay and the hotel doesn’t offer that type of Extra, you can contact Choice Guest Services at 888-770-6800 to instead earn Choice points or airline miles for that stay.

TPG’s valuations don’t include AeroMexico, Air New Zealand, Czech Airlines, Qantas or Virgin Australia miles. So, although you can earn Your Extras toward these airlines, they aren’t included in the above table.

How Do I Register For Your Extras?

Even if you don’t have any weeknight Choice stays planned, you should go ahead and opt into Your Extras so you don’t forget before your next stay. Here’s how to do this:

  • Log in to your Choice account, click your name in the upper right-hand corner and click on “My Account.”
  • On the right-hand side of the page, click on “Update Profile.”
  • Scroll down to the “Your Extras Preferences” section and click “Edit.”
  • Select the Extra you want to earn and click the “Save Changes” button.

Note that you must have your earning preference set to Choice Privileges points in your online account to participate in Your Extras, even if you want to earn airline miles as your Extra reward. So if you’ve set your earning preference to earn airline miles or Amtrak Guest Rewards, you won’t receive a Your Extras reward.

Here’s how to set your earning preference to Choice Privileges points:

  • Log in to your account, click your name in the upper right-hand corner and click on “My Account.”
  • On the right-hand side of the page, click on “Update Profile.”
  • Scroll down to the “Manage Loyalty Programs” section. If “Loyalty Program” doesn’t say “Choice Privileges” click “Edit” and click the circle next to “Choice Privileges” before clicking the “Save Changes” button.

Bottom Line

If you have a Choice Privileges account, there’s no reason not to register for Your Extras. Although earning Starbucks coffee cards or Fuel Rewards will provide the best monetary value for most guests, not all properties offer these as an Extra. As a result, you’ll need to remember to contact guest services when a property doesn’t provide your first choice.

Since I’m constantly on the road and don’t drive much, I’ve chosen to instead set my Extra preference to Choice Privileges points so I know I’m guaranteed to earn an Extra on every weeknight stay without any additional effort or thought. Whatever Extra you choose probably won’t significantly change your travel habits, but it’s certainly worth spending a minute or two to opt in.

Featured photo of Cambria LAX courtesy of Choice Hotels.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.