One of my favorite promos is back: Get $50 for every two hotel stays this fall

Sep 16, 2020

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If you’re going on a trip this fall, chances are you’re staying domestic. And, you may be opting for a road trip or outdoor vacation to reduce your risks while traveling during the coronavirus pandemic. But, loyalists of some hotel loyalty programs — especially World of Hyatt and Radisson Rewards — may not find many hotels in remote U.S. destinations.

But, there are plenty of Choice Hotels scattered throughout the U.S. These hotels include upscale Cambria Hotels as well as hotels along interstates and near national parks. So, I’m thrilled that my favorite Choice Privileges promotion is back.

Specifically, this fall, you can earn up to 8,000 Choice points for every two stays with arrival between Sept. 21 and Nov. 15. And, based on TPG’s valuations, 8,000 Choice points are worth about $48. But, between Sept. 21 and Dec. 15, you can also redeem Choice points for select gift cards at a rate of 8,000 points per $50 gift card.

Now, let’s take a closer look at this hotel promotion.

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Register for the promotion

First things first: you must register for the promotion at this link before checking out of your first stay. So, even if you don’t have plans to stay at a Choice hotel this fall, go ahead and register now. Registration is open to Choice Privileges members with a U.S. or Canadian address.

Choice promo registration
There are two ways to register for the promotion. (Image courtesy of Choice Hotels)

After registering, a confirmation screen will load.

(Image courtesy of Choice Hotels)
(Image courtesy of Choice Hotels)

Related: Register for and maximize Your Extras at Choice Hotels

Book and stay

Bluegreen Vacations Fountains in Orlando, FL bookable through Choice (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)
You could book a vacation rental at a Bluegreen Vacations resort through Choice. (Photo of Bluegreen Vacations Fountains in Orlando, FL by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

To earn Choice Privileges points, you must book a qualifying rate through a qualifying method. Booking through the Choice website, mobile app or phone booking center counts. And, stays directly booked through Book by Google are also eligible if you add your Choice Privileges number to your reservation before check-in. Corporate travelers may book through their online booking tool or with a travel agent.

Most rates that typically earn Choice Privileges points are qualifying rates. However, the following types of stays aren’t eligible:

  • Rooms booked at rates below $40 per night
  • Certain hotel-initiated promotions
  • Reward night stays
  • Complimentary rooms
  • Rooms paid for as part of a convention or meeting
  • Rooms booked through a third party online retailer, including online travel agencies
  • Wholesale packages
  • Group tours
  • Stays booked using the employee discount or the friends and family discount
  • Reservations booked through Egencia’s Preferred Rate program
  • Stays in Japan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Guyana and Ecuador
  • Stays at WoodSpring Suites hotels and Ascend Hotel Collection all-inclusive resorts

Check-in for a qualifying stay must occur between Sept. 21 and Nov. 15. Choice defines a stay as “any number of consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs.”

To participate in this promotion, you’ll need to ensure your earning preference is Choice Privileges points. So, if you’re currently earning airline miles during Choice stays, you’ll want to change this preference. And, use one of the best credit cards for travel purchases to maximize your earning.

After each pair of qualifying stays, you’ll be awarded 5,000-8,000 bonus points. The exact number of bonus points depends on the number of base points earned from the two qualifying stays. But, the total base points plus bonus points awarded across the two stays will be at least 8,000 points. And, based on TPG’s valuations, 8,000 Choice points are worth $48.

Related: 6 ways Choice Privileges should improve its loyalty program

Redeem for gift cards

Wall of gift cards
You won’t get to choose from this wall of gift cards, but a selection of discounted gift cards will be available. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

As a result of this promotion, several $50 gift cards will be available at a discounted redemption rate of 8,000 points through Dec. 15. Specifically, gift cards for Amazon, Applebee’s, Bass Pro Shops, Best Buy, BP, Darden Restaurants, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Panera Bread and Shell will be discounted for U.S. members. And, gift cards for Amazon, Canadian Tire, Esso, Home Depot, Starbucks and The Ultimate Dining Card will be discounted for Canadian members.

To redeem your points for a discounted gift cards, click here. Then, log in to your Choice Privileges account and choose from options in the “Promotional gift cards” category. Since the promotion hasn’t started yet, I still see $50 gift cards for 16,000 points. So, make sure you see the discounted price before redeeming.

Although I value Choice points higher, TPG’s latest valuation values 8,000 Choice points at $48. So, if you’d get value out of one of the gift cards offered, you may want to redeem Choice points for discounted gift cards. However, you can only redeem for one gift card every 48 hours. So, don’t stockpile your points until December if you plan to redeem for more than one gift card.

Related: Not traveling for now? How to maximize your rewards points on other redemptions

Bottom line

This Choice Hotels promo can offer you value in two main ways. First, you can earn a bonus of 5,000 to 8,000 Choice Privileges points for every two stays this fall. In particular, this means you can maximize this promo during a road trip with many one-night stays at inexpensive hotels. Second, you’ll be able to redeem Choice Privileges points for gift cards at a rate of 8,000 points per $50 gift card for a limited time.

There’s no cap on the bonus points you can earn from stays during this promotion or the number of gift cards you can get by redeeming points. So, whether you’re looking to earn Choice points or gift cards, this promotion is one to keep in mind when booking fall travel.

Featured image of the Bluegreen Vacations Fountains in Orlando, FL by Katie Genter/The Points Guy.

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