Bookings now open for new luxury all-inclusive Choice Hotels, starting at 25k points per night

Jan 12, 2020

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Plotting an escape from the dreary winter weather? You’ve now got a new way to earn and redeem points at all-inclusive beachfront resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.

Choice Hotels announced last year it would partner with AMResorts, a collection of luxury all-inclusive properties including family-friendly Dreams and adults-only Secrets locations. These resorts are marketed under Choice Hotels’ Ascend Collection brand, which focuses on one-of-a-kind, historic and upscale properties.

If you prefer to spend cash, you can earn 25,000 bonus Choice points when you book a paid AMResorts stay by April 20, 2020.

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You’ll find AMResorts in popular tourist spots like Cancun, Mexico and Montego Bay, Jamaica. However, not all locations are available for booking as yet — some, like the Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica, won’t be included until January 2023, and other destinations like the Dominican Republic don’t currently have any AMResorts on the Choice site.

Related: 9 amazing places to use points for a trip to the Caribbean

How many points does it cost?

Points rates at Choice all-inclusive hotels are said to start at 25,000 points per night for two adults, though most AMResorts locations price out higher. For example, the Secrets St. James Montego Bay and Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay cost 60,000 points per night:

For the same dates, the cash rates at these properties are $680 and $696 per night respectively, netting a value of 1.13 or 1.16 cents per point. That’s nearly double TPG’s valuation of 0.6 cents per point.

Related: 10 all-inclusive beach resorts you can book with points

These values seem fairly consistent across several locations. For example, the Now Jade Riviera Cancun costs 40,000 points per night or $377 (0.94 cents per point) and the Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa clocks in at 45,000 points per night, or $433 (1 cent per point):

And in Los Cabos, you’ll spend 50,000 points per night or $569 at the Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort and Spa (1.14 cents per point), and 30,000 points per night or $275 at Reflect Krystal Grand Los Cabos (0.92 cents per point):

Related: Mistakes to avoid at all-inclusive resorts

Keep in mind many of these resorts are available to book with flexible points through bank sites like the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. This could be a better option if you don’t have Choice points at your disposal. For instance, you’d pay just over 30k Chase points per night the Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa when you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1.5 cents each:

Related: The best ways to get to the Caribbean using points and miles

AMResorts says its hotels include “sun-soaked beaches, elegant accommodations, a world-class spa, gourmet dining, unlimited premium drinks and many other pampering amenities.” However, families should take note: In numerous sample searches, I could not find any location that accommodated more than three guests per room.

Earn Choice Hotels points

Choice points are often overlooked because they’re not as easy to earn as most other major chain rewards. However, there are still options even if you don’t stay at Choice Hotels often or participate in its promotions. You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points from cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express to Choice at a 1:1 ratio, though this usually only makes sense if for a high-value award, as TPG values Amex points at 2 cents apiece.

Related: How to redeem American Express Membership Rewards points for hotels

Other alternatives include purchasing Choice points directly (especially with a bonus), opening the Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card and buying points at a deep discount through the U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways which runs each spring. Many TPG staff have gotten in on the latter deal, including TPG’s JT and Katie Genter, who used points purchased through Daily Getaways to spend a month at a Choice all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic.

Pay cash and earn bonus Choice points

For a limited time, paid bookings at AMResorts through Choice Hotels will earn 25,000 bonus Choice points (worth $150 at TPG’s current valuations). To earn the bonus, you must book by April 20, 2020 and stay by June 30, 2020. A minimum one-night stay is required and award stays don’t qualify.

Only U.S. and Canadian residents are eligible, and if you book through a third party (like Chase Ultimate Rewards) you won’t qualify for points earning.

While this new addition will only be useful for some, it’s encouraging to see Choice expanding its portfolio beyond ordinary Comfort and Quality Inns. To find out more about maximizing the Choice Privileges program, check out these posts:

Featured photo courtesy of Choice Hotels.

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