Score cheap stays with 30% off Choice Hotels buy-points promotion
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Editor’s note: At TPG, our top priority is providing our readers with the information needed to make educated decisions about travel and rewards-earning strategy. This is not the best time to travel, domestically or internationally, as airlines have cut major parts of their route networks. But we are sharing this information to provide value for future travel once coronavirus concerns have subsided.
The Choice Privileges hotel loyalty program doesn’t get the love it deserves. And I’m not the only one who thinks this — Choice lands atop TPG’s list of most undervalued hotel programs.
If you’re interested in beefing up your Choice Privileges point balance, now’s your chance: Choice Hotels is offering a 30% discount on purchased points through June 12, lowering the price to as little as 0.69 cents per point.
This sale can help you score steep discounts on road-trip accommodations and other post-coronavirus bookings. For example, many Choice Hotels in popular U.S. road-trip locations cost just 10,000 points, meaning that you can effectively book them for $69 per night.
We’ll walk you through the specifics of the promotion and give you a look at some of the best ways to use Choice points. But first, let’s discuss the risks of buying Choice points during the global coronavirus outbreak.
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Should I buy Choice points now?
While this promotion can offer great value, there are a few things to keep in mind when buying hotel points in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak. The first is the state of the travel industry; with record-low occupancy rates, the hospitality industry is on rocky financial ground. And while we think Choice will make it through the coronavirus travel downturn (its most recent earnings report looks promising), there’s no way to guarantee this.
In a worst-case scenario where Choice Hotels goes into bankruptcy or became insolvent, your newly purchased Choice points could be rendered worthless. That said, you should only Choice points if you think the hotel group will make it through the coronavirus travel downturn without going bankrupt.
Additionally, you can only book Choice award stays within 100 days prior to arrival. This means that you can’t book post-coronavirus travel for late 2020 or early 2021 right away, leaving your points open to devaluation and making it hard to redeem for post-coronavirus international travel.
Choice Hotels promotion details
Choice Hotels is selling Choice points at a 30% discount. The regular price for purchasing Choice points is 0.99 cents per point when you purchase 11,000 points or more (lower denominations have a higher cost per point), so this sale drops the price to 0.69 cents apiece.
This is still 0.09 cents per point higher than TPG’s Choice points valuations, but you can often get more value by redeeming for expensive properties during peak travel dates. Regardless, always compare the cost of a cash stay to a points stay to see if buying Choice points will actually help you save money — many Choice hotels are already budget friendly so in some cases you’ll be better off paying cash.
This is a pretty solid deal if you have a high-value redemption in mind. 0.69 cents per point is as cheap as it gets for purchasing Choice points direct from the hotel group, but you may be able to get a better deal when purchasing Choice points during U.S. Travel’s annual Daily Getaways promotion.
You can purchase points in 1,000-point increments, up to 180,000 points per year.
How to buy Choice points
Interested in buying Choice points? Here’s how to do it:
- Visit Choice’s Buy Points page.
- Enter your name, Choice Privileges member number and email address to log in.
- Select the number of points you’d like to buy.
- Add your credit card details.
- Review the information, check the box to agree to the Terms and Conditions and click Pay Now to finalize the purchase.
- Your points should post to the designated account within 24 hours after your transaction is complete.
Choice Privileges redemption sweet spots
There are a number of interesting ways to use Choice points both in the U.S. and abroad. Here’s a quick look at some of the best Choice Privileges redemptions.
Book hotels for your next road trip
Choice Hotels has a huge North American footprint, with locations spread throughout major cities, along highways and even many rural areas. If you’re planning a road trip, you may be able to score a good deal by purchasing Choice points and using them for stays along your route.
For example, if you’re driving from New York to Chicago, you may want to stop in Hershey, Pennsylvania overnight to see the city and break up your drive. A night at the Comfort Inn & Suites Harrisburg/Hershey West costs $129 or 12,000 points for a weekend night in July. You can buy these points for $83 with the 30% sale, giving you a nice $46 discount on your stay.
Stay near the Grand Canyon and other national parks
Choice Hotels has a number of properties near major U.S. national parks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Zion. In the case of Yellowstone National Park, The Ridgeline Hotel at Yellowstone costs $229 for a weekend night in July. Alternatively, you can book the same room for 10,000 Choice points, which you can purchase for just $69 during this promotion.
Soak up the sun in your favorite warm destination
Itching for some sun? Vacation hotspots like San Diego, Los Angeles and Miami have a number of Choice Hotel options too.
For example, The Comfort Inn San Diego Old Town is located in the heart of the Old Town shopping district and within reach of all the city’s major attractions. A weekend stay at this property usually costs $148 per night, or you can purchase 10,000 points for just $69 and stay on the cheap.
Which credit card should you use?
That said, you’ll want to use the best nonbonus 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 calendar year; then 1x) or the Chase Freedom Unlimited‘s 1.5% cash back.
The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Featured photo courtesy of Choice Hotels.
JT Genter contributed to this post.
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