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It usually takes many flights or hotel nights to achieve lifetime status, but programs will occasionally offer “fast-track” or limited-time offers to sidestep those requirements. One such example is right now available for our men and women in uniform: Choice Hotels is currently offering lifetime Gold elite status to to Choice Privileges members who are active duty military, veterans and military spouses. To sweeten the deal even further, you’ll also get 2,500 points after your next qualifying stay. TPG’s latest valuations peg the value of these points at $15 — but it’s possible to get significantly greater value from Choice points.

Normally, it takes ten nights per calendar year to earn or keep Choice Gold status. Gold status provides modest perks including:

  • 10% elite point bonus
  • Exclusive reservations and customer services phone numbers (US and Canada members only)
  • Exclusive Elite member offers
  • Choose an elite welcome gift or bonus points at participating US and Canadian hotels

To be eligible, you’ll need to be an active duty, reserve, retired member or spouse of the US Armed Services, have appropriate military identification, and be over the age of 18. For the purposes of this offer, the US Armed Services includes the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard.

If you aren’t a Choice Privileges member, you’ll first need to enroll in the program. Then, go to to submit the Military Choice Privileges Enrollment Form. Once your eligibility is confirmed, you’ll receive Lifetime Gold Elite Status. You’ll also be awarded 2,500 Choice bonus points within eight weeks of your first qualifying stay after receiving Lifetime Gold Elite Status — and if you book before January 31, 2019 through Choice’s Secret Site, you’ll get an additional 1,000 points. A qualifying stay is defined as a stay at a participating hotel booked using the Choice Hotels website or mobile app that is eligible to earn Choice Privileges points. While most reservations are eligible to earn Choice Privileges points, some — including rooms booked below $40 per night — are excluded. Be sure to read the terms and conditions to make sure your stay counts.

In order to maintain your Lifetime Gold Elite Status and retain accumulated Choice Privileges points, you’ll need to make sure you have a qualifying activity every 18 months. A qualifying activity is anything that adds or removes points from your Choice Privileges account, so a qualifying stay, award night stay or purchase of points all count.

There’s no telling how long Choice will offer Lifetime Gold Elite Status to US Armed Services families and veterans, and since there’s no downside to signing up, go ahead and enroll now if you’re eligible.

Featured photo by fstop123/Getty Images.

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
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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.

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