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Update: This promotion has been tweaked to be more generous for travelers that complete two Cambria stays. See the Cambria Hotel Stays section below for details.
Choice Hotels is out with its summer promotion for 2020, and it's very similar to what we've seen in the past. Once again, members can earn at least 8,000 points from every two stays. That's enough for a free stay at more than 1,000 of Choice properties. What's more, there's no limit to how many times you can get this deal.
Even better, if you complete the two stays at a Cambria hotel, you'll earn a minimum of 20,000 points from the two stays. That's enough for a free night at over 50 Cambria hotel locations.
This deal is interesting because the total points you earn with two stays are the same whether you pay $40 per night or $150 per night, so your return is greater the less you spend. If you pay more than $300 for the two stays, you'll earn a minimum of 5,000 bonus points on the two stays.
- You must register with Choice for this promotion before you complete your first stay.
- At the time of registration, you must have a U.S. or Canadian mailing address.
- Qualifying stays will have an arrival (check-in) date between June 10 and September 7, 2020.
- Note that consecutive nights at the same hotel only count as one stay, regardless of check-ins or check-outs.
How you earn points:
- Registered members will be awarded a minimum of 5,000 to a maximum of 8,000 bonus points after the second qualifying stay. The number of bonus points awarded depends on the number of base points earned from the two separate qualifying stays.
- The total of base points plus bonus points awarded will be at least 8,000 points. That's the number of points required for a free night at over 1,000 Choice hotels worldwide.
- There is no limit to how many times you can secure this deal. Booking 10 nights separately at a base rate of just $40 each will net you 40,000 bonus points.
- Book your stay through ChoiceHotels.com, the Choice Hotels mobile app, or 800.4.CHOICE.
- If you're a corporate traveler, you can book your stays through your corporate booking system, GDS, or with a travel agent to qualify. However, stays booked with the SEGEN and SRTLG rate codes do not qualify for promotional bonus points.
- If you are earning airline or Amtrak points from your Choice stays, you must set your earn preferences to Choice Privileges in your online account.
Not all stays are eligible for this promotion. As per Choice's T&Cs and FAQ page, here are the stays that are not eligible for this offer:
- Nights where the base rate costs less than $40 per night
- Stays booked at an AMResort all-inclusive property
- Stays booked at a Woodspring Suites property
- Stays at vacation rental property locations and Choice Hotels' properties in the following countries: Japan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia
- Reward night stays
- Complimentary stays
- Rooms paid for as part of a convention or meeting
- Rooms booked through a travel agent or third-party online retailer including online travel agencies (unless you're a corporate traveler)
- Wholesale packages or group tours
- Stays booked using the employee discount or the friends and family discount
Doing the Math
In a nutshell, Choice is guaranteeing that you will earn at least 8,000 points for two stays. But it's first factoring in the base earning rate of 10 points earned per dollar. If you spend $40 each on two (separate) one-night stays, your normal earning would be 800 points (10 points x $80). With this promo, Choice will give you another 7,200 to get you to 8,000 points total.
If you spend $280 total on the two stays, you'll get 2,800 points as part of the normal earning scheme, and Choice will only give you another 5,200 to get you to a total of 8,000.
Choice states that the minimum number of points you can earn is 5,000. Thus, if you spend more than $300 total on your stays, you'll always get 5,000 bonus points. For example, if you spend $800 or more between the two stays, you'll earn 13,000 bonus points (8,000 from the $800 in spending, plus 5,000 bonus points). In other words, once you hit the $300 threshold, you'll earn more than 8,000 total points from the two stays.
Cambria Hotel Stays
After we originally published about this deal, it was sweetened a bit for Cambria Hotel stays. Travelers that complete both stays at a Cambria hotel will earn a minimum of 20,000 points — instead of the 8,000 points in the general promotion.
No separate registration is required for this promotion. The terms and conditions for this variation of the promotion can be found here. Like the general promotion, travelers will earn a minimum of 5,000 bonus points for the two stays. However, travelers are guaranteed to earn at least 20,000 total points from the two stays. That's enough for a free night at over 50 Cambria hotels.
Tips for Booking
After you register for the promotion, you can start searching for those low-cost nights here. Make sure to pay for the stay with one of the best rewards cards for travel purchases. Right now, several credit cards offer 3X points on hotel purchases:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® — 3X Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchases
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card — 3X Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchases
- Citi Prestige® Card — 3X ThankYou points on hotels and on cruise line purchases
- Citi Premier℠ Card — 3X ThankYou points on travel
- U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card — 3X points on eligible travel purchases
- Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card — 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
We're scratching our heads a bit with the incentives Choice has created for this promo. By offering to make up the difference in points to make sure you reach 8,000 in total, the best way to maximize your value is to book the cheapest possible nights that qualify ($40 or more). In other words, the promo planners seem to be focused on getting you back to a Choice hotel rather than creating marginal revenue—and that's just fine by us!
If you value Choice Points at somewhere between 0.5 and 0.75 cents apiece, the value of the points is only around $40-$60. So, this isn't a deal that justifies shaking up your travel schedule. That said, if you have a need for an airport hotel before an early departure or another overnight in a low-cost market, this is a nice way to snag some extra value.
If you find yourself traveling to locations outside of major cities, this promotion could be especially lucrative. Choice Hotels has a lot of properties in smaller towns — check out AwardMapper to see if a hotel is where you're traveling. Now the only question is how many times you can benefit from this promotion before September 7th.
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