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Choice Hotels is out with its summer promotion for 2021, and it's very similar to what we've seen in the past. Once again, members can earn at least 8,000 points for completing two stays. That's enough for a free stay at more than 1,000 of Choice properties.
Or, you can opt to turn those 8,000 points into a $50 gift card. That's how Choice is selling this promotion: “Stay twice. Earn a $50 gift card.” Through August 9, 2021, Choice will let registered members redeem just 8,000 points for a $50 gift card. That's half of the 16,000 Choice points typically needed for such a redemption.
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. If you pay more than $300 for the two stays, you'll earn a minimum of 5,000 bonus points on the two stays. I dig into all of this in detail below.
Terms and Conditions
- 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 May 24 and July 11, 2021.
- 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.
- 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 through Egencia's Preferred Rate Program do not qualify for promotional bonus points.
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 Ascend Hotel Collection all-inclusive resorts
- Stays booked at a Woodspring Suites property
- Stays at vacation rental property locations and Choice Hotels' properties in the following countries: apan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Guyana, and Ecuado
- Reward night stays
- Complimentary rooms
- 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 on This Choice Promotion
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 base earnings 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 earn 5,000 bonus points. For example, if you spend a combined $800 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.
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
- 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 to stay at 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.
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