Does It Make Sense to Buy Choice Points With Up to a 40% Bonus?

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As part of its Members Only Madness week of promotions, Choice Privileges just launched a sale offering members up to a 40% bonus when buying 20,000 or more Choice Privilege points now through December 1, 2020. This lets members snag Choice Privilege points for as little as 0.71¢ a piece.

Choice buy points promotion banner

A Note on Buying Points

At AwardWallet, we don't generally recommend buying points and miles speculatively. Most loyalty programs sell points at a price point that makes it difficult to receive outsized value So, you're often better off holding onto your cash.

There are at least two exceptions, however. The first is when you only need a few more points to complete a redemption you're planning. Buying points can make a lot of sense here since it's one of the fastest (and easiest) ways to top-off your account balance. The second is when buying the points necessary for an award night in the hotel you want to stay is cheaper than paying the cash rate.

Offer Details

  • Promotion is valid on points purchases through 11:59 p.m. EST on December 1, 2020 
  • Receive up to a 40% bonus when you buy 20,000 or more Choice Privilege points
  • Normally, members can buy or receive up to a total of 180,000 points in a calendar year. However, that limit is raised to 250,000 points (pre-bonus) for the duration of this promotion.
  • Points will be posted to your account within 24 hours after your transaction
  • Purchased points do not count toward Elite Status or Lifetime Elite Gold status
  • Transactions are non-refundable

Choice offers bonus points using a tiered system:

  • 1,000–2,000 points with no bonus (1.21¢ per point)
  • 3,000–7,000 points and receive a 20% bonus (0.92¢ to 1.01¢ per point)
  • 8,000–19,000 points and receive a 30% bonus (0.76¢ to 0.85¢ per point)
  • 20,000+ points and receive a 40% bonus (0.71¢ per point)

Buying the maximum of 350,000 points (250,000 plus a 100,000-point bonus) costs $2,475. However, you only need to buy 20,000 points or more to get the optimal 0.71¢ per point rate.

When Does it Make Sense to Buy Choice Points?

In some of our previous posts about Choice Hotels, we've alluded to the fact that Choice points can be especially valuable for hotels overseas—specifically in areas with limited chain hotel options. Let's take a look at a few Choice properties to demonstrate how much you could save by buying Choice points instead of paying the cash rate.

Stay on Route 66 and Visit the Grand Canyon

Road trips are all the rage now with families wanting to hit the road while minimizing risks of contracting COVID-19. What better road trip can you get than driving Historic Route 66 with a detour up to the Grand Canyon!

Rodeway Inns are generally considered Choice's lowest-tier properties. However, the Rodeway Inn & Suites Williams Downtowner-Rte 66 bucks that trend. The recently renovated hotel—also known as The Downtowner—features a funky Route 66-themed lobby and well-appointed rooms and suites:

This property is priced at just 12,000 points per night for Sunday-Thursday nights through November 30, 2020. Weekend nights are slightly more at 16,000 points. If you buy points through this promotion, you can score weekday nights for under $86 per night and weekend nights for $114 per night. Even better, you can book suite rooms for the same award rate. And some of the suites even feature whirlpool baths:

Luxury in Denmark

One of our favorite ways to redeem Choice Privilege points is for stays in Scandinavia. Hotels in this area of the world can be very costly for travelers. Yet, Choice offers a variety of hotel options serving all budgets. Northern Europe is also one of the places where we can use our points for stays at Ascend properties, one of the luxury brands in the Choice Hotel portfolio.

Located just across the street from Copenhagen University, Skt. Petri is one of Choice's Ascend properties, delivering luxury and comfort for those traveling to Denmark's capital city.

Nightly rates hover around US$386, but reward nights cost only 20,000 points. If you bought Choice points at 0.71¢ per point through the current promotion, you'd only spend $142 per night. That's a 63% savings compared to paying the cash rate.

Chill in Stockholm

Sticking to Scandinavia, Stockholm is an exciting city filled with fun things to do and cool experiences to try. It's also home to almost a dozen Choice properties of varying price points.

One of the coolest and most centrally-oriented of these hotels is the Hotel C Stockholm. It's also part of the Ascend Hotel Collection and is home to ICEBAR, a 60-person bar where everything (including your glass and the bar itself) are sculpted from ice!

ICEBAR Stockholm, located inside Hotel C

Rates can be pricey, averaging US$250 per night. But with reward nights only costing 16,000 points, buying Choice Privilege points would only cost $114 if you bought at the optimal rate.

The Ridgeline Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection in Sorrento, Colorado

While many of Choice's sweet spots lie overseas, there is a gem right here in the U.S. that members may want to take advantage of. Located just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, The Ridgeline Hotel typically costs around $200 per night before tax. However, some award nights at this hotel cost just 12,000 points per night—making it a steal on points!

Maximize Your Purchase

Unfortunately, Choice point purchases are processed by—not Choice directly. This means that buying Choice points likely won't trigger the travel category bonus on any credit card. If you choose to buy Choice points, your best options are to use the purchase to help qualify for a minimum spending requirement or use a card optimized for everyday spending. Some of our favorite options are:

Other Ways to Earn Choice Points

A cheaper way to build your stash of Choice Privilege points is with the Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card. This no-annual-fee card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 32,000 Choice Privilege points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. It also offers 5X bonus points on Choice purchases as well as 2X bonus points everywhere else.

It's also worth mentioning that Amex Membership Rewards is a 1:1 transfer partner with Choice Hotels, meaning cards like American Express® Gold Card and American Express® Green Card can effectively earn Choice Privilege Points. While I wouldn't recommend using all of your Membership Rewards this way—they can be worth a lot more if used for other types of redemptions—this can still be an easy method to top-off your account balance in a pinch.

Bottom Line

Choice tends to rotate between two types of buy point promotions: one offering 40% bonus points, and one offering a 30% discount. So, this 40% bonus matches the best offers that Choice offers. If you can score a high-value redemption this winter or spring, it can certainly make sense to buy Choice points at 0.71¢ per point.

Plus, Choice Privileges doesn't offer these promotions nearly as often as some other loyalty programs. So when they do, it's worth at least considering.

Even with that said, it bears repeating that buying points probably won't make sense for most people. Make sure you have a great redemption in mind before you consider making a purchase.

Are you going to buy Choice points for 0.71¢ per point?

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  • Avatar

    For the part mentioned in Bottom Line section, actually, 30% discount is slightly better than 40% bonus.
    Math: 1 / (1 + 40%) = 71.4% => 28.6% discount

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      Agreed. However, the 40% bonus lets you get more total points at an advantageous rate. Although with this promotion’s high cap, it’s kinda a moot point.

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    I would also add a third possibility: when the points are expiring it could make sense buy some points to extend the expiration if there are no other easy ways to earn or redeam points in short time.

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    I would rather get miles through shopping, never buy.

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    Especially with COVID, it never makes sense to buy points unless ridiculously discounted,.. and even then!

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    Why does Choice outsource the purchase transaction function?

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      It’s not just Choice. Most airlines and hotels use as a platform to sell points. I figure it’s just easier to use an existing platform than building your own.

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    Will buying points keep my existing points from expiring?

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    Only if you have immediate need of such miles is the simple answer.

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    Randall pettit says:

    I purchased points before sept. 8th but later it was denied why? I still want to buy points

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    Don’t worth to buy this points to redeem hotels. Prefer to apply a AE card to earn marriott points here. there also have a marriott challenge to be a platinum member.

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    Gabriel Molly says:

    Yes, I will be buy Choice points. This price is cheap for me to stay at some hotels. Big Thank for this information so that i can get very good price to stay at next month.

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    In this context, it does not make sense to buy points in any way. Unfortunately.

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    Bill from Maine says:

    The current offer for a Choice credit card is now 50K after $1K spend and no annual fee. I’m point rich in the other major programs but only have 68K with Choice, so if I do pull the trigger on adding more points, it’s probably going to be the credit card route.

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    In general, like the article points out. It’s never a good deal to buy points. It’s rare. Also, there have been much better bonuses than 40%. Should a second wave come, I’m sure the promotions will get better.

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    25% is not a big discount in my opinion even though you can find good use of points.
    I think a 30-40% was more appropriate given the situation due to Covid-19.

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    Lillian Dikovitsky says:

    Just applied for the Choice card with the 32,000 points. I never really use this brand much but for staying a day or two at a place I think I will try it more.

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    shira tova says:

    I’m concerned about all these programs getting devalued.
    So my advice is to stay away unless you are going to use these points quickly

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    Good offer for us. can be improve our travel

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    Bought 30K years ago ans tuck with it. I would say it is not worth it if you don’t have immediate plan in mind

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    First example of using points to get a great deal near Rocky Mountain National Park would only be advantageous if you are planning on traveling there by 9/15/2020 and if the park has opened up in the areas you planned to see. I believe it is still partially closed, so probably not a good time to plan a trip there. Please check with the park before traveling. My feeling is that it is not a good reason for purchasing points for the time being.
    Maybe there are other reasons for good deals in the USA, but I am not aware of them.

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      Daniel Young says:

      Just got back from staying at Ridgeline in Estes Park for 12,000 points. All of Rocky Mountain National Park is open. You just have to make a reservation for entry which just takes a few minutes. Park isn’t crowded at all. Great time to go

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    Buying miles at this time with such a poor discount is a no! This kind of offers should be improved!

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    Its a good opportunity!! The Choice Group has very comfortable hotels! I use frequently Clarion hotels. These hotels belong to Choice Hotels Group.

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      The Clarion Collection hotels in Nordic with breakfast, all-day snack and dinner included are fantastic.

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    I have always kept the idea of Choice points as a way to limit costs for future Scandinavia travel. I have always wanted to go to one of the ice hotels. I’m sure those aren’t bookable with points but it is nice that I might be able to get a taste of this with the ice bar.

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    Never a big fan of buying points- rather sign up for a credit card and get them for free!

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    Actually buying Choice points can make some sense, for use overseas.

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    I really like Choice for clean and affordable rooms. Somewhere between Motel 6 and Hyatt Place. There are some very nice Sleep Inns and Comfort Suites at very good prices. Good breakfasts too. Choice points are worth roughly 0.6 cents each; maybe a little more. The promotion they often run where after two stays they give you enough points for a free night is a good one.

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    Pink wallet says:

    Buying miles or points when the future of some airlines and hotels is so uncertain is a very risky proposition. What is my recourse if they dont honour the points.

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    Yeah, I just dont feel motivated to buy points right now. Once I have a clearer picture of what my travel will look like after coronavirus, I will be more likely to buy points.

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      I agree on the uncertainty making it harder to plan travel especially abroad. This looks like a good deal but I feel like there will be other good hotel/flight deals coming up that do not require this commitment right now.

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    Steven William Van Meter says:

    This is a good deal to accrue points. I also like how I gain points by cancellations caused by covid panic over reactions. I’ve gained a lot by silly cancellations by short sighted governments. This deal is all reward.

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    Looks like a good deal. However, if you don’t have a specific travel plan scheduled yet, I still don’t recommend that you stock up the points, it will depreciate as time passed by, trust me…

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    Even if the occurrence isn’t often, I’m not a person to buy points. Only once in my life did I buy the smallest amount of points and that was $10 to Marriott to keep 90,000 points from expiring.

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      JT Genter says:

      Buying points surely isn’t for everyone. It’s much better if you can generate all of the points that you need through credit cards and promotions. However, I have bought hundreds of thousands of points and miles over the past few years to complete travel plans that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. When you don’t have the points and can score awesome properties–like the 3 in this article–it can definitely make sense.

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    What would be the best credit card to use to purchase these points? Thanks

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    The choice properties in Scandinavia are so much better.

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    Buying points in current market condition is a big no. The only time it makes sense is if you have travel coming up.