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Choice Privileges just launched a new flash sale offering members a 40% bonus when buying 20,000 or more Choice Privilege points through September 8, 2020. This lets members snag Choice Privilege points for as little as 0.71¢ a piece.
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.
- Promotion is valid on points purchases through 11:59 p.m. EST on September 8, 2020
- Receive a 40% bonus when you buy 20,000 or more Choice Privilege points
- Members may buy or receive up to a total of 180,000 points in a calendar year
- 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
Buying the maximum amount of 350,000 points will set you back $2,475. However, you only need to buy 28,000 points (after the 40% bonus) for $198 to get the optimal 0.71¢ per point purchase 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! The fall is an excellent time to do both in order to avoid the brutal Arizona summer heat.
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 from September 16 to 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 $85 per night and weekend nights for $113 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 $141 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!
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 $113 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, now through September 15, 2020, 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 Points.com—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:
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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 50,000 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.
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 promotion falls right in line with one of the better offers that Choice offers. If you can score a high-value redemption this summer, 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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