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Choice Hotels is out with its fourth-quarter promotion, and it's very similar to what we've seen in the past. Once again, earn up to 8,000 points from two stays, enough for a free stay at more than 1,000 of their properties. This deal is interesting because the total points you earn with two stays are the same whether you pay $40 per night or $280 per night. Let the search for cheap Choice Hotel rates begin!
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.
- Book your stay through ChoiceHotels.com, the Choice Hotels mobile app, or 800.4.CHOICE.
- Qualifying stays will have an arrival (check-in) date between Sept. 4, 2019 and Nov. 8, 2019.
- Make sure to provide your Choice Privileges number upon check-in.
- Set your earn preferences to Choice Privileges in your online account.
Here's how the terms and conditions describe the bonus point opportunity: (bolding mine)
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, with points varying by hotel. The total of base points plus bonus points awarded, however, will be at least 8,000 points, which is the number of points required for a future free night at over 1,000 Choice® hotels worldwide (see Free Nights, below).
Not all stays are eligible for this promotion. As per Choice's terms and conditions, here are the stays that are not eligible for this offer:
- Any stay valued at less than $40
- Certain hotel initiated promotions [not specified by Choice]
- 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
- Wholesale packages, group tours, and stays booked using the employee discount or the friends and family discount
- Stays at vacation rental property locations and Choice Hotels' properties in the following countries: Japan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Guyana, and Ecuador
Doing the Math
In a nutshell, Choice is simply maxing out your points at 8,000 after accounting for the 10 base points earned per dollar. If you spend $40 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. If you spend $280 on each of the two nights, 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. As far as we can tell, that seems to mean the minimum “bonus” they will award is 5,000, so you would still get some extra points with an expensive stay. For example, if you spend $800 or more between the two stays, you'd already be earning 8,000 base points from the spend. The terms could be clearer, but we think you'll still get 5,000 extra in that situation. If you want to play it safe, go for the budget-in-mind properties.
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 one of their properties rather than creating revenue—and that's just fine by us!
If you value Choice Points at 0.5 cents apiece, you're really only looking at $40, 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.
After you register for the promotion, you can search for those low-cost nights here. (Our affiliate link)
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