Required Reading for Frequent Flyers
Required Reading for Frequent Flyers
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Loyalty Traveler
[Jun 2013 Issue]
by Ric Garrido
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One bright spot remains in a year when thousands of hotels globally have increased the cost for free nights using hotel loyalty points. Choice Privileges members have the option of low award rates for hundreds of hotels around Europe and elsewhere for only 8,000 points per night through June 30, 2013. Quality Inn, Comfort Inn and Clarion are common brands in many European countries and a variety of hotels in cities like London, Paris, Rome and Zurich offer award nights at 8,000 points through June 30.

Choice Privileges offers seasonal award rates globally at its hotels. Seasons are about 10 weeks in length. Free nights at many hotels change seasonally with 8,000 points during one season and climb to 20,000 or 25,000 points per night in a different season. HHonors also changed to seasonal rates in March 2013 where a hotel award can drift in points price within a set range from one month to another.

Quality Inn Zion National Park Utah is 25,000 points April 16-June 30, 2013 and drops seasonally to 20,000 points July 1-Sept. 15, 2013. These are high award rates for a hotel in the $90 to $160 range most nights. Most of the more than 6,000 Choice Hotels properties are in the U.S. and there is less movement in hotel award cost compared to the seasonal variation in Europe and other international locations.

Choice Privileges seasonal rates at 8,000 points per night for dozens of European hotels through June 30, are available at many city center hotels with room rates over $200 per night.

Paris Clarion Collection Etoile St. Honore, Queen Bed Executive Room, June 20-24 for 8,000 points per night or 360 euros ($472). 32,000 points saves about $1,900. A couple can buy 32,000 points for $352 from Choice Privileges. 25,000 points July 1-September 15.

Rome Comfort Hotel Bolivar, June 20-24 at 200 euros ($262) per night or 8,000 points for a double room. 10,000 points July 1-September 15.

London Quality Crown Hotel Hyde Park for June 20 shows six different room types for 8,000 points with published rates from £180 to £230 ($280-$358). 25,000 points July 1-Sep. 15.

50,000 Choice Privileges points can save $200 to $300 in hotel rates with two award nights in Utah or 32,000 points can save $750 to $1,900 in Europe with three or four award nights.

U.S. and Canada residents exclusively have the option to buy or receive up to 20,000 Choice Privileges points in a calendar year at $11 per 1,000 points. A couple together can buy 40,000 points to add to their accounts for places where $88 for an 8,000 points night offers savings on the published rate.

Choice Privileges Recurring Bonus Points Offer

Stay twice and earn 8,000 points is a periodic promotion offered by Choice Privileges. The latest promotion ran Feb. 28-May 15, 2013. The promotion provides bonus points on top of base points earned to reach 8,000 points. Most Choice brands earn 10 points per dollar. Stay one night at two hotels on $100 per night rate and earn 1,000 base points for each night. Choice Privileges adds 6,000 bonus points to reach 8,000 points for the two stays. Extended stays where someone approaches or exceeds $800 in hotel spend offer a minimum of 5,000 bonus points after two stays. For example, spending $600 on two Choice Hotel stays at a Comfort Inn and Quality Inn earns 6,000 base points + 5,000 bonus points for 11,000 total points.

Even though the latest stay twice for 8,000 points promotion ended May 15, 2013, this offer is likely to show up again within the next 12 months.

Earning 8,000 points for two stays combined with seasonal dates when hotel nights drop to 8,000 points at hundreds of European and other international hotels provides a high value opportunity for using Choice Privileges strategically. Loyalty members in other chains may find two stays at Choice Hotels to earn a free hotel night in Paris or London is a good investment.

Choice Privileges Basics

Choice Privileges award reservations can only be made 30 days in advance within your member region or 60 days in advance of your stay outside of the region where you live.
Choice Privileges Member Regions:

  • U.S., U.S. territories and Canada.

  • Mexico, Central America and Caribbean.

  • Europe, Middle East and Africa.

  • Australasia with Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Singapore

  • Gold elites have 50 day booking window within region.

  • Platinum elites have 75 day booking window worldwide.

  • Diamond elites have 100 day booking window worldwide.

Also, Choice Privileges points expire at the end of two calendar years after the year points were earned. Points earned in 2013 expire Dec. 31, 2015. Choice Privileges is a use-them-or-lose them program, even for active members.

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