New Amex Membership Rewards Partner: Choice Hotels

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My parents happen to love the Choice Hotels brand (Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Clarion, etc..).  And by love, I mean they often love the price.  Choice Hotels also happens to have locations in the sort of “less traveled” destinations that my parents frequent.  Rarely is there a Starwood or Hyatt Hotel along the side of the road on their road trips, but there is often a Choice hotel option.

So, I was excited for them when I saw yesterday on Flyertalk that Choice Hotels has been added as an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner.  This means that my parents (and everyone else) can top off their Choice accounts with some Membership Rewards points, if needed, to obtain free hotel nights on their next trip. It also means that if you are are looking for another US Airways Grand Slam hotel transfer hit, this may be a good option if you were already close to the number of miles needed to redeem for a hit (5,000 Choice points to 1,000 Dividend Miles).

Keep in mind that Choice Privileges points can be purchased directly from Choice for $11 per 1,000 points, so there are other transfer/redemption options for Membership Rewards points that will often get you a better return per point than Choice.  However, if you are looking to top off your Choice Privileges balance, this could be a good way to do it if you are rich in points and low on cash.

The exchange rate is 1,000 Membership Rewards points to 1,000 Choice Privileges points.  One other thing to keep in mind is that the Choice program only lets you book reward nights 30 days in advance for non-elite members in the US and Canada.  That makes vacation planning using reward nights a bit tougher, so make sure you take that into consideration before you start transferring points into the Choice program.

While I doubt I will personally take advantage of this new Membership Rewards partner, I am still glad it was added.  The more options we have to use our points, the better.

 

Comments

  1. Excellent! I needed an “insurance” hit for the Grand Slam (going for the full 40 to be safe). That said, Audience Rewards posted yesterday and this is one I was not counting on!

  2. so I can purchase 5000 points for $55? and transfer to USAIRWAYS account? I guess that’s not bad at all.
    I also have 5000 points at radisson, but I need to have 8000 points to transfer to USAIRWAYS account? do you know what would be the easiest way to get another 3000 points? I wish i can puchase their points, but there is no option for purchasing. Any idea?

    • @Jason, that sounds correct for Choice. I am not really sure of an “easy” way to get 3,000 more Radisson points…..I know there were some great car rental deals recently that gave 9,000 Club Carlson/Radisson points. I would check out the Club Carlson forum on Flyertalk and see if you find any easy options. Good luck!

  3. Thanks for the heads-up on this? I also could use another insurance hit. How does the math work out best on this: buy the points or transfer from MR?

    • @Carl, you are welcome. It all depends on what value you usually get out of your MR points. I would say many frequent travelers value MR points at around 2 cents each – more if you use them for international business or first class awards. Buying Club Carlson points outright is just over 1 cent each, so for most people that would make the most sense from that point of view, however if you have plenty of MR points to use, might as well save the $55 and just use points. It all depends on your situation.

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