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Tomorrow (Thursday), Day 19 of the Daily Getaways brings us Choice Privileges points. These packages are promoted as two or three nights in various types of Choice hotels, but what really matters is the number of points that come with the package. You can redeem those points however you wish once they are deposited in your account. The points range from 32,000 to 40,000 per package. My parents frequent hotels in the Choice Privileges program on their road trips, and they seem pretty happy with the program. I have also read many success stories related to getting good values on hotels in Europe using Choice points. What I do not like at all is not being able to make award bookings until 30 days out if you are not an elite. (Though they do seem to be pretty decent about elite status matches and I think you can make that request online). Regardless, that is a big deal breaker for me as I am often planning way in advance. However, even if you won’t be able to use your Choice Privileges points for hotel stays, this deal is still worth a second look.
First, Choice Privileges points are useful as a Grand Slam hit (assuming that comes back this year). Read this post for more details, but last year you needed 5,000 Choice Privileges points for 1,000 US Airways Dividend Miles and a hit. The only caveat is there was at least one report that Choice points may be “clawed back” and the hit nullified if you transfer to another person’s frequent flyer account, so purchasing a package of points with the intent to use them as hits in multiple people’s Dividend Miles accounts is a risky proposition. It is safe for your account, but not necessarily everyone in your family.
However, one very solid use of these points is as a transfer to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. These points are being purchased at .41 cents (40,000 point package), .43 cents (36,000 point package) or .42 cents (32,000 point package) each without an Amex. If you do use an Amex, take 10% off that. They transfer to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program at a rate of 6,000 Choice points: 1,800 Southwest points. For the sake of easy math, say your purchased the 36,000 point package with an Amex for $140.40. Those 36,000 Choice points could convert to 10,800 Southwest points. If used on “Wanna Get Away” fares, those 10,800 points would be worth $180 in Southwest “credit”. So, you turned your $140.40 purchase into $180 worth of Southwest credit. That is nice, but here is the best part. Cough, couch, Companion Pass. Two certain personal and business credit card sign-up bonuses can get you 100,000 of the 110,000 required points for a Southwest Companion Pass. I’ll let you do the rest of the math. Amazing. I can’t swear it will work in the future, but I do know it has worked in the past. Did I say amazing?
Without further ado, here are the available packages:
40,000 Choice Privileges Points – $166
AKA 2 Nights at any Cambria Suites – 175 available; 50 available during pre-sale
36,000 Choice Privileges Points – $156
AKA 3 Nights stay at Comfort Inn – 575 Available; 50 Available during Pre-Sale
32,000 Choice Privileges Points – $134
AKA 2 Nights at Comfort Inn Suites – 465 Available; 50 Available during Pre-Sale
Terms and Conditions:
- No more than 2 sets of points purchased through this offer are allowed per loyalty number. A maximum of 6 sets of points is allowed per loyalty number across all Choice Hotels offers.
- If more than 6 sets are purchased in total, then the first 6 sets purchased will be credited only.
- Get early access to the offer by “liking” Choice Hotels on Facebook. On the morning of the sale, a code will be posted on your wall that can access the pre-sale one hour early (from Noon to 1 PM EST)
- Points are valid through December 31st, two years from date of deposit
- You must make your reward-night reservations personally through the Program Line or through your Choice Privileges online account no more than thirty (30) days prior to your planned arrival. However, Choice Privileges Elite members have expanded booking windows as follows:
– Elite Gold: eligible to book rewards within fifty (50) days of arrival
– Elite Platinum: eligible to book rewards within seventy-five (75) days of arrival
– Elite Diamond: eligible to book rewards within one hundred (100) days of arrival
- If you are unable to use your room and fail to cancel your reservation, or if you do not claim the room by the specified time, Choice Privileges will not credit your account with the points that you redeemed for that room.
- The hotel will hold your room reservation until 7:00 am on the day after your scheduled arrival.
- You will not earn Choice Privileges points, Airline Rewards, or Amtrak Guest Reward points for reward-night stays.
- All sales are final.
I’m actually on the fence about whether or not I will participate. I’m not pushing for a Companion Pass, but I would like points for a potential Grand Slam hit, and the rest could always be used for a hotel stay and/or transferred to Southwest, though Southwest is not usually convenient for me. So, I’m a “definite maybe”. I just need to make sure I can afford to put out more cash toward these promos right now. Even if something is a great deal, it still needs to fit within your family’s budget. Points go on pre-sale Thursday at Noon Eastern for those who like Choice Hotels on Facebook and the regular sale happens at 1PM Eastern on the Daily Getaways website.
Will you be participating in this deal tomorrow?