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Last week Choice Privileges introduced Points + Cash awards for for their properties that go for more than 10,000 points per night. While I really like points + cash awards with various programs as it allows you to essentially “buy back” some of your points as sometimes favorable prices, I don’t frequently use Choice Privileges, so I wasn’t overly excited with this news specifically. However, after digging into it a bit more today, I can seem some good uses, especially for those who are running low on points.
The good news is that the Points + Cash awards display clearly when searching for properties (ahem, Hyatt), though you do have to be logged in with at least 8,000 points in your account. The cash portion of the award is payable in USD and varies based on the category of the property. The points portion of the award is fixed at 8,000 points per night regardless of the category of the property, which is good for stretching your points. There is no award chart online I could find, so I expanded on the one started by Loyalty Traveler.
Choice Privileges Points + Cash Award Chart:
10,000 points reward night = 8,000 points + $15
12,000 points reward night = 8,000 points + $30
16,000 points reward night = 8,000 points + $60
20,000 points reward night = 8,000 points + $90
25,000 points reward night = 8,000 points + $127.50
30,000 points reward night = 8,000 points + $165
35,000 points reward night = 8,000 points + $202
40,000 points reward night = 8,000 points + $240
In some searches it seems you really have to pay attention to the selling price of the property as it can be less than the cash portion of the points + cash award! Of course, there are also times when the selling price is high, and the points + cash award can be a good value relative to the cash price.
One example I found was at the Comfort Suites Summit County (near several ski mountains in Colorado). On an upcoming ski weekend, they are selling a room with two queen beds for $249 (less if you accept a non-refundable reservation) or 30,000 points. However, if you aren’t rolling in Choice Privileges points, you can now book the room for 8,000 points + $165 a night.
Another example is at The Paul, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member in NYC that opens February 4th. They have a double bed suite selling for $299 or 20,000 points. However, if you need to conserve points you can get that room for 8,000 points + $90 via points + cash.
I clearly don’t spend enough time looking at Choice (in part because you can only book awards 30 – 60 days in advance), but there are some very good points values to be found, especially overseas. The points + cash award chart doesn’t necessarily change that reality dramatically, but it just reminded me of it as I was searching various cities today. One thing that is true very frequently with Choice is that you can often book non-standard rooms (and even suites) for the same points price as standard rooms, even with the cash selling price of some room types is much higher than the standard room. This can be very handy in cities where you can often only find standard rooms for two people and would make this a very family friendly program were it not for the rules that only allow close in award bookings.
Many of us who have Choice points bought them during the annual Daily Getaways sale got them at a price that makes the points + cash awards not that attractive unless you simply are starting to run low on points and need to stretch them out until the next Daily Getaways sale hopefully returns later this year.
Do you ever use the Choice Privileges program? Will you try out their points + cash awards or just keep using the full points options using the points purchased via the Daily Getaways?