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Earlier this week I wrote about some things to think about if you find you aren’t really using your miles and points as much as you would like. If you are in that situation, one of the big things to think about and research is whether you are perhaps overlooking some travel partners or less popular redemption methods that may align with your travel patterns quite well, and that will work with the points you already have. As a specific example, in the comments section of that linked post some good reminders came about in regards specifically to Amex Membership Rewards and their transferability to the Choice Hotels program.
While Choice Hotels may not sound super exciting or get lots of attention in the miles and points world, I can assure you there are some exciting redemption opportunities in their portfolio. I highly encourage you to not count this program out and instead be sure to remember that Amex Membership Rewards points available via cards like The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card and The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card transfer 1:1 to Choice Hotels and their Choice Privileges program.
As you probably know, Choice Hotel points can get you a room at somewhere like the Comfort Suites Summit County that is a reasonable driving distance to ski destinations like Breckenridge, Keystone, or Copper Mountain. They can also get you a room at the Comfort Suites Paradise Island in the Bahamas that includes access to the neighboring Atlantis water park, but Choice points can actually take you far beyond just a Comfort Suites type of hotel.
We used Choice points last summer during a very, very expensive week in Edinburgh to book my mom a room at the adorable 19 room Howard Hotel.
This property is part of the Ascend Hotel Collection, and she had a great stay in a junior suite in this unique property thanks to Choice Hotel points.
The Ascend Hotel Collection has properties seemingly everywhere from Edinburgh to Aspen to Maui to Curacao to Europe to New York City and beyond. The properties are often far from cookie-cutter and some can offer a really solid points redemption opportunity, even if you are transferring your points in from Membership Rewards.
To give you an example of what is out there, for 20,000 Choice points per night you can book a room at the beautiful Hotel Christiania Teater in Oslo or the Skt. Petri in Copenhagen, both Ascend Hotel Collection member properties.
If you find yourself in Bergen, Norway (and I hope to find myself there at some point), you aren’t going to be able to use your Hyatt or Starwood points for a hotel room, but again Choice Hotels is a solid option via the Clarion Collection Hotel Oleana, which is also 20,000 points per night.
If you are hoping to spend fewer than 20,000 Choice points per night, that is very possible across Europe and beyond at places like the Comfort Hotel Cachan Paris Sud for 8,000 points per night, Comfort Inn Hyde Park in London for 10,000 points per night, and numerous options in Tokyo for just 8,000 points per night.
Looking a little closer to home, you can stay in NYC at the Comfort Inn Midtown West for 16,000 points per night, The Paul, an Ascend Collection property on in Chelsea on 29th Street for just 8,000 points per night (Update: I tried to sort of bury this in here so it wouldn’t get too much attention, but not too surprisingly they realized this was underpriced and raised it to 30,000 points per night), or even get a two-bedroom suite at the Bluegreen Vacations Club 36 just off the strip in Las Vegas for 10,000 points per night.
Choice Privileges and their relationship with Membership Rewards is something that can easily be forgotten by some, but it is also a place you can sometimes find very good redemptions when other programs leave you high and dry. The program is far from perfect, especially since without elite status you can only book award nights 30 days in advance in the US and Canada or 60 days in advance for other destinations, but that isn’t a reason to totally count them out. File this program away for when you need it, and in the meantime it can be fun to explore all of the properties your Choice points can book around the world!
Have you ever scored a great redemption via Choice Privileges?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.