Daily Getaways Day 19 (Thursday): Choice Privileges Points – Huge Value for Southwest Rapid Rewards

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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?



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  1. If you have any European travel planned during the next two years and you are watching the budget, Comfort Inns and Best Western can actually provide a solid value overseas.

  2. just to tempt you farthercheck out choice properties in europe. they are reputedly nicer than US properties and sometimes a bargain.

  3. Folks should read the Choice T&Cs carefully regarding points expiring. It is time based, meaning points expire a few years after they are earned, rather than account based meaning any activity in the account keeps all account points in play.

    Not a huge negative but one more thing to track.

  4. As I posted on another site, the Southwest deal is misleading. You get that ‘value’ in WN points, but you forget to discount the fact that the point travel doesn’t earn WN points, so the true discount is really about 7-16%, or a much lower value proposition IMO.

  5. @Askia, very good point. Thanks!
    @tony, I know for sure that it has, but since it is a bit of an “off label” use, I can’t guarantee what will happen in the future.
    @MJL, ha ha. I’m easily tempted for points. I have heard the same thing about the European properties!
    @Sam, very true. Thanks!
    @Ben, true you are always losing some value when you are redeeming points since you aren’t earning them. However, the real value with Southwest (in my opinion) lies with the Companion Pass, not just with the transfer rates.

  6. Are the points you transfer “Tier Qualifying Points” for Southwest?

    Per their website “*Tier Qualifying Points are earned from revenue flights or through select Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards and are exclusive of bonuses and promotions.”

    Thanks for the help!

    • @benji they have historically counted toward the Companion Pass, but not for A List qualification.

  7. No one has mentioned the value of these points on preferred hotels redemptions. I bought some of these points last year and used them at the Trump Hotel in NY ($800/night room). Great value.

  8. sold out in 15 seconds. Collecting miles and “travel blogging” has officially ‘jumped the shark’…sad

  9. @pablo escobar, I agree that some limited quantity things like this are getting harder to nab as more people are in the miles and points world, but I know I have been able to purchase at least one of every Daily Getaway deal I tried for. Some of it is luck for sure, but I think it may be a bit premature to say that collecting miles has “jumped the shark”. Though of course we all have our own opinions. Sorry to hear you weren’t able to get the points you were after.

  10. Well, perhaps you’re right. Although I doubt it, sorry. Been doing this for over 13 years, donated my Mindspring free webhotsing limit to Gary at


    The true “pioneer’ in this field, sorry GLeff. All I’ve seen the past few years is umm–deterioration. Peace, and like I said–good luck with your business

  11. I do like you’re blog though-really. You speak to the folks that don’t want to travel first class all the time–i like that

  12. My belief is the the “First Class” folks are the reason the life is getting sucked out of this hobby

  13. Ahh US Grand Slam. You all remember that point transfers from Choice are coded as stays and not transfers, right. Six choice points transfers (30k) will, assuming the systems have not been changed, transfer in as six stays with US Airways. This will reduce my out-of-pocket to $22 per stay hit. Let the wait begin.

  14. Got all 6 offers. Now I can top off my friends for companion passes that’ve already done the double Southwest card app 🙂

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