How and Why I got Choice Privledges Elite Status for Free

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I’ve written many times about why elite status is important to us on many of our traveling adventures.  I get nothing out of the psychological aspect of having elite status, so I don’t try to get status in a program (even if it is free and easy) unless I am actually going to get real value out of it.  However, I have a trip coming up at a Choice Hotels property, but as you may or may not know, their award booking rules are….not my favorite.  They have no blackout dates, but you typically can’t book an award night in the US or Canada until 30 days in advance of the stays, and you can’t book an international award night until 60 days in advance of the stay.  Rules like this make me so thankful for the generous booking policies of other programs like Hyatt Gold Passport and Starwood Preferred Guest.

However, if you have elite status with Choice Hotels, you can have a little bit more of a window for booking award nights.  Reward nights can be booked 50 days in advance for Gold members, 75 days in advance for Platinum members, and 100 days in advance for Diamond members.  None of that compares to booking a year or more in advance with the programs I am used to, but every day helps.  So, I went online and emailed them at Member_Resolution at choicehotels dot com and told them I had a stay coming up and wanted to try out their elite program.  I mentioned that I had top tier elite status in Hyatt, and wondered if they would match that status with Choice.

Within a day or so I heard back that they would match my Hyatt Diamond status to Choice Privileges Platinum status if I provided them proof of my Diamond status and my Choice Privileges number.  I took a screen shot of my Hyatt account info (though blacked out the actual account number) and emailed it back to them.  This was sufficient, and they said that Platinum (their mid tier) is highest status you would get via a match.  This status normally requires 20 nights per calendar year (though they do count award stays).  Platinum status will allow me to book both domestic and international award stays 75 days in advance, which isn’t amazing, but is better than 30/60 days in advance.  I will also earn a 25% bonus elite point bonus, though that likely won’t help very much since I am looking to use points, not earn points.

The whole process didn’t take more than a few minutes of my time and will allow me to book the award stay I want a little bit more in advance.  If you are curious as to which Choice Privileges hotel we are interested in, here is a picture.  Look at the larger structures in the background (that you can access for free by staying at this Choice hotel) and you may figure it out.  It won’t be the fanciest way to take this vacation, but it will be the cheapest since we bought these Choice points during a Daily Getaways sale a couple years ago at a very good price!  More to come!

Courtyard Pool, Nassau Bahamas hotel near Atlantis, Comfort Suites

Has anyone else ever matched their existing status to a program like Choice Hotels?

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  1. I don’t travel much on business these days, so normally it’s cheap AirBNB or similar for me. But I had a rare business trip a few months ago, and wanted a change from another “generic hotel” business trip.

    I have medium-high status with Hyatt because of my Amex Platinum card, and got Kimpton to match that to their “inner circle” status, and stayed in a Kimpton in downtown San Francisco. The hotel was really nice, and the “better” treatment because of the status was very nice.

  2. Did this same exact trip in May, right down to buying the points in a previous year via Daily Getaways and then matching my IHG Platinum status to expand the booking window.

    The hotel has a great location across Atlantis but is showing some serious signs of wear and tear. Also annoying was the engery surcharge and mandatory tips for housekeeping (we knew about them in advance, but it added up to almost $300 bucks on our ‘free stay’).

    Enjoy Atlantis!

  3. I assume you’ve already seen it, but if not here’s a tip. Check out the book from Andy Shuman entitled “Fly Me To Atlantis”. It’s sometimes free on Amazon, but right now it costs $2.99. He is also called mnscout on FT. The book spells this out in great detail that you or anyone could easily follow.

  4. After Choice raised their redemption rates a few years back, I dumped them. The ROC property almost doubled in point redemption, and it was a dumpy airport hotel.

  5. Just FYI, I tried doing the same thing (status match) for a stay at the same property. Per the email I got back from Choice now stipulates that they will only status match if you have 10 or more nights in the program you want to match from. Just having status is no longer enough.

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