First things first: Choice has a 1,000-point promo for new members.
The 1,000-point promo is hidden on the Choice Vacation Rental page. Scroll down and you’ll see the image above.
Here are the links to my previous musings on the new Choice credit card 64,000 bonus.
“Points Plus Cash” reservations seem like a great deal
I wouldn’t be writing the 3rd post about Choice Privileges credit card bonus if reader bluecat didn’t mention in his comment the Points Plus Cash rate he paid in Sweden. I remembered that Choice canceled the program some time ago and I didn’t know that it was working again. This looked intriguing to me, so I thought I’d dig a little bit deeper.
One needs to have at least 6,000 points to see the Points Plus Cash option, and I don’t, and — the Choice official FAQ page is ridiculously skimpy on the details.
However, according to this Flyertalk thread, the cost of points you can “buy” at the time you make a reservation (!) is $7.50 for 1,000 points, and you can “buy” up to 250,000 points a year. The Points Plus Cash program works like IHG Points & Cash and can be a terrific deal compared to buying Choice points outright at $11 for 1,000 points. You’re basically getting them at 0.75 cents per point. That’s not bad at all — in fact, the only better option would be the elusive annual Daily Getaways bonanza when Choice points are sold at around 0.5 cents. And good luck with that because they go poof within seconds. Unless you’re a bot, in which case — kudos!
Anyhow, the way Points Plus Cash works is that you pay for your room with the points you “buy” during the reservation in addition to 6,000 base points, which amount is fixed for any stay.
This is how most common Choice Privileges redemption levels correspond to Points Plus Cash rates:
8,000 points = 6,000 points + $15
10,000 points = 6,000 + $30
12,000 points = 6,000 + $45
16,000 points = 6,000 + $75
20,000 points = 6,000 + $105
With this “recalibration,” I believe I can safely recommend the new Choice Priority card 64,000 bonus if you’re planning a trip to Norway, where most hotel redemptions are 16,000 points per night. The 64,000-point bonus gives you up to 11 days (after meeting the spend) with $750 cash copay. That’s still a steal (pun intended) for Norway.
Choice luxury hotels?
Since the Choice Privileges program is mostly associated with budget chains, like Comfort Hotels, Quality Hotels, etc., we don’t usually think of Choice points as a vehicle to stay at aspirational properties. But there are, in fact, quite a few options for luxury hunters, as well.
First, there are upscale Ascend Collection hotels. Not all of them are truly upscale properties, but many are, like Hotel Napoleon in Memphis, which you can book for only 10,000 points.
Then there are Nordic Choice hotels, which include quite a few upscale and luxury hotels. Like At Six in Stockholm that won 2 awards in 2017 in Italy: Europe’s Best Hotel and Best Restaurant in a Hotel.
And, finally, there are Preferred Hotels and Resorts, which combines around 500 upscale and luxury properties all over the world.
Preferred Hotels and Resorts
Redemption levels for Preferred Hotels and Resorts range from 25,000 to 55,000 points per night, so if you want to incorporate the Choice card’s 64,000-point bonus in your luxury pursuits, you might want to check 25,000- and 35,000-point properties. Remember that you must spend $4,000 total to meet the spending requirement, so you’ll already have at least 68,000 points by the time you’re done with that.
Here is what you can get for your 68,000 points.
1 night at a 45,000- or top 55,000-point hotel
2 nights at a 25,000-point hotel
One night at a 25,000- and one night at a 35,000-point
2 nights at a 35,000-point hotel (buy 2,000 points for $22)
3 nights at a 25,000-point hotel (buy 7,000 points for $77)
That’s if you buy the points outright without a bonus. Right now, Choice is showing me up to a 30% bonus (must log on). I don’t know if it’s targeted, so check your account.
Remember that not all of these hotels are worth the points — I’ve seen some 35,000-point properties that cost around $150. So do your due diligence.
Bluegreen Vacation Resorts
I’ve included Bluegreen Vacation Resorts for the sake of thoroughness. You pay 16,000 points for 2 nights and you’re good to go at any time within a year. And you will also get a $50 MasterCard, By now, you’ know there is a catch — and there is. These are timeshare properties and staying there requires a 2-hour presentation. Now, I’ve been to timeshare presentations before, and it hasn’t bothered me much, but there are 2 issues. First, I usually travel solo (not qualified), and second, when I don’t, my wife will have none of it.
Which is why I’m not interested in having my travel subsidized by a timeshare presentation, but if you’re curious, here is the list.
- ORLANDO, FL – THE FOUNTAINS
- LAS VEGAS, NV – BLUEGREEN CLUB 36
- MYRTLE BEACH, SC — HARBOUR LIGHTS
- PEORIA, AZ – CIBOLA VISTA RESORT AND SPA
- WISCONSIN DELLS, WI – CHRISTMAS MOUNTAIN VILLAGE
- WILLIAMSBURG, VA – BLUEGREEN PATRICK HENRY SQUARE
Oh! And please do not buy a timeshare. Seriously!
Questions? Praise? Critique? Please share in the comments