In my previous installment, I covered use of Choice points in Scandinavia. My “investigation” revealed that to get the best value out of Choice points you have to go to Sweden, where there is an abundance of 8,000-to-12,000-points hotel rooms. Well, let me rephrase actually: if you intend to travel to Sweden, you will get fantastic value out of your Choice points.
Norway is more expensive. Most Choice hotels all over the country cost 16,000 points and more, except Hotel #13 in Bergen, which I’ve found for 12,000 points. Of course, rewards pricing in the Choice Privileges program is dynamic, so these rates can change.
Denmark is even more expensive. I’ve never found rooms in Copenhagen for less than 20,000 points.
You may feel that Norway’s hotels might still be worth paying 16,000 Choice points per room, and you’re right. It’s just that you used to be able to find a better deal, and now, it seems, you aren’t.
However, there are Choice hotels all over the world, and yes, you can get great value out of Choice points outside of Scandinavia.
Choice points in Canada
There are some really good options in Canada and the U.S. that give you a solid 1 penny per point value. Like this one in Canmore.
What’s in Canmore? This!
Of course, you can always opt for Fairmont Banff Springs when you visit the area, but the Quality Resort allows you to explore the park without having to refinance your home.
I’ve searched for and found quite a few Choice hotels in places I’d love to visit. Here is one in Vancouver. I say one, because the Comfort Inn Downtown is too expensive IMHO and often sold out. The one in North Vancouver is actually well-located; it’s just 10 minutes to downtown and very close to Capilano Suspension Bridge. This hotel can cost close to $200 a night in the summer, so it’s not a bad deal as long as you can find a room for 12,000 points.
There are over a dozen Choice hotels in Niagara Falls from 8,000 to 16,000 points a night. There are so many of them, they wouldn’t fit the screen.
Here are Choice hotels in Saint John (Bay of Fundy). Unsurprisingly, you might find CHATEAU SAINT JOHN & SUITES a better value.
Victoria, BC has 2 10,000-point Choice hotels. The Quality Inn is closer to Victoria’s beautiful harbor, but Comfort Inn offers free breakfast. You decide. 🙂
I don’t know much about Calgary other than it’s home to the Calgary Stampede, but there are 7 Choice hotels that cost from 8,000 to 10,000 points. Of course, whether you can get them for the same price during the actual event that takes place in July is the big question.
Winnipeg. The winter Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg rivals the famous Carnaval de Quebec
Choice points in the United States
Granted, it’s harder to find good Choice Privileges values in the U.S., and hotels in best locations often tend to be sold out on a seemingly permanent basis. In addition, my limited research has confirmed that Choice hotels here tend to be priced higher and less reasonably (LOL) than in Canada. Take a look at these properties in close (well, somewhat) proximity to Yellowstone.
Not bad, right? Well, here’s what they cost in cash. Of course, there are taxes, too, but I’m sure any of us can find a coupon, discount, or cashback to sweeten the deal. It just doesn’t make sense to use 10,000 points to book a $49 room (like at Econo Lodge Livingstone, for example). When you pay cash you get points.
Remember, however, that we can only check rewards rates up for up to 100 days ahead. The whole game may look different in season.
And there are some bargains to be found if you look hard enough. Seattle has 2 cheap Choice hotels.
Saint Petersburg, FL
This can be a pretty good deal because…
And yes, there are occasions when Choice Privileges points can give you a fantastic value even in the U.S. For instance, Hotel Napoleon, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member in Memphis, TN is a unique property housed in a historic building. It doesn’t often go below $150, (and I’ve seen it priced at $250 on some dates). Although you can stay at an equally central Sleep Inn with included breakfast for fewer points. Decisions, decisions.
Either hotel looks like a steal to me.
If you prefer Country to Blues or Rock ‘n’ Roll (meaning Nashville to Memphis), Choice has your back too.
This is the cash rate on the same dates.
I’ll go ahead and wrap up my North American “presentation” on Choice Privileges points options with this — yes, Choice hotels are often overpriced here, but there are gems to be found. Don’t dismiss the program out of hand for your U.S. travel plans.
Choice points in Paris, France
Choice has always been praised for its cheap 8,000-12,000 points hotels in Paris. No doubt, the reputation is deserved, but quite a few Choice Parisian properties have changed hands in the last couple of years. Comfort Hotel Opera (that I liked) is now Best Western. No Clarions can be found anymore: neither Clarion Opera Pavillon or Clarion Étoile Saint Honoré (well, I’m sure they can be found, just not as Clarions anymore). While Choice has a lot (really a lot) of hotels in Paris, the best options seem to be gone.
Still, if all you need is a simple but clean room in the center of Paris, you won’t be disappointed. I love staying on the Left Bank so here are a couple of suggestions (there are plenty more).
Cash rates on the same dates.
Choice points in Japan
You will find no shortage of cheap Choice hotels in Tokyo. Specifically, you’ll find 5 of them, but one or 2 will always be sold out.
Before you start feeling warm and fuzzy, though, this is what you would pay for these hotels should you decide to part with your hard-earned cash (1,000 Japanese yen to $8.91 at the time of writing).
I’ve never been to Japan (yes, embarrassing, but I’m going to fix this failure next spring), but please explain one thing to me. If you can pay $50 for a normal, albeit small, room in a clean and perfectly adequate business hotel, why on earth would anybody pay $50 a night for this?
Japan has such a fierce cliché reputation for being one of the most expensive countries in the world that it’s really amazing how cheap its hotels can be. Still, you can sometimes get around 1 cent per Choice point, which isn’t bad at all. Otherwise, pay cash.
Here are some ideas for Osaka, Nara, and Kobe.
Here is the map of Choice hotels around the world once again.
If you can’t get at least 1 cent per Choice point, pay cash (I know I’ve just said that).
Choice points in the U.S. and Canada can go farther than many of us have thought.
They may or may not be a good value in Paris and Japan.
I haven’t found any killer values for Choice Privileges points in other parts of the world. It doesn’t mean they don’t exist, so please let me know if I’ve missed something.
Should You Apply for the New Barclays 64,000 Choice Privileges Points Offer? Part 2: Around the World