Middle Age Miles

Choice Privileges “Free Night” Promo Earns Bonus Points from 2/26 to 4/26/19

Choice Privileges free night promotion

Choice Privileges has announced a new promotion where you can earn bonus points for stays from February 26 through April 26. It’s billed as a “free night” promotion, but the reward is actually bonus points to ensure that you earn a minimum of 8,000 Choice points if you stay twice during the promotion period.

Relevant Links

Register for the Choice Privileges “Free Night” promotion here:

There’s also a FAQ page for the promotion:

If you’re not yet a member of Choice Privileges, sign up here and you’ll earn an extra 500 bonus points after your first eligible stay:

Details of the Choice “Free Night” Promotion

The Choice “free night” promotion is a little convoluted, so bear with us. Here are the basics, once you register for the promotion:

  • Stay twice at Choice hotels, with arrival dates between 2/26/2019 and 4/26/2019
  • For starters, you will earn Choice Privileges points as usual on your stays – 10 Choice points per dollar of spend on room rate
  • Total up the Choice points earned on your 2 stays, and:
    • If you have earned less than 3,000 Choice points on your 2 stays, Choice will give you enough bonus points to bring your total for the 2 stays up to 8,000 points; or
    • If you have earned more than 3,000 Choice points on your 2 stays, Choice will give you 5,000 bonus points.

Got it? You’ll earn at least 8,000 points after your 2 stays, and more if your “normal” earning on the 2 stays exceeded 3,000 points.

And here’s one more point of confusion – despite the name and marketing of the promotion, you won’t actually earn a “free night.” Instead, you will have earned a total of at least 8,000 points after your 2 stays, which Choice says is “the number of points required for a future free night at over 1,000 Choice hotels worldwide.” That said, Choice also notes that “A free night at most Choice locations requires more than 8,000 points” and “reward nights at most locations worldwide are available from 6,000 to 35,000 points[.]”

There are a few requirements and exclusions for this promotion:

  • You must register for the promotion in advance of your first stay
  • You must have your earning preference set to Choice Privileges points
  • You must book through:
    • ChoiceHotels.com, the Choice Hotels mobile app, or 800-4CHOICE (800-424-6423); or
    • Book by Google, if you add your Choice Privileges number to your reservation prior to check-in; or
    • If you’re a corporate traveler, through your online booking tool, GDS, or with a travel agent.
  • A “stay” is any number of consecutive nights at one hotel regardless of check-ins or check-outs – that is, you can’t book a one-night stay on one night and another one-night stay on the next night and have it count as 2 stays for purposes of the promotion.
  • The following types of stays are excluded:
    • Stays not booked using one of the methods described above
    • Rooms booked at rates below $40 per night
    • Reward night stays
    • Complimentary rooms
    • Rooms paid for as part of a convention or meeting
    • Rooms booked through a travel agent, group tour, online travel agency (OTA), or any other third party online retailer
    • Rooms booked with employee or friends & family discounts
    • Stays at Choice vacation rental property locations
    • Stays in the following countries: Japan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Guyana and Ecuador

Keep in mind that you can go through a portal to earn extra points, miles or cash back for your stays at Choice properties, and those stays will qualify for this promotion because ultimately you’re booking direct through Choice. Recently, we’ve seen some promotions on Ebates of 10% for Choice, and on Valentine’s Day, Ebates even had a 14% rate! Today, Ebates is only 1.5%, but Top Cashback is offering 10% at Cambria and 5% at all other Choice hotels.

Analysis of the Choice “Free Night” Promotion

As a reminder, the Choice family of brands includes:

  • Nicer properties at the top end of the Choice family:
    • Cambria
    • Ascend Collection
  • And other Choice hotel brands:
    • Choice Hotels
    • Clarion
    • Comfort Inn
    • Econo Lodge
    • Mainstay Suites
    • Quality Inn
    • Rodeway Inn
    • Sleep Inn
    • Suburban Extended Stay

Back to the promotion itself – We’re not tremendously excited about this promotion, but we’ve registered for it in case we have something pop up in the next couple of months where it could help us. We always recommend registering for all of these hotel promotions, because we certainly don’t want to leave any points on the table!

Quantitatively, the Choice “Free Night” promotion looks like this:

  • If you paid less than $300 total room rate for your 2 stays, you’d earn 8,000 total points. At our baseline value of 0.5 cents per Choice point, those points are worth about $40.
  • If you paid more than $300 total room rate for your 2 stays, you’d earn an extra 5,000 points. That’s an extra $25 in points rebate for the 2 stays (or $12.50 per stay).
    • Let’s assume that you paid $350 total. Your regular points earning would be 3,500 points ($17.50), and your promotional points earning would be 5,000 points ($25). Total points return would be $42.50, which is a points rebate of about 12.1% on your room rate (plus any elite bonus). That’s not very exciting. Remember that when we examined the new Hyatt promotion earlier this week, we found that non-elite members staying at a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House could earn a points rebate worth more than 26% of the base rate (in fairness, that’s only for the second and subsequent stays).

There are certainly some things about Choice Privileges that are interesting. And there are definitely some sweet spots for Choice Privileges redemptions where you can get more than 0.5 cents per point in value. We were reminded of a few things as we researched for this article that we think would be helpful to Middle Age Miles readers. They’re beyond the scope of this article that’s specifically about the new promotion, but we’ll plan to work up another article about Choice Privileges and publish it in the near future. Stay tuned!

What do you think of the new Choice Privileges “Free Night” promotion? Are there opportunities here that we didn’t see? Will you be taking advantage of it? Please let us know in the Comments!

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