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      Choice Privileges Loyalty Program Benefits & Review 2022

      Josh Patoka
      Choice Privileges Loyalty Program Benefits Review

      Choice Privileges offers a variety of places to stay from budget-friendly rooms to extended stay suited for business travelers and even a luxury brand or two. The loyalty program can also require fewer nights to earn the higher elite status tiers than competing programs.

      Here is an in-depth look at how to maximize your Choice Hotels points.

      Loyalty ProgramChoice Privileges
      Cost to JoinFree
      Membership TiersMember, Gold, Platinum, Diamond
      Total Destinations7,000+
      Number of Brands12
      Popular BrandsCambria, Comfort, EconoLodge, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, WoodSpring Suites
      Average Point Value0.6 cents
      Point Expiration PolicyAfter 18 months of inactivity
      Points Needed for Reward Nights8,000-35,000
      Point Redemption OptionsReward Nights, Airline Miles, Cruises, Gift Cards
      Number of Co-Brand Credit Cards (Accepting New Applications)1

      Here is everything you need to know about the Choice Privileges loyalty program.

      Joining the Program

      It’s free to join Choice Hotels online or through their mobile app.

      After joining, you can start earning points on stays within the Choice Privileges portfolio and for a variety of other activities.

      Choice Privileges Loyalty Program Levels

      You qualify for elite status after your first seven nights in a calendar year and there are three different elite tiers.

      Status TierRequired Nights Per Calendar Year
      Member0
      Gold10 (7 in 2021)

      Like most hotel loyalty programs, the annual night requirements return to their standard levels in 2022 after being relaxed in 2020 and 2021 for the coronavirus pandemic.

      Member

      The bottom non-elite tier is the Member status level. 

      This tier has three notable benefits:

      • Earn Choice Privileges points
      • Exclusive member-only rates
      • Your Extras

      For example, the Your Extras perk may let you earn gift card rewards to participating stores and restaurants when your stay includes at least one weekday night.

      Gold

      Gold is the first elite tier and requires 10 nights per year (7 in 2021).

      Your benefits include:

      • 10% elite point bonus
      • Elite check-in and check-out
      • Reserved parking
      • Up to 9 rollover nights per year
      • Welcome gift
      • Elite gift cards

      You can also automatically receive this status level by holding the Choice Privilege Visa Signature Card. This co-branded card has no annual fee.

      Platinum

      The mid-tier Platinum status requires 20 qualifying nights (15 in 2021).

      In addition to the Gold-level perks, you get these extra perks:

      • 25% elite point bonus
      • Up to 19 rollover nights per year
      • Avis Preferred Plus loyalty status

      Diamond

      Diamond is the highest elite status tier and you qualify with 40 nights per year (25 in 2021).

      Choice Hotels benefits include:

      • 50% elite point bonus
      • Up to 39 rollover nights

      You will also enjoy Avis Preferred Plus rental car benefits.

      Choice Privileges Status Match

      It’s possible to get Gold or Platinum status with Choice Privileges if you have similar status with a competing program. 

      How long you have matching status can depend on when you request the match:

      • January to June: Elite status for the rest of the calendar year
      • July to December: Elite status through next calendar year

      You may also be able to upgrade to Diamond status by spending one night at a Cambria property.
      Learn more about the status match here.

      Choice Privileges Hotel Brands

      You can enjoy membership benefits at these hotel brands:

      • Ascend Hotel Collection
      • Cambria
      • Clarion
      • Clarion Pointe
      • Comfort
      • EconoLodge
      • Everhome Suites
      • MainStay Suites
      • Quality Inn
      • Rodeway Inn
      • Sleep Inn
      • Suburban Extended Stay
      • WoodSpring Suites

      Choice Privileges also has partnerships with Bluegreen Vacations, Preferred Hotels, and several casino hotels to earn bonus points and book award nights.

      Most Choice Hotels properties are economy hotel brands that are an excellent fit for an affordable hotel room. For instance, most rooms cost less than $100 across the United States.

      However, you also have several options for extended stays and there are also a couple of luxury brands (Ascend and Cambria).

      Earning Choice Privileges Points

      Choice Hotels Boston Everett Ascend Collection

      Photo: media.choicehotels.com

      Here are the various ways to earn Choice Hotels points.

      Hotel Stays

      You earn 10 base points per $1 on your Choice Hotels portfolio stays plus any elite tier bonus points.

      However, there are several instances when your stay may be ineligible:

      • Any WoodSpring Suites stay
      • Points and cash bookings
      • Nightly rates below $40

      You can also earn points at Bluegreen Vacations, AM Resorts, and several casino hotels.

      Travel Bookings

      These travel bookings can also earn bonus points when you make a reservation:

      • Avis and Budget car rentals
      • Cruises
      • Golf tee times and equipment

      You may also be able to get discounts when you travel as well. For example, Avis and Budget rentals may qualify for a 25% discount.

      Online Purchases

      The Choice Privileges online shopping mall lets you earn at least 1 point per $1 at over 900 retailers. 

      In addition to the shopping mall, you can earn bonus points from a variety of partners including:

      • 1800Baskets.com
      • 1800Flowers.com
      • Quicken Loans
      • Vinesse Wines

      Online Surveys

      Receive 500 points on your first e-rewards survey. Your subsequent ones won’t earn as many points but can be a steady way to earn points when you’re not traveling.

      Refer Friends

      You can receive 500 points for each friend you refer to join Choice Privileges and complete a qualifying stay.

      Buy Points

      It’s possible to purchase up to 250,000 points per year for your account and 180,000 points annually for a friend’s account. Each point costs approximately 1.2 cents which is slightly cheaper than most hotel loyalty programs but is more than the average redemption value.

      Waiting for a points sale can make buying points worth it unless you need some in a pinch to book an award night.

      Rewards Credit Cards

      There is currently one co-brand Choice Privileges rewards credit card for leisure travelers. 

      You can also indirectly earn them by making purchases with participating American Express and Capital One credit cards that support 1:1 point transfers.

      Earn Airline Miles

      You can switch your earning preference to airline miles instead of Choice points in your account. 

      Each participating airline has a different earning potential:

      • 250 miles per stay: Aeroplan, Alaska Airlines, Czech Airlines, United Airlines, and Spirit Airlines 
      • 600 miles per stay: Qantas and Velocity

      Transferring Choice Privileges Points

      Two credit card loyalty programs let you move credit card points to Choice Privileges.

      American Express Membership Rewards

      Any American Express credit card that earns Membership Rewards can transfer at a 1:1 ratio in 1,000-point increments.

      Some of the best credit cards to consider:

      • American Express Gold Card: Earn up to 4x on dining and groceries plus 3x on qualifying flights. You can also get up to $120 in annual dining credits and up to $120 in Uber Cash per year. The annual fee is $250.
      • Platinum Card from American Express: The Amex Platinum offers many travel perks including travel statement credits, airport lounge access, and expedited airport security application fee credits for CLEAR, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.  The annual fee is $695.
      • Amex EveryDay Credit Card: Earn 2x on the first $6,000 in annual grocery purchases. Receive 20% bonus points when you make at least 20 purchases per month. There is no annual fee.
      • Business Gold Card: Earn up to 4x on two categories of your choice and get a 25% redemption bonus for qualifying award flights. The annual fee is $295.

      Capital One

      The consumer Venture Rewards cards and the small business Spark Miles cards let you transfer your points to your Choice Hotels account at a 1:1 ratio with a 1,000-point minimum.

      • Capital One Venture X Rewards: Earn up to 10x on purchases, complimentary Priority Pass and Capital One Lounge access, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and an annual $300 travel credit. The annual fee is $395.  
      • Capital One Venture Rewards: Earn 2x on purchases, 5x on hotels/car rentals through Capital One Travel, two free Capital One Lounge visits per year, and up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credits. The annual fee is $95.
      • Capital One VentureOne Rewards: Earn 1.25x on purchases, 5x on hotels/car rentals through Capital One Travel, and enjoy a $0 annual fee.
      • Capital One Spark Miles for Business: Earn 2x on purchases and get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. The annual fee is $0 for the first year and then $95.

      Redeeming Choice Privileges Points

      Choice Hotels Bluegreen Vacation Fountains

      Photo: media.choicehotels.com

      Here are some ways to redeem your points for Choice Hotels and other retail partners.

      Hotel Nights

      Award nights cost between 8,000 and 35,000 points at most properties. Select properties in the Asia-Pacific region may require up to 75,000 points.

      Most properties cost between 8,000 and 20,000 points per night with an average redemption value of 0.6 cents. This redemption value is competitive with other programs but you can pay fewer points per night than most mid-level hotel chains.

      Stays at partner hotels can also require more than 35,000 points but you can enjoy luxury travel or a vacation rental experience.

      You can redeem your points with these portfolios:

      • Choice Hotels
      • Bluegreen Vacations
      • Preferred Hotels and Resorts
      • Select casino hotel brands

      Some of the casino hotel brands include Ameristar, Boomtown, and Hollywood Casino.

      Choice Privileges uses a variable pricing model. Periodically, you may see discounted award nights through the FlexRewards perk.

      Points and Cash Bookings:

      When you don’t have enough points to book a night, you can pay with points and cash. These bookings start at 6,000 points per night and you pay the difference in cash.

      Airline Miles

      You can exchange your Choice points for airline miles for several carriers. The conversion ratio varies by carrier.

      AirlineExchange Rate
      AeroMexico Club Premier5,000 points equals 1,000 miles
      Aeroplan5,000 points equals 1,000 miles
      Alaska5,000 points equals 1,000 miles
      Czech Airlines5,000 points equals 1,000 miles
      Qantas20,000 points equals 8,000 miles
      Spirit5,000 points equals 1,000 miles
      United Airlines5,000 points equals 1,000 miles
      Velocity20,000 points equals 8,000 miles
      Amtrak32,000 points equals 5,000 miles

      You don’t have as many transfer options as other hotel programs but have a wide assortment of domestic and international carriers.

      Golf by Choice

      Use your points to buy golf equipment. A $40 redemption requires approximately 12,000 points. You will need to pay cash to book times but earn rewards points.

      Cruises

      You can call a toll-free phone number to redeem your points for a cruise. Unfortunately, you won’t see a price quote until you call and provide the reference number for your desired itinerary.

      A better option can be paying with a travel credit card to earn travel rewards and 5x Choice Hotels points.

      Gift Cards

      Digital and plastic gift cards are available. A $25 face value can require 8,000 points to your favorite retailer or restaurant.

      Donations

      You can donate as little as 1,000 points to participating charities for various causes. Choice Hotels may even make a matching contribution.

      Choice Privileges Credit Cards

      One co-brand credit card is currently available to individuals. As a downside, no small business credit card is currently available.

      Choice Privileges Visa Signature

      The Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card has no annual fee and is available through Barclays.

      Featured benefits include:

      • 32,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
      • 5x at eligible Choice hotels
      • 2x on all remaining purchases
      • Spend at least $10,000 in a calendar year and earn 8,000 bonus points
      • Elite Gold membership status
      • Points do not expire

      The automatic Gold elite status and knowing your points won’t expire (they usually expire after 18 months of account inactivity) as long as your card remains active are the two best reasons to have this card – in addition to no annual fee.

      While you won’t get an automatic free night award, reaching the $10,000 annual spending mark may be worth it to earn 8,000 bonus points for an entry-level property if you’re a frequent guest. 

      Unfortunately, this card has a 3% foreign transaction fee and may not be the best card for booking hotel rooms outside the United States.

      FAQ

      Is it free to join Choice Privileges?

      Yes, it’s free to join Choice Privileges online and start earning points.

      What are the Choice Privileges membership levels?

      The Choice Hotels status tiers are Member, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.

      How do you earn Choice Privileges elite status?

      You earn elite status by staying a minimum number of qualifying nights at participating hotels.

      Here are the minimum number of required nights for 2022:
      Gold: 10 nights
      Platinum: 20 nights
      Diamond: 40 nights

      How do you get Choice Privileges elite status quickly?

      You can get Elite Gold status automatically and for free by having the co-brand Choice Privileges Visa Signature.

      If you currently have elite status with a competing hotel loyalty program (i.e., Hilton Honors or IHG), you may qualify for a status match.

      How do military members get Lifetime Gold Status?

      The following individuals with military experience are eligible for Lifetime Gold Status:

      Active duty or reserve military member
      Retired
      National Guard
      U.S. Coast Guard
      Upon receiving lifetime status, you can also receive 2,500 bonus points after your first stay.

      Is there a Choice Hotels status match?

      The status match is ongoing as United States and Canadian members can email [email protected] to potentially receive a similar Choice Hotels status for one calendar year. 

      You may also be able to upgrade to Diamond status after staying one night at a Cambria property.

      What are the Choice Privileges Your Extras?

      The Your Extras perk lets you receive bonus gift cards or points for at least one weeknight between Sunday and Thursday night.

      Your potential benefits can include:
      $2.50 Amazon.com credit
      $3 Uber trip discounts
      $5 Starbucks card
      $0.20 discount at Shell gas stations
      400 Choice Privileges points
      100 airline miles
      You can choose your reward preference in your online profile or through the Choice Privileges mobile app. Most hotel brands participate except WoodSpring Suites and select Ascend properties.

      You only earn one Your Extras reward per stay.

      What is the Choice Privileges Elite Welcome Gift benefit?

      Any elite member may have the option of receiving a complimentary snack, beverage, or bonus points at check-in. The gift options vary by property.

      How many points do you earn on Choice Hotels stays?

      All Choice Privileges members earn 10 points per $1 on qualifying stays. Elite members can earn 10%, 25%, or 50% bonus points.

      Sadly, WoodSpring Suites stays don’t earn points.

      What are rollover nights?

      The rollover nights feature applies excess qualifying night credits to next year’s elite status requirements.

      How many nights you can rollover depends on your elite status:
      Gold: 9 nights
      Platinum: 19 nights
      Diamond: 39 nights
      So, if you max out this credit, you only have to stay one additional night to renew your status through the following calendar year.

      Are there Choice Privileges room upgrades?

      Elite members of any membership level may qualify for a space-available room upgrade at check-in. This benefit is at the property’s discretion and can include switching to a larger room or moving to a different floor at no additional cost.

      How does the Choice Privileges Avis Preferred Plus benefit work?

      Choice Privileges Platinum and Diamond elite status members automatically qualify for Avis Preferred Plus status. 

      Preferred Plus benefits include complimentary upgrades (when available) and up to 50% more points on car rentals. You can also enjoy special discounts as a Choice Privileges member.

      When do Choice Privileges points expire?

      Your points expire after 18 months of account inactivity. Earning or redeeming points automatically renews your current balance to avoid forfeiting points.

      The consumer co-brand Choice Privileges Visa Signature Credit Card also prevents your points from expiring.

      How many points do you need for a Choice Privileges hotel night?

      Award nights cost between 8,000 and 35,000 points per night (up to 75,000 points in the Asian Pacific).

      What is the Points Plus Cash booking feature?

      Points Plus Cash bookings start at 6,000 points per night in addition to the discounted cash price. When this option is available, you use points and cash to book your stay.

      What are FlexRewards?

      A FlexReward is a temporary discount on award nights available to at least 1,500 properties at any time.

      You can find these discounts when searching for nightly rates with rewards points. As a side note, the FlexReward rates can be different for weekend night rewards (Friday-Saturday) and weeknights (Sunday-Thursday).

      What are Choice Privileges points worth?

      Each point has an average value of 0.6 cents for hotel nights.

      Can you send Choice Privileges points to other members?

      You cannot combine or transfer your hotel points to another Choice Privileges member.

      The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts

      Your Choice Privileges membership can be worth it if you prefer staying at its many budget-priced and mid-level properties across the United States.

      It can be easy to earn rewards due to their expansive portfolio, partner networks, and the Your Extras benefit for weeknight stays. And, you won’t need as many to book a free reward night in comparison to other loyalty programs.    

      However, this program can be challenging to maximize if you prefer luxury travel as there are relatively few destinations. Also, business travelers frequenting the WoodSpring Suites brand won’t earn rewards points or the Your Extras benefits which can also be frustrating.

      Josh Patoka The Vacationer Bio

      By Josh Patoka

      Josh Patoka writes about maximizing travel rewards for The Vacationer. As well, he contributes to several personal finance sites specializing in making money, paying off debt, and investing.