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If you’re like me, odds are, when you hear the name Choice hotels, the likes of Quality Inn, Comfort Suites, etc come to mind. Great budget minded hotels, but the thought of getting pampered silly isn’t synonymous with the brand. That’s where we are both a bit wrong. While the overall hotel chain isn’t taking the luxury hotel market head on, their points program actually does an excellent job of opening up high end redemption options through their partnership with Preferred hotels.
Choice Hotels and Preferred Hotels:
If you’re unfamiliar with Preferred hotels, they are a collection of independent luxury hotels ( some 650+ ) around the world. Choice…allows the usage of their points for redemption. VOILA!
Choice is currently offering a 40% bonus on purchased points when you buy 5k or more points ( 7/10 of one cent ).
Other ways to buy Choice points: cash + points redemption program
If you’re familiar with the IHG cash + points trick this one is very similar. Essentially, as long as you have a minimum of 6k points in your account, you can buy the remaining points needed for a redemption at just $7.50 per 1000 points.
You just need to make sure you follow these rules/steps set forth by Choice:
Any other ways to go about getting points? Hello Amex.
Other than just buying the 6k points when there is a juicy sale, you can just transfer the 6k points over 1:1 from your Amex account. The transfer is instant and you’ll be able to start booking Cash + Points awards. We wouldn’t advise using any more than 6k to boost your account solely because Amex points are worth far more than $0.007 you’ll pay to buy what you need with Choice.
Places I’d love to use points to stay at:
The calendar seems to have restrictions on it, and often times if you’re looking to book far in advance you’ll see no availability. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to book that property, but rather it’s not loaded, and therefore not showing definitive space one way or another.
An example of HUGE savings. The Montage Beverly Hills.
Preferred hotels can’t be booked online, you need to phone in, but you can check avail and search redemption levels at Preferred hotels here. The Montage Beverly Hills is a super lux 5 star hotel with nosebleed prices. Predictably, this property is priced at the top of Choice’s redemption level at 55k points.
Buying the points is almost half the price.
What if I need to cancel? This is actually a great workaround.
Much in the same vein as IHG’s program, the refund is solely in the form of points. So in the above scenarios, the 110k points would be refunded, not the money paid to buy the points.
If for some reason a phone rep gives you a hard time about buying points via the “points + cash” program for Preferred Hotels properties…don’t argue, simply hang up and find a hotel within the broader Choice umbrella that you can make a dummy booking with to buy the points needed. Cancel it and the points will be deposited in your account. Phone back in with the needed points in your account and book the property you want.
Is there a maximum amount of points you can buy.
Yes, 250k with the promo, and 250k with cash and points.
Not just 5 star hotels
Properties like the Montage Beverly are stupid expensive. Hell, even at $400ish a night they are really expensive, but for a special occasion, perhaps more within reach than the nearly $700/night the hotel would charge you. We like to illustrate ways of accessing flights and hotels that are aspirational, but these tricks can be applied to most any price point. Hope this has helped!
*featured image courtesy of Montage Hotels
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