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Choice Hotels is a hospitality franchise company that includes more than 7,000 hotels with 57,000 rooms in more than 40 countries and territories. Properties can be found in Asia, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Mexico and the US.  

Brands include economy, midscale, upscale and extended-stay properties under the brands Ascend, Cambria, Clarion, Comfort, EconoLodge, Sleep Inns, Rodeway Inns, Suburban Extended Stay Hotels, MainStay Suites, WoodSpring Suites and Quality Inns.

Comfort Inn & Suites, part of the Choice Privileges Rewards Program

Choice Privileges Rewards

Like other big hotel chains, Choice has a rewards program that provides perks and free nights to loyal guests. The program is free to join and gives you access to member-only rates and other benefits when you earn elite status.

Due to the pandemic, Choice and other hotel chains have reduced the eligibility requirements to earn elite status through the end of 2021. You currently need to stay only seven nights per calendar year at Choice properties to earn Gold status, 15 to reach Platinum and 25 to achieve Diamond elite status. 

Also, because of travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, the chain is extending elite status that was earned by May 20, 2020, through the end of 2021, and the expiration date on reward points which normally expire after 18 months of inactivity has also been extended through December 31, 2021.

Choice also offers an elite status match, so if you have status with another hotel chain Choice will give you a similar status in its Privileges rewards program. If you stay at a Cambria property and are elite in another program, you can jump to Diamond Elite. To get your status match, you just need to send a screenshot of your status elsewhere. More details can be found here.

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Perks and Benefits

If you don’t already have status in another hotel program that you can match to become a Choice elite, you become a Member when you join the Choice program and that gives you access to exclusive rates when you book directly.

You’ll also get an extra reward for weeknight stays that you can change for every stay if you like. If you are a US resident and your stay includes at least one night from Sunday to Thursday, you can request 400 Choice points, 100 airline miles, a 20 cents a gallon discount on gas through Fuel Rewards, a $5 Starbucks card, $3 Uber trip credit or $2.50 Amazon credit. Elite guests who stay at luxury Cambria properties will receive 250 bonus points on check-in.

You earn 10 reward points per dollar spent at the hotel, and if  you are an elite member, you get  a bonus. Gold elites earn a 10% bonus, Platinum members earn a 25% bonus and Diamonds get a 50% bonus. Gold, Platinum and Diamond Elite members can also request early check-in, late checkout and reserved parking where available. You’ll also get a dedicated customer hotline and an elite welcome gift on arrival.

Elite members can also roll over nights to use towards status the following year. Gold elites can roll over up to nine nights, Platinums can push up to 19 night credits to the next year and Diamond members can save up to 39 nights for the following year’s status qualification. Platinum and Diamond Choice Privileges elite members also get Avis Preferred Plus status in the car rental company’s loyalty program. Avis customers need to normally complete 12 rentals or spend $5,000 dollars in a calendar year to earn that status.

Benefit Member (0-6 nights) Gold (7 nights) Platinum (15 nights) Diamond (25 nights)
Exclusive Member Rate x x x x
Your Extras x x x x
Elite points + bonus 10 points per $1 10% bonus 25% bonus 50% bonus
Elite Gift Cards x x x
Early Check In and Late Check Out x x x
Elite Reserved Parking x x x
Rollover Nights Up to 9 nights Up to 19 nights Up to 39 nights
Elite Customer Hotline x x x
Elite Welcome Gift x x x
Avis® Preferred Plus x x

Partners That Help You Earn More Points

You can also earn points in the Choice Privileges rewards program by booking with the hotel company’s travel partners. For example, If you book car rentals with Avis or Budget, you can get up to 30% off and earn up to 2,000 points. Choice also partners with a cruise company powered by Cruises 411 that offers discounted fares, and Choice Privileges members can earn five points for every dollar spent on the price of the cruise if they book. 

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One of the quickest ways to earn extra points beyond hotel stays and travel partners though, is to sign up for the Choice Privileges Visa Signature card issued by Barclays. It’s a no-annual-fee card and it comes with a 32,000-point bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. You can earn another 8,000 points per year if you spend $10,000 on the card.

It will also boost points earned on stays from 10 to 15 points per dollar spent at hotels. Everything else earns 2x points. As long as you hold the card, your points won’t expire. It doesn’t come with automatic elite status like some other co-branded hotel credit cards, but the 32,000 points you earn as a sign-up bonus can get you up to four free nights.

There are a few other ways to build your point balance including shopping through the hotel chain’s portal, which features 900 retailers. You can also get 500 points for every friend you refer or by taking surveys. The first survey you take will earn you 500 points as well.

You can also exchange rewards earned with Amtrak, American Express Membership Rewards or Diners Club. Amex points exchange at a 1:1 ratio per 1,000 points. If you have Amtrak Guest Rewards that you’re not planning to use, you can trade 5,000 of them in for 15,000 Choice Privileges points, and 1,250 Diners Club points translates to 2,400 Choice points.

Reward Redemptions

Many people like to earn points for business travel and use them for vacations. Reward nights cost from 8,000 to 35,000 points for stays at thousands of properties worldwide in any type of accommodation from budget-friendly properties to upscale resorts throughout America and in more than 40 countries. More than 1,000 locations offer stays for 8,000 points or less if they have been discounted. If you have at least 6,000 points you can combine them with cash for a stay.

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You can also redeem your points with Bluegreen Vacations, Choice Hotels vacation ownership partner, for stays in spacious accommodations in places like Orlando, Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas. Or they can be used at more than 50 all-inclusive resorts on beaches in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. Stays include unlimited dining and beverages, luxurious accommodations and activities.

Or if you’re not traveling right now and need some essentials you can cash points in and get gift cards for everyday essentials at retailers like Amazon, Walgreens and for services like Uber Eats and Hulu. Other gift card options are also available like App Store & iTunes, Applebees, Best Buy, Chilis, Lowes and Target.

If you belong to a partner airline or rail program and you need to boost your balance to get an award ticket, you can exchange your Choice points for miles with Aeroplan, Alaska Mileage Plan, Amtrak Guest Rewards, Club Premier, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United Mileage Plus and Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Choice also partners with American’s AAdvantage program, Spirit and a few others. The points do not transfer at a 1:1 ratio (e.g., some are 5,000 points for 1,000 miles) so the rate is not good, but it may make sense if you have some orphan points or need to top-off your mileage balance. To transfer points, just link your miles account in your profile. You can also choose to earn points directly with one of those programs instead of Choice.

You can also redeem points for golf gear, including equipment and apparel, or you can choose to better your community or help those affected by disasters like wildfires or hurricanes by donating to the American Red Cross.

If you are interested in the Choice Privileges Rewards program, you may find the Guide to Best Western Rewards program of interest.