Choice hotels, is it a program worth to participate?

Discussion in 'Choice | Privileges' started by adrianors, Dec 3, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. adrianors

    adrianors Silver Member

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    Hi all,
    I always stay at the Hilton, used to stay more at the Marriott before but basically I reduced my travel plans for the years and decided to keep some status, in other words, cannot keep gold with Marriott but can with Hilton! I asked a status match (without knowing anything about the program, yes.. match, match, match!) to Choice hotels, they matched my Gold to their Platinum.. but I didn't see any real perk.. am I missing something? Thanks!
     
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  2. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    No, you're not missing anything. Even at the higher Diamond tier, one step up from what they gave you, there are no "hard" perks like free food or guaranteed upgrades, and it's only at the Diamond tier that room upgrades (at the discretion of the hotel, and not to speciality rooms or suites) are even mentioned as a perk.

    Besides, do you really want to be staying in Choice properties?
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Depends on the rates. ;)
     
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  4. volsfan

    volsfan Silver Member

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    Obviously, the overall quality of Choice properties in North America is not near that of Hilton or Marriott. However, if saving some dough is an objective, I think it is an option worth considering.
    As far as their loyalty program, there are many, many properties to choose from in the U.S., and a large percentage of them range from 7000 to 10000 points per night. A Barclays Choice Privileges credit card can be had for no annual fee and you get gold status immediately. Another consideration: if you ever had a desire to tour Scandinavia, Choice Hotels (and Carlton) are THE major players.
    I spent 18 days in Choice hotels using points in Norway and Sweden this past September and it was a terrific experience--the quality of these properties far exceed those in North America. and often include a large breakfast buffet (similar to Embassy Suites, I would say) as well as a substantial complimentary evening meal.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Club Carlson is also HUGE in Scandinavia, FWIW.

    Choice Points are arguably worth a bit more than HH or MR relative to the price of the rooms for award nights, so that's also something to consider.
     
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  6. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I checked a few random locations, and they all required 16,000-20,000 points for night (with the cash rates in the range $70-$120).
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I have data on ~ 1000 semi-random properties/dates. Average point value for those is 0.72 cents. HH is 0.44 and MR is 0.54 covering roughly the same geography/dates.
     
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  8. volsfan

    volsfan Silver Member

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    I think it all depends upon location. I know that in the southeast and parts of the midwest where I typically travel, 7000-10000 opportunities are plentiful in decent Choice locations (but I always check reviews first!) If I were traveling the northeast, I may have much less success.

    Another issue to consider in all of this that I did not mention in my first post--unlike almost all other programs, Choice Privileges points do expire at the end of the second calendar year after the year that they are earned--no exceptions that I know of.
     
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  9. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    There are, indeed, many nice Choice hotels for 12,000 points and less. I also like that Choice points can be bought during the U.S. Travel Assoc. Daily Getaways promo for less than 4/10 of a cent. So, basically I've had many stays that cost me $30-$45. The Choice credit card gives 2 points per dollar on all purchases. So, with Choice points being worth something like .72 of a cent (like Wandering Aramean says above), you're getting a decent value if you want to accumulate their points. Also, the credit card has no annual fee. Another advantage of the program is that Choice hotels are abundant with over 6000 locations.
     
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  10. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    IMHO if someone is selling Choice points for $0.004, that's a better indication of their worth than a biased and convoluted calculation. ;)
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    What's biased or convoluted about it?

    Would you say that UA points are worth 3 cents each because that's what UA sells them for? Also note that the regular price for the Choice points is 1.1 cents each: http://www.choicehotels.com/ires/en-US/html/GPBuyPoints. The 0.4 cents thing is a special which has run in limited quantities recently as part of a promo event.
     
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  12. volsfan

    volsfan Silver Member

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    As far as the actual value of the points, I guess it really depends upon the point cost per night for the places that you want to visit. I got incredible value in Scandinavia; 16000 points per night for about any hotel we wanted when the rates were typically $200 and above. I may be sorely disappointed with the point values elsewhere.
     
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  13. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    I disagree completely. I've been staying at choice hotels for years on points and my average redemption is about the same as Wandering Aramean's. If anything, I would guess that my average redemption is slightly higher, closer to 8/10 of a cent. There is nothing convoluted in my calculation. It is a very simple process of calculating what the hotel would have cost me divided by the number of points.
     
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  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    But that only applies to the room you would have paid cash for, right?

    The data I have shows a wide range of point valuations depending on the hotel and date. For Choice the low end is 0.0935 cents and the high end is 3.25825 cents. So it averages to 0.72 over time, but there are clearly some options where you would likely not want to be paying with points.

    And, FWIW, the data I have so far has Marriot Rewards at the bottom with one option of 0.04 cents per point. :eek: There seems to be a Wyndham property at 29 cents per point. Looks like a currency conversion issue there, but even correcting for that the value is still over 4 cent. :cool:

    ETA: Not a currency conversion issue, but the hotel is listing a rate of 9,999 CNY per night which is $1600+. For a Super8. A steal at 5,500 points/night, eh?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  15. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I agree with you on Scandinavia. If I can buy those points for $0.004 and spend at the rate of 20,000/night (USD80), that would be a great rate for Scandinavian hotels.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    That particular room rate must include some special services or benefits. Are you sure it's for the entire night? ;)
     
  17. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Obviously, there are wide variations in room valuations. I have never attempted a system-wide valuation like you and others have. I'm just giving the value of the points redemptions I've made personally with my Choice points. YMMV :)
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I don't believe there is a true system-wide valuation of points. But I do believe the average numbers say something about the relative value of the points in various programs. It makes understanding the programs and points just a bit easier.
     
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  19. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    I agree. And I appreciate your efforts in this (and other) areas.
     
  20. adrianors

    adrianors Silver Member

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    Well, as the Wandering Aramean said, it all depends of the rates.. sometimes for a simple night of sleep on the way to somewhere.. and saving me a couple bucks.. yeah, why not? :)
     
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  21. adrianors

    adrianors Silver Member

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    Interesting.. was not planning on going to Scandinavia.. but it might be something to consider (in the future..) :p
     
  22. Camino Cielo

    Camino Cielo Silver Member

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    I stay at Choice properties when I want a very cheap night, and want to earn something. Particularly at airports. Unlike Motel 6, which I consider to be the competition. Choice often runs a two-stay-topped-up-to-8,000 points or three stays for 16,000 promos (though not at the moment). I can often find properties for < $40/night ai for earning. For example, there are several, during weekdays, in Monterey, which makes for a nice off-season vacation with an insane average nightly cost. It does help to be single, or have a partner empathetic to hotel hopping. But there are actually two next door to each other on Munras Ave. that share a breakfast room and pool. They are quaint - in a positive way - kept up very nicely. I digress. Best of all, though probably disappearing in the rear view mirror, Choice has had hotels in Europe for 8,000 points during limited spring and fall season periods :). In summary, when my eye is on average nightly cost, including earning and burning stays, the choice is ... well, you know.

    Cons: I don't like that the point redemption requirement varies seasonally. And I avoid Quality Inns. That's my "floor".
     
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  23. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    The Choice hotels in Scandinavia are excellent value. I have stayed multiple nights this summer in Norway using points redemption (and points obtained through credit card sign-in bonus and Daily Gate away). Almost all the hotels are 16,000 points. They are way better than a choice hotel in the USA for 16,000. Many of the hotels offer all rooms for 16,000 - and those include suites. We have stayed in a 2 bedroom suite for 16,000 point, a big suite in town for 16,000 and upgraded rooms for 16,000. All hotels in Scandinavia offer breakfast which quality goes from good to excellent. The Clarion brand in Scandinavia also offer "light" dinner (and there is nothing light about it - it is substantial and good quality).
     
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  24. mikeschu
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    mikeschu Gold Member

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    Bump, because somebody wrote that there's a "new members get 4k on signup and 4k bonus points if they stay" promo.

    Have any of the economics/benefits/etc changed? What's the value proposition with Choice Hotels?
     

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