HotelChatter's Guide to Loyalty Programs:: Choice Hotels ChoicePrivileges
Until recently we thought hotel loyalty programs were for Account Executives rolling their business travel points into a family vacation at a bland resort every year or two. However, funny thing happened when we started investigating these programs -- we found some of them are downright useful if you know how to cut through the red tape. This series is meant as a jumping off point to full fledged discussions on each loyalty program we feature. So comment, contribute, question, and cajole here.
Choice Hotels includes a variety of places to stay such as Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Cambria Suites and EconoLodge. Their rewards program is the ChoicePrivileges program but luckily for you, the points you earn here can be used for more upscale resorts and hotels when you want to take a nice vacation.
CHOICE HOTELS CHOICEPRIVILEGES
WEBSITE: Choice Privileges.
MEMBER BENEFITS: Member benefits include free nights at Choice Hotels as well as stays at Preferred Hotels and Resorts and Summit Hotels and Resorts
BOOKING BASICS: Easy book online site. Also can do at the hotel or in person. As always, book through the hotel not any third-party booking site.
You can use your points for gift cards at over 300 retail stores.
Airline Partners include American, United, Continental and Delta.
MILES: 250 miles per stay (.5 points with Southwest)
CREDIT CARD: ChoicePrivileges Visa.
REWARDS: A free night starting at 6,000 points. (Hotels are categorized by tier based on market. A free night in a top tier market goes for 25,000 points.) Guests can earn 10 points per every dollar, up to two rooms, at properties in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Ireland. (At Suburban Extended Stay Hotels, guests earn 5 points per U.S. dollar.)
WHAT WE LIKED: No blackout dates. Friendly agents on the line.
FINE PRINT: You can only book a room 30 or few days in advance. Also for EconoLodge and Rodeway Inns, you need to belong to the Easy Choice rewards program.
Have a ChoicePrivileges question? Have advice for fellow Choice Hotel groupies? Do tell.
Research compiled by HotelChatter's Barbara Benham.