September 27, 2007

Redeem Choice Privileges Points for Gift Cards

One of the best loyalty rewards program out there is Choice Privileges from Choice Hotels International, which operates numerous hotels, such as Comfort Inn, Quality, Sleep Inn, etc. Not only can you redeem your points for airline tickets, hotel stays, travel packages, memberships, and charitable donations, but also for gift cards which is almost as good as cash. What is even more amazing is that the list of available gift cards covers almost everything from major gas station brands to national retailers and chains. In comparison, the Marriott Rewards program only has Best Buy and Sharper Image gift cards available.

For every dollar you spend (excluding tax) at a Choice Hotel, you earn 10 points. In addition, frequent guests can earn elite membership and bonus points. It takes 16,000 Choice Privilege points to redeem for a $50 gift card, which translates to roughly a 3% refund on the amount you spend. The refund rate is even greater if you are an elite member and are awarded bonus points. In comparison, it takes 40,000 Marriott Reward points to get a $100 Best Buy gift card versus 32,000 Choice Privileges points to get a $100 gift card from a wide range of merchants.

Granted that Choice hotels are not as nice as the higher end brands, like Marriott, Westin, Hyatt or Shearton. However, they do have nice mid-level hotels, such as Quality and Comfort Suites. In my opinion, the Choice Privileges reward plans make up for it as well as the free Wi-Fi that is available at most Choice Hotel properties.

If you prefer not to stay at the hotel, you can still rack up points with the Bank of America Choice Privileges Visa credit card. Current promotions offer applicants from 8,000 to 16,000 points after you spend the first $150. Make sure you search the Internet for the best promotion and read the terms and conditions of the credit cards before you apply. In our opinion the Choice Privileges Visa is not that great, because you only get 2 points for every dollar you spend on things that is not at stay at a Choice Hotel. However, if you use the card to pay for your stay at a Choice hotel, you do get an additional 5 points per each dollar spent.

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Comment now » | Posted by Alex | Filed under: Analysis, How To's, Promotions

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