Today Only – Buy Choice Points For $34+ Hotel Nights in Europe or Top Off For Southwest Companion Pass!

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Today, June 27,  2013 at 1:00 pm Eastern Time, you can buy Choice hotel points via the Discover America promotion for about 0.42 cents per point with an extra 10% discount for using an American Express card compared to the regular price of 1.1 cent per point.

This is one of the few Daily Getaways deals which is as good as it was last year!

Daily Getaways has the following offers for Choice Privileges points, ranging from 0.42 to 0.51 cents per point.  There is an extra 10% discount if you pay with an American Express card.

  • 20,000 Points for $102 (0.51 Cents per Point)
  • 32,000 Points for $134 (0.42 Cents per Point)
  • 36,000 Points for $156 (0.43 Cents per Point)
  • 40,000 Points for $166 (0.42 Cents per Point)

You can buy up to 2 of each sets of points or 8 sets of points in total.

Choice Hotel Points on Sale

Choice Hotel Points on Sale

Some readers don’t want to have anything to do with Choice hotels, whose hotels include includes Ascend CollectionCambria SuitesClarion,  Comfort InnComfort SuitesEconoLodgeMainStay SuitesQuality InnRodeway InnSleep Inn, and Suburban brand hotels.  Others will be thrilled at the possibility of Big Travel with cheap hotel nights!

Here’s how you can use these cheap Choice hotel points:

1.   Top off for Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion pass is one of the best deals for domestic travel.  Many folks earn 100,000 points out of the 110,000 points required for the Companion Pass with the Southwest credit cards and use these 10 ways to get the extra 6,000 points needed.

But you could get the Choice hotel point package (20,000 points for $102) and convert those points to 6,000 Southwest Airlines points to top-off for your Companion Pass!

Choice Cheap Points 1

Transfer Choice Hotel Points to Southwest!

6,000 Southwest points are worth ~$100 (6,000 Southwest points X 1.67 cents per point), so you’re effectively paying $2 to get the points needed for the Companion Pass.

Transfers are in increments of 6,000 Choice hotel points, so you’d only be able to transfer 18,000 Choice hotel points for 5,400 Southwest points if you bought 20,000 Choice points.

You don’t have to transfer the points immediately, but can save them for transferring later.  But you have to transfer them before they expire on December 31, 2015 (if you buy them today).

Do note that technically hotel transfers are not supposed to count towards the Companion Pass, so this could change anytime.

2.  16% TO 25% DISCOUNT ON SOUTHWEST AIRLINES TRAVEL

Each Southwest Airline point is worth 1.67  cents towards Wanna Get Away fares.

6,000 Choice hotel points currently transfer to 1,800 Southwest Airline points.  This means that you’re spending $25 (6,000 Choice points X Cost of 0.42 cents per Choice point bought via the Discover America Promotion) to get $30 (1,800 Southwest points X 1.67 cents per point) worth of Southwest points.

This works out to a ~16% discount on Southwest Airlines travel or a 25% discount if you get the 10% discount on buying Choice points for using an American Express card.

Note that you earn at least 6 points per $1 when you pay cash for a Southwest ticket and then fly on the ticket purchased, so you always get a discount of ~10% (6 Southwest points X 1.67 cents per Southwest point) on Southwest flights.

This means that the discount for buying Choice points and using them for Southwest flights will be lower once you factor in that you won’t earn Southwest points for the flights booked with points.  But you’ll still save a bit.

3.   $34+ Choice Hotel Stays

Choice hotels have a LOT of hotels, many of which are very affordable on points.  For example, 1,500 hotels cost less than 8,000 points per night or $34 (8,000 points X 0.42 cents per point) if you buy Choice points at 0.42 cents per point!

Choice hotels start at 6,000 points or $25 a night if you buy points at 0.42 cents per point and go up to 35,000 points or $147 a night.  Some hotels in Australia are up to 75,000 points, but those hotels aren’t great values.

Loyalty Traveler has a great post on how you can get a $300+ room in Paris at the Clarion Opera Pavilion for only 8,000 points or $33 if you buy points at 0.42 cents per point.

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A Hotel In Paris for $33 to $105!

However, the same room will cost 25,000 points in peak summer season, but that’s still only $105 if you buy points at 0.42 cents per point.

You can get cheap rooms in London, Paris, Rome, and expensive Scandinavian cities quite easily using Choice points.  Emily and I used Choice points to stay in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The room was large,  clean, and comfortable and was just around the corner from Rua Oscar Freire.

You can also redeem Choice points at the more luxurious Preferred Hotel Group or at Barcelo resorts.

Keep in Mind

1.   Points purchased via Discover America will expire on December 31, 2015.  Unlike other hotel programs, earning or redeeming points will not extend the expiration date.

2.   You can redeem points only 30 days in advance in the US or 60 days in advance for locations outside the US.  Elite members can redeem further in advance.  However, it is easy to request a status match by emailing Choice customer service and asking them to match your existing status with other hotel chains.

3.  Points needed for a room at the same hotel fluctuate based on the season.

Check out this great post by Loyalty Traveler on 3 things to know about Choice hotels.

This won’t be easy

I do NOT expect it to be easy to get these points because a lot of folks will be after them!

If you do decide to participate, be sure to be at your computer a few minutes before the offer starts (1:00 pm Eastern) and to either click refresh or press “F9″ to refresh the page to see when the offer is available.

You can set your watch to time.gov and start browsing the Daily Getaways page a few minutes before noon.

And don’t worry if you’re not able to get the points in you cart at first.  There are always point packages which get returned since folks don’t buy them.  Don’t give up until it says “Sold Out.”

Sign-up for a Choice account BEFORE you attempt to buy the points packages, because you will be asked for your Choice account number.

Bottom Line

Buying Choice points through the daily getaways could help you in having Big Travel with Small Money in many ways.  But there are limited packages and lots of folks will be after them.

Good Luck!

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60 responses to “Today Only – Buy Choice Points For $34+ Hotel Nights in Europe or Top Off For Southwest Companion Pass!

  1. 1 PM ET, and Southwest points are worth more than 1.67 cents because awards don’t include some of the taxes that cash flights do. I have this as a 35% discount on Southwest flights.

  2. Unfortunately, I believe Barcelo is no longer a partner of Choice Hotels. The Preferred Hotel Group relationship can still be very lucrative, though.

  3. The promotion I see says the deal starts at “1:00 PM ET” rather than 12 noon. Is there a reason for this discrepancy?

  4. Unfortunately choice also has a bad habit of changing redemption rates without any notice. Combined with the short booking window it’s really hard to use the points in Europe unless you are willing to buy revenue tix to get there one month out. I am still sitting on the ones I bought last time. I will sit this one out.

  5. Did you mean Daily Getaway deal starts at 1PM Eastern?

  6. The fine print of the offer says: “When you purchase this 2-night reward at any Cambria Suites, you will receive 40,000 points in the Choice Privileges program, good toward a 2-night reward redemption, with no blackout dates, at the following locations throughout the U.S.:…”
    Sounds like they plan to restrict the 40k points to Cambria Suites, and specific hotels at that, so I am not sure these can be used for other chains…

    • @Scott Grimmer (MileValue) @Nick @Rodney – Duh. It is 1:00 pm Eastern. I’m on central time and had 12 noon on my mind!

      @TheInternationalLine – Thanks!

      @Dodd – You may be able to status match other hotel’s status to get a longer booking window.

      @Lara – You get 40,000 Choice points which you can use in any way.

  7. If you get the 40,000 Choice Points for $149.40 (AMEX Discount), you can convert those 40,000 Choice Points into 8,000 American, Alaskan, United, or US Airway miles. $149.40 / 8,000 = 1.87 cpm. Good price, I think.

    If you get the 36,000 Choice Points for $140.40 (AMEX Discount), you can convert those 36,000 Choice Points into 10,800 Southwest Airline points. $140.40 / 10,800 = 1.3 cpm, which can be redeemed on SWA for > 1.67 cpm. Good deal as well.

  8. The fine print says it takes 10 business days to transfer points to your Choice account. Do you know if it actually takes that long, or has it historically been faster? I want to purchase the 20k points for an Ascend hotel in 4 business days! Do you think that will be cutting it too close?

  9. You use the 20,000 points package as an example. Is there any reason why you can’t buy the 36,000 miles which would transfer into Southwest as 10,800 without leaving you with stranded Choice points? I rarely if ever stay with Choice but it wouldn’t hurt to top off my companion pass points!

  10. When you access your Choice account, how do you know when your points expire. I purchased some last year and am wondering if the points will just disappear. Do they stay active if you have activity?

  11. @Patrick, D was just showing the best/cheapest way to get the SWA Companion Pass, assuming you got 2 50K sign up bonuses plus the minimum spend.

    @Diane, add your Choice account to Award Wallet and it should tell you when the points expire.

  12. If you have the Southwest CC, you can manufacture 6000 points for a lot less than $102. Bad deal!

  13. @Grant – Ok, great. I already earned companion pass last year and I am about halfway to companion pass just from work travel this year. I am just not familiar with Choice and wanted to be sure there was not a maximum on transfer points or something. Thanks for clarifying.

  14. Pingback: Today Only! Buy SWA Points for 1.3 cpp and American / Alaskan / United / US Airways / Delta miles for 1.87 cpm | Travel with Grant

  15. Not sure why this was deleted, but here it is again. If you have the Chase Southwest card, spending $102 for the 6000 points is a bad deal because you can easily manufacture those points either for free for close to it.

  16. I hope you are right that there are no restrictions on transferring these points. The fine print says the points are valid for stays at specific hotels. I would hate to buy these, with the intent of transferring to Southwest, and then not be able to. Not worth the risk in my opinion.

  17. I’m not seeing anything but the 32,000 point option. Am I missing something?

  18. Holy Cow! Not competition at all for these, I picked up (2) pairs for all 4 sales. Wasn’t expecting that…

  19. I only see this one… 32,000 Points for $134 (0.42 Cents per Point). Where can I find the other sales?

  20. You caution that “technically hotel transfers are not supposed to count towards the Companion Pass” — do you have anything to confirm (or deny) that a hotel points transfer does count towards a CP?? I thought I’d read recently that it did count, but just want to get a warmer/fuzzier feeling about this. I plan to do the SWA cc/CP offer later this year (Nov-Dec).

  21. I’m working towards companion pass this yr so this is great! Thanks 🙂

  22. I found them!

  23. Thanks for the tip! Phew, just bought 5 for 144,000 points. God I feel like a fat kid a an all-you-can-eat buffet.

    Looks sold out now, glad my video game fingers finally paid off!

  24. I wasn’t as successful as Erik (i stupidly forgot to use 2 separate browsers and kicked myself off the 2x40k points deal) but i did pick up 96k points overall. These will be GREAT for ski season here in Colorado. ~$48-65 a night for a hotel room? Shit yeah

  25. Just let me add a caution (assuming any transfers of Partner points to SWA points do count towards a CP):
    Should wait til ready to start your spend for the CP, eg Jan-2014. If do hotel points transfer in 2013, then only te spend in 2013 will counts towards the CP, and any accumul spend will be reset to $-0- in Jan-2014 !!

  26. I was surprised this wasn’t tougher as well.. I was able to pick up 2x40k and 2x36k, which was much more success than I expected to have 🙂

  27. @ Gabriel – I used 2 laptops with 2 browsers open on each. Surprisingly some of the deals were still available over 5 minutes after the deals launched. Not nearly as difficult picking up as last year….

    Scored 73,800 Southwest points for just over $1,000 – which will allow me to keep my CP Pass next year and restock my point balance. Couldn’t be happier 🙂

  28. Wow…those did go fast…all sold out by 1:37pm.
    Glad I was able to snag a couple

  29. Thanks Darius for the post. I feel crazy buying two of everything except for the sleep inn ones. Wasn’t even planning on buying these until your post. Can’t wait for a cheap Eurotrip now! THANKS AGAIN!

  30. I decided to go get the mail because refreshing the browsers was making me go crazy. Came back..All Gone! Oh well, I scooped up 144K and will hold off until January to transfer those over to SW. I almost forgot about this deal and checked my email this morning and this. Thanks MMS for the reminder!

  31. If only all the Daily Getaways were that easy. 4 packages: 40k, 32k, and 2x 36k. Raining Choice points today.

  32. @grant: you bad-mouth Daraius on other travel blogs then post on his very popular site trying to get traffic back to your pathetic site? You, sir, are an a-hole.
    Keep up the great work, D!

  33. I called choice and they said there was no promotion like that ?

  34. I was meeting someone at 12:55pm ET so I have to use my phone to make the purchase. I started like 30 secs after 1pm, and when I clicked “buy”, I was reminded that all the packages were on hold (added to sb’s cart), and nothings available for me… I tried multiple times and kept refreshing, my dolphin browser crashed.

    How could you guys got no competition even after a few mins! Maybe it’s the cell phone browers?

  35. How about you do a blog post about everyone getting their Gobank shutdown?

  36. Darius or anyone else, is there any other good getaway deals coming up? I don’t know too much about points. are the IHG points any good?

  37. Pingback: Why did I Buy 144,000 Choice Privileges Points for $550? | Travel with Grant

  38. I didn’t have a chance to buy choice points today :(…really wanted to. And D, thanks for pointing out Choice program partnership with Preferred Hotel Group. I never took notice of this before and I LOVE LOVE the PREFERRED HOTEL GROUP for my Hawaii stays – Travaasa Hana in Maui! Any chance that the Choice deals might resurface again during this promo?

  39. Will, I’m wanting an American Express Card to shop at Costco and accumulate miles for domestic flights.

    • Congrats to everyone who got in on the deal. I was having lunch with colleagues, and was very tempted to excuse myself and fiddle on the phone!

      @Tri – 1st time comments are held for manual approval, and your earlier comment was approved!

      @jeff – It’s been that way for the last 3 years.

      @Scott – It worked for me in February, but keep in mind that it may not work indefinitely.

      @mike – LOL!

      @Kiwi – IHG points are good if you can use them for the PointsBreak hotels or if you do the math to see if buying points is cheaper than paying the cash price for a room.

      @airgypsy – There are no more Choice hotel points for sale during the promotion this year.

  40. Does anyone know when the points are going to be posted to my account?
    I know they say within 10 business days, but can they post sooner? I kinda need sooner…

  41. I am looking to sell 216k choice points. I just bought them but my plans fell through.. any ideas on where i can sell them?

  42. I saw the deal you posted but now i dont need them… would you be willing to buy them off me at cost price [$671.40] 🙂 i can give you my user name and password you can verify i have the points and do whatever you gotta do then pay me?. There gotta be some way to sell them… any help in the right direction would be appreciated

  43. @John, have your points posted already?

  44. Has anyone’s points posted yet, mine have not????

  45. @Mitch – my points haven’t posted yet either. Has anyone had luck with their points posting?

  46. @Erik @Mitch — my points haven’t posted either, but Wyndham points I bought July 2 came thru on July 6. Why is Choice so slow? I’m sure they will go through eventually

  47. Still waiting for mine to post. Anyone’s posted yet?

  48. My points haven’t posted either.

  49. I emailed DailyGetaways today and they reply with: it takes 10 Business days for these to hit. They should hit today or tomorrow. beacause of the holiday there was a slight delay. As of today I still didn’t get them yet.

  50. Today is day 10…points still haven’t posted. I called Choice Hotels at the number in the confirmation email and they have no record this….had no idea what I was talking about. Hopefully tomorrow…

  51. I saw on flyertalk where some says their points posted this afternoon. But mine have not? Anyone else having this problem?

  52. Mine just posted!

  53. Mine posted sometime this afternoon.

  54. Ok….now it’s there

  55. Mine posted this morning!

  56. I now have 176,000 choice points if anyone would like to buy it at cost price $671.40 let me know.

  57. Hi Darius,
    Do you the exact format how Choice Hotels want me to enter my Southwest account number? I try many times to redeem my choice privileges points for Southwest Repid Reward miles but it keep saying my account number is wrong and needs to be corrected. Called 3 times and customer service sucks, don’t know anything or what to do and ask me to call Southwest instead. But I think it’s their website problem or may be certain way they want me to enter my southwest account number…….