Today’s Choice Points Sale a Good Deal for Southwest Companion Pass & European Hotels

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Folks looking to earn their Southwest Companion Pass (the best deal in domestic travel!) and those interested in saving money at hotels in Europe can get a good deal with this sale on Choice Hotel points.

Until 5:00 pm Eastern Time today, you’ll get a 50% bonus when you buy points through the Choice Hotels website.  Normally, you’ll pay $11 per 1,000 points.  With this deal, you’ll get 1,500 points for $11, or ~0.73 cents each.

Todays Choice Points Sale A Good Deal For Southwest Companion Pass And European Hotels

Get a 50% Bonus on Purchased Points From Choice Hotels Today Only

I’ll explain how this flash sale can help you get the best deal in domestic airfare!

The Big Secret Value of This Sale Is the Southwest Companion Pass!

Link:   Choice Hotels 50% Bonus Flash Sale 

Link:   Choice Hotel Airline Transfer Partners

With the Choice Hotels flash sale, you can buy up to 50,000 points and get a 50% bonus.  So the maximum number of points you can get is 75,000 (50,000 points x 1.5).

Choice Privileges points usually cost $11 per 1,000, or 1.1 cents per pointBut with this deal, you’ll pay ~0.73 cents per point.

You can transfer Choice Hotel points to various airline frequent flyer programs, including Southwest, American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and US Airways.  But the transfer ratios aren’t very good.

For example, you can transfer 5,000 Choice Hotel points and get 1,000 American Airlines miles.  Normally, it costs ~$62 to buy 1,000 American Airlines miles (including taxes and a $30 transaction processing fee).

With this deal, you’d pay $44 for 4,000 Choice Hotel points, and get a bonus of 2,000 points (6,000 points total).  So you’d pay less to buy Choice Points and transfer them to American Airlines than by buying from American Airlines directly.  But you’re still paying 4.4 cents per mile, which is NOT very good.

Todays Choice Points Sale A Good Deal For Southwest Companion Pass And European Hotels

Choice Hotel Points Transfer to Airlines, but It’s Generally NOT a Good Deal

This might be useful for folks who just need a few extra points to top-off their airline account for an award ticket, but otherwise I wouldn’t recommend it.

But if you’re short Southwest points for the Companion Pass, this could be a VERY good deal.

To earn the Companion Pass, you need 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year.  And with the pass, your companion flies with you for almost free on both paid and award tickets!  It’s like getting 2 for the price of one.

Todays Choice Points Sale A Good Deal For Southwest Companion Pass And European Hotels

Short Points for the Southwest Companion Pass? You Could Transfer Choice Hotel Points to Top-Off Your Account!

Suppose you signed-up for 2 of the Southwest 50,000 point credit card offers earlier in the year.  After completing minimum spending requirements, you’d have 104,000 Southwest points in your account.  So you’d still be short 6,000 points for the Companion Pass.

You could spend another $6,000 on your Southwest cards to earn the last 6,000 points you need.

Or, you could transfer points from Choice Hotels to Southwest and pay much less.  Points transferred from Choice Hotels do count toward the Companion Pass!

Choice Hotel points transfer to Southwest at a ratio of 6,000 Choice Hotel points to 1,800 Southwest points.  So to get 6,000 Southwest points, you’d transfer 24,000 Choice Hotel points (24,000 Choice Hotel points = 7,200 Southwest Points).

Through the Choice Hotel 50% bonus flash sale, you’d pay $176 for 16,000 points ($11 per 1,000 points), but you’d also get an 8,000 point bonus, for a total of 24,000 points.

I’d much rather spend $176 to get my Companion Pass than $6,000!

You’d earn the Companion Pass (worth potentially thousands of dollars) and have 7,200 Southwest points in your account.  Southwest points are worth ~1.43 cents each towards airfare, so you’re getting a value of ~$103 (7,200 points x ~1.43 cents per point).  And they’re worth double that (~$206) if you use your Companion Pass!

That’s an excellent deal!

Note:  If you time it right, you can use this deal to get the Companion Pass in early 2015.   There are 50,000 point offers available for both the Southwest Premier (personal) and Southwest Premier (business) cards (not my links).

You could buy Choice Hotel points now and transfer them to your Southwest account in early 2015.  As long as points from the 50,000 point Southwest cards post to your account in 2015, you could earn the Companion Pass until the end of 2016.  That’s almost 2 full years of Big Travel with Small Money!

Is This a Good Deal for Hotel Stays?

Link:   Choice Privileges 

In the past, Choice Hotel points have gone on sale for less through the Daily Getaways promotion (where you could buy them for as little as ~0.41 cents per point), but this could still be a good deal for some!

Choice Hotel points can be used for stays at any Choice Hotel, which include:

Todays Choice Points Sale A Good Deal For Southwest Companion Pass And European Hotels

Choice Hotels Include Budget Chains and High-End Ascend Collection Hotels

Note:  Choice points expire on December 31, 2 years after the year they were deposited to your account.  And you can’t extend them by having new activity in your account, like you can with some other hotel programs.

Award nights cost between 6,000 and 35,000 points (except for a few hotels in the Australasia area,  which can cost up to 75,000 points per night).  And unless you have Choice elite status, you can only book award stays 30 days in advance for hotels in the US or Canada, and 60 days in advance internationally.

Let’s see if buying points through this deal for an award night is a better deal than paying for a room!

1.  Example:   Quality Inn & Suites, Kissimmee, Florida

The Quality Inn & Suites is located close to Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld Orlando in Kissimmee.  Breakfast is included.

Todays Choice Points Sale A Good Deal For Southwest Companion Pass And European Hotels

You Could Relax by the Small Outdoor Pool at the Quality Inn & Suites in Kissimmee

A paid, refundable night in November costs ~$73 including taxes.

Todays Choice Points Sale A Good Deal For Southwest Companion Pass And European Hotels

The Best Available Rate for the Quality Inn & Suites in Kissimmee Is ~$73 per Night

An award night at this hotel costs 6,000 Choice Privileges points.

Todays Choice Points Sale A Good Deal For Southwest Companion Pass And European Hotels

You’ll Pay 6,000 Points (Choice Hotels’ Lowest Tier) for a Night at This Hotel

Through the Choice Hotels 50% bonus flash sale, you can buy 6,000 points for $44 ($44 for 4,000 points, plus a 2,000 point bonus).  So you could save ~$29 by using points for this room instead of paying cash (~$73 cost of paid room – $44 cost of point for same room)!

That’s not bad!  But you won’t always save money this way, so do the math before you book (and make sure award nights are available)!

You can save more if you use Choice hotel points for expensive hotels in Europe.

2.  Example:  Clarion Collection Hotel Principessa Isabella, Rome, Italy

Located near some of Rome’s main attractions, the Clarion Collection Hotel Principessa Isabella offers free Wi-Fi and breakfast.

Todays Choice Points Sale A Good Deal For Southwest Companion Pass And European Hotels

European Choice Hotels Are Often Much Nicer Than Their American Counterparts!

One night at this hotel in November costs 104 euros, or ~$132.

Todays Choice Points Sale A Good Deal For Southwest Companion Pass And European Hotels

The Best Available Rate for a Room in November Is ~$132

An award night for the same room costs 10,000 Choice Privileges points.  That’s not many points for a very nice hotel in Europe with breakfast included!

Todays Choice Points Sale A Good Deal For Southwest Companion Pass And European Hotels

You’ll Pay 10,000 Points for an Award Night at the Clarion Collection Hotel Principessa Isabella

So if you bought points through the Choice Hotels 50% bonus flash sale, it would cost $77 for 10,500 points ($77 for 7,000 points, plus a 3,500 point bonus).  You’d save ~$55 by using points for this room instead of paying cash (~$132 cost of paid room – $77 cost of points for same room)!

I’d gladly pay $77 per night for a nice, centrally located hotel in a major European city.  That’s a great deal.

Bottom Line

Today only, you’ll get a 50% bonus when you buy points from Choice Hotels.  The maximum number of points you can buy is 50,000 (plus you’ll get 25,000 bonus points).   The offer is only good from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

Normally, you’d pay 1.1 cents a point for Choice Hotel points, but with this deal, you’ll pay ~0.73 cents per point.

You could save money with this deal, especially if you use points to book expensive European hotels.  But do the math 1st to see if it makes sense for you.

This could also be a very good deal for folks who need to top-off their Southwest account with a few extra points for the Southwest Companion Pass.

Will you buy Choice Hotel points through this flash sale?  What’s your favorite way to use them?

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12 responses to “Today’s Choice Points Sale a Good Deal for Southwest Companion Pass & European Hotels

  1. Hey Darius,

    Transferred points to Southwest WILL NOT count towards a companion pass! I’ve tried this before when I needed 1000 southwest points and they did not honor those points towards the companion pass. Just thought people should know so they dont make the same mistake as me!

  2. I like your blog and feel you frequently receive too much criticism from those who want information, except after THEY receive it they don’t want anyone else to know!

    However, and this is minor, you use faulty logic in saying you would “rather spend $176 for my Companion Pass than $6000”. The $176 gets you only points. The $6000 gets you points plus merchandise or services worth $6000. Apples and oranges.

  3. I purchased choice points during the daily getaway, but we needed a few more to top off our account to redeem for spring break. I was disappointed I missed the last sale…thanks for the heads-up!

  4. @Tai– Darius has previously tried transferring points from Choice, and it *did* count towards the companion pass. He has several blogs on this subject, such as this one: http://millionmilesecrets.com/2012/12/13/southwest-transfer-points/

    But the blog is from almost two years ago… Could something have changed? Darius, could you look into this? I was planning on transferring from Hyatt to Southwest for the companion pass in the near future… my whole companion pass plan hinges on this!

  5. Ok – I got the Southwest card, and now bought Choice Awards points to fill the gap. Do I dare apply for the business card if the 50K per 2K spend isn’t spelled out in the link?????

  6. My SW companion pass is good through Dec. 2015 and I want to set myself up for 2016. My Chase SW cards are still open. Do those cards need to be closed for a year to be eligible for SW bonus signups? I.e. do I need to close my cards now in 2014, wait a year, then apply again in Dec. 2015 for the sign up bonuses?

  7. Darius, any update on if the choice transfer still works for companion pass? I’m about to try and do this since I’m so close to companion pass but don’t want to spend the money if it won’t count!

  8. My transfer of choice poitns worked and it still counted for companion pass

  9. Does anyone know if I can transfer points from my Dad or my Husband’s choice account into my rapid rewards account?