There are resorts out there for 6,000 points (or 2,000 Chase points via Amtrak). And on the top end, you can use choice points for Preferred Hotel Group hotels, which make up 42 of the top 500 hotels in the world. The cheapest and the best redemptions, that’s what choice has to offer.
What we’ll talk about:
- Earning Choice Points
- Super cheap hotel redemptions (6k choice or 2k Chase)
- Booking some of the nicest hotels in the world (for cheap) with Choice points
- Transferring points to Southwest for the companion pass
Briefly I’ll mention why you should care about Choice in terms of earning.
Chase -> Amtrak -> Choice 1:3
In my previous post on Choice Points, and in my Best Use of Amtrak Points, I point out that you can transfer 25,000 Amtrak points a year to Choice at a rate of 1:3. That’s 75,000 Choice points per calendar year. And seeing as you can transfer from Chase to Amtrak, that’s basically 1:3 from Chase to Choice.
While it’s normally hard for me to let go of Chase points, the price at 1:3 is incredible. Some of the top hotels in the world for 10,000 Chase points, a hotel in downtown Venice for 3,333 Chase points, and a resort in Honduras for 2,000 Chase points. A deal if there ever was one.
The problem is that Chase is rumored to be discontinuing the card (according to an agent that FM talked to (and as predicted by me here)), but there are still some links floating around here until they get killed.
*Update* All links are dead
Choice credit card is lame
It’s 8,000 points for getting it then another 24,000 points when you pay for a stay with the card. So it’s an app and a paid stay. I suppose it’s not the worst requirement in the world if there’s a good stay promotion. But consider that the bonus is really low. A great deal on a hotel like the 10k one in Venice. But it’s only 3 nights. Where I could get a ton of nights with the Club Carlson card.
Check dem Choice promotions out here.
Best Uses: Low Category Choice Hotels
This is the section that wakes me up in the morning. Some people will wake up over the 60k a night (20k Chase points) for one of the world’s finest hotels. But I love the idea that 60k points could get me potentially 10 nights at a good resort.
I won’t continue to list the equivalent in Amtrak/Chase points, but divide by 3 and you know what you really get.
Italy In General
Comfort Hotel Diana, Venice, Italy – 10,000 points
Wow. First of all, Venice is awesome. Second, there are few points options and they are overpriced and some aren’t even in the main area of Venice. This hotel is a superb location, and at a phenomenal price. The best option in Venice, and a deal. Cash prices tend to run from $150 – $250 a night.
Comfort Hotel Gardenia Sorrento Coast, Italy – 8,000 points
This hotel is in beautiful Sorrento and has great TA reviews as well.
Comfort Hotel Bolivar, Rome, Italy – 10,000 points
Great location near the old Roman walls and colosseum, plus Rome is just cool. Italy is cool.
Clarion Suites Roatan at Pineapple Villas, Roatan, Honduras – 6,000 points
6,000 points a night. Yes and yes. Phenomenal ratings on TripAdvisor and I have friends that say that this area of Honduras is beautiful. It looks beautiful. And while the hotel isn’t on the bus, it has a frequent shuttle taking you to a very nice private beach. You can’t beat it.
The fact of the matter is that there are so many more cheap hotels in downtown locations like Tokyo. Too many to list. I don’t have a complete map of Choice Hotels yet, but you can go to AwardMapper.com and unselect all the other hotels and get an idea.
- Quality Hotel Prince Philip, Stockholm, Sweden – 6,000 points
- Clarion Collection Hotel Drott, Karlstad Sweden – 8,000 points
- Sweden in general
- Comfort Hotel Tokyo Kanda, Tokyo, Japan – 8,000 points
- Quality Suites Bela Cintra, Sao Paulo, Brazil – 8,000 points
- Quality Inn Porto, Portugal – 10,000 – 12,000 points
- Anything out west and in the national parks, like Utah (Zion national park), Yosemite, Banff
- Lecce Italy, Prague, Nice, etc…
If you have any other low category suggestions, let me know.
Best Uses: Choice points for the top hotels in the world
In my post on booking the top 500 hotels with points, I mentioned that a number of the hotels were in the “Preferred Hotel Group”, which is a group of hotels bookable with Choice points. They aren’t choice hotels, but they are partners, and share a rewards program, sorta.
Rates are from 30,000 points to 60,000 points. Which, depending on the hotel isn’t bad. I realized on my Kenya trip, that I could book much cheaper on Kayak than the advertised rate on the Preferred Hotel Group website. But still, 42 of the top 500 hotels is better than Ritz Carlton did.
There are no maps on the internet that include these hotels, so I decided to make one.
Preferred Hotel Group (hotels with Choice Points) Complete Map:
(If you don’t like the map you can view participation hotels here.)
I can’t stress enough that there are more hotels that are awesome deals than I can list. There are multiple hotels in Paris that go for $600+ a night. Similar with London, New York (like the The Sherry-Netherland – the #3 hotel in NYC on TA) and many famous hotels like The Fullerton Bay Hotel in Singapore.
The list goes on and on, but I wouldn’t consider giving up 60,000 points easily. The hotels for 30,000 points are easier to justify. But 20,000 Chase points (which is what it would take to transfer in 60,000 Choice points) is worth $200 cashback. Given that I really value Chase points, it would take a lot more than a 1 cent per point value to get me to transfer.
I’ll be honest though and say none of these are my ideal booking, and I’d rather book the hotel for 6,000 points. But if chasing luxury is your thing… I’ve got a list for you.
Peter Island Resort & Spa, BVI – 60,000 points
This hotel often goes for at least $600 a night and can go for over $1,000! I’ve been to many of the British Virgin Islands and this is a beautiful area with great snorkeling. But really, this is a very exclusive resort, and it’s a steal for 60k. Plus, this is the only points hotel on the island.
Montage Beverly Hills – 60,000 points
Now I’m not a Beverly Hills or celebrity citing kind of guy… but if I was, this is where I’d go. Prices start around $1,000 a night.
Montage Laguna Beach – 60,000 points
I guess I’m more of a beach guy than a Beverly Hills guy. But this place goes for $800 a night (on the dates I checked) and also is on the Top 500 Hotels list.
Covo Dei Saraceni, Positano, Italy – 60,000 points
There are actually multiple hotels in this part of Italy, the Amalfi Coast (see the map). But I had to pick one, as the area is beautiful and often expensive.
The Jefferson, DC – 60,000 points
This hotel also regularly goes for $600, and often a lot more. It’s one of the top hotels in DC and on the Top 500 Hotels list as well.
Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf, Boston – 60,000 points
Same same. A $600+ hotel on the Top 500 list.
Stanley & Livingstone Game Reserve, Zimbabwe – 50,000 points
A great way to see the famous Victoria Falls and safari and stay at a nice hotel.
Costs for the top 500 hotels
Someone did point out that not all the 42 hotels on the top 500 list were bookable with Choice Points. Turns out that’s true. So I’m going to go ahead and go through them and list the ones that are and how many points it would cost. Most are in the US, and of those, they are listed by state (alphabetically).
I could verify these 32 (of the top 500 hotels) were bookable:
- Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa, Sedona – 60,000 points
- Montage Beverly Hills – 60,000 points
- Ojai Valley Inn & Spa – 60,000 points
- Montage Laguna Beach – 60,000 points
- Grand Del Mar, San Diego – 60,000 points
- Cavallo Point—The Lodge at the Golden Gate – 60,000 points
- The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs – 50,000 points
- The Sebastian Vail – 60,000 points
- Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater – 60,000 points
- Seagate Hotel & Spa, Delray Beach – 50,000 points
- Hammock Beach Resort, Palm Coast – 40,000 points
- Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort, Kauai – 60,000 points
- The Brown Hotel, Louisville – 30,000 points
- Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans – 50,000 points
- Inn by the Sea, Portland – 60,000 points
- Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf, Boston – 60,000 points
- Townsend Hotel, Birgmingham – 50,000 points
- The Sagamore Resort, Bolton Landing – 60,000 points
- Hermitage Hotel, Nashville – 50,000 points
- Sundance Mountain Resort – 50,000 points
- Woodstock Inn & Resort – 50,000 points
- Keswick Hall, Charlottesville – 60,000 points
- Tides Inn, Irvington – 40,000 points
- Willows Lodge, Woodinville – 40,000 points
- The Jefferson, Washington, D.C – 60,000 points
- Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee – 30,000 points
- Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole – 50,000 points
- Hotel Grand Pacific, Canada – 30,000 points
- The Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin, Ireland – 50,000 points
- Hotel Schweizerhof Luzern, Switzerland – 60,000 points
- Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa, Bermuda – 60,000 points
- Peter Island Resort & Spa, BVI – 60,000 points
Choice Points Transferred to Airline Miles
I find these transfer rates to be bad enough that I wouldn’t really consider any of them. Although, there may be one odd exception.
Choice to Southwest’s Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass is no doubt one of the coolest things in the miles game. It’s generally “earned” when the Southwest personal and business cards are giving a 50,000 point bonus. See, you need to earn 110,000 points in a year to get the Companion and that gets you 104,000 after the spend requirement. If you wanted to earn the pass you’d have to spend an extra 6,000 on the card to get the companion.
However, I realize that if you transferred 24,000 Choice points to Southwest you’d get 7,200 Southwest points. It would take 8,000 Chase points via Amtrak to get 24,000 points. Then transfer 24,000 points to 7,200 Southwest points. One more time.
8,000 Chase points – > 8,000 Amtrak points -> 24,000 Choice points -> 7,200 Southwest points.
But unlike the direct transfer from Chase, these points would be Companion Pass qualifying points. Bam.
If the reasons above aren’t reason enough to love Choice I don’t know what is. 25,000 Chase points is half of a signup bonus, yet it’s enough for 7.5 nights in a downtown hotel in beautiful Venice. Or enough for 12.5 nights at a resort on an island in Honduras. Or it’s enough for 2 nights at some of the nicest hotels in the world.