Choice Privileges Devalues Points – For The Third Time in Six Months

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International hospitality chain Choice Hotels has once again angered its long tenured customers. Its loyalty program Choice Privileges has devalued its points currency for the third time since the beginning of the year. Previously, reward nights in Scandinavia and Preferred Hotels got more expensive. Now many hotels of the Choice Hotels brand are affected.

Until recently, reward nights came with a price tag not higher than 35,000 points (except for hotels in the Asia-Pacific) plus possible resort fees. Since a couple of days, the points required for a night are longer capped, effectively lowering their potential value.

35,000 Points Cap No Longer in Place

The aforementioned cap was previously explicitly stated in the program’s terms and conditions. Those haven’t been overhauled on every specific country site. The Canadian version still reads like this:

Reward (free) nights are available at some Choice Hotels locations for as little as 8,000 Choice Privileges points. Reward nights worldwide are available from 8,000 to 35,000 points (excluding all-inclusive resorts stays, where points required are up to 100,000).

Switching to the American version results in a drastic change:

Reward nights are available at participating Choice Hotels locations starting at 8,000 Choice Privileges points. Choice may change reward levels at any time without notice; redemption levels typically vary per location and time of year.

Two exceptions to the 35,000 points rule have already been in place: Hotels in the Asia Pacific Region and Preferred Hotels already had higher maximum prices than most hotels. Now all choice hotels rise above the threshold, as these two hotels in the USA, which are now charging 45,000 points for a reward night:

Third Devaluation Within a Year

Because Choice Privileges uses dynamic pricing for award nights, it’s rather hard to track prices. Some hotels list possible prices on their website and notify that there is fluctuation because of high/low season pricing or exceptions for certain weekdays. So prices aren’t directly dependent on demand and crash prices, as it is the case with Hilton Honors.

Since the beginning of 2024, Choice Privileges has devalued points twice already. In January, the minimum price for reward nights in Scandinavia was doubled from 8,000 points to 16,000 points. In June, changes affected the cooperation between Choice Privileges und Preferred Hotels. The maximum price for reward nights was raised from to 87,000 points (from previously 55,000 points (source).

Bottom Line

Choice Hotels is the next in line to demonstrate why hoarding award points is never a good idea, in any case. Redemption options can be changed at any time, without prior consent of customers. Despite that, Choice Privileges still remains a more transparent option than IHG Rewards, Hilton Honors or other programs. They still use an award chart, a thing that the other programs completely abandoned in favor of dynamic pricing. While Choice keeps modifying its award charts (presumably to fight losses), it’s still selling points with 30% bonus at the same time.

Source: YHBU

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