Choice Hotels International is one of the largest hotel brands, with more than 7,000 properties in over 40 countries and territories. Accommodations range from extended-stay and economy options to upscale full-service hotels.
As a Choice Privileges member, you can earn points toward free nights at Choice Hotels, but did you know that you can use them to book more than hotel stays? Here are the Choice Hotels transfer opportunities worth knowing about.
Transfer your points to airline partners
You’ll need at least 5,000 Choice Privileges points for an airline miles transfer, unless otherwise specified. For North American airline partners, including AeroMexico, Air Canada, Alaska, American, Spirit and United, 5,000 Choice Privileges points will get you 1,000 frequent flyer miles. Southwest Rapid Rewards is an exception; you’ll need 6,000 Choice Privileges points to redeem for 1,800 Rapid Rewards points.
Nerdy tip: The ratios for international airline partners vary. With the OK Plus program at Czech Airlines, the same 5,000 points to 1,000 miles ratio applies. But if you’re exchanging Choice Privileges points for Velocity or Qantas rewards, the ratio is 20,000 Choice Privileges points to 8,000 frequent flyer points.
Compared to the ratio of other transfer programs, this redemption opportunity isn’t the best. If you’re a Chase Ultimate Rewards® member, for instance, points can be transferred to airline partners at a 1:1 ratio (for the most part). With Choice Privileges transfers, you’re getting as bad as a 5:1 ratio and at best 2.5:1 with some international transfers.
If you’re thinking of using your Choice Privileges points for flights through an airline partner, you’ll want to plan ahead. It can take two to six weeks for airline rewards to post to some frequent flyer accounts once you complete a transfer redemption. Points can be redeemed through your Choice Privileges account online or by calling 888-770-6800.
Move your points to Amtrak
You can also opt to use your Choice Privileges points for train fare. Choice Hotels partners with Amtrak Guest Rewards, allowing you to transfer points back and forth between programs.
The minimum number of points required for Amtrak Guest Rewards redemptions is quite a bit higher compared to airline miles redemptions: You need at least 32,000 Choice Privileges points to redeem for Amtrak fares. Those rewards will get you 5,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points, which is a 6.4:1 transfer rate.
To redeem Choice Privileges points for Amtrak Guest Rewards, you’ll need to log into your Choice Privileges account, then link your Amtrak account. Once you transfer points to Amtrak, you can book rail fares to more than 500 destinations in 46 states.
If you’ve banked some Amtrak Guest Rewards, you can also transfer them into the Choice Privileges program. You actually get a better transfer ratio moving points this way, since 5,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points is equivalent to 15,000 Choice Privileges points. You can transfer points into the program by logging into your Amtrak Guest Rewards account.
The bottom line
Choice Privileges offers flexibility in how you can use the points you’ve earned beyond booking hotel stays. However, you’ll generally get the best value for your points by using them on lodging at eligible properties. Understanding the program’s travel partners can help you make the most of your rewards, especially if you need a handful of points for an airline award flight where your Choice points can be of use.