How we got $158.62 worth of hotel travel rewards from 2 hotel stays that cost us $127.28.
In Squeezing Maximum Value Out of Your Hotel Points – Part 1 we discussed how to calculate the actual value of your hotel rewards as you use them. During that article we demonstrated how, by doing the math and selecting the deals that maximize your reward points, you can expect 1.5 cents or more from Choice Privilege reward points.
In the past we have discussed the Stay Two Nights Get One Night Free program that rewards Choice Privilege members with 5000 to 8000 Choice Privilege points for every qualifying stay at a Choice Hotel that is booked on ChoiceHotel.com web site or on their mobile app. Until August 17 a new Stay Two Nights get one Free program will again be offered by Choice.
The best way to explain the unbelievable rewards program that Choice is presently offering is to walk you thru the points we realized this week during a road trip we just took to Corpus.
One of the benefits of being foot-loose and having your bags packed is you can take advantage of unique travel opportunities when they pop-up. Two weeks ago Charlene and I were lounging around our home base in Port St. Lucie, Florida when we got an “out of the blue” call from our daughter Sara.
Sara is a professional sailor and occasionally stumbles onto projects she thinks her unemployed parents might like. In this case she asked Charlene, “would you like to come to Corpus Christi and cook for the U.S. youth sailing team during the Youth World Championship of Sailing in Corpus Christi, Texas”?
After a short pause, Charlene who is a little crazy said, “sure”. In that single word our plans for July 2018 were established. We don’t need a whole lot of planning.
But, I have diverted from my goal and that is to teach our readers how to SQUEEZE those rewards.
In the next few hours after signing contracts with our new employers and putting seed in the bird feeders we sat down to figure out the best deals on rooms between Port St. Lucie and Corpus Christi. As I mentioned before we considered just paying for rooms, paying with points and paying with points and dollars. A fourth consideration was checking with the motel chains we deal with and seeing if they had any good summer deals.
For the third year in a row Choice Hotels was running their Stay Two Get One Free promotion. The promotion gives member a 5000 to 8000 point bonus for every night they pay cash for their rooms. Charlene and I are building points for a Europe trip so for 2 of the nights we spent going to Corpus we opted to pay with cash instead of reward points.
On the right you can see our point accumulation for those 2 nights. We paid a total of 56.93 for the room at the Clarion and $70.35 total for the room at the Quality Inn. As you can see the Quality Inn our first stay netted us 1163 points, if you do the math you will see that 1163 points is the 10X points bonus we get for each dollar spent on rooms as Choice Hotel members, plus the 25% bonus we get for our platinum status with Choice Hotels. We will also get 15X points that are not shown on the point ledger above from our Choice Privilege credit card, which we will discuss later.
On the second stay at the Clarion the “Stay Two Get one Free” bonus kicked in and we got a ~6000 point bonus plus our 10x bonus plus our 25% bonus which is shown on the ledger. Again, later we will also realize a 15X bonus on the Choice Privilege Card we used to pay for our room.
So, again back to the math. Doing the math we decided to spend $127.28 on rooms instead of using our free rewards, because the bonuses offered would give us such a huge point bonus for future travel. By paying out $127.28 for our two rooms we generated a 6000 points bonus plus 10x on every dollar spent from Choice Hotels as members, plus an additional 25% bonus from Choice Hotels for being platinum member, plus an additional 15X bonus later from the Choice Privilege Credit Card, for a total of 10,575 Choice Reward points.
As we mentioned in Part 1 of this article we will be able to squeeze around 1.5 cents of value out of each one of those points so by paying $127.28 for our two rooms on the way to Corpus we actually generated $158.62 dollars worth of bonus points we will use when we travel to destinations like Europe where under normal circumstances the rooms are prohibitively expensive.
Because we are Platinum members with Choice Hotels we stayed in jacuzzi suites at the Clarion and the Quality Inn and of course enjoyed a good hot breakfast at both hotels. Life is good.
In the past in various articles we have talked about “stacking”. These two stays during our trip to Corpus is a perfect example. We stacked our Platinum loyalty status, the “Stay Two Get One Free” bonus, the Choice Member Bonus and the Choice Privilege Card bonus to net a rewards return that is in excess of the actual money we spent on our rooms. Charlene and I advocate that rooms should average out about $30 a night when you travel and for that $30 dollars you can stay in rooms like the Jacuzzi suites, and the eat hot breakfasts we enjoyed on this trip.
By using the tools shown in Part 1 and Part 2 of this article you too can travel well for $30 or less and stay in quality lodging with benefits like free breakfast.
Squeeze Geezers Squeeze, because there is a big beautiful world out there for those who are willing to squeeze every penny out of their travel rewards and dollars.
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