Choice Privileges - LOTS of US hotels increasing redemption to 30,000 points starting July 1st
May 2, 12, 7:31 pm
This is very disappointing. The continental United States point cap has increased to 30,000 per night. So far I've seen all the Manhattan hotels (including the Econo Lodge Times Square), Comfort Suites Chicago (Comfort Inn & Suites Chicago now ACME hotel), several hotels near Middletown, RI and Rehoboth Beach, DE, among others that have had their cap raised.
I'm going to have to sleep on whether I reduce or pass over the Discover America promo. Not looking good for it.
May 2, 12, 10:25 pm
Just saw the same thing, albeit with only one hotel in Northern California going that high (a property in Santa Cruz--oddly enough, nothing in San Francisco went to 30K). European values have not changed. The only thing I can figure is that Choice is now morphing into a program where you may earn in the States and burn in Europe (and other countries where 8K seems an integral part of the strategy). I'll pay the $300/night in the big cities to potentially earn the 8K per night (assuming no promo) that I can later turn into a European night.
Still, if you could get 2 each of the 40K and 36K for $580 for five nights in a major metro or popular beach area during the summer, that sounds like a good deal.
But, admittedly, no longer a great deal. Of course, the same 152K points turns into 19 nights at the 8K European venues. Not appealing if you're not going there or if the hotels decide to pull those cheap redemption nights, but something tells me that the 8K European redemptions are part and parcel of Choice's claim that you can redeem 8000 points for a free night at 25% of their properties. And the European properties are willing to play along now because there aren't that many folks who actually cash in on this offer.
May 2, 12, 11:02 pm
still debating how many I should get :D
May 3, 12, 12:15 pm
OUCH! But thank you for the tip, lowfareair.
Another strategy is to have lots of promotions that yield handsome points, then follow with a devaluation of one sort (explicit) or another (playing with unannounced diffuse increases in redemption requirements). I think GUWonder has called special attention to the latter practice across several programs. And ChoicePrivileges is well positioned for the latter, with its - often spontaneous - changes in redemption requirements for individual properties. As Forrest Gump's mama said, "...Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."
Any creep up in points for the CHEAPER hotels? That's where a "devaluation" would hit most of us a lot harder.
Personally, I rarely redeem at the 25,000 point level. The alternatives have to be poor because even 25,000 points is about a $94 room rate using DiscoverAmerica purchased points. So I've only done that in Manhattan, Anchorage in summer and, yes, once in Europe before they started having crazy deals!
I guess 30,000 points is $113. If $94 was a good deal for the hotel, $113 probably is, too.
Where things get more interesting to me is the difference, say, between 12,000 points and 16,000 points. That's when alternatives like PriorityClub and Wyndham Rewards can get more attractive.
May 4, 12, 7:54 pm
I'd wonder if the 30K isn't a way to raise the floor. If the previous floor was 6-8K, then the new floor in a 30K system could be 12K. All the lower-end properties would be happy, and the 8K foreign properties would fall right in line.