Where to spend points exp Dec 31?

Old Nov 23, 09, 8:50 pm
  #1  
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Where to spend points exp Dec 31?

Looking for suggestions on where to spend choice points at nice properties (don't need preferred properties) in December.

I have 109K with 69K expiring Dec 31, 2009 and another 13K in another account.

I was looking at Villa Montes in San Bruno (SF area), CA - but perhaps too cold in Dec, and Quality Suites in San Luis Obispo - but don't know what to do there. Both 20K/nights

Hotels in Scandinavia are excellent based on reviews and their values of 10-16K per nigh plus breakfast and dinner, but too far and too cold to go in December.

Any suggestions?
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Old Nov 24, 09, 12:46 am
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you can book 60 days in advance so if u book on 30 dec you can be staying till 28 feb.
I am in the same boat and hoping for the promo so I can spend up big
waiting waiting for 3 dec so I can book for 2 feb
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Old Nov 24, 09, 3:30 am
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tinkybelle,

thank you for replying ))). But I was asking for suggestions where to stay, not when. )
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Old Nov 24, 09, 6:05 am
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Originally Posted by tinkybelle View Post
you can book 60 days in advance so if u book on 30 dec you can be staying till 28 feb.
Thanks for the reminder. I don't have status, but this pushed out my drop dead dates till 31 January.

I was thinking about doing a trade on Coupon Connect; and/or some kind of exchange, ie transferring my expiring points to one of my airline accounts.

d
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Old Nov 24, 09, 10:48 am
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I haven't stayed at the QI in SLO so I can't speak to that, but I have been to the QI in Pismo Beach and enjoyed the stay. Kind of out of the way area and ended up driving everywhere, but comfortable and clean.

Another option that I have used to burn expiring points is to get the $50 Gift card for 14K points (promo earlier this year after three stays). The system didn't limit you to one card per three stays, so I ordered several. Unfortunately, had to order them individually since there was no quantity field on the web. Just be sure to burn them up within six months before they start assessing "maintenance fees".
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Old Nov 24, 09, 4:11 pm
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Gee, Tinkybelle, did none of my suggestions & referrals on burning your Choice points work 4U?!
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Old Nov 24, 09, 5:08 pm
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unfortunately not
without a stay I cant transfer out at all so have to burn em
so If you have any suggestions. PLEEEEEESEE DO

thinking of the Fullerton in sing for feb though.
just wish the xmas burn deal would eventuate!
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Old Nov 26, 09, 12:21 pm
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ellylex,

Well, first of all, if you don't think of anything in hotels by late December, you can always transfer to airline rewards. For each 5000 that you can transfer, you can get 1000 miles. Assuming you can transfer 100K, that would be 20000 miles. Maybe not as good a value as redeeming for hotels you really want, but not only better than nothing, but also probably better than just using them up on hotels you don't really need just to use them up.

Or, if you're open to Southwest, then you can transfer just 60K of them to Rapid Rewards and get 16.5 credits, which will generate an automatic domestic roundtrip ticket award (with 0.5 credits left over), good for one year anywhere Southwest flies (capacity controlled, but not bad outside of peak travel periods).

Regarding hotels, well that's hard to pin down depending on your destination interests, how far you're willing to travel, where you think is near enough to fly (if you're going to fly), and how much of your own research you're willing to do.

Me, my interests include scenic nature photography. Timing this may be tricky or not, but Yosemite can be beautiful (and yet sparse with visitors) in the winter when it gets a coating of snow (as long as it hasn't snowed so badly the roads are impassable!), and the Comfort Inn in Oakhurst is about as close as you can get (but is it on the road that's open in winter?), and is only 8K a night Dec 1 through April 15, and gets decent enough reveiews at TripAdvisor.com.

As has already been mentioned above, if you just want a getway trip, somewhere up the California coast can be nice. I don't have Choice experience there though, but then I rarely repeat the same destination twice, so I rarely have Choice experience of my own to rely on. What I mostly rely on is TripAdvisor.com, where the standard wisdom is to ignore the very best and very worse review of any hotel (the former may have been written by the hotel itself and the latter may have been their competitor badmouthing them!), and take the average of what's in between, but if you have time, read the content, because in some cases the only complaints are for very specific things which may not matter to you. (For example, at the Oakhurst hotel mentioned above, one perosn gave them a poor score because the pool was cold. But if you're there for Yosemite rather than the pool, what do you care? )

If you want to do a mileage run and hotel burn at the same time, Ft Myers/Naples FL (RSW) can be a cheap transcon flight but expensive hotels in the iwinter (because it's not really winter there!). I stayed at Comfort Inn & Executive Suites near Naples FL this past February on such a trip, where I went to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (run by Audobon) and ate grouper sandwiches, among other things, and it was fine, and it's 12000 points/night now thorugh Jan 31 and 16000 points/night after that.

Or just think of anywhere you want to go at this time of year, that's cost-effective for all the travel other than the hotel, and do a search by Reward Nights while logged in. Tip: You don't even have to put in a date! If you don't put in a date, it'll show the point amount for each date range in the near future for each hotel that it returns for your search area! A neat way to scan a bunch of hotels at once for their rates when you're not sure when you want to travel. (But then of course you will have to check dates to verify availability. One nice thing about Choice: The availability for reward rooms is not usually much different than the availability for paid rooms. ANother nice thing about Choice: Usually most of the rooms, sometimes including the nicest ones, are available on rewards at the same price, even if the nicer rooms are much more expenisve when paid with ordinary money.

Aside from these things, the places I'd consider for this time of year include cities where I want to go to indoor attractions. But it depends on what sort of indoor attractions you're interested in as to which cities would work for that, and then you'd have to do your own research on the hotels there.

The one thing helping you: Since you gotta burn the points, you may not care as much if the best-reviewed Choice hotel in a city needs more points, as you might be if burning wasn't a goal.

Last edited by sdsearch; Nov 26, 09 at 3:19 pm Reason: clarify that post is to the OP primarily
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Old Nov 26, 09, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Well, first of all, if you don't think of anything in hotels by late December, you can always transfer to airline rewards. For each 5000 that you can transfer, you can get 1000 miles. Assuming you can transfer 100K, that would be 20000 miles.
Or, if you're open to Southwest, then you can transfer just 60K of them to Rapid Rewards and get 16.5 credits, which will generate an automatic domestic roundtrip ticket award (with 0.5 credits left over), good for one year anywhere Southwest flies (capacity controlled, but not bad outside of peak travel periods).

.
you cannot do any of these things if you have not had a stay since a certain date.
I havent.
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Old Nov 26, 09, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by tinkybelle View Post
you cannot do any of these things if you have not had a stay since a certain date.
I havent.
First of all, my reply was primarly to the OP (only secondarily to anyone else it could help). Sorry about not making that clear. (I'll go edit it now.)

Second, I don't know how it is where you are, but around here (Southern California), these days (the economy causing a downturn in travel), it's not hard to find a cheap Choice property around US$50 all-in, maybe even less, for one night. If you have enough points to lose that it would be worth it to transfer them, that might not be so bad even if it has to be a pure mattress run. But agian, I don't know if that applies in your area Down Under.

Third, Choice doesn't require a stay (to transfer out) if you have their credit card. But once again, I'm not sure if you can get their credit card Down Under! (Plus not every one is able to apply for a credit card successfully, especially again in the current economy.)
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Old Nov 26, 09, 3:35 pm
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Yes you are right I am in Australia. not a lot of hotels around here.
and we cannot get the credit card so thats out.
I am waiting for another few days to see if I can book the hotel I am intersted in ( need to wait 60 days)
otherwise I may need to book a hotel I dont need
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Old Nov 26, 09, 8:57 pm
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sdsearch,

thank you for such an extensive comment ))). I do like beautiful scenery and was considering traveling to a state park. I will look into Yosemite, the only drawback is if they require chain for snow. I would be travelling with female friend(s) and don't want to get stranded. What I was looking for was suggestions from people who have travelled and stayed at specific properties of Choice chain. The places I know are very obvious ones (San Francisco, Cancun, San Diego) maybe someone would suggest a not widely known destination.

Thank you )))
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Old Nov 27, 09, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by ellylex View Post
was considering traveling to a state park.
Well, national parks are not having this problem, but with California state parks, verify before you book that the park is not of the one that has temporarily closed up because of the state buget shortfalls (or is about to). I do recall hearing in the news that they were going to close some parks, but I never saw a list.

Unfortunately, I don't have much experience with Choice in California except in the SNA area. The last few years (since I started collecting Choice points), I've been mostly doing flying vacations (since I was trying to maintain AA Platinum with no work travel at all!), and the few California driving destinations I've been to in that time I used other hotels (mostly in HHonors) because those seemed like good times to requalify for status in other programs. The closest I've stayed with Choice (other than SNA/Anaheim) are near Zion NP in Springdale UT and Olympic National Park in Port Angeles WA.
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Old Dec 3, 09, 7:56 am
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called up and after a bit of a run around finally got a competent operator who was able to secure a couple of nights a the Fullerton Singaore

so im very happy.

Last edited by tinkybelle; Dec 3, 09 at 4:12 pm
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Old Dec 3, 09, 11:52 am
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tinkybelle,

what is Fullerton Sing??? I searched choicehotels in Fullerton, CA - no luck.
Looked up on tripadvisor: is it Fullerton Singapore one at 60k/night? (why would you cut off the name though, I was wondering why you wanted to stay in Fullerton, CA so much).

Last edited by ellylex; Dec 3, 09 at 11:58 am
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