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Points Plus Cash Alive Again! (was: End of Points Plus Cash program ?)

Points Plus Cash Alive Again! (was: End of Points Plus Cash program ?)

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Old May 23, 17, 2:41 am
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Thumbs up Points Plus Cash Alive Again! (was: End of Points Plus Cash program ?)

Did they end the points and cash?
I am trying to make a reservation with points and cash and i cant find a single hotel that offer it.
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Old May 23, 17, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by winkny View Post
Did they end the points and cash?
I am trying to make a reservation with points and cash and i cant find a single hotel that offer it.
The information about this Points+Cash bookings is still on choicehotels.com, but the option has been blocked at all of the hotels that I've looked at on there. It wasn't this way 3 days ago.

https://www.choicehotels.com/choice-...ints-plus-cash


BOOK WITH POINTS PLUS CASH

We are giving you greater flexibility with your reward nights. Now you can use Points Plus Cash for reward nights starting at just 6,000 points plus cash. Book your reward night on Choice® hotels, spend two nights at a Bluegreen Vacations® destinations or redeem for a luxurious night at one of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

HOW TO USE POINTS PLUS CASH:



SIGN IN TO YOUR ONLINE ACCOUNT

You can sign in to your Choice Privileges account from the upper right hand corner of our site.


SEARCH HOTELS

Enter your travel criteria into the hotel search bar at the top of the page and select “Choice Privileges Reward Night” as the special rate from the drop-down menu.



SELECT A HOTEL

The search results will show Points Plus Cash as one of the booking options if it is available for the hotel you selected, and if you have at least 6,000 points per night searched.

Points Plus Cash is available for hotels with reward night point levels of 8,000 points or higher.

SELECT POINTS PLUS CASH

Select the Points Plus Cash box to continue with your reward night booking. For Choice Privileges members 1,000 points cost just $7.50.

Last edited by GUWonder; May 23, 17 at 6:52 am
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Old May 23, 17, 5:16 pm
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IMO very likely just a temporary system bug. Their "new" website has had a lot of issues since it was introduced.
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Old May 23, 17, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by winkny View Post
Did they end the points and cash?
I am trying to make a reservation with points and cash and i cant find a single hotel that offer it.
And you'd miss it why?

Do you realize that it's nothing more than a disguised way of buying points? The "missing" points that the "cash" portion seems to make up for are always the same points-per-dollar cost, no matter which hotel you use use them "at". You're not really using a points + cash rate, you're buying "makeup" points at a poor rate, and then doing a pure points reservation by the time the reservation is finalized.

(That's why, if you cancel a point + cash, reservation, you get no cash refund, you only get points refund including the points you bought during the reservation process.)

So it only makes sense to use Choice cash + points if you don't have enough points to make an all-points reservation. It's never a better value than an all points reservation; it's just an illusion that it sometimes seems like it might be (by comparing the points + cash rate to the paid rate), but that's just coincidence, since like I said, Choice uses a fixed cash-to-points ratio no matter which hotel you're booking or what its all-cash price is.
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Old May 23, 17, 8:24 pm
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Points+Cash has been a good deal for buying Choice points at a pretty good rate per point; and it's been a much cheaper way to buy points than dealing with points.com to buy the points from Choice's direct link to buy points.

I'll miss it, if it doesn't come back to be like it was this past weekend.

Last edited by GUWonder; May 23, 17 at 8:29 pm
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Old May 24, 17, 7:45 am
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@sdsearch - Points Plus Cash reward nights allowed me to stay for 20 nights per year with only 120,000 Choice Privileges points over the past two years. Many of the hotel nights I booked were $150 to $200 per night hotels at 8,000 to 16,000 points per night for Standard Rewards.

Points Plus Cash allows the purchase of 250,000 points per calendar year at $7.50 per 1,000 points.

Choice Privileges will only allow a member to buy 50,000 points in a calendar year at $11 per 1,000 points through regular buy points offer.

A $160 hotel for 16,000 points standard reward night is a redemption value = $10 per 1,000 points.

$160 hotel for 6,000 points + $75 is a redemption value of $160-75 = $85/6,000 points = $14.17 per 1,000 points.

20 nights at $160 = $3,200 annual spend.

20 nights at 16,000 points = 320,000 points for Standard Rewards.

20 nights at 6,000 points + $75 per night = 120,000 points + $1,500.

120,000 points saves $1,700 and only cost $900 with Points Plus Cash.

Spending $2,400 ($1,500 Cash+ $900 to buy 120K points) for 20 Points Plus Cash nights is quite a deal compared to $3,200 published rates. That cuts 25% off room rates.

While many places have many other hotel options, my travels take me to Denmark, Norway and Sweden frequently, places where Choice Privileges points are easily the best value for affordable lodging.

Last edited by satori; May 24, 17 at 9:25 am
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Old May 24, 17, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
And you'd miss it why?

Do you realize that it's nothing more than a disguised way of buying points? The "missing" points that the "cash" portion seems to make up for are always the same points-per-dollar cost, no matter which hotel you use use them "at". You're not really using a points + cash rate, you're buying "makeup" points at a poor rate,
If 0.75 cents / point is a poor rate, can you please tell us where you find a good rate?

And no, Daily Getaways doesn't count.
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Old May 24, 17, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by hobo13 View Post
If 0.75 cents / point is a poor rate, can you please tell us where you find a good rate?

And no, Daily Getaways doesn't count.
I think the relative value of the points purchase depends on redemption choices/opportunities. For someone redeeming like satori or myself, the points+cash is great value. For someone redeeeming with a more general US stay pattern, the value is different/lower because of the opportunity cost element when paid stays are cheap and result in a lot of promo points while points redemption is relatively poor value given cash rates.
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Old May 24, 17, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
I think the relative value of the points purchase depends on redemption choices/opportunities. For someone redeeming like satori or myself, the points+cash is great value. For someone redeeeming with a more general US stay pattern, the value is different/lower because of the opportunity cost element when paid stays are cheap and result in a lot of promo points while points redemption is relatively poor value given cash rates.
I have redeemed Choice points in Scandinavia many times.

My point is, I don't think you can regularly acquire Choice points for less than 0.75 cents each.
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Old May 24, 17, 3:55 pm
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Originally Posted by hobo13 View Post
If 0.75 cents / point is a poor rate, can you please tell us where you find a good rate?
I'm comparing to cost of earn 8000 points by staying at two (for example) $59 properties (1 night each), where you can get both two nights and 8000 points for 2x$59. As opposed to paying $60 for 8000 points. So that's like getting two nights for the cost of one while also earning the 8000 points, compared to the cost of 8000 points bought through points + cash.

I guess if you never have much opportunity to "naturally" stay at inexpensive Choice Privileges hotels (in pairs of one-night stays) during the very frequent "stay twice, earn 8000 points" promos, then cash + points might not be so bad as "the next best". But if you can stay for cheap and hotel hop, then earning through staying during these promos (always an even number of one-night stays per promo, to maximize each promo) seems a far better value to me than buying points in any manner.

(I use the term "naturally" stay to distinguish from "mattress runs". Mattress runs would probably not be a better value than cash + points, but "natural" stays where you needed a bed for the night anyway seem a much better value to me, though, again, only if you can hotel hop.)

Btw, while my example above was $59 for clarity in comparing to a $60 purchase rate for the same points, you still get a much better value even with two $70 or $80 or $90 stays than through buying via cash + points.

Which basically may translate to: If you need to stay in the USA suburbs or smaller towns (where cheaper Choice Privileges properties abound), and can hotel hop. it's usually better value to pay for those stays and earn tons of bonus points. Then use those points overseas (especially in burn-but-can't-earn places like Scandinavia or Japan, or during shoulder-season redemption "sales") or in more expensive cities/towns when the redemption rate is good.

Last edited by sdsearch; May 24, 17 at 4:07 pm
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Old May 25, 17, 3:49 am
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
I'm comparing to cost of earn 8000 points by staying at two (for example) $59 properties (1 night each), where you can get both two nights and 8000 points for 2x$59. As opposed to paying $60 for 8000 points. So that's like getting two nights for the cost of one while also earning the 8000 points, compared to the cost of 8000 points bought through points + cash.

I guess if you never have much opportunity to "naturally" stay at inexpensive Choice Privileges hotels (in pairs of one-night stays) during the very frequent "stay twice, earn 8000 points" promos, then cash + points might not be so bad as "the next best". But if you can stay for cheap and hotel hop, then earning through staying during these promos (always an even number of one-night stays per promo, to maximize each promo) seems a far better value to me than buying points in any manner.

(I use the term "naturally" stay to distinguish from "mattress runs". Mattress runs would probably not be a better value than cash + points, but "natural" stays where you needed a bed for the night anyway seem a much better value to me, though, again, only if you can hotel hop.)

Btw, while my example above was $59 for clarity in comparing to a $60 purchase rate for the same points, you still get a much better value even with two $70 or $80 or $90 stays than through buying via cash + points.

Which basically may translate to: If you need to stay in the USA suburbs or smaller towns (where cheaper Choice Privileges properties abound), and can hotel hop. it's usually better value to pay for those stays and earn tons of bonus points. Then use those points overseas (especially in burn-but-can't-earn places like Scandinavia or Japan, or during shoulder-season redemption "sales") or in more expensive cities/towns when the redemption rate is good.
Even in the rural US, I very rarely "naturally" encounter a Choice hotel that costs less than $70/night including tax. And usually they are more expensive than than and are more expensive than a comparable hotel when it comes to small towns that have more than one hotel around. And if anything, for most of those doing such stays on just leisure trips and then redeeming outside of North America, it's the points+cash that may have been the driver to choose Choice even while the Choice properties may cost more than reasonably nearby alternatives of a comparable or higher standard.

Points+cash allowed me to buy points in a way that meant I needed to only spend $60-75 per night to redeem for hotels of my choice without going out of my way to stay at Choice properties, naturally on my course or otherwise. That was a great deal.
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Old May 25, 17, 6:55 am
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Choice Hotels responded to me in a tweet about this current issue of no Points Plus Cash rewards on website:

"Due to technical issues, we have temporarily suspended the Points Plus Cash functionality on our website.
We're working to get this resolved"
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Old May 25, 17, 7:05 am
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@sdsearch - I understand your point about paying for hotels and earning 8,000 points being a better value.

Last year I stayed two nights in Monterey for $88 all-in to earn 8,000 points when I was out of Choice Points.

Then I used those 8,000 points to grow my account balance with Points Plus Cash stays.

Another factor comes into play - room upgrades.

Reward nights with Choice Privileges often include a variety of higher room categories, sometimes including suites, for standard reward night points.

One of the reasons I do not take advantage of 8k for 2 stays promotion more often is the availability of a higher category hotel room than the basic room when redeeming Choice Privileges points.

This is often a $50 per night room rate difference, say between an entry level room at $80 to $100 if I pay the lowest rate.

Or I can stay in a deluxe or superior room or even a suite at times that would be $120 to $150 per night room, but available for standard reward rate in points.
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Old May 25, 17, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Even in the rural US, I very rarely "naturally" encounter a Choice hotel that costs less than $70/night including tax.
What kind of rates are you using? Many of us are using what used be called SOS (Special Organization Savings) rates, and is now called Preferred Customer Rate, which gives even greater savings than AAA or AARP (if you qualify for either of those). And many people have found an SOS rate code just by googling it.

Just last week I stayed at a Quality in Orange County CA at a $63 Preferred Customer Rate before tax, about $71 with tax. Though that was unusual, that hotel often have $71 Preferred Customer Rate before tax, about $79 after tax.

If I wanted to stay at a "just OK" EconoLodge, there's one that's routinely $59 before tax in the area.

But like I said, to me it seems like using "do 2 separate one-night stays, get 8000 points for it" is still worth it even with $70 before tax or $80 before tax (at least in places that don't have exorbitant taxes plus local fees, like Anaheim locations too close to Disneyland can).
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Old May 30, 17, 7:32 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
What kind of rates are you using? Many of us are using what used be called SOS (Special Organization Savings) rates, and is now called Preferred Customer Rate, which gives even greater savings than AAA or AARP (if you qualify for either of those). And many people have found an SOS rate code just by googling it.

Just last week I stayed at a Quality in Orange County CA at a $63 Preferred Customer Rate before tax, about $71 with tax. Though that was unusual, that hotel often have $71 Preferred Customer Rate before tax, about $79 after tax.

If I wanted to stay at a "just OK" EconoLodge, there's one that's routinely $59 before tax in the area.

But like I said, to me it seems like using "do 2 separate one-night stays, get 8000 points for it" is still worth it even with $70 before tax or $80 before tax (at least in places that don't have exorbitant taxes plus local fees, like Anaheim locations too close to Disneyland can).
As do you, I'm still finding value on the earning end. I spend a fair amount of time in Richmond and Williamsburg--both of which can beat the $70 threshold, even in ostensibly "tourist season." I stayed in Waynesboro on Friday evening for right at $70.

I'm finding it more difficult to redeem. A search tonight for Irish hotels shows either dropouts from the Choice program--the Cork Clarion no longer seems to be in the program--or blocking of rooms. Many Irish properties that will offer me cash rates are showing "sold out" for the same dates if I switch to a points rate.

I still find outsize value in the Orlando market although the properties tend to rotate, but I'm beginning to sense that while the 2 stay/8000 point earnings rate is nice, it's no longer getting me much on the other end.
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