6 Reasons Why the Choice Privileges Rewards Program Might Be Right for You

June Casagrande
By June Casagrande 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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» This article is being updated.

If you’re a budget-conscious type who’s never paid much attention to all the travel rewards hullabaloo, you’ll want to pay attention.

On the rare occasions you’ve read up on how to earn free travel, all you could see was how expensive all that “free” travel was. After all, you have to spend money to earn points or miles. And because the travel rewards blogosphere seems obsessed with luxury experiences in places you can’t afford to get to anyway, you figured this whole rewards game just isn’t for you.

Well, you may be right. But you may be overlooking a lesser-known program that could let you become a world traveler without abandoning your frugal ways.

Choice Hotels, known for its Comfort Inn and Quality Inn brands, has its own loyalty program: Choice Privileges. It may be just what you need to get in on all those award travel perks everyone’s been talking about without breaking your budget. Here are six reasons why this rewards program might be right for you.

1. Joining is free

If all the talk these days about travel rewards has left you feeling out of the loop, you may have missed this fact: joining most frequent traveler programs, including Choice Privileges, is free.

You earn points redeemable for free nights every time you book through the Choice website and stay with a Choice-branded hotel. When you’re there, hotel staff recognize you as a valued repeat customer and not just some one-timer who booked through Expedia. Loyalty isn’t required. If you find a better price on Expedia and you don’t mind missing out on the Choice points, you can always book that lower rate.

2. Lots of places to earn points

Choice Hotels have more than 7,000 hotel properties in 40 countries. You may recognize some of Choice’s brands: Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Clarion Hotels, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn are among their better-known offerings.

As a member, you earn points every time you and the kids stop for the night at a Rodeway Inn on the way to Grandma’s or every time you go on a business trip where you pay for your own hotel then get reimbursed by your employer. Just be sure to book directly through the Choice website after signing in with your member number.

3. Heavenly places to spend points

If you’ve ignored Choice Privileges because you just don’t care to earn free nights at some budget hotel in the middle of nowhere, you’re operating on a misconception. Choice Hotels include luxury Ascend Collection properties like the oceanfront Kohei Kai Maui and the Hotel Napa Valley, for example.

The main portfolio of Choice Hotel offerings includes lots of dream destinations, too, like Cabo San Lucas (on Mexico's Baja peninsula) and Rome. Your points are also good for stays at partner properties including luxury resorts like Grand Hotel Santa Lucia in Naples, Italy, and the Hotel Miramar Barcelona in Spain.

Prefer a condo for your brood? Choice partners with a wide array of vacation rentals, too.

4. It’s easy to earn bonus points with the Choice Hotels credit card

A lot of travel rewards credit cards pay you a big chunk of bonus points after you charge $3,000, $4,000 or more in qualifying purchases in the first three months. The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card will award you 32,000 Choice Privileges points if you spend just $1,000 in the first three months after opening the account. At an average of $333 per month, that’s less than many families spend at Costco.

The cheapest redemptions in the Choice Privileges portfolio start at just 8,000 points per night, meaning those bonus points could be worth up to four free nights. Plus, the card earns 15 points per $1 spent on eligible Choice Hotels stays and 2 points per $1 everywhere else. Better yet, the card has no annual fee — meaning as long as you pay off your balance in full every month, you are that much closer to nearly free travel.

5. More ways to save

Choice wants to make membership worth your while. So they offer limited-time promotions that let you save with partners, like a recent deal (now expired) that offered 25% off Amtrak tickets for Choice Privileges members.

Deals like these come and go, but for members who keep up with the latest offerings, there are deep savings to be had.

6. Points can be redeemed for gift cards or swapped for airline miles

Not sure you’ll want to spend your points on a hotel stay? No problem. You can redeem your Choice Privileges points for gift cards or transfer them to airline miles on United, Alaska or Qantas (though transfer to airlines can greatly diminish the value of your points, so tread carefully). You could even use your Choice points to book a cruise.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Hotel Cards from Our Partners
IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card

on Chase's website

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn up to 26 total points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, at gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

World Of Hyatt Credit Card

on Chase's website

World of Hyatt Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn up to 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt – 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member. Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships.


Intro offer


Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card. 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

See more hotel cards
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