The Complete Guide to Redeeming Choice Privileges Points

To get the most value, redeem Choice Privileges points for free hotel stays.
Published
Profile photo of Sam Kemmis
Written by Sam Kemmis
Senior Writer
Profile photo of Meghan Coyle
Edited by Meghan Coyle
Assistant Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Profile photo of Anya Kartashova
Co-written by Anya Kartashova

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

MORE LIKE THISTravel

Choice Hotels includes 22 brands and more than 7,400 properties worldwide, meaning you’re almost guaranteed to find a place to stay no matter where you go.

Whether you've earned Choice points through staying at Choice properties or spending on the Choice Privileges® Mastercard® or Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard®, you have several ways to use them. You can redeem Choice points for hotel nights at any Choice hotel brand, buy gift cards and magazine subscriptions, donate them or exchange them for airline miles, to name a few.

Let’s take a look at all the ways you can redeem Choice Privileges points.

Book hotel stays

The most obvious redemption method for Choice points is, of course, reward nights at Choice hotels. Reward nights start at 8,000 points and go up to 75,000 points in select regions.

To search for available hotels, start on Choice Hotels’ homepage. Use the search tool and input your destination, check-in and checkout dates, and number of rooms and guests, and select “Use Choice Privileges points instead” under the “Special rate” drop-down menu.

After entering the search parameters, you’ll be presented with options in that particular destination.

Select the hotel you’re interested in booking, and you’ll be able to see the available room types. Choose your room, sign into your Choice Privileges account and complete the booking.

Redemption rates vary based on the season, and, unfortunately, there’s no option to view a calendar of award availability to determine which dates have the lowest rates. If your travel plans are flexible, you have to keep searching dates until you find availability for fewer points.

You can redeem points to book casino hotels, extended-stay hotels and all-inclusive resorts.

It’s worth noting that the Choice calendar doesn’t extend past 100 days in advance, so if you’re an early bird and need to lock down a hotel room further down the road, it’s not possible. You’ll have to wait until you’re within 100 days of your travel dates to redeem Choice points.

Points Plus Cash

If you have at least 6,000 Choice points in your account but not enough for a redemption, you can redeem points plus cash for a stay.

With a Points Plus Cash method, you’re essentially buying the remaining points needed for the redemption. So, if you need to cancel your reservation, you won’t get a refund for the cash portion of your booking. Instead, you’ll get back the number of points that were required to reserve the room.

Keep in mind that you can purchase no more than 250,000 Choice points in a calendar year through Points Plus Cash.

Exchange Choice points for airline rewards

If you would rather convert your Choice points to airline miles, know that the transfer ratios aren’t the most favorable and you’ll lose out on some value.

Choice points convert to airline miles at the following rates:

  • Aeroméxico Rewards: 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 Aeroméxico miles.

  • Air Canada Aeroplan: 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 Aeroplan miles.

  • Alaska Mileage Plan: 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 Alaska miles.

  • Qantas Frequent Flyer: 2,000 Choice points for 800 Qantas points.

  • Spirit Free Spirit: 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 Spirit miles.

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards: 6,000 Choice points for 1,800 Southwest points.

  • United MileagePlus: 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 United miles.

  • Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer: 2,000 Choice points for 800 Velocity points.

Redeem points for cruise credit

You can redeem Choice points for cruise credits good toward any cruise package that can be booked with Cruises for Choice Privileges, powered by Cruise411.

You can redeem the following number of points for a cruise credit:

  • 85,000 Choice points = $250.

  • 160,000 Choice points = $500.

You must call 800-596-0451 to book your cruise and a processing fee of $24.99 applies.

Choice points are worth 0.29 cent to 0.31 cent when redeemed for a cruise credit.

Redeem Choice points for gift cards

Choice members can redeem their points for gift cards good at more than 80 retailers and restaurants nationwide. Typically, you’ll need 8,000 Choice points for a $25 gift card, which yields about 0.31 cent per point in value.

You can redeem points for up to two digital gift cards per transaction or as many as four physical gift cards per transaction, as long as each card represents the same dollar amount. You can’t make another transaction for at least 48 hours.

It’s also possible to exchange Choice points for AARP membership. A one-year membership costs 5,000 points, and a three-year membership requires 12,000 points.

AARP membership starts at $12 for your first year, so this isn’t a great use of Choice points.

Donate your Choice points

As a Choice Privileges program member, you have the option to donate your points to several charitable organizations, including:

  • American Red Cross.

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

  • Executive Leadership Council.

  • Fisher House Foundation.

  • Operation Homefront.

  • Polaris.

Your points can donate the following amounts to charities:

  • 1,000 Choice points = $5.

  • 2,000 Choice points = $10.

  • 3,000 Choice points = $15.

  • 4,000 Choice points = $20.

  • 5,000 Choice points = $25.

When redeemed this way, each Choice point is worth 0.5 cent apiece.

Polaris donations convert at the following rates, yielding a value of 1 cent per point:

  • 1,000 Choice points = $10.

  • 2,000 Choice points = $20.

  • 3,000 Choice points = $30.

  • 4,000 Choice points = $40.

  • 5,000 Choice points = $50.

Donations are limited to one transaction every 48 hours.

Subscribe to magazines

Through Choice Privileges’ partnership with Magazines for Points, you can exchange your expiring points for magazines.

Subscription costs vary by title, but you can get certain magazines for 25 to 625 Choice points per issue. The subscriptions are available to new subscribers and deliverable within the U.S. only.

Redeem points through Golf by Choice

As a Choice Privileges member, you can earn and redeem points for golf reservations, as well as golf equipment, such as clubs, shoes and bags.

For example, a tee time below costs $39.99 or 13,330 points, which gets you 0.3 cent per point in value.

Golf equipment purchased through Golf by Choice yields the same value of 0.3 cent for your points. For example, here’s a golf bag for $25.95 or 8,650 Choice points.

Which flexible points transfer to Choice Privileges?

If you collect transferable bank points, you have two options for transfers to Choice Privileges: American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou points. The transfer ratio depends on the cards you hold.

If you hold any AmEx Membership Rewards-earning cards, the transfer ratio is 1:1.

Things get a little more complicated with Citi credit cards.

As a member of the following cards, you receive an elevated transfer ratio of 1:2.

However, if you hold the following cards, the transfer ratio drops to 1:1.5.

How to redeem Choice Privileges points recapped

As a Choice Privileges member, you have many options for redeeming points. However, be aware that most of the choices outside of rewards night bookings don’t yield a lot of value. You’re better off sticking to booking free hotel nights with Choice points.

The information related to the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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

on Chase's website

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-26x

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.

Points

Intro offer

Up to 300,000

Earn 5 Free Nights, valued up to 300,000 Points, after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Points
World Of Hyatt Credit Card

on Chase's website

World of Hyatt Credit Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-9x

Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent on qualified purchases at Hyatt hotels & up to 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt 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.

Points

Intro offer

30,000

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.

Points
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
4.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-17x

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.

Points

Intro offer

150,000

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!

Points
See more hotel cards
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.