The Complete Guide to the Choice Privileges Rewards Program

Here's what you need to know about earning and redeeming points in the Choice Hotels' loyalty program.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 
Edited by Meg Lee

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When you think of famous hotel chains, Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt likely come to mind. But, it’s Choice Hotels that traces its roots back to the first hotel chain in 1939. Today, Choice Hotels includes 7,000 hotels in 40 countries, making it one of the most expansive hotel chains around.

From its extensive list of budget hotels to its growing upscale brands, Choice Hotels properties span the spectrum. That means the Choice Privileges loyalty program is worth getting to know, whether you’re looking to save on a road trip or want to score a free stay at an all-inclusive resort.

Let’s dive into the Choice Privileges rewards program so you can see if it’s the right loyalty program for you.

Choice Privileges brands

Choice's portfolio includes the following hotel brands:

  • Ascend.

  • Cambria Hotels.

  • Clarion Pointe.

  • Clarion.

  • Comfort Inn.

  • Country Inn & Suites.

  • EconoLodge.

  • Everhome Suites.

  • MainStay Suites.

  • Park Inn by Radisson.

  • Park Plaza by Radisson.

  • Quality Inn.

  • Radisson Blu.

  • Radisson Collection.

  • Radisson Individuals.

  • Radisson Inn & Suites.

  • Radisson.

  • Red Radisson.

  • Rodeway Inn.

  • Sleep Inn.

  • Suburban Studios.

  • Woodspring Suites.

🤓Nerdy Tip

WoodSpring Suites locations don’t currently participate in the Choice Privileges program. So, you currently won’t earn points on stays at WoodSpring Suites hotels.

Earning Choice Privileges points

As with many loyalty programs, travelers can earn Choice Privileges points in a variety of ways. The most common way is through hotel stays, but there are other avenues to accumulate program points worth considering.

Hotel stays

You’ll earn 10 points per U.S. dollar spent on room rates at participating hotels, plus your points bonus based on your membership level. Note that you generally won’t earn points on taxes and additional charges, outside of select countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

To earn points, you’ll need to book a points-eligible rate through Choice’s website, phone number, app or directly with the hotel. Stays booked through online travel agencies — such as, Expedia or Orbitz — won’t earn points.

This rewards program is also well-known for offering generous hotel promotions. For example, some promotions offer up to 8,000 bonus points just for completing two stays. Maximizing promotions like these can be a great way to boost your account balance.

Credit card spending

Choice Privileges® Mastercard®

Choice Privileges Mastercard
NerdWallet rating 

Choice Hotels partners with Wells Fargo to offer the Choice Privileges® Mastercard®. There’s no annual fee charged for this card, so it’s not surprising that the perks are minimal.

The best aspect of the Choice Privileges® Mastercard® is that it earns 5 Choice Privileges points per dollar spent at Choice Hotels.

Cardholders earn 3 points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and phone plan services and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Eligible new cardholders can enjoy a sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - enough to redeem for up to 5 rewards nights at select Choice Hotels® properties.

Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard®

Choice Privileges Mastercard Select
NerdWallet rating 

Choice also offers the Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard®, which has an annual fee of $95. The perks are more substantial, including 10 Choice Privilege points per dollar spent at Choice Hotels and automatic Platinum elite status with 20 elite night credits per year. The other bonus spending categories earn 5 Choice Privilege points per dollar on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and phone plans. And cardholders earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

The card also offers the following sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - enough to redeem for up to 7 rewards nights at select Choice Hotels® properties. Plus, cardmembers receive a 30,000-point anniversary bonus each year they renew the card.

Other ways to earn Choice Privileges points

There are plenty of ways to earn points for this rewards program without staying at Choice Hotels or using the Choice Privileges® Mastercard®, like:

  • Golf by Choice: Golfers can earn points for amounts spent on golf equipment, apparel, tee time reservations and more through the Golf by Choice program.

  • Choice Privileges Mall: Make purchases at over 900 merchants through the dedicated shopping portal to earn bonus points.

  • Take surveys through e-Rewards: Enroll in e-Rewards and complete surveys to earn bonus points, including 500 points for your first survey.

  • Refer a friend to Choice: You can even earn 500 bonus points for referring a friend to the rewards program.

Other sources for Choice Privileges points

If you can’t get enough points through earning methods, there are other ways to get Choice Privileges points, from buying them to transferring points from other loyalty programs:

  • Buying Choice Privileges points: If you’re eyeing a high-value redemption, it might make sense to top off your account by buying rewards program points. The rate for buying Choice Privileges points is typically 0.99 cent per point if you buy at least 10,000 points. However, Choice Hotels will periodically offer bonuses or discounts on buying points.

  • Get points through Daily Getaways: One of the best ways to stock up on points is through the Daily Getaways promotion offered yearly by the U.S. Travel Association. The purchase rate has varied over the past few years, but members can typically purchase points for under 0.5 cent per point. Understandably, these promotions sell out quickly.

  • Transferring points to Choice: This program is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One, Citi Thank You, Amtrak Guest Rewards and Diners Club. Transferring points between loyalty programs rarely is a good deal. But, it can work in a pinch when you need to top off your account for a redemption.

Do Choice Privileges points expire?

Yes. If you don’t have any account activity for 18 consecutive calendar months, Choice Privileges will consider your account inactive and all of your points will be forfeited.

Qualifying activity occurs “when points post or are removed from your account.” So, there are plenty of options to keep your account active by earning or redeeming points. There’s one exception to this: Gifting points counts as a qualifying activity for the member who receives the points, but it doesn’t count as a qualifying activity for the member who gifts the points.

Redeeming Choice Privileges points

The most obvious way to redeem Choice Privileges points is for hotel stays, and that’s also usually going to be your best option. However, you have other options if needed.

Redeem points for hotel stays

You can redeem your points for hotel stays at most of Choice Hotels' 7,000 properties. Award rates technically start at just 6,000 points per night, but those rates can be hard to come by. In the U.S., rewards night rates generally start at 8,000 points per night.

Award night rates generally top out at 35,000 points per night, but there are exceptions: Choice Hotels in the Asia-Pacific region can go as high as 75,000 points per night. And, while their terms haven't been updated yet to reflect this, the program charges as much as 100,000 points per night for all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Choice Privileges doesn’t have a traditional award chart. Rather than having standard hotel categories, Choice Hotels’ rewards prices vary throughout the year. Also, Choice may charge a different award rate depending on whether you’re booking a weekend or a weeknight stay.

A property may be 20,000 points per night on weekdays in the fall and jump to 30,000 points per night on weekends during the winter. That can make it tough to plan how many points you’ll need for a getaway until it’s time to book. And, it makes it impossible for us to share the best redemption options, as rates are constantly changing.

NOTE THE 100-day booking window

Choice Privileges members can’t book rewards night stays more than 100 days before their desired date. The company likely does this to gauge how popular a hotel will be before setting award rates.

🤓Nerdy Tip

The 100-day booking window can be frustrating for those who want to lock down their travel plans well in advance. But don’t fret. Set a reminder for 100 days from arrival to book your stay. If you do so, there’s still likely to be award availability, even at popular properties.

Transfer points to other loyalty programs

You can redeem your Choice Privileges points by transferring them to a variety of other loyalty programs, including:

  • Amtrak: 32,000 Choice Privileges points = 5,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points.

  • Aeroplan: 5,000 Choice Privileges points = 1,000 Aeroplan miles.

  • Alaska Airlines: 5,000 Choice Privileges points = 1,000 Mileage Plan miles.

  • Aeromexico: 5,000 Choice Privileges points = 1,600 Club Premier kilometers.

  • Czech Airlines: 5,000 Choice Privileges points = 1,000 OK Plus miles.

  • Spirit Airlines: 5,000 Choice Privileges points = 1,000 Free Spirit miles.

  • United Airlines: 5,000 Choice Privileges points = 1,000 MileagePlus miles.

  • Qantas: 20,000 Choice Privileges points = 3,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

  • Virgin Australia: 20,000 Choice Privileges points = 3,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer points.

Other ways to redeem your points

You’ll want to stick to redeeming your points for hotels if you’re looking to get the most value out of them. However, you can also redeem your Choice Privileges points for vacation rentals, cruises, magazine subscriptions and gift cards, or even donate your points to charity.

Choice Privileges elite status

Frequent Choice Hotels guests will earn bonus points and other elite perks after just 10 nights spent at its properties.


All Choice Privileges elite members receive early check-in and late checkout, a welcome gift at check-in, access to elite reserved parking and access to an elite customer hotline. Elite members can also redeem points for gift cards and roll over excess elite nights to help requalify the next year.

The three tiers of Choice Privileges elite status are Gold, Platinum and Diamond. Save for the elite point bonus amount, the benefits of the three tiers are fairly similar. Here’s an overview of the elite status requirements, perks and benefits of each tier.

Choice Privileges Gold

Earn Gold elite status after 10 qualifying nights at Choice Hotels properties. Gold members get a 10% elite bonus on stays.

Choice Privileges Platinum

Platinum elite status requires 20 qualifying nights. In addition to the benefits all elite members get, Platinum members earn a 25% elite bonus.

Choice Privileges Diamond

Choice’s top tier of elite status, Diamond, requires 40 qualifying nights. The benefits of Diamond elite status are identical to Platinum elite status with one improvement: Diamond elites earn a 50% elite bonus on points stays.

Does Choice Privileges match elite status?

If you have elite status with another hotel brand, you may be able to shortcut your way to elite status with the program by requesting a status match.

When this status match is offered, all you need to do is email a request with your name, Choice Privileges number and proof of elite status with another program. Details of how to do so can be found on Choice’s status match website.

Currently, you can also jump to top-tier Diamond elite status by matching your elite status and then completing just one stay at a Cambria hotel.

Choice vs. competitors

With a range of properties from budget to upscale, Choice did extremely well in NerdWallet’s annual rankings of best hotels and best hotel loyalty programs, ranking first in the best overall hotels category and second in the hotel loyalty programs category out of the seven brands we analyzed.

Here's a closer look at how Choice competed across sub-categories:

The bottom line

The Choice Privileges program may not be the most luxurious hotel loyalty program around; however, there are plenty of reasons to not ignore it completely, including all the factors that landed Choice at the top of our overall hotel brand rankings. You can easily rack up points through promotions and deals like Daily Getaways. And, there are diamonds in the rough to be found due to Choice Hotels’ constantly changing award rates.

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

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IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
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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.


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

World Of Hyatt Credit Card

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World of Hyatt Credit Card
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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.


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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

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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
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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.


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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!

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