Daily Getaways: Purchase Choice Privileges Points…. or Get the Southwest Companion Pass!

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Today’s Daily Getaway promotion (Week 2, Day 5) is offering the opportunity to purchase Choice Privileges points at a discount. This deal is slightly less expensive that last years offer, but unfortunately the availability is still extremely limited.

Today’s Daily Getaway gives four purchasing options:

  • 40,000 Choice Privileges points for $160 (380 available); cost = .4 cents per point
  • 36,000 Choice Privileges points for $155 (785 available); cost = .43 cents per point
  • 32,000 Choice Privileges points for $132 (655 available); cost = .41 cents per point
  • 20,000 Choice Privileges points for $90 (220 available); cost = .45 cents per point

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 9.44.23 PMSo with this Daily Getaway opton you can purchase Choice Privilege points at a pretty good discount. You are allowed to purchase 2 per account, so in theory you can purchase 256,000 points per account. However, while quantities are better then some other deal, it is still limited. There are two reasons to purchase these points:

  1. Redeem for Choice Hotels at a discount
  2. Transfer your points to a partnering airline

I am pretty much going to skip over option #1 and focus primarily on #2 – the option where I personally see the real value. I have never stayed at a Choice Hotel, so cannot provide much guidance there. Although, I do know that most of their hotels require anywhere between 6,000 and 35,000 points for a free night and if you do not have status you cannot book a free night award until 30 days out. I’ve also heard that there are some good options in the Bahamas and Europe.

Now… onto #2… transferring your points to a partner airline. In the past you’ve been able to get a discount on flying Southwest when purchasing this deal. Since Southwest went through a devaluation two years ago, you can no longer get a deal on this transfer option, however, you can use this option to get the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass. Choice allows you to transfer your points to Southwest at a conversion rate of 6,000 Choice points = 1,800 Southwest Rapid Reward points. So let’s take the 36,000 option as an example (since it is easily divisible by 6,000). If you purchase this option it will cost you $155. Transferring those points to Southwest will then give you 10,800 Southwest Rapid Reward points. This number of points can be valued at about $154 when used on a Southwest “Wanna Getaway” fare (70 Rapid Reward points = $1). So pretty much it is a wash, but the points transferred will count towards the Southwest Airlines companion pass – which I LOVE! And I prefer to use points when making Southwest reservations then paying cash (related post). 

You need 110,000 points to secure a companion pass that is good for this year plus the following calendar year. This is a great way to top off the amount of points you need to get to this point. Or, if you really want, you can purchase all the packages available, which will give you a grand total of 256,000 Choice Privileges points. If you transfer all of these points to Southwest you will end up with 76,800 points. Ultimately, it will cost you $1,074 and you’ll get $1,097 points worth, so you are coming out slightly ahead. While this alone will not get you the required 110,000, it will get you pretty close. You can read this prior post to learn more about the companion pass and other methods to get the required points. There might also be the opportunity to transfer points from another account to the same Southwest account to enhance the points you get counting towards the companion pass – I have not tested that myself.

I do want to point out though that when this promotion was offered in the past, the offers sold out extremely quickly. Two years ago it sold out within seconds, although that was prior to the Southwest devaluation so it was a much better offer. I cannot recall how fast it went last year. With that being said, I do foresee this one to go quickly and the chances on being able to purchase the maximum number of offers is pretty low. So just keep that in mind when deciding if you want to purchase this offer or not. You need to be okay with just purchasing one package in the case that it gets sold out quickly and you are not able to continue with purchasing the rest of them. And once you make a purchase you are not able to return it. Just something to think about.

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • Point redemption values for transferring or redeeming are subject to change
  • Transferred points counting towards your companion pass could change at some point as well – it is not written anywhere that transferring hotel points do or do not count, it is all based on peoples experience (as of today it does work)
  • You could take the chance and wait until next year to transfer your points from Choice to Southwest if you prefer the points to count towards next year instead – since the 110,000 points earned is based on calendar year, this could set you up nicely for next year (although that did not work out too well for those that held onto Wyndham Reward points over a year ago)
  • Southwest points do not expire as long as you have flight or Partner earning activity every 24 months
  • Choice Privileges points expire on December 31, two years after the year in which they were deposited into your account – therefore, points deposited into your account today will not expire until December 31, 2017
  • When redeeming points you do not earn points, so there is an opportunity cost

While I wish this deal was beneficial when transferring to other airlines, there really is limited value, in my opinion. The other airlines transfer rate is 5,000 points = 1,000 miles. This means that you are buying airline miles at 1.86 cents a piece. While this is a better value then purchasing the miles directly, I would not suggest doing this unless you see a mathematical value in an upcoming trip you are planning.

This deal will go on sale at 1pm EST TODAY Friday April 3. These packages will sell out quickly so I suggest getting your computer out a few minutes prior and continuously refreshing your browser.

You can find out more about the Daily Getaway promotions here.

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