My parents are taking a trip down the California Coast in October and as I am sure you can guess, yours truly is doing all of the planning. I am responsible for booking them 8 nights of hotel rooms amongst 5 different locations. While 3 of the locations can easily be booked with points, they’ll be paying out of pocket in Carmel by the Sea. Hotels there right in the heart of the cute downtown area are not cheap, but fortunately there is a Clarion hotel that was reasonably priced and got good reviews.
While my parents were content with a hotel room under $150, I knew I could do better. The hotel only costs 10,000 Choice points (the loyalty program that Clarion hotels are part of), but we have zero Choice points in our accounts. With that being said, Choice is a partner of American Express Membership Reward points and transfer at a 1:1 ratio. I personally like to get better values out of my Membership Reward points, but it is definitely an option since they are trying to keep their hotel out of pocket expenses low.
I then checked the Choice site to see how much it would cost to purchase 10,000 Choice points. To my surprise there was an “up to 30% bonus” promotion happening when purchasing points by August 10, 2018.
To my surprise, purchasing 10,000 points only cost $99! Since I wasn’t looking to purchase that many points, it was only a 10% discount – you need to purchase at least 40,000 points to get the full 30% discount. But even with a 10% discount, $99 was a phenomenal deal! Even with no discount, purchasing points was cheaper then the regular rate. While this still requires spending money out of pocket, it is an awesome option and way better then getting a 1 cent per point value out of my American Express Membership Reward points!
While I always preach to NOT purchase points speculatively, I always recommend just looking into the option. You never know when purchasing points will actually work out cheaper then paying the lowest rate you can find from the hotel directly!