My Week in Points October 21-27: not opening my wallet and disappointing Choice Privileges bonus

When something too good to be true pops up, should I jump or not?

Often the answer for me hinges on whether or not it requires a cash outlay. And if I understand the proposition.

If something appears in a flash that requires no opening of my wallet, I will sign up and let the dust settle as the rabid do vetting work. Things like the recent Wyndham and Jetsetter offers that do require cash outlay, and that unraveled shortly after appearing, I steered clear. New Girl in the Air has a great piece, This Hobby is Not Without Risks.

No matter how convincing the experts are, I do not like the concept of buying miles, the only time I have effectively done it is Avios + cash redemptions on British Airways when I had an immediate need for the Avios.

The recent US Airways miles sharing promotion was a no-brainer to many and they get value out of it, but I did not want to put out $500+ in real cash. And that was a rock-solid deal with no questions that it would be honored.

So when the Wyndham offer appeared, a program that I know nothing about, I let it sail on by. As for Jetsetter, my memory is long-enough to remember the prior issues with the car service deal. Even though I did get that car service deal, I decided to not bother investing the time and effort to try again.

That means some deals I will miss out on, but I only have so much time and tolerance for these, and I try to chose my battles.

Changing gears, my Choice Privileges Take Two Trips, Earn 1 Night Free bonus posted from my two stays in Australia. It took a missing credit request from the second stay folllowing no action during the 20-day international allowance. The terms state:

After a second qualifying stay with arrival between 8/30/12 and 11/14/12, you will be awarded a minimum of 5,000 and maximum of 8,000 points, depending on how many points were earned from your two (2) separate qualified stays. These bonus points will allow redemption for a free night at the 8,000 reward night level at over 1,500 hotels. A free night at most Choice Privileges locations requires more than 8,000 points.

I received 5,000 points and I am disappointed. Nowhere in the terms does it say how the final bonus amount from 5,000-8,000 is determined. So Choice went to the cost of awarding me 5,000 points but at what end? Not a satisfied customer. The offering was already confusing enough by requiring multi-night stays at certain brands, then adding bonus uncertainty is downright frustrating. I don’t have enough points for a free night so won’t be back anytime soon. If a company is going to do a promotion, they might as well do it in a way that will make customers feel rewarded, even pleasantly surprised.

 

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  • Katherine

    The promotion is actually gives you the difference between the points on your 1st stay and 8,000 points. However, the minimum bonus is 5,000 points.

    If you paid $100 and received 1,000 points, you would received 7,000 points on your second stay ($100 stay would generate 1,000 base points and 6,000 bonus points)

    If the bonus points earned on the 2nd stay is less than 5,000 points, that is when you would receive 5,000 points.

  • jj

    pretty bad when they dont even pony up enough points for an econolodge stay anywhere.

    fact of the matter is according to their website you can stay exactly nowhere for 5000 points.

    they are misleading in their advertising to make it look like a buy 2 get one free promo, then only giving enough points that gets you no free night.

    they would have to give you at least 6000 points to meet the terms of their posted promo.

    unless i am misteken they are not honoring these terms:

    “Book at ChoiceHotels.com or 800.4CHOICE and after your second qualifying stay with arrival between August 30 and November 14, 2012 you’ll receive enough Choice Privileges® points to redeem for a FREE night at over 1,500 hotels”

    5000 points is not enough to redeem even at some backwoods off interstate slumconolodge.

  • PointsObsession

    No kidding! I was foolish enough to take a chance on the Wyndham deal. I’m finished screwing around with the second and third rate programs. They offer no credibility and I don’t have the time or desire to deal with them.

  • al

    Choice hotels are mostly cheap roadside motels… Yikes.

  • Ric Garrido

    If you received 5,000 bonus points, then you should have received over 3,000 base points for your stays.

    As Katherine said, the bonus is equal to the points needed to reach a total of 8,000 points after two stays. There is a 5,000 points minimum bonus.

    There are about 1,500 hotels in Choice Privileges available for 8,000 points at any time. Currently there are many hotels in Europe that were 20,000 points over summer that are now availale for 8,000 points. London and Paris have several hotels currently available for 8,000 points.

    At least they updated the terms to state there is a 5,000 points minimum. That term was just added in mid-2012 and this is the third time in 2012 Choice Privileges has run the 8,000 points after two stays promotion.

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