Choice Hotels Is Adding An Elite Benefit That Hyatt Took Away

It used to be that Hyatt Diamond members received a welcome amenity upon check-in at all of their properties. If you were staying within the US, you could choose from a food & beverage amenity or bonus points, whereas for international properties you generally just got the food & beverage amenity.

I always took the points if I could, either 1,000 points for full-service properties or 500 points at Hyatt Place or Hyatt House. They even gave you a 50% bonus if you had to call to request those points because they failed to post.

Earlier this year, however, Hyatt decided they no longer need to make their top-tier Globalist members feel welcome upon check-in. So they did away with the welcome amenity.

Well, Choice Hotels is taking the opposite view. They just announced that they will start offering Choice Privileges elite members a welcome gift on every stay at all of their brands.

The new policy will kick in on June 1 at Cambria, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, MainStay Suites, Quality Inn, and Clarion brand properties, with Ascend Hotel Collection, Econo Lodge, Rodeway, and Suburban Extended Stay hotel properties following on August 1.

Gold, Platinum, and Diamond elite members will all be eligible.

Welcome gift or points?

We haven’t been advised yet as to what the welcome gift will be. I’ll temper my expectations and be happy with perhaps a drink from the bar and a packaged snack. But hey, that’s better than nothing.

And I actually have Gold status with Choice, even though I’m not exactly sure how I got it. Did I really end up with 10 stays there last year? I honestly didn’t even think about it until they sent me the membership card.

My guess is that I’ll take the points if that’s an option. If they offer 500 points or so, I would value them at about $3.75 assuming 0.75 cents per point. That may not seem like much, but on a room that might only cost $50, it’s a decent little bonus.

And considering that their recurring Stay Twice Earn 8,000 Points promotion can already be a decent deal — especially if you redeem Choice points in Norway where their Clarion Collection hotels come with breakfast and dinner — a few bonus points could potentially tip the scales.


A man can dream right?

Bottom line

I’m excited to see Choice adding perks to their elite program. A welcome gift may not seem like much, but I honestly think it makes a difference.

In a time when cutting elite benefits seems to be in vogue, it’s nice to see a chain truly enhancing their program, modest as it may be.

Do you have elite status with Choice Hotels? Are you excited about the new welcome gift and bonus points?

Comments

  1. Living in hotel for 6 years now .Choice has been the brand i stay at most but that’s only because of there promotion’s
    I love there promotion stay 2 times get a night free but being diamond with them i get between 9,000 and 10,000 per 2 nights with the 50 % bonus
    I earn the points in USA and spend them in places like Roatan,Honduras where its 6,000a night and they upgraded me to a 1 bedroom suite it was nicer then some marriott,hiltons ——- im also diamond with hilton and platium with marriott and spg and then there is cayman islands in the caribbean 10,000 a night and also the norway,sweden and europe hotels .
    this year in Australia i used choice for great value – many choice hotels are nice

    i post video on facebook under 12 step nomad look for the roatan one it was sweet

  2. Some of the choice hotels have already been offering awesome welcome amenities, one of their “resorts” in Montana gives you an airplane bottle of booze, a ceramic mug to keep, and a bunch of candy! The points can be useful at the preferred collection too if you can manage to navigate the nonsense and actually book one successfully…

  3. I honestly had to look up what hotels were in the Choice portfolio of brands. I can’t remember the last time I stayed at any of those properties.

    I know in the Nordic countries the Choice brand–like Radisson/Club Carlson–is strong with decent 3-star or 3 1/2-star (maybe even 4-star) Clarion properties in Stockholm and Gothenburg.

    Still, I don’t think I would ever stay at a property in North America because there’s no consistency. The Quality Inn properties seem to be mostly ex-Holiday Inn or ex-Best Western hotels that were reflagged to Quality Inn because the owners refused to make the renovations that Holiday Inn and Best Western required a few years ago. All of the Quality Inn hotels that I’m familiar with through my travels are very old properties.

    As for Comfort Inn, I think this is basically a Fairfield Inn with less brand consistency and lower brand standards.

  4. I, too, have Gold status with Choice and don’t know why. Don’t think I made the 10 stays. It is a handy and generous loyalty program, with often a free night every third stay (some rooms are even cheaper than 8000 points!). And in a world of constant program and points devaluation, this stands out. I’ll be telling my friends to stay at Choice Hotels.

  5. I’m a Diamond member, ready to stop staying at Choice hotels. Award prices seemed to have skyrocketed at the average hotels I stay in, I’ve seen a Rodeway Inn at 30,000 for a night. I’ve had no luck booking an award stay in Denmark within the award window when paid rooms are available. Maybe this welcome bonus will change my mind if it’s large enough, but I’m guessing it will be small.

  6. I wonder if this is replacing, or in addition to the Something Extra promo they’ve had. That was good only Sunday though Thursday nights.

    With it you could get:
    500 Choice Privileges points
    100 airline miles with participating carriers
    $0.20 per gallon in Fuel Rewards® savings at Shell or other select fuel stations1
    $2.50 Amazon.com credit2
    $5 coffee card
    $2.50 Uber trip discount (added recently).

  7. They status match so just drop them a line and your Hyatt, Hilton, SPG, etc. With Hyatt Gold (now Discoverist), you should get Platinum.

    Choose an elite welcome gift or bonus points at participating U.S. hotels. If you choose bonus points, you’ll earn:
    250 bonus points at Comfort Suites® and Comfort Inn®2
    200 Bonus points at Clarion®, Sleep Inn®, Quality® and Mainstay®3

  8. I’m Diamond and have had good experiences with Comfort Inns and Comfort Suites. Not so much with Quality Inns and lower scales brands.

  9. In addition to Comfort Inns and Comfort Suites, I’ve also had good experiences with their Sleep Inns.

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