Choice Hotels points have tended to be at the bottom of my list. I am not a value hotel stay kind of guy. And while they do have some nice properties in the Ascend Collection, I can’t say I’ve ever wound up choosing one over another option. 

However, there is hidden value in Choice points much the same way that Wyndham points have been best used for Vacasa vacation rentals (although with two Wyndham/Vacasa devaluations in the last year, Wyndham points are getting harder and harder to want).

That hidden value is in their Preferred Hotels and Resorts partnership. The partnership includes tons of great properties (not usually quite 5 star, but certainly there are many on the higher end of things).

The only downside has been that while availability was online, you had to call to book. And that didn’t tend to be smooth.

Well today, Greg the Frequent Miler discovered that they are now indeed bookable online! And Greg mentions that unlike Choice properties, you can book up to a year in advance (Choice makes you wait until 100 days before the date you need, another major flaw in the program for those that need to plan in advance).

The page to check availability is still here. But that page still can’t book.

The page to actually book online is here however Greg notes you’ll need at least one night’s points in order to see availability, so if you don’t have that, use the old link first to check for availability, then transfer points and use the new link to actually book.

Note: Some readers have noticed a disparity in hotels between the two sites.  That’s an unexpected twist and I don’t know *for sure* which is the source of truth but my money would be on the new site with online booking. It may be that they plan to shut down the old site.

I do have a contact at Choice and will try to find out.

Browsing the site again to refresh my memory, I’m reminded just how many great options there are. While the Caribbean has a pathetic 1 hotel (in San Juan, PR), other regions are much better. You’ll be able to stay in New York or LA very reasonably, for example. 

Or in smaller cities there are great finds such as the famous Peabody in Memphis, TN:

peabody hotel memphis

The rates still range from 20,000 – 55,000 points per night, but keep in mind that Citi ThankYou points if you have a Citi Premier or Prestige card transfer 1:2. So a 20,000 / night hotel is only 10,000 Citi ThankYou points!

(Need more points??)

Long story short, this definitely makes Choice points easier to use on higher end stays and therefore makes Citi ThankYou points quite arguably a bit more valuable. 

Great find, Greg!


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