choice penn status match
The Royal Beach Casino and St. Kitts Marriott Resort
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Choice Hotels Links Up with Penn Gaming

Choice Hotels announced today that it is teaming up with Penn Gaming, operator of 41 casino hotel properties in 19 states.

Before pondering if this may be an interesting addition to our casino status match portfolio, let’s look at the terms of the tie up, per their press release.

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The agreement will add nearly 7,000 upscale rooms to Choice Hotels’ network as part of its Ascend Hotel Collection, and members of both programs will be able to enjoy the following features as the alliance is implemented in multiple phases this year:

  • Earning and Redeeming at Penn Locations: Earn and redeem Choice Privileges points as well as Elite night credits for stays at 22 Penn locations when booked through Choice. 
  • Earning and Redeeming at Choice Hotels Locations: Earn mychoice tier points as well as earn and redeem mycash for stays at select Choice Hotels brands.
  • Tier Level Reciprocity: Members of either loyalty program will enjoy reciprocal status in both programs.
  • Top Gaming Brands: Choice Privileges members gain access to top gaming brands, including Hollywood, Ameristar, and L’Auberge, which offer approximately 50,000 gaming machines, 1,300 table games, live racing and sports betting.
  • Entertainment: Whether it is an event (when safely permitted), an adventurous evening or a day of relaxation, everything guests need for the ultimate getaway can be found under one roof. Penn offers a variety of stay and play casino resorts for Choice Privileges members to choose from, and a multitude of amenities and attractions designed to entertain and delight at any of the following properties:

    • Ameristar Black Hawk – Black Hawk, Colorado
    • Hollywood Casino Joliet – Joliet, Illinois
    • Ameristar East Chicago – East Chicago, Indiana 
    • Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg – Lawrenceburg, Indiana
    • Ameristar Council Bluffs – Council Bluffs, Iowa
    • L’Auberge Baton Rouge – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    • Boomtown Bossier City – Bossier City, Louisiana
    • Margaritaville Resort Casino – Bossier City, Louisiana
    • L’Auberge Lake Charles – Lake Charles, Louisiana
    • Boomtown New Orleans – New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Hollywood Casino Bangor – Bangor, Maine
    • Greektown Casino-Hotel – Detroit, Michigan 
    • Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast – Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
    • Hollywood Casino Tunica – Tunica, Mississippi
    • Ameristar Vicksburg – Vicksburg, Mississippi
    • Hollywood Casino St. Louis – Maryland Heights, Missouri
    • Argosy Casino Riverside – Riverside, Missouri
    • River City Casino – St. Louis, Missouri 
    • M Resort – Henderson, Nevada
    • Cactus Petes and Horseshu – Jackpot, Nevada
    • Zia Park CasinoHobbs, New Mexico
    • Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races – Charles Town, West Virginia

Note that the Trop in Las Vegas seems to be excluded from points earning and redemption. Now, I know – it’s not the most exciting portfolio of hotels, however, for both those that tend to frequent any Penn Gaming locations or for those with Choice Hotels points to be able to spend at a casino. Note that American Express Membership Rewards transfer to Choice Privileges 1:1.

The Status Match Opportunity

But, given the MilesTalk Status Match Merry Go Round,  I think that you know that I’m most interested in that juiciest of bullet points:

  • Tier Level Reciprocity: Members of either loyalty program will enjoy reciprocal status in both programs.

Now, I would love to drill deep into all the ways we can utilize this but, alas, the information isn’t all out yet.

The key to this all will be what Choice Status matches to what Penn status.

Penn has 5 tier levels in their mychoice program

penn mychoice

Meanwhile, Choice has 3 status tiers:

choice status

With the Penn program, the Preferred tier is where things get very, very interesting. The Preferred level includes, among many benefits:

  • A free stay at the The Royal Beach Casino and St. Kitts Marriott Resort (includes guaranteed Free Play and dining credits)

Now, at Elite level, you get that free St. Kitts stay and then you also get:

  • An oceanview room on a Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise.

Of course, there are a ton more casino benefits. But I’m not going to focus on that since that’s not really the point here.

What will Choice Platinum Match To?

The question is:

What Choice tiers match to what Penn tiers? Does Platinum possibly match to Preferred? Would Diamond match to Elite?

If either is the case, then this gets very interesting. 

Choice Hotels has a (one per lifetime) status match program. Most people with a mid-tier to top tier status to match will be granted Platinum status. It’s valid for just the year you match if you match January to June, but it’s valid for this year and next year if you match from July on.

I have not yet seen a datapoint on a match to Diamond, unfortunately, but please drop me a comment if you have.

Additionally, in 2020 if you had any Choice status, not only did they renew it to the end of 2021, but they bumped members up a tier.

This means that if you did a 2019/2020 match to Platinum and got bumped up in 2020, you likely have Diamond status. I can’t imagine that isn’t at least Preferred status with Penn, if not Elite!

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It Could Confer a Free Hotel Stay in St Kitts

If Penn is matching to at least Preferred, this would get you the free St. Kitts casino hotel stay at the The Royal Beach Casino and St. Kitts Marriott Resort (includes guaranteed Free Play and dining credits)

Most of us know that Caesars Diamond gets you a free stay at Atlantis in the Bahamas.

The Penn mychoice stay looks similar:

Preferred

  • Two-night stay (casino rate for additional nights, minimum 4-night stay required.)
  • $100 dining credit
  • $100 Free SlotPlay® or table chips

Elite

  • Five-night stay
  • $200 dining credit
  • $200 Free SlotPlay or table chips

Owners Club

  • Six-night stay (suite upgrade based on availability)
  • $500 dining credit
  • $500 Free SlotPlay or table chips

Stays are subject to standard St. Kitts taxes typically ranging from $150-$350 total per couple. Taxes can vary based on number of nights and time of year. You can book at 1-866-302-9870.

If the reciprocal status match pans out (to Preferred or Elite) then this is another free hotel stay.

And let’s not gloss over the cruise if there is a way to match up to Elite.

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The Program Years Align

That probably sounds good, but it’s not. Both programs status expire Dec 31st (as far as I can determine). That means you can’t match and rematch every year unless you keep one status going.

But if you match this coming July, you’d at least be able to get 2 years out of the Penn match (by rematching next January).

Wait and See

The bottom line is that we need to wait and see what matches to what. The Choice and Penn tie up is very, very interesting.

I’ll be keeping an eye on it. If you hear anything, please let me know!

Thoughts?

Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

And if this post helped you, please consider sharing it!

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I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

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