This morning, Choice finally weighed in with its own promotional offer, applicable to stays between February 5 and April 30.
After every two qualifying stays at Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, or Ascend Collection hotels, members of the Choices Privileges program will earn 8,000 points, enough for a free award night at many hotels in the Choice network.
If the qualifying stays are at lower-priced MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, or Rodeway Inn hotels, the member will earn 6,000 points.
To earn the bonus, regular Choice Privileges members must book their stays through choicehotels.com or 1-800-4CHOICE; Diamond- or Platinum-level members can book their stays through any channel.
The Choice offer differs from those of other major hotel chains in promising a set number of total points after two stays, rather than a set number of bonus points, or a set multiplier (double points, for instance). That makes short stays more valuable than longer stays.
So, for example, a member making two stays of one night each at higher-priced Choice hotels, which award 10 points per $1 spent, would normally earn around 3,000 points (assuming a $150 room rate). With the promotion, Choice would add 5,000 more points to bring the total for the two stays to 8,000 points.
In the scenario where each stay is a single night, the bonus amounts to more than doubling the points earned. Or, viewed another way, it's tantamount to getting a free night after two paid nights. Either way, it's an attractive offer.
Conversely—and somewhat paradoxically—the longer the stays, the less valuable the promotion becomes. Luckily, there are other hotel offers available that don't penalize travelers for longer stays.