Choice Privileges Blocking Award Nights? (Fixed)

Filed Under: Choice, Hotels

This is an update to the below post from a couple of days ago to note that this issue has been fixed. All Choice Privileges properties appear to once again be bookable as normal.


Earlier I wrote about how Daily Getaways is selling discounted Choice Privileges points today, so you can acquire them for just under half a cent each, which is an excellent price.

However, there is something to be aware of, which is still very much developing. One of the best uses of Choice Privileges points is redeeming them for properties in Northern Europe.

This is both because hotels there are often expensive if paying cash, and also because Clarion Collection properties often include both breakfast and dinner with the room rate, which can be a great way to save money when traveling.

As several readers have pointed out on the Daily Getaways post, something strange is going on right now. At the moment all Nordic Choice hotels are showing as sold out when redeeming points.

This includes nearly 200 properties in Northern Europe, including in Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden. On top of that, all Choice Privileges hotels in Japan are showing as sold out when redeeming points.

We don’t know what exactly is going on here, so I’ll work on trying to figure that out. However, in the meantime this is definitely something to keep in mind if you were considering buying Choice Privileges points for one of these redemptions, which largely represented the best use of Choice points.

Choice Privileges has long been a quirky loyalty program in terms of some of the restrictions they’ve had in place. For example, in the past one major downside to the Choice Privileges program was that they only allowed award redemptions at most 30 days out for US and Canada properties, and 60 days out for other properties. Fortunately Choice modified this policy in 2018, and you can now book up to 100 days out.

I’ll post an update as soon as I have it, though in the meantime “buyer beware.” We’ll see if this is just a temporary glitch, or part of a bigger problem.

Comments
  1. I wanted to buy for redeeming free nights in Japan and when everything came up as sold out I didn’t buy the points today. Glad I checked first.

  2. Loyalty Traveler is reporting this for Japan as well. I am finding this globally, though I did find two hotels in Auckland, NZ available (and about a half dozen others “sold out”).

    It seems to me that perhaps the number of rooms available for awards has been re-jiggered. It might be worth it for someone who is a member of Nordic Choice to check on availability…

  3. easier to get this year with this post 😉
    didn’t have to compulsively F5 the screen.

  4. @Viajersxmun2, Stop spreading anti-IHG lies! 😛 At least IHG doesn’t play games with availability and upgrades like your favorite WoH! IHG always had availability when I needed it in Frankfurt, London, NYC, LA, Bangkok, Hua Hin, etc. But gotta admit there was no availability at only one property which happened to be in Japan: the ANA Crowne Plaza Narita. But all great treatment and recognition!

  5. Some serious cheese on the part of Choice to do this while selling points through the promo.

  6. Bizarre program, Choice Hotels, even in normal times most of the calendar is blacked out. You couldn’t use points to book a hotel for your Xmas holiday for example – right now everything is blacked out after August

  7. buy choice points for specific use. just booked (with previously bought points), for a room that is going for $349 cash rate for 20k points = $100. amazing value.

  8. Harry Hv – not true, what you’re looking at is over 100 calendar days from now, which is why it’s showing it as blacked out. What we’re talking about here are Nordic properties being blocked out completely WITHIN 100 days. They were all available just two days ago. Something strange is happening.

  9. Hi lucky, sorry for the off topic, but I have to tell you the news. The dot just filed a document for banning commercial flight to and from Venezuela to USA effective immediately. Today the confinement just gets bigger.

  10. I’ve noticed the same is true with Wyndham Rewards. There are a few Wyndham properties that are actually worth a stay or redeeming points for. Wyngate is a good example. However, they never are available for point redemption.

  11. I noticed it this morning while searching for a hotel in Salzburg. They were all completely sold out for the next 3 months!

  12. @ Viajersxmun2…You are correct to point out IHG. They do like to limit reward/point redemtions alot more that Hilton, WoH or Marriott. I haven’t had an issue with my bookings with them, but I have seen alot of black outs with reward redemptions.

  13. So they manage inventory and limit “free” rooms. If they can be sold at a premium rate that is just smart business. Sorry but no one (even at very top of a program as I am for a number of them) is “owed” a free night. Businesses exist to maximize profits. Loyalty programs play into that so if they make it practically impossible to redeem awards or severely devalue them it hurts that demographic. However, if they are sold out most of the time the business can make a decision that adversely impacts people with points. Also, every program I’m aware of has the right in their rules to change the program, or even discontinue it, at their sole discretion.

    Sorry for the restrictions. Hopefully is a technical glitch but, if not, that is just how things work out. If you don’t like this program go to another one.

  14. 100 days out tells me all I need to know about Choice hotels. Sad. I’m forced to stay at some Choice hotels (in one right now) and it’s a sub-par program with sub-par hotels in general but at least it’s not Wyndham.

  15. What’s happened to the Sri Lanka trip report you started on 4 April? It seems to have just stopped well over a week ago – nothing much since but endless credit cards and dodgy points purchase offers (and Tiffany’s wildly popular post on, er, getting around LAX. I’m beginning to suspect it’s me that’s the freak here!).

    I’m still keen to hear your reviews of KLM…

  16. I find many Choice hotels in the US to be clean, comfortable, and a very good value. Certainly, if you need/desire luxury, you probably need to look elsewhere. There are more upscale properties available, particularly in Europe, and using points for these bookings is often a great value.

    I recently returned from Europe and all of my stays were using points at Ascend Collection properties. One of those properties was initially impossible to book with points. In fact, when searching, I could not even land on a page showing me that rooms were unavailable with points.

    I called the program and the CSR could not explain the problem. It was elevated to their technical support team and the problem was fixed in several days, allowing for booking with points.

    Hopefully, the problem referenced in this blog post is just another technical glitch that will soon be resolved.

  17. I reached out to Jamie Russo,
    Vice President Loyalty Programs and Customer Engagement. She said that “it appears to be a glitch” and she will flag it to IT.

  18. WooHoo! It’s back! Thanks for taking the time to write this blog post, and to all those who reached out to Choice to flag this glitch. All is well.

  19. @The nice Paul, in case you haven’t read the post yesterday, Lucky is caring for his mum which is why there’s not much content in the past week.

  20. Has anyone ever used Choice points for a Preferred hotel redemption? They had some interesting high end properties but I never got further than glancing at few of them.

  21. Availability may be available but it doesn’t look exactly fixed everywhere – Ascend Hotels in Oslo are showing available for 20,000 points + $17,857 a night. Points and Cash is 6000 + $105.

  22. Still not fixed for Ascend Hotels in Merida, Mexico or Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Could you follow up with these two properties as well?

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