How to keep Choice Privileges points alive


Recently, AwardWallet alerted me that my Choice Privileges points were due to expire in 2 months.  So, I logged onto my Choice account to see what I could do to extend the life of my points.

Fortunately, it’s possible to reset the clock on your points for 18 months simply by earning or redeeming Choice points.

I wondered if booking and then cancelling an award stay would work?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: I booked an award night for 8K points and then my account immediately showed that the life of my points had been extended to about 19 months from today.  Yay!  Then I cancelled the award night in order to get my points back.  Then, my account immediately showed that my points would once again expire within 2 months.  Boo.

Next I wondered if booking and cancelling a points+cash stay would work?

Short answer: Yes!

Long answer: When booking a points+cash stay, you’re essentially buying the points you need at a discount.  When you cancel the stay, you get back more points than you started with (since you had bought the extra points).

I booked this stay for 6,000 points plus $32:

I paid $32 with a credit card that offers an annual travel rebate.  Since the charge comes from Choice Hotels, it is categorized as travel.  After booking the above stay, I had 6,000 fewer points and my point expiration date had been extended:

The question was what would happen when I cancelled the stay?  Would the expiration date reset back to 5/1/2021?

As you can see above, the answer was that I kept the new expiration date after cancelling the stay.  I’m now $32 poorer and 4,000 points richer.  In other words, I indirectly bought 4,000 points for $32 and reset the clock on my points.  Yes, I could have achieved the same thing by buying Choice points directly, but Choice would have charged me $48.40 for 4,000 points that way.  I saved about 35% by buying indirectly.  Also, if I bought directly, the charge would have come from and would not have coded as travel.

Other ways to keep points alive

Earn points

  • Book paid stays at Choice hotels earn points (and actually complete the stay)
  • Shop through the Choice Privileges shopping portal (Note: I’ve heard that this portal takes a long time to pay out, so make sure to do this many months before point expiration)
  • Rent a car from a company that offers Choice points as a rewards option (Avis or Budget, for example)
  • Sign up for the Choice credit card
  • Buy points from Choice for $12.10 per 1,000 points (poor value compared to the points+cash trick described previously)
  • Refer a friend who’s new to Choice Privileges and who is planning an upcoming stay

Spend points

  • Book an award stay (and actually complete the stay)
  • The following options offer poor value for your points:
    • Redeem points for gift cards
    • Redeem points to donate to charity
    • Redeem points for an AARP membership
    • Redeem points for cash via Bakkt

Transfer points to Choice

  • Transfer points from Amex Membership Rewards to Choice Privileges (1,000 to 1,000)
  • Transfer points from Amtrak to Choice (5,000 to 15,000). Requires Amtrak elite status or $20K spend on the Amtrak World Elite Mastercard.

Transfer points from Choice

  • Air Canada Aeroplan: 5,000 Choice points to 1,000 miles
  • Alaska MileagePlan: 5,000 Choice points to 1,000 miles
  • American Airlines: 5,000 Choice points to 1,000 miles
  • Amtrak Guest Rewards: 32,000 Choice points to 5,000 Amtrak points
  • AeroMexico Club Premier: 5,000 Choice points to 1,000 miles (1,600 Kilometers)
  • Czech Airlines: 5,000 Choice points to 1,000 miles
  • Qantas: 20,000 Choice points to 8,000 miles
  • United: 5,000 Choice points to 1,000 miles
  • Southwest: 6,000 Choice points to 1,800 Southwest points
  • Spirit: 5,000 Choice points to 1,000 miles
  • Virgin Australia: 20,000 Choice points to 8,000 miles


It’s possible to indirectly buy Choice Privileges points for .8 cents per point by booking and then cancelling a points+cash stay.  While Choice points vary widely in value depending upon how they’re used, I’ve often found points to be worth 1 cent or more towards free nights.  As a result, I don’t mind buying points for less than a penny each.  The side benefit to doing so is that it causes your points expiry to reset for another 18 months.

5 1 vote
Post Rating

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thinking of joining and I assume that transferring Thank You points from Citibank is now an option to extend?

Anyone done this yet?



Yes, I just did this; the transfer was immediate and pushed the expiration date out by 18 months immediately.


This is an old post but you can now link Choice to Bakkt and redeem for cash. They have a promo where you get points also but I couldn’t get that to work in a timely manner so I just cashed out. 8k minimum for $25 cash.


Awesome tip, totally worked for me (cash + points res>cancel). Extended to 3/23!
I was charged $18 ultimately for 2k points (8k stay, 6k + $18 for cash + points res), but close enough!


Adding a datapoint. Did the same for an 8k stay, with a 2k point purchase for $16 and successfully extended my point expiration date.


Still works. About a year later, I extended my points expiration again with another booking & cancellation of an 8k stay (2k points purchase for $17).


Sadly, I mistakenly thought my points wouldn’t expire until June 2021 since they extended my wife’s points (she has “elite” status). Lost 91,000 points despite repeated emails to Choice asking for them to be reinstated since we could not travel during the pandemic. Wish I would have done a fake booking to extend the expiration 🙁 Very disappointed in Choice program, especially when every other rewards program IS extending points expiration dates. Wyndham DID reinstate my 20,000 points that expired recently when I emailed them my request.


Haha – I got the award wallet email just recently too so this was very timely, thank you! Will likely buy a few thousand points to get to the minimum of 6000 (?) points needed to do a cash and points stay in the future.


One tip on the Choice Privileges shopping portal–there are a few card linked offers. Not a lot, but as a dog owner I use, so I keep my points active that way.

David T Duff

yes I transferred 1k AmEx MR points , i am pretty sure it extended the points for 2 years but i was unable to confirm it might be 18 months, thanks!

Mike Chicago

Another good option that I last used in December is a points transfer from Choice to Southwest (6000 choice to 1800 southwest).


This is a timely post for me. I received an email on Mar 03 telling me my points will expire on Apr 01. IMO it is crappy that they are not extending them further given everything that is still going on, vaccines still not widely available, but I digress. I figured I would try to buy something thru the portal but the risk of not tracking is a concern.

I did not do it yet, but I found the Econo Lodge Milwaukee Airport is pricing at 6K points + $16 instead of an 8K stay. So if you want to only buy 2K points for $16, that is an option. Same price per point, but less cost today.


Thanks for this post! Last year I’m pretty sure that I transferred in 1k Amex MR points to extend their life and probably would have just done the same thing again this year (and perhaps unknowingly let my points expire) had I not read your post. I’m also happy to be $32 poorer and 4k points richer.