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

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.

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