Nordic Choice Sweet-Spots: Great Value w/ Choice Points

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I’ve long heard that redeeming Choice Privileges points at Nordic Choice Hotels offered great value, but I’ve never previously looked very closely at this.  Now I have.  And I found that great value is easy to find in Norway and Sweden!  In Norway, for example, the $342 per night Funken Lodge in Svalbard costs only 12,000 points per night.  And in Sweden, I found three hotels that in the summer cost $220 per night or more (Hotel Wisby, Stromstad Spa & Resort, Hotel Grand Ostersund) and each can be booked for only 10,000 points per night!  In other Nordic countries, I found good value, but not as great as in Norway and Sweden.

The Thief Hotel in Oslo, Norway costs 20,000 points per night. That’s more than most Nordic Choice Hotels, but still a bargain compared to its room rate which is often well over $300 per night. Plus, how cool is this foot?!  I can’t think of any other hotel where I’d go out of my way to visit the garage!

Nordic Choice Hotels is a Scandinavian hotel chain with over 200 hotels.  Even though Nordic Choice has its own rewards program, their hotels also partially participate in the Choice Privileges program: you can redeem Choice Privileges points for Nordic Choice hotels, but you can’t earn Choice Privileges points at those hotels.  Nordic Choice Hotels offer multiple brands that map directly to Choice Hotel brands:

Nordic Choice Brand Choice Hotels Brand
Comfort Hotel Comfort
Quality Hotel Quality
Clarion Collection Hotel Clarion
Clarion Hotel Clarion
Independent hotels Ascend Hotel Collection

Acquiring Choice Privileges Points

Citi’s lineup of ThankYou Rewards cards offer the best way to earn Choice points.  As long as you have the Citi Premier card, you can transfer Citi points to Choice points at a 1 to 2 ratio (i.e. get twice as many Choice points)

You can earn Choice Privileges points, of course, from hotel stays at Choice Hotels properties (but not at Nordic Choice Hotels).  The best way to earn Choice points, though, is to earn Citi ThankYou Points and then transfer them 1 to 2 to Choice.  For example, you could sign up for the Citi Premier Card which has an 80,000 point welcome bonus at the time of this writing and transfer those 80,000 Citi points into 160,000 Choice points!

Using Choice Points at Nordic Choice Hotels

It’s easy to use your Choice points at Nordic Choice Hotels.  Simply log into your Choice Privileges account and search for hotels in Scandinavia.  Here are some things to know:

  • Choice only allows booking with points within 100 days of your stay.
  • Often (but not always), all room types can be booked with points for the same price as a standard room.  Sometimes even multi-room suites can be booked for the same award price as a standard room!

Sweet Spot Finds

I used Nordic Choice’s website to find Independent Hotels (Ascent Hotel Collection) and Clarion Hotels.  Even limiting to those top two brands, the list of available hotels was too large for me to go through all of them, so I searched for prices on July 7-10, 2022 and picked only the hotels that cost ~$200 USD per night or more.  This was my rough way of finding high end hotels.  Then, for each of the remaining hotels, I turned to the Choice Hotels website to find more information about each hotel: what it cost in points, whether suites were available for points, and what types of meals were included for free.  With that data, I also calculated the redemption point value for each hotel.  In other words, based on the cash rate shown on the Nordic Choice website, I calculated how many cents per point in value one would get by booking the hotel with points.

At the time of this writing, our Reasonable Redemption Value for Choice points is 0.68 cents per point.  Any point values higher than that can be said to be good value.  In this case, though, I was looking for very good value and tossed out any results where point values were lower than 1 cent per point.  Out of 27 hotels, I only had to toss out four because the point values were too low.  One of the four tossed out was in Denmark (Villa Copenhagen with points worth 0.8 cents each) and the other three were in Finland (Hotel Lilla Roberts, Hotel Fabian, and Hotel Haven with points worth 0.7, 0.8, and 0.8 cents each, respectively).

When reading the “Cents Per Point Value” numbers, below, keep in mind that Citi ThankYou points are twice as valuable (since they double when transferred to Choice!).

Denmark

SKT. PETRI, Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $223.36
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.1
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: N/A

Finland

Hotel F6, Helsinki, Finland

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $230.24
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.2
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Norway

Funken Lodge, Svalbard, Norway

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $342.34
  • Award Price Per Night: 12,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 2.9
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Continental Breakfast

Son Spa, Son, Norway

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $349.18
  • Award Price Per Night: 16,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 2.2
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? Yes
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

The Thief, Oslo, Norway

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $324.60
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.6
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Afternoon Tea

Hotel Brosundet, Alesund, Norway

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $226.30
  • Award Price Per Night: 16,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.4
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Organic breakfast and light evening buffet

Norefjell Ski & Spa, Norefjell, Norway

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $225.48
  • Award Price Per Night: 16,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.4
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? Yes
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Clarion Hotel & Congress Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, Norway

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $224.67
  • Award Price Per Night: 16,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.4
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Hotel Arcticus, Harstad, Norway

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $196.15
  • Award Price Per Night: 16,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.2
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? Yes
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast, Waffles 3 to 6, Evening meal 6 to 9

Hotel Havnekontoret, Bergen, Norway

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $194.99
  • Award Price Per Night: 16,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.2
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Free organic breakfast and a light evening buffet

Amerikalinjen, Oslo, Norway

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $228.50
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.1
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Hotel Tyholmen, Arendal, Norway

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $205.89
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.0
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Hotel Helma, Mo i Rana, Norway

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $196.15
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.0
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Sweden

Hotel Grand Ostersund, Ostersund, Sweden

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $234.66
  • Award Price Per Night: 10,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 2.3
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? Yes
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Stromstad Spa & Resort, Stromstad, Sweden

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $230.51
  • Award Price Per Night: 10,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 2.3
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? Unknown
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Hotel Wisby, Visby, Sweden

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $220.37
  • Award Price Per Night: 10,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 2.2
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Hotel Odin, Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $203.77
  • Award Price Per Night: 10,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 2.0
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Free organic breakfast and light evening buffet

Hotel Packhuset, Kalmar, Sweden

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $213.57
  • Award Price Per Night: 16,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.3
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Organic breakfast and light evening buffet

Hotel Sea U, Helsingborg, Sweden

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $243.88
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.2
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Avalon Hotel, Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $239.39
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.2
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

Hotel Post, Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Brand: Clarion
  • Cash Price Per Night: $213.57
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.1
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast

At Six, Stockholm, Sweden

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $207.69
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.0
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: N/A

Hotel Martenson, Halmstad, Sweden

  • Brand: Ascend
  • Cash Price Per Night: $206.89
  • Award Price Per Night: 20,000
  • Cents Per Point Value: 1.0
  • Book Suites for Same Award Price? No
  • Meals Included: Full Breakfast
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[…] is a well-researched, in-depth analysis of Choice sweet spots in Scandinavia from Frequent Miler: Nordic Choice Sweet-Spots: Great Value w/ Choice […]

Brian

Great list! I’d be curious if there is any way to amass points for Scandic Hotels, because the ones I’ve stayed at in Scandinavia have all been amazing and would probably be incredible points values. The breakfasts at Scandic hotels are unmatched.

GUWonder

From around sometime in mid-March 2021 and pretty well into September 2021, most Nordic Choice properties could not be booked using Choice Privileges points. Just something to consider, as this was the longest blackout of Nordic Choice properties for redemption availability using Choice Privileges points that I’ve ever seen.

GUWonder

I use the Hotel Wisby a lot …. on points. It’s a big money saver for me at a time when Visby/Gotland is popular with summering Swedes.

Choice’s approach to points pricing in Scandinavia is more or less hands-off after initial set-up; and higher point prices primarily have come about in the following way: when a new hotel joins Nordic Choice, Choice Privileges sets it up to be on the “expensive” end in terms of points price. Fortunately, it has left older properties generally untouched in terms of points pricing. That said, there are times when most Nordic Choice properties are sudden;y not available for booking with Choice Privileges points and the blackout can last weeks or months without explanation provided to the public.

Kirby

Just a comment on vacationing with a family in Norway, since Choice hotels aren’t always convenient/available where you want to go…
do searches for “hytte” in the towns you want to visit. Think cabins or Airbnb type accommodation where a family can stay and cook their own meals. The real expensive part of vacationing in Norway is eating out. Like $40 for McDonalds or a pizza.

Richard Garrido

Light buffet dinner at Clarion Collection hotels has always been plenty of food for a dinner meal. Salads, soups, some meats and cheeses. There used to be more Clarion Collection hotels, but several rebranded to Ascend Collection and dropped the light dinner buffet. Many hotels also have a pancake hour in the afternoon.

There are some hotels where family rooms are available for up to six guests.

My first trip to Norway in 2014 when the country was the most expensive tourist destination in the world due to the strong value of the Norwegian Krone, I redeemed 214,000 Choice Privilges points (my cost about $1,000 purchased in Daily Getaways) for 13 nights in rooms with the total room rates at time over $5000.

Choice points have held better redemption value than any other hotel loyalty program over the past 7 years as all other programs devalued. Although IHG points currently have great value too since the pandemic with lower points rates in many places than before the pandemic.

Bob

Ric! Great to hear from you again. Miss your blog. Hope you’re doing ok through all this

LuAnne

Ric,
I owe you a big thank you!
I followed your advice above in 2019, collected enough Choice points at Daily Getaway’s. In turn that afforded me a wonderful six night stay at Bergen Havnekontoret.The hotel is in a central location.That made it very easy to get around by foot and public transportation. The hotel food was good and healthy.Would love to go back.

T. Jones

Thank you for writing about this. Bookmarked.
I recently started planning a trip to Svalbard/Norway and saw that I’d likely want a lot of Choice points. There are some good options for getting those points right now, and I’m taking a hard look at both Citi Premier and Venture X. I know that on a straight up transfer basis, the Citi Premier offers a better return. However, I’d really like to make a foray into the Cap One points arena. Decisions…decisions…

Larry K

For Svalbard it is a bit stressful, because of the 100 day window for making award bookings. For a trip like that presumably you are booking further out and so you definitely would want a back up at the Radisson or something. I am planning a trip there too and the unavailability of rooms for more than 2 throughout almost all of Scandinavia turns out to be a real drag.

T. Jones

I’m about a year out from deciding all the particulars, and the 100 day window for Choice bookings is certainly inconvenient. Good idea to have the Radisson backup plan!

swatraveltips

This is why FM is so great. Original content that’s 100% actionable. Love it.

Matt

I was literally about to write a comment just like this. I follow a bunch of blogs and I find FM consistently writes the best/most helpful, unique pieces. Keep it up!

Gubmintmole

The rates got my attention as I stopped paying attention to my Choice account a while back. Got me thinking about a Sweden/Norway trip now

Larry K

Great resource. One note — great for couples not for families. I would guess the vast majority of these hotels do not allow more than two in the rooms.

GUWonder

Up to children 12 years and under can stay in the room for free with the adult(s) if no additional bedding is required in the booked/assigned room. That said, there are some Nordic Choice hotels where rooms accommodating 3-4 people are sometimes available for use using Choice Privileges points, but whether you get those rooms or not can be sort of like roulette regardless of what room type was booked. And even if you get assigned one of those rooms with 3-4 people occupancy listed, they aren’t always set up with bedding sufficient to handle 2 adults+2 U12 children and so that has to be factored in even as they may have rollaway beds available or even sofa-beds in some rooms.

I’m in a Nordic Choice hotel tonight using Choice points. Some of these hotels know me so well that they check me in as soon as they see me approach the door.

LarryInNYC

Super helpful, actionable information for the kind of trip I might actually take!

The hotels with food in the evening are even more intriguing. Any idea what “light buffet” means?

Brant

I continue to recommend the Clarion Sign Hotel in central Stockholm, Sweden. It is located in the very heart of the city and provides an upscale experience at minimal points cost. The buffet breakfast is amazing with an omelette bar for custom ordered plates! This is free for every guest in your room! Currently, you can reserve a family room for up to 4 people 2/9-2/16, 2021 for only 10,000 Choices Privileges points per night! The cash price for the same room is $234.07 per night! 2.34¢ per point is a fantastic redemption rate. You could have purchased CP points during the recent US Travel Association Daily Get Aways sale at slightly over 1/2¢ each. So, for around $50 per night you and 3 guests can stay in a beautiful high rise hotel in one of the most amazing cities in Europe and totally pig out at the breakfast buffet each morning. That’s $12.50 per night, per person. By the way, restaurant food in Stockholm is very expensive, so the food alone is an incredible bargain!

MICHAEL W.

Great info, I have bookmarked this for my next trip to Scandinavia