Preferred Hotels & Resorts via Choice: Value unlocked. Frustration assured.


Citibank recently added the ability to transfer ThankYou Rewards points to Choice Privileges at an excellent 1 to 2 rate.  1,000 Citi points becomes 2,000 Choice points.  This is great for Choice Hotels stays.  They even have some high end Ascend Collection hotels that offer excellent value (the Hotel Napa Valley and the Peacock Inn in Princeton, NJ are ones that Nick and I, respectively, have booked in the past).  Venturing outside of Choice’s own hotels, though, it’s possible to go really high end thanks to their partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

Update: Preferred Hotels are now easily bookable online with Choice points. Please see this post for details and instructions: Preferred Hotels now bookable online with Choice points!

a pool with chairs and a couch

The only problem with this option is that booking a Preferred Hotel with Choice points is an extremely frustrating experience.  More about that later.  Hopefully as more and more of us book these properties, Choice will smooth out the process.

Great value is now possible

Preferred Hotels & Resorts is a collection of over 650 high-end independent hotels around the world.  Not all Preferred Hotels are bookable with Choice Privileges points, but many are (349 at the time of writing).  Point prices range from 25,000 to 55,000 points per night.  Given the 1 to 2 transfer ratio, this translates to only 12,500 to 27,500 Citi ThankYou points per night.  If you think of it as being similar to an award chart, that’s fantastic.  Among the major hotel chains, only Hyatt offers an award chart that’s competitive (Hyatt has a few award charts, but their primary chart ranges up to 40,000 points with the vast majority of those hotels at 30,000 points or lower).

Prior to Citi offering 1 to 2 transfers to Choice, the best options for acquiring Choice points quickly were to transfer from Amex Membership Rewards 1 to 1, or to buy points indirectly at 8/10ths of a cent each.  At those rates, my previous looks at the Preferred Hotels & Resorts partnership showed that while good value was sometimes possible, most of the time the value was poor.  Citi has changed that equation…

Value Examples

Below are a handful of examples of Preferred Hotels bookable with Choice points and the value I found for specific upcoming dates.  As you’ll see, I found that Choice point values in these examples ranged from 0.76 to 1.05 cents per point.  That’s decent value on its own, but not amazing.  I certainly wouldn’t want to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to get that value.  But with Citi offering a 1 to 2 transfer ratio, the value of Citi points in these examples ranges from 1.5 to 2.1 cents per point.  That’s very good!

The Brown Hotel, Louisville, KY

a white card with black text

  • Dec 3 to 5: $400 after taxes and fees.
  • Choice points: 25K x 2 = 50,000 (0.8 cents per point value)
  • ThankYou points: 25,000 (1.6 cents per point value)

The Kahala Hotel and Resort

a white background with black text

  • Dec 10 to 12: $1,161 after taxes and fees
  • Choice points: 55K x 2 = 110,000 (1.05 cents per point value)
  • ThankYou points: 55,000 (2.1 cents per point value)

Balboa Bay Resort, Newport Beach, California

a white background with black text

  • Dec 10 to 12: $894 after taxes and fees
  • Choice points: 45K x 2 = 90,000 (0.99 cents per point value)
  • ThankYou points: 45,000 (1.99 cents per point value)

Hotel Sans Souci

a white background with black text

  • Dec 10 to 12: $841 after taxes and fees
  • Choice points: 55K x 2 = 110,000 (0.76 cents per point value)
  • ThankYou points: 55,000 (1.5 cents per point value)

How to find participating properties

a screenshot of a hotel

Click this link to find participating Preferred Hotels & Resorts:

Once there, you can filter by location or click the map location symbol to see a map view:

a map of europe with blue and yellow dots

Return to the list view to select a particular property and to view availability.  Unfortunately, most properties only show nights available for the next few months, like this:

a screenshot of a calendar
This property (and many others) showed plenty of availability until the end of December, but then no availability from January 1st onward. Fortunately, some properties do show availability much further out and I’ve confirmed with at least one property that it is possible to book further out when it shows available.

How to book your stay

a man sitting at a desk with a laptop

The Choice website says “To book your stay with Preferred Hotels & Resorts, call 888-770-6800.”

Update: The website now lists the following numbers:
US Toll Free Number: 1 877 803 7701
Worldwide Toll Number: +1 602 457 6965

That’s technically true, but believe me when I say that it’s not easy.  I started working on a booking shortly after 9 in the morning and it took 3 hours and four phone calls to get it done.  Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and get it done more quickly…

Step 1) When the Choice computer voice asks if you want to book a stay, say “NO!”

I made the mistake of saying yes the first time and I spent nearly an hour on the phone trying to convince a booking agent that he should be able to help me book a particular Preferred Hotels property, and no I don’t want to be transferred to Expedia, please transfer me to a supervisor, no I don’t want to be transferred to the hotel itself, please transfer me to a supervisor, no I don’t want to be transferred to Expedia…  I never did get to that supervisor no matter how hard I tried.

Second attempt:

  • “Would you like to book a stay” No!
  • “What can I help you with?” Choice Privileges
  • “I’ll connect you with an agent”

Step 2) Ask agent if they’re familiar with the ability to book Preferred Hotels with Choice points.

If they say no, I recommend asking to be transferred to someone else or hang up and try again.

Step 3) Ask agent to write down your phone number

Once you finally get an agent on the phone who seems to know what it means to book Preferred Hotels with Choice points, ask them to write down your phone number in case you get disconnected.  Believe me, you do not want to chance losing contact with this person!

Step 4) Have lots of patience

I was lucky enough to get an agent who knew about the Choice partnership with Preferred Hotels, but he didn’t know how to book the stay.  Here’s an abbreviated version of our conversation:

  • Agent: “I’ll have to go into another system here….  I’m trying to verify the system..  [mutters] That’s actually a different system…  OK what are the dates and location of the stay you want?”
  • Me: [I give him the details]
  • Agent: “I will have to contact another department. Let me place you on a brief hold” … [time passes] … “I am trying to contact the other department that handles this. Is it OK if I put you on hold for a while?” … [time passes] … “I just got that info sent to me. Let me place you on hold for a brief moment” … [time passes] … “This is actually a very nice hotel.” …[hums, mutters, and clicks]…”Let me click onto the other line to see if they have it, OK? Just one second” … [time passes] … “They sent me a thing just showing how much it costs, but not the option with points. So I’m trying to see here.  It just shows me money value, not points.” … [time passes] … “I need to get into contact with one of my coordinators. OK? She’s looking into that right now. Maybe I have a little glitch in my system. OK?  We are going to verify both at the same time. OK?  Please allow me to put you on hold.  OK?” … [time passes] …”I just got good news for you.  If you have points, we can book it right now.”
  • Me: “What is the cancellation policy?”
  • Agent: “Good question…” … [time passes] … “Please cancel 72 hours prior to the arrival date.”
  • Me: “I transferred in the needed points, can we book it now?”
  • Agent: “I have to transfer call… Please allow me to reach out to them.  I’ll have to put you on a brief hold?”

Eventually I was transferred to a supervisor to actually book the stay.  The supervisor had similar sounding computer issues as with the first agent.  After lots of clicking and muttering, we got to this:

  • Supervisor: “I need to reboot my system and that will take a while.  Can you call back in about 35 minutes?”
  • Me: “Can you call ME back when you’re ready?”
  • Supervisor: “OK, I’ll do that”

I was worried about the situation… would he really call me back?  Luckily, he actually did call me back only 5 minutes later.  The final conversation only took 7 minutes to complete and my stay was finally booked!  A few hours later I received a confirmation email.  Done!

Also see my follow-up to the above when I had to reschedule my stay: My nightmare booking Preferred Hotels via Choice

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Hi Greg, I’ve been checking the link for availability lately and it seems none of the hotels have any availability. I checked about a dozen hotels. Is this dead?


Greg, I am seeing the same as Mike I think. Checked at least a dozen hotels in Italy — absolutely no open dates, all X’s, going out to the end of the calendar. So are you saying that even with the calendar all ‘X’d out, dates are still potentially bookable? It’s still worth the phone call? Or is the agent just going to see the same calendar?


FYI the availability calendar is finally fixed. The phone number in the post is no longer useful for booking Preferred Hotels properties. When I called no one (including a supervisor) could book what I was looking for. Instead use 877-803-7701. That connected me directly to an agent who knew what they were doing.


Do you know what kind of room you get by using Choice Privileges points on Preferred Hotels redemption? Is it always the base room?


Yes. I have status with Preferred Hotels & sometimes they throw in some freebies/upgrades with that noted in their system as well


No one ever mentions the inability to book Choice award nights further out than 100 days. Is this same limitation attached to Preferred Hotels & Resorts?


I just booked a preferred hotel in Tokyo and wanted to share my experience, which was surprisingly easy. I checked the hotel for availability on the date I was interested in first and could see it on the calendar. Then, I called the number and a human agent picked up almost immediately. I asked if he could help me book a Preferred Hotels & Resorts hotel using Choice Privileges points and he knew exactly what I was talking about. He also noted I had a 0 point balance but I told him I could transfer the points after he checked availability. He confirmed that the hotel was bookable, I transferred the points from a mix of Citi TYP and Amex MR (which both posted instantly), he refreshed his system to see the updated balance, and he made the booking. Easy peasy! The call did disconnect by accident but this happened after he gave me the confirmation/itinerary numbers and sent the confirmation email, so no harm no foul. Completely not what I was expecting after reading this article and the other comments.


Looking to book the Montage Laguna Beach and see that it was available via Choice ~1yr ago (per these comments and other blogs). Choice now doesn’t see it as available, nor is it listed as available on their available Preferred Hotel list, however upon calling the Montage directly they noted they see the applicable booking code for a Choice Privilege reward redemption. I called Choice back and they still do not see this.

Any suggestions? Thank you!


Several I noted no longer are but also some are no longer part of the Preferred Hotels portfolio, either

Tyler Chiu

Just booked a 3 night stay in Paris. I was able to reach the agent within 5 minutes at this number 877 803 7701, and she knew about the Preferred Hotel relationship! The original hotel I asked for was available on the website and on the agent’s side too, but right before I was about to transfer points she said that she refreshed and some days were unavailable now. Really strange because it showed a wide open calendar in June.

However, I was prepared for this and we were able to book my backup hotel with no problem. They said email confirmation would take 7-10 days, which is worrying but all in all not too bad of an experience!

Thanks for your help, Frequent Miler Team!


Well…end of 2022… nothing has changed… 1+ hours to book a room. The availability calendar does seem to be accurate – the hotel I wanted showed no availability, and then opened… and indeed the agents could see it. But booking it.. was quite a challenge.


Hi Greg, is there any running promotions with Choice if I’m new to the game.


Just booked Cavello Point, it took me 30 mins on the phone of which 25 mins where on hold. It was painless and easy. I did use the number (877-803-7701) which might be a new choice customer service number for these type of booking. This number is listed on the preferred hotel and resorts website when you click on your hotel that you want to book to see availability.

I bought Choice points during Daily Getaways. Its going to cost me $225 per night in points when the hotel was going for $843 per night. Thanks Frequent Miler team!


Happy to report that I had a smooth booking process today. The agent knows everything and it took around 15min to get things booked


I get setbacks are unavoiable… I tried to book Hayfield Manor in Cork, which shows almost everyday available, the agent could see the availability, but the point option didn’t show up for him

MKE Nate

Just to add a data point & success story: I booked two nights at the EAST Miami (Brickell) for 45,000 total Citi points transferred to Choice. The total cash cost of those nights, after taxes, would’ve been a whopping $2,154! That’s a $0.049/point value on the Citi points. Not too shabby!

Part of the reason this worked out so well is because the booking was during the Ultra Music Festival weekend where cash rates for many hotels in the area were 2x-3x normal.

Normally I wouldn’t dream of paying $1,000+/night for accommodations, but now I can be an interloper in this swanky hotel clearly priced for the privileged class. With a boatload of Choice points and a little patience with their call center, you can too!


Not that I am feeling up for the battle, but I am not seeing any points values for nights with searches, only $$ rates. I am logged in, etc. Is it b/c I have 0 point balance that the rates are not displaying? Am I missing a button somewhere (like a Turkish button)?

Esther from demflyers

Hi Greg! Did you complete your Preferred Hotels stay yet? I read some horror stories on FT where guests showed up and were charged rack rate and nobody knew what was going on since it’s incredibly difficult to find someone at Choice who knows what Preferred Hotels are.

I’ve been trying to use your script but it’s not working, though one thing I’ve learned is to call only during 8 am to 9 pm Central Time. I’ve been on the phone for a cumulative 2.5 hours across 6 HUCAs and still haven’t succeeded yet…I’ve been put on hold so many times (typing this up during one of those holds), they’ve tried to give me another phone number to call which ended up being the Preferred Hotels program number which has its own different point system (iPrefer) which kicked me back to Choice, I’ve tried to escalate directly to a supervisor who attempted to create an iPrefer account for me because she thought that’s how I need to use Choice points to book Preferred Hotels…my goodness. Also my call got disconnected once after 30 min of speaking with a supervisor (after going through a front line rep I was actually able to reconnect with the same supervisor). Then they said they keep getting an “Oops! An error has occurred. Please try again.” message. I’m losing hope!

Last edited 2 years ago by Esther from demflyers
Esther from demflyers

My 11th HUCA supervisor is familiar with Preferred but says no points availability at any of the Singaporean hotels (there are 3, they say, although website shows 4, but that’s another issue in itself). I asked him to check future dates and he says he’s not seeing any availability for the next 3 months so he thinks it could be a system issue, either that or the hotels are really just that popular. I think this is the point I give up…

Dugroz Reports

Oh, is that all!?!?!? 🙂

Craig at Middle Age Miles

Hi Greg – Thanks for the great article. I had an almost identical experience to yours in terms of the time it took to get through the process and many iterations of being put back on hold. Unfortunately for me, after an hour on the phone, the rep finally informed me that the property was not available on the nights I wanted (even though the online calendar tool showed availability for those nights). I gave them feedback that the online tool wasn’t accurate, and it would be helpful if they would keep it updated – or, at least tell me in some amount of time less than an hour if the property wasn’t available on my dates. Honestly, I wasn’t too optimistic that the booking would work, even though the online calendar was showing availability, so I wasn’t terribly surprised. Hopefully they’ll make the process a little easier going forward, although your other readers’ comments are right that the pain of the process does help preserve the value for those who persevere!


Hi Craig. It’s good to see that you are back in miles & points. As soon as I saw your name on my another favorite blog FM, I had to drop a comment. I miss reading your insightful blog posts. Stay safe!