What’s better than a hotel stay paid for with loyalty-program points? The same stay paid for with fewer points, of course!
That’s the premise underlying InterContinental’s popular PointBreaks rewards: a selection of hotels, which changes quarterly, offering award stays for just 5,000 points per night. That’s really cheap, to be sure. But those deals are in very limited supply: The current PointBreaks list includes just 141 participating hotels.
Choice Hotels this week launched its own discounted award-night rates, FlexRewards, with a decidedly different approach. Rather than InterContinental’s huge award-price discounts at just a handful of properties, Choice is offering more modest discounts (2,000 points seems to be typical) at a much larger number of hotels (more than 1,500).
The discounted rates are available for either weekday or weekend nights, depending on the hotel’s occupancy patterns. For example, a free night at the Quality Inn near Disneyland is priced at 10,000 points on Friday and Saturday nights, when demand from leisure travelers is highest, but discounted to 8,000 points per night for Sunday-through-Thursday stays. In fact, and not surprisingly, the great majority of FlexRewards rates are for weekend stays; weekday discounts are few and far between.
Paying less always trumps the alternative. Choice Privileges members should take advantage of these cheaper award nights. A point saved is a point earned, right?
After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.