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One of the most flexible rewards programs just got better. Starting Monday, October 18, you can transfer your Citi ThankYou Rewards points to the Choice Privileges hotel program. The addition of Choice marks the first hotel program to be added to ThankYou’s partner list, which now has 17 in total.
Related: From travel rewards to balance transfers, here are our favorite Citi credit cards.
Before diving into the partnership, as a reminder, you can earn ThankYou points with credit cards such as the Citi Premier® card, Citi Rewards + ® card, and Citi Custom Cash℠ card. ThankYou points earned from these cards can then be transferred to one of the partners in the ThankYou program, which now includes Choice.
Choice is Citi ThankYou’s latest transfer partner
While this might not be a hotel program typically on your radar, there are some hidden gems. And since Choice operates over 7,000 properties around the world, there are thousands of opportunities to redeem your points.
Although most Citi ThankYou partners require that you have a premium card to transfer points directly to a partner program, with this new partnership, those with an annual fee card and those who do not charge an annual fee can transfer their points. points.
For annual fee cards, such as the Citi Premier, points are transferred at a ratio of 1: 2, which means you will get 2,000 Choice Privileges points for every 1,000 Citi ThankYou points you transfer. With the current 80,000 point sign-up bonus that comes with the Citi Premier, this could earn you 160,000 Choice Privileges points – which can be redeemed for up to 26 free nights at Choice properties.
Related: 5 great ways to travel for free with the 80,000 bonus points of the Citi Premier credit card.
With cards with no annual fee, such as Citi Rewards + and Citi Custom Cash, points will be transferred at a slightly lower ratio of 1: 1.5. This means that you will only receive 1,500 Choice Privileges points for every 1,000 points transferred. However, if you have a Citi ThankYou account for multiple cards including a premium card, you will be able to transfer at the highest ratio.
And while cash back rewards earned with the Citi® Double Cash card cannot be transferred on their own to ThankYou partner programs, if you first transfer your money to ThankYou points, you can then transfer the earned points to a partner program. . The transfer rate will depend on whether you have an annual fee card or a no annual fee card linked to your account.
The Choice Privileges loyalty program is made up of numerous hotel brands, including the following: Ascend Hotel Collection, Cambria Hotels, Comfort, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Clarion Pointe, Quality Inn, MainStay Suites, WoodSpring Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn. Within the Ascend Hotel Collection, there are also the Bluegreen Vacation Resorts, which are owned by Choice Hotels vacation clubs.
Unlike most other hotel programs, properties are not tied to a specific category, so there is no consistent exchange rate. Instead, Free Nights range between 6,000 and 35,000 points (with the exception of the Asia-Pacific region, where reward nights require up to 75,000 points) and the reward rates for each property do not. are published only a few months at a time. Typically, the number of points required fluctuates throughout the year depending on the season and whether you are staying during the week versus a weekend.
Directly on the site of the establishment, you will be able to find the required number of points. For example, at the Golden Eagle Resort in Stowe, Vermont, stays from October 15 to November 30, 2021 cost between 16,000 and 25,000 points per night, but stays from December 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022, will increase to 25,000 at 30,000 points per night. But if you want to stay in February or beyond, we won’t know how many points are required until the schedule for those dates is released.
An example of a stay at the Golden Eagle Resort
Unfortunately, with award stays, Choice only allows you to make a reservation for 100 days. So if you like to plan your vacation well in advance, this could be a big hurdle.
On the plus side, you can book any type of room with the same number of Choice Privileges points, including suites. If you want to stay at a property that offers multiple bedrooms, which is common at many of its Ascend properties and Bluegreen Vacation resorts, you will be charged the same number of points as if you book a standard hotel room. It’s a real hidden gem in the program that my family has taken advantage of quite often.
For example, the Golden Eagle Resort is a property located just down the famous Stowe Mountain. The property offers many room types, including a two-bedroom suite with kitchen and fireplace that can accommodate up to eight people. If the room type is available on the date you wish to travel, you can book that room for exactly the same number of points as the room on the lowest level.
Golden Eagle Resort Reward Redemption Options
The Choice Privileges loyalty program also allows you to use a combination of points and cash to reserve the exact same type of room. With the option, you can redeem only 6,000 points plus a down payment. The cash portion requires you to pay $ 90 per 1,000 points to complete the stay. For example, if you want to stay in a hotel requiring 25,000 points, you will need to pay the cash equivalent of 19,000 points (since you are already paying 6,000 points), which will cost you $ 171 to “buy” the extra points. .
While this is a great option if you don’t have enough points in your account to fully book with points, if you end up canceling a reservation booked with points and money, the game cash will be credited back to you as points – not cash – at the same $ 90 per 1,000 points.
While most Choice hotels don’t give you the same luxurious stay you might receive with the Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, or Hilton Honors program, they do offer a favorable rewards table, especially if you are traveling on off-peak dates. . – while also allowing you to book a premium room without additional points. But, due to the 100 day limit, it’s best to use your Choice Privileges points for last minute vacation bookings.
All in all, it’s a nice addition to Citi’s ThankYou program. By adding a hotel transfer partner, ThankYou card members now have a new option to redeem their points for free travel.
Read CNN Underscored’s guide at how to combine multiple Citi credit cards for the ultimate travel rewards.
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