To know what the rewards are really worth, always read the fine print.
Who the Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card Is For
- Frequent customers at Choice hotels who want to earn free stays
Credit Rating Required
- Good to excellent (700+)
About the Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card
- 8,000 bonus points on first purchase or balance transfer.
- 8,000 bonus points after first stay at a Choice hotel.
- No blackout dates.
- Point values are ambiguous and vary.
- Must have better than average credit to qualify.
- 15 points per dollar at selected Choice-owned hotels and motels.
- Five points per dollar for purchasing additional Choice points or gift cards.
- Two points per dollar everywhere else.
- 10% points bonus when you book a stay.
- 13.24% or 16.24% on purchases, depending on your credit history.
- Zero percent on balance transfers for first six months, then the purchase rate.
- Penalty interest rate: 30.24%.
- Annual fee: None.
- Late payment fee: Up to $35.
- Return check or payment fee: Up to $35.
- Over the limit fee: None.
- Balance transfer fee: 4% of balance.
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%.
Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card Review
As a rule, hotel rewards credit cards don't live up to their advertising - unless they carry an annual fee. It's usually a lot harder to earn a free stay compared to what the ads say. The number of points you need can vary widely depending on where you want to stay.
This card seems to be one of the more honest cards, although you do need to read the fine print.
The advertising says you earn 8,000 bonus points after your first transaction, either a purchase or a balance transfer. You can earn 8,000 more points if you use the card to pay for a stay at a Choice hotel - which include Comfort Suites, Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inns. Altogether, those 16,000 points earn you "two free nights at over 1,500 Choice locations."
However, in the fine print, Choice discloses that "a free night at most Choice Privelgees locations requires additional points." In other words, you'll need a lot more than 16,000 points to get a free night's stay, never mind two of them.
Still, there do seem to be a lot of Choice hotels where you actually can get a free room for 8,000 points. That's a lot better than many other hotel cards, where free rooms require way more points than the advertisements promise.
The basic points menu is confusing. You earn 15 points per dollar at some Choice properties, but only 10 points per dollar at others. But in order to get those points, you must be registered separately in the (free) Choice Privileges program. Otherwise you earn only five points per dollar.
You earn five points per dollar if you purchase Choice gift cards and two points everywhere else.
As hotel rewards cards go, the Choice card isn't great, but it's not bad, either. Unlike other hotel rewards cards, Choice at least tells you - albeit in the fine print - that you'll likely need more than 16,000 points to get a free stay, and there are a lot of places where you only need 8,000 points.