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Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card Review

A free night really is a free night, but not everywhere

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating
User Rating 1 Star Rating (1 Review)

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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

Pros

  • 8,000 bonus points on first purchase or balance transfer.
  • 8,000 bonus points after first stay at a Choice hotel.
  • No blackout dates.

Cons

  • Point values are ambiguous and vary.
  • Must have better than average credit to qualify.

Rewards

  • 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.

APRs

  • 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%.

Fees

  • 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.

Recommendation

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.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 1 out of 5
My Nightmare Stay at a Choice Privledge Hotel, Member nyminute2

Took my family and our friendly beagle dog to Comfort Inn & Suites Nanuet N.Y. location. Turned out to be a horror story shortly after. Wasnít there for more than 4 hours when my dog was mauled by 2 American Terrier Pit bulls in the back returning from walking dog in the dark in the back . Thank God the area has a wonderful Hospital called Valley Cottage Hospital . Family dog required life-saving surgery and stitches to close some gruesome wounds caused by these 2 attack dogs. My helpless beagle almost killed, was saved by the doctor at this hospital. This Hotel is anything but pet friendly. Another room had a German Sheppard going nuts against the glass. Wonder which room had the lions tigers and bears. A nice pleasant getaway idea turned out to be a nightmare. The Manager yelled at me because I dared to ask for help. I was mortified and embarrassed by his treatment towards me being as well as being in shock at the time due to this incident. Manager was most unprofessional, screaming out in lobby it was my fault. Hotel is not a secure place to bring your loving pet or humans since Hotel apparently never trained management properly in dealing with crisis of this magnitude. I would not recommend this place for anything more than directions to another Hotel in the area. They wont even pay the life saving medical treatment medical bills for my dog nor return the points I saved up. Keep in mind people do go there who donít have pets. Their lives are in jeopardy when you donít screen the animals you accept or limit type of breeds you allow. If you look up American Terrier which I did when I came home you will see these animals are by design breaded to fight. What parent allows small children to pet an American Terrier or German Sheppard without fear of being mauled? If you have children be careful the back doors arenít secure and can be opened by accident from the outside as well as not closed properly to begin with. The lighting at night is almost non existent. No room numbers to indicate which room it is. All factors when making a decision which hotel has the consumers best interest in mind. To wrap up this disaster Hotel says its pet friendly and since they donít care what kind of animals they take in I would agree . However thatís makes it no human friendly. Be on your guard at all times because you never know when a dog or multiple dogs will escape and try to maul your dog, an adult or unfortunately one of your precious children. To add insult to injury they wont accept financial responsibility for their negligence. Remember dogs are like people and sometimes react differently under fear . There is an expression , caveat emptor means buyer beware. It most certainly applies to this Hotel. Good Luck

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