Sporting a strong combination of hotel perks alongside a modest annual fee, the Choice Privileges Select has plenty to offer for Choice Hotel enthusiasts.
Rewards rate: Solid earnings on several everyday categories
On top of the impressive 10X rewards rate on Choice Hotel brands, the Choice Privileges Select also earns 5X points on several useful everyday categories, including gas stations, groceries, home improvement stores and phone plan services. This is a generous spread of categories for a co-branded hotel card, and while other cards on the market cover these categories more effectively, it’s handy to be able to build points toward your next hotel stay without doing so strictly through hotel purchases.
Plus, the automatic Platinum Elite status that comes with the card gives you an extra 25 percent bonus points and up to 10X bonus points on your Choice Hotel brand stays. That means if you spend $1,000 on a Choice Hotel stay, you’ll earn 10X points from the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard and up to 10X more points and 25 percent bonus points from the Choice Hotel Platinum Elite status. All in, that’s up to 22.5X points combined between the card and the loyalty program, which means 22,500 points for a $1,000 booking.
For comparison, the Marriot Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card earns up to 17X points between the card’s rewards rate and Silver Elite status in the Marriot Bonvoy loyalty program. The potential rewards rates that you can get with the Choice Privileges Select and Choice Privileges program beats out many other competitors.
Rates and fees: No foreign currency conversion fee
The Choice Privilege Select doesn’t charge a foreign currency conversion fee, which is less common on hotel cards than on airline cards or general travel cards. This is a major boon for international travelers, as purchases made abroad won’t cut into your potential reward earnings. Given the potential value of the card’s perks, you’d expect the Choice Privilege Select card to cost more than its $95 annual fee.
Cardholder perks: Free elite status piles on the value
While the Choice Privileges Select’s earning rate is nothing to sneeze at, the card’s true value shines through in the additional perks. Opening an account grants you an automatic placement into Platinum Elite status. This status is the penultimate elite tier in the Choice Hotels rewards program and awards the following perks:
- A 25 percent bonus to earned rewards
- Reserved parking at Choice Hotel locations
- Early check-in and late check-out
- Welcome gift on check-in
- 19 elite rollover nights
- Exclusive member services hotline
- Status match with PENN Play Preferred casinos
- Room upgrades at eligible hotels
The 25 percent reward bonus alone is an excellent addition to the card’s strength, turning your 10X points rewards rate into 12.5X points on Choice Hotel purchases. Add in the extra up to 10X points you get just from being a member in the Choice Privileges loyalty program and you’re earning up to 22.5X points between the card’s rate and the loyalty program rate. But the additional perks, such as reserved parking, early check-in and late checkout and potential room upgrades offer some extra comfort to your stay on top of their monetary value.
Moreover, entering Platinum Elite status means you’re halfway to Diamond Elite status. In essence, this perk is worth 20 nights at a Choice Hotel property. With just 20 more qualifying night stays at Choice Hotels, you’ll reach Diamond Elite and enjoy even more value, including a 50 percent bonus to your earned rewards, 39 elite rollover nights, complimentary breakfast and guaranteed room availability at select hotels.
The Choice Privilege Select Mastercard also grants a 30,000-point bonus on each account anniversary. This is a third of the value of the welcome offer and could be worth up to three stays at select Choice Hotel properties.