You guys know I’m a huge fan of vacation rentals. From saving on food to 2 TVs to that all important closing door I recently mentioned it’s hard for me to feel like a trip is luxurious in a regular hotel room when I’m traveling with the Deal Family. Our Airbnb rental in Las Vegas featured a private game room and 3 bedrooms for $150/night. The Deal Kids were more than happy to hang there over visiting the Vegas sights again.
I’m really excited to see hotel companies enter the vacation rental space.
It’s the Reese’s cup of points: you put your loyalty program in my vacation rental. No, you put a vacation rental in my loyalty program!
The latest is Choice Vacation Rentals.
Choice has entered the fray with a selection of 20,000 professionally managed properties in 35 US destinations. I really like the Choice model: they partner with local management companies so guests have a 24/7 point of contact and backup by the brand if anything goes wrong.
The #1 reason I hear from folks preferring hotels over rentals is lack of consistency. While hotel stays can go wrong, vacation rental nay-sayers point out that they have recourse with corporate. Choice is threading that needle nicely.
In this way the Choice program reminds me of IHG. Choice Vacation Rentals offer 5 to 10 points per dollar on stays. Considering none of the other rental companies (besides Delta on Airbnb) offer loyalty points the Choice program is a clear winner.*
*Wyndham allows you to redeem points on rentals, but not earn them except in limited circumstances. Don’t spend your Wyndham points on vacation rentals..
Falls Flat: Redeeming
Also like IHG, some Choice redemptions offer terrible value. If you wanted to redeem points for rentals, values range from 1/3 cent to 1/2 cent each. Compare that to hotel redemptions, which are usually over a penny- and I can often get two cents per Choice point.
If you are wondering where to use Choice points, here are my favorite options.
So the strategic move here is to earn points via Choice Vacation Rentals, but redeem them at Choice Hotels.
Do you see value in the program? I definitely will add it to my toolkit. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts in the comments.