Full Review of Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card
Generous bonus offer worth up to four award nights
No annual fee
Anniversary bonus worth one award night
Earn 15 points per dollar on Choice Hotels stays
0% APR for 15 months for balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening
3% foreign transaction fee
Points expire after 18 months of inactivity
No 0% APR offer on purchases
- Generous Bonus Offer Worth up to Four Award Nights: Cardholders receive 32,000 bonus points when they spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. That's enough points to redeem for up to four award nights at select Choice hotels.
- No Annual Fee: With no annual fee, it's possible to earn award nights without worrying about whether their value exceeds the cost of the card.
- Anniversary Bonus Worth One Award Night: Cardholders receive 8,000 bonus points on their anniversary as long as they spend at least $10,000 on the card during the year. That’s enough points to redeem for one award night at certain Choice hotels.
- Earn 15 Points per Dollar on Choice Hotels Stays: Each dollar spent at eligible Choice Hotels earns 15 points, while other purchases earn 2 points per dollar. This card also offers 5 points per dollar spent on Choice Privileges points or Choice Hotels gift cards.
- 0% APR Offer for Balance Transfers: The Choice Privileges card comes with a 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months. Balance transfers must be made within 45 days of account opening in order to receive the promotional APR. The balance transfer fee is 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
- 3% Foreign Transaction fee: Unlike some competing cards, this card charges a fee for foreign transactions. For example, the Capital One VentureOne card and the Bank of America Travel Rewards card, come with no annual fee, earn travel rewards, and don’t charge foreign transaction fees.
- Points Expire after 18 Months of Inactivity: Cardholders who don’t engage in Choice Privileges activity for 18 months can lose their accumulated points. Using the card for a purchase at least once every 18 months will prevent that from happening as well as other activities like redeeming points for hotel stays.
- No 0% APR Offer on Purchases: While this card has a 0% APR on balance transfers, there is no similar offer for new purchases.
This Card is Best For
Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
The Choice Privileges Visa Signature card is best for people who frequently stay at Choice Hotels and want to earn some award nights. Choice Hotels include brands such as Cambria, Clarion, Comfort Inn and Suites, Quality Inn, and Rodeway Inn.
It's also possible for Privileges members to link their accounts to other programs, including Amtrak’s. Additionally, Choice has airline partners like AAdvantage, where it's possible to earn 250 miles per stay. For those who frequently use other travel programs in conjunction with staying at Choice Hotels, linking accounts can make sense.
Gift card redemptions start at 16,000 for a $50 card. Additionally, it takes 32,000 Choice Privileges points to exchange for 5,000 Amtrak points. As a result, it can make more sense for those who don't use Choice Hotels to look for more general travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Capital One VentureOne, or cash-back cards like the AmEx Blue Cash Everyday or Capital One SavorOne, to earn rewards that they are more likely to use.
Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card Bonus
Earn 32,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. Point redemptions for award nights start at 8,000 points, so that's enough to potentially get up to four award nights. Investopedia values Choice Hotels points at 0.84 cents each, which puts the dollar value of the bonus at just under $270 if redeemed for cash or travel.
Rewards Earning Details
With the Choice Privileges card, cardholders receive 15 points for every dollar they spend at eligible Choice Hotels properties. Additionally, this card grants automatic Elite Gold Status, which results in 10% bonus points when booking a qualifying stay at Choice properties.
Cardholders also receive 2 points for each dollar they spend on other purchases.
Rewards Redemption Details
Choice Privileges points can be redeemed for award nights starting at 8,000 points. The number of points that are required to redeem for an award night’s stay depends on the type of hotel. It's also possible to redeem points toward a night’s stay when you have 6,000 points—but you will have to pay the difference. Using this method results in a discount, rather than an award night.
Points can also be redeemed for various gift cards, starting at 16,000 points for a $50 card. Gift cards include restaurants, gas stations, and retailers. Cardholders can also redeem points for donations to charities, starting at 1,000 points.
Cardholders can log into their Choice Privileges account to redeem rewards points for award nights at many locations. However, those wishing to redeem points for resort destinations and special offers must do so by phone.
It’s possible to transfer Choice Privileges points to the following travel partners:
- Aeroplan — 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 Aeroplan miles
- Alaska Mileage Plan — 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 Alaska Airline miles
- Amtrak Guest Rewards — 32,000 Choice points for 5,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points
- Club Premier — 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 Club Premier miles
- FrequentFlyer — 20,000 Choice points for 3,000 Qantas FrequentFlyer points
- United MileagePlus — 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 MileagePlus miles
For most of the airline partners, there is a 5:1 redemption for miles.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
The best way to maximize rewards from the Choice Privileges card is to use it to book stays at Choice hotels and earn 15 points per dollar. It can also be worthwhile to connect your Choice Privileges account to another rewards program.
For example, you can earn 250 Alaska Airline miles when you book a stay with a Choice hotel. So, a cardholder who booked a hotel room at a Choice property for two nights at $85 per night could earn 2,550 Choice Privileges points and also have 250 miles credited to their Alaska Airlines loyalty account.
You can get a further boost to rewards earnings by spending at least $10,000 on the card in the course of a year. This results in 8,000 bonus points on your cardholder anniversary, enough to book an award night’s stay at certain hotels.
While 2 points per dollar on all other purchases is competitive, some other travel cards are more flexible in how they let you redeem your rewards. For example, the Bank of America Travel Rewards card offers only 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases, but those points can be redeemed for a wider variety of travel experiences.
Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card's Outstanding Benefits
- Elite Gold Status
- Exclusive Choice Privileges member rates
- Anniversary bonus points
- Earn 15 points per dollar at eligible Choice hotels
- $0 fraud liability protection
- No annual fee
- Visa Signature benefits
Barclays US, which issues the Choice Privileges credit card, received a rating of 806 out of 1,000 in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, which is in line with the national average.
Because this is a Visa Signature card, customers receive benefits that include roadside dispatch, extended warranty protection, and an auto rental collision damage waiver.
Barclays offers 24/7 customer service by phone and mobile apps for iOS and Android. It's also possible to reach Barclays customer service on Twitter.
This card comes with $0 fraud liability, protecting holders from unauthorized charges. Additionally, it’s easy to report a lost or stolen card by calling Barclays or Visa Global Customer Care Services.
For loyal Choice Hotels customers, this card can help earn award nights faster, with 15 points for each dollar spent at Choice properties.
However, this card doesn't offer much in the way of perks and rewards beyond Choice Hotels. While it's possible to transfer points to partners, there isn't a 1:1 transfer, which some other programs, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, provide.
This card might be best as a secondary card, to be used primarily at Choice properties and to meet the minimum for the 8,000 bonus points each year. That way, it could complement another rewards program card with bigger earnings opportunities for everyday spending.