My parents (Little C’s grandparents) are about to embark on a two week road trip adventure through Yosemite, Sequoia National Forest, the Pacific Coast, and Las Vegas. It was another one of their “Bucket List” trips. Planning for this trip started at least a year ago, and I posted some about booking their flights on points here. Now that we are closer to their departure date, I asked my dad to remind me at which chain hotels they are staying so that we could ensure they are registered for any relevant promos. About half of their trip is at small non-chain “eclectic” places, but they do have some Best Western, Priority Club, and Choice Hotels mixed in along the way. I already helped them maximize their two-night stay at the Venetian (aka an Intercontinental Hotel), but when I learned they had three nights at a Choice hotel, it was time to work on maximizing that stay.
They had booked three consecutive nights at the same Choice hotel in California …..a Comfort Inn to be exact. This is their only Choice hotel stop of the trip. I immediately thought, “That’s no good.” They have three consecutive nights, but the current promotion awards 8,000 points after two separate stays (advertized as a $50 gift card that can be obtained for 8,000 points) between May 17th – August 15th, and they only had one stay. You can read all the details about that promotion here. Many of you can probably guess what my suggestion was – make new reservations with the first night in my dad’s name, the second night in my mom’s name, and the third night in my dad’s name again. Technically you are checking in and out three times, and will end up with three stays between the two of them. You need to break my dad’s stays up with a stay from my mom in the middle, otherwise it would likely still count as one consecutive stay. My parents very briefly thought I was speaking in tongues, but quickly caught on and said go for it.
As I told them, it is very unlikely that they will actually have to change rooms since it is in everyone’s best interest for them to just stay in one room for the three nights. However, there is always that slight chance that they would have to switch rooms, so just keep that in mind. My mom didn’t previously have a Choice Privileges account, so my dad was able to refer her via a “Refer a Friend” promo, and they will both earn an extra 500 points when she completes her first stay. Additionally, the rates had dropped by $30 for their stay, so re-booking saved them some money. Also, when I re-booked their stays I went through the Ultimate Rewards portal so that they will earn 3x bonus points (though be aware the reservation was still made on the Choice Hotels website). For their approximately $400 three night stay – that will be 1,200 valuable Ultimate Reward bonus points. I am also instructing them to pay for their stay using the Sapphire Preferred card so they get 2x points for not only their hotel stay, but on many of their “travel related” expenses on the trip.