Review: Choice Privileges Visa Card

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This post comes from Logan Abbott, editor of the credit cards section of MyRatePlan.com.

If you’re a frequent traveler who often stays at Choice hotels, you’ll want to know that the Choice Privileges Visa Card offers some huge rewards for purchases made at Choice Privilege properties.

Advantages

  • First purchase bonus. Cardholders earn 8,000 bonus points after making just one purchase or balance transfer.
  • Extra bonus points for the first hotel stay. Cardholders earn 24,000 bonus points after their first paid stay at a Choice Privileges location, including Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Ascend Hotel Collection, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Econo Lodge or Rodeway Inn hotel in the United States.
  • Huge bonus points on Choice Privileges purchases. The card offers an enormous 15 points for each eligible dollar spent at more than 4,200 Choice Privileges locations.
  • Earn points for all purchases. Although the card offers the biggest rewards for purchases at Choice Privileges locations, cardholders also earn 2 points for each dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Elite Gold status. Choice Privileges Visa cardholders automatically become Elite Gold members within the Choice Privileges system. This means they can book free nights 50 days in advance instead of the usual 30, and they also earn a 10 percent Elite points bonus for eligible stays.
  • No annual fee. There’s no annual fee to use the card.

Disadvantages

  • No introductory 0 percent APR periods. Unfortunately, the card does not offer any 0 percent introductory APR periods on balance transfers or purchases, but this isn’t a problem if you pay off your balance in full every month.
  • High balance transfer fee. The card charges a balance transfer fee of 4 percent, which is higher than most balance transfer fees. If you’re looking to transfer a balance, this isn’t the card for you.
  • Rewards aren’t great if you don’t stay at Choice Privileges locations. The rewards are very generous if you are a frequent guest at Choice Privileges locations, but if you’re not, you should probably look for another card. The Blue Sky from American Express is a card that offers a broader travel rewards program.

Bottom line

Get it if: You have excellent credit, and you love staying at Choice Privileges locations.

Forget it if: You have less than excellent credit, or you’re not a frequent Choice Priviliges guest.

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Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page. Also note that any terms, rates or other features described in this article can change without notice. Always double-check everything with the issuer before applying for any credit card.

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