I am the writer of the hotel loyalty program consumer analysis blog, Loyalty Traveler.
Choice Privileges does run periodic advertising stating a free night will be earned with a promotion offer. Typically the fine print shows the offer is actually for 8, 000 bonus Choice Privileges points.
A free night at the two lowest Choice Hotels member properties are the 6, 000 point and 8, 000 point award levels. Choice Hotels is the second largest hotel company in the world with around 6, 000 hotels. There are about 1, 500 hotels or 25% of the hotels in the chain that are available for award nights using points at 8, 000 points or 6, 000 points.
Unfortunately, as this consumer has learned, that leaves 75% of the Choice Hotels out of reach for a free night if you only have 8, 000 points.
I live in the Monterey, California area and in this location the Choice Privileges member hotels are mostly 16, 000 or 20, 000 points for a free night. One free night at the Carmel-by-the-sea Clarion will run 25, 000 points.
I make a business out of analyzing hotel loyalty promotions to help travelers avoid the misleading advertising from hotel chains and evaluate the hotel promotional offers for consumers.