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Choice Privileges Rewards Program Guide: Earn and Redeem Points to Your Advantage

Choice Privileges Rewards Program Guide: Earn and Redeem Points to Your Advantage

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With over 7,000 properties in 40 countries, you have a lot of choices with Choice Hotels. The chain includes mostly midscale brands with an abundance of properties in the United States. Its Choice Privileges rewards program offers value to guests who frequently stay with the chain, including:

  • Points on every stay, redeemable for free hotel nights and other rewards
  • Member-only rates when you book directly through Choice
  • Perks for weekday stays
  • An elite status program with additional benefits

Through our research, we found that the average value of Choice points is around $0.011 each. There are an abundance of ways you can earn Choice points, too, as Choice Privileges is a partner of multiple bank loyalty programs that allow you to transfer their points to Choice points.

In our opinion, redeeming points for Choice Hotels or vacation rental stays is their best use, although there are also other ways to redeem Choice points.

Choice Privileges quick facts
Number of propertiesMore than 7,000 hotels in 40 countries
How many Choice Privileges points for a free stay?Free nights start at 6,000 points and vary in price up to 35,000 points per night in most regions
Redemption options
  • Free hotel stays
  • Vacation rentals
  • Transfer to airlines
  • Gift cards from many merchants
  • Cruises
Point value$0.011
Pros
  • Reward nights start at just 6,000 points
  • Can transfer flexible bank points (e.g. Membership Rewards) to Choice Privileges points
  • Great U.S. coverage with hotels in all 50 states
Cons
  • Properties limited to just 40 countries worldwide
  • Weak elite benefits compared to other programs
  • No luxury properties within the portfolio
  • Points expire after 18 months of account inactivity

How do you join Choice Privileges?

Choice Privileges is free and easy to join. Simply head to choicehotels.com and click "Sign In or Join." Click "Join Free Now" to be taken to a page where you can sign up. If you already have a Choice Privileges number, this is also how you can enable your online account. You'll need to provide Choice with your personal information, including your name, email, address, email and phone number. You'll also set a username and password.

Alternatively, download the Choice Hotels app on your smartphone and click "Join Now, It's Free" to create an account by following the prompts.

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How much are Choice Privileges points worth?

We peg the value of Choice Privileges points at $0.011 each, based on our research. You'll generally get better value if you're booking properties during peak times when prices are high.

Rather than organizing properties by tier, Choice Privileges uses a dynamic pricing model where the price of reward nights varies depending on the property and date. In general, you can expect the cost of a reward night to be higher when cash rates are higher. Reward nights start at just 6,000 points, with most properties requiring at least 8,000 points. Prices can get as high as 35,000 points per night, except in the Asia-Pacific region where you'll see all-inclusive hotels with free nights that cost up to 75,000 points.

Hotel
Price
Points
Point value
Comfort Inn & Suites Zion Park Area$216.3320,000$0.011
Inn at the Peachtrees, Ascend Hotel Collection in Atlanta$264.7525,000$0.011
Cambria Hotel New York - Chelsea$403.0930,000$0.013
Quality Inn & Suites Downtown Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island$155.4616,000$0.01
Comfort Inn Gaslamp Convention Center, San Diego$206.6125,000$0.008
Hotel Blake, Ascend Collection Hotel in Chicago$300.0220,000$0.015
Econolodge International Drive, Orlando$69.038,000$0.009
Comfort Inn Monticello, Charlottesville$156.1316,000$0.01
F6, Ascend Hotel Collection in Helsinki$202.0520,000$0.01
Clarion Suites Guatemala City$102.1110,000$0.01
Average$0.011

How do you know if using Choice points is worth it?

To determine the value you're getting from your points, you'll want to divide the total cost of the stay (including taxes) by the number of points required. If the result is around 1.1 cents per point — our average value of Choice points — then using points is probably worth it. If the value is substantially less, such as just 0.6 cents per point, you might want to save your points for a better redemption.

Cash price of hotel stay (including taxes) / Number of points required = Point value for that specific reservation

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Which hotels are part of Choice Privileges?

Choice Privileges includes several Choice Hotels brands. Brands range from stylish upscale offerings to budget motels. The vast bulk of the properties in the Choice Hotels portfolio are solidly in the midscale to upper-midscale range.

One of the biggest downsides to Choice Hotels is the lack of luxury brands or properties.

If your typical travel style is 5-stars-or-bust, Choice isn't your program. Another thing to consider is the limited international footprint compared to other chains, as Choice only has properties in approximately 40 countries worldwide. To compare, Hilton has properties in 122 countries.

Choice Privileges hotels

Brands
Property Type
Number of Properties
AscendUpscale300+ hotels open or under development worldwide
CambriaUpscale130+ hotels open or under development within the U.S.
ClarionMidscale300+ hotels open or under development worldwide
Clarion PointeMidscale60+ hotels open or under development worldwide
Comfort InnUpper-midscale2,400+ hotels open or under development worldwide
Show All Rows

Pros and cons of Choice Privileges

As with any hotel loyalty program, Choice Privileges is a good fit for some but not for others. There are some clear strengths and weaknesses.

Pros

  • Good U.S. coverage — With 85% of its 7,000 worldwide hotels located in the U.S., you can expect to see Choice Hotels properties nearly everywhere you travel domestically.
  • Free breakfast — Midscale hotels that offer free breakfast, such as Quality Inn and Comfort Inn, are a significant percentage (over 60%) of the portfolio.
  • Reasonable redemption thresholds — Free nights start at just 6,000 points.
  • Major credit card partnerships — Transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou and Capital One Venture miles.
  • No-annual-fee credit card — The co-branded The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card doesn't charge an annual fee and offers complimentary Choice Gold status.

Cons

  • Subpar elite status — Choice Privileges’ elite status doesn't offer much compared to other hotel programs. There are no room upgrades, guaranteed late checkout, or other significant benefits beyond bonus points that you might find in other programs like World of Hyatt or Hilton Honors.
  • No luxury brands — The nicest Choice Hotels properties are described as upscale. A complete lack of any luxury properties is disappointing.
  • Limited international coverage — A limited international footprint could be frustrating. There are Choice Hotels in approximately 40 countries, but this is limited to 15% of the portfolio's properties.
  • Points expire after just 18 months of account inactivity.

How to earn Choice rewards points

Earning Choice Privileges points is remarkably easy given the variety of credit card points that can transfer to Choice rewards. You can also earn points by staying with Choice Hotels or Bluegreen Vacations, their vacation rental partner, or booking a stay through one of their partner casino hotels across the country. There are a variety of even more ways to earn Choice points.

You'll earn a base rate of 10 points per $1 spent at Choice Hotels properties, excluding taxes and incidental charges. If you have Choice Privileges elite status, you'll enjoy a slight bump to the earning rate.

  • Member: 10 points per $1 spent
  • Gold: 11 points per $1 spent
  • Platinum: 12.5 points per $1 spent
  • Diamond: 15 points per $1 spent

As an example, the Comfort Inn & Suites Zion Park Area has a nightly rate of $193 before taxes and fees in our sampling above. A regular Choice privileges member would earn 1,930 base points for this booking, while a Diamond member would earn 2,895 points (taxes do not earn base points).

Staying at a Choice Hotels property on a weekday night earns you a perk through the "Your Extras" program. Any U.S. stay that includes at least one Sunday through Thursday night will provide a choice from the following:

  • $2.50 Amazon.com credit
  • $5 Starbucks card
  • $3 Uber trip discount
  • $0.20/gallon in Fuel Rewards®
  • 400 Choice Privileges points
  • 100 airline miles

The Your Extras for stays at Canadian locations differ slightly. You can't earn Fuel Rewards or an Uber trip discount. Tim Hortons is swapped out for Starbucks. At other international locations outside the U.S. and Canada, you can only choose between 400 Choice Privileges points or 100 airline miles.

To make a "Your Extras" selection, visit your online profile page.

Choice Hotels International has partnered with Barclays to issue the The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card. The card has a welcome offer worth up to four free nights and offers perks such as complimentary Choice Privileges Gold elite status. You can Earn 5 points per $1 spent at eligible Choice Hotels. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases. Earn 5 points per $1 spent on the purchase of Choice Privileges® points or Choice Hotels gift card purchases. One of the best features of the card is its $0 annual fee.

One of the best features of the Choice Privileges program is how many bank programs partner with it. You can transfer points from three popular rewards programs to Choice Privileges:

Having multiple bank partners means you can earn Choice rewards points from many different cards.

Card
Welcome offer
Earning Rate
Annual fee
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.$695
See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website
American Express® Gold Card
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), and 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. Terms apply.$250
American Express® Green CardEarn 45,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery. Additionally, earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.$150
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressEarn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more.$695
American Express® Business Gold CardEarn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.*Get 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month* on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each year.$295
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressEarn Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter.No annual fee
On Citibank's Secure Website
Citi Premier® Card
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account openingEarn 3X points per $1 spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels and 1X per $1 spent on all other purchases$95
On Capital One's Secure Website
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 5 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 5 Miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023 plus 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.$95
On Capital One's Secure Website
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day; 10 Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 10 Miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world’s largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023; 5 Miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel$395

Bluegreen Vacations is a time-share company that operates several dozen resort properties within the U.S. and one in Oranjestad, Aruba. You can search choicehotels.com directly to book some resort properties, which will earn you 10 points per dollar like any other Choice property. You can also enjoy a three-night stay with Bluegreen vacations for just $199 and earn either a $100 Mastercard gift card or 20,000 Choice Privileges points.

Choice Hotels partners with 22 casino hotels in a dozen states where you can earn 10 points per dollar when you stay with any of them. Unfortunately, you can't redeem points at casino hotel properties.

Earn 5X Choice points per dollar spent on a cruise when booked through choiceprivilegescruises.com or via phone at (800) 596-0451. The cruises offered are on a variety of cruise lines, including Carnival, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean, to many destinations. You must provide your Choice Privileges number at the time of booking.

  • Car rental — Get 25% off and earn up to 1,000 Choice points on Avis and Budget car rentals at participating locations. Use Avis offer code O418908 or Budget offer code T134904.
  • Refer a friend — Get 500 points after you refer a friend to Choice Privileges and they book and complete a paid stay.
  • Rewards for opinions — Choice partners with eRewards, where you can earn points by participating in market research surveys.
  • Choice Privileges mall — This online shopping portal allows you to earn Choice points on purchases from popular retailers such as Home Depot, Kohl's, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. The earning rate varies from 1 point per $1 to 26 points per $1.
  • Buy points — You can buy a maximum of 250,000 Choice points per year. The standard price is $12.80 per 1,000 points (1.28 cents per point), which is above our average value. We don't recommend buying points unless you intend to immediately use them for greater value.

How to use Choice Privileges points

With all the ways to earn Choice points, you'll want to know how to get the best value from them. Redeeming Choice points for free nights is the easiest as you can easily book a free stay through choicehotels.com. There are other ways to redeem Choice points, but you'll find that free hotel and vacation rental stays provide the best value.

Choice hotels free nights

Savvy traveler tip: One of the only major downsides to Choice Privileges is that you can only make reward reservations within 100 days of travel. Be prepared to be flexible with Choice points, since you can only confirm your plans three months ahead of time.

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Choice doesn't publish an award chart and instead provides a range of award prices. The number of points required for a free night at a given property can vary throughout the year.

Reward nights start at just 6,000 points and top out at 35,000 points in most regions. In the Asia-Pacific region, you may see prices as high as 75,000 points per night.

To know how many points are required for a free stay, you'll have to search a particular destination through choicehotels.com or using the Choice mobile app.

The best deals are often hotels in popular destinations during peak times. As an example, MLB Spring training is a favorite time to visit the Phoenix area, and hotel prices are typically elevated. Choice points are an excellent way to cut the cost of a visit. After accounting for taxes, the value here is 1.4 cents per point.

Choice hotels free nights

Note, you should check the reward night details to see if the price varies over the length of the stay. In the four-night stay below, the price increases to 25,000 points for the weekend night:

Choice hotels free nights

Stay Twice, Get a Free Night

Choice has run its "Stay Twice, Get a Free Night" promotion multiple times over the years. Most recently it ran during Spring 2021. The promotion offers a "free night" after every two stays at participating hotels. The award is actually a total of 8,000 points, enough for a free night at the cheapest properties. The exact number of points awarded varies, as Choice will account for any points you earned from those stays and make up the difference. However, the promotion will provide a minimum of 5,000 additional points. Registration is required to participate.

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Vacation rentals

You can redeem Choice points for free nights at Bluegreen vacations resorts, starting at 16,000 points per night. In some cases, this can provide excellent value, even better value than at Choice properties. Bluegreen vacations resorts are located in popular destinations like Orlando, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Wisconsin Dells and Williamsburg.

Vacation rentals

Alternatively, you can take up Bluegreen vacations on an offer where you can redeem 16,000 Choice points for a two-night stay. You do have to listen to a two-hour timeshare presentation during your vacation, however.

Points and cash

Choice provides the option of using a combination of both points and cash for stays. If you have at least 6,000 points but don't have the required number of points, you can use the Points Plus Cash option. This can actually be a good deal, as the taxes and fees are not assessed. (You are essentially spending 6,000 points per night and purchasing the remaining required points from Choice.)

For the Cambria Hotel New York — Chelsea example in the table above, a Points Plus Cash booking would give you a value of 1.4 cents per point. You'll have to compare prices to determine the value of a particular stay, but you definitely can get above-average value from your points using Points Plus Cash.

Transfer partners

In addition to free hotel and vacation rental stays, you have the option of transferring your Choice Privileges points to a handful of airline partners.

While many airline miles are worth more than Choice Privileges points, the transfer ratio makes these redemptions a poor value. For example, we estimate the average value of United miles at 1.4 cents when booking peak economy international travel. If you trade 5,000 Choice points for 1,000 United miles, you're giving up $55 in Choice hotel stays for $14 in United flight value. This effectively makes your Choice points worth just shy of 0.3 cents each. Redeeming for free nights is better.

  • Air Canada Aeroplan: 5,000:1,000
  • Alaska Mileage Plan: 5,000:1,000
  • Aeromexico Club Premier: 5,000:1,600
  • Czech Airlines OK Plus: 5,000:1,000
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer: 20,000:3,000
  • Spirit Airlines FREE SPIRIT: 5,000:1,000
  • United Mileageplus: 5,000:1,000
  • Virgin Australia Velocity: 20,000: 3,000

Transfer of points between Choice Hotels and Amtrak used to be an option. However, this option was abruptly discontinued in summer 2021.

Other ways to redeem Choice Privileges points

If you have Choice points but the travel redemption options don't interest you, the good news is that there are a handful of other ways to use Choice Privileges points. The bad news is that these options offer a value of just 0.3 to 0.5 cents per point. We don't recommend redeeming points in these ways, as the value is better when booking hotel stays.

  • Gift cards — Choice Privileges offers many gift card redemption options at popular merchants, including Shell, Lowe's, Best Buy, Kohl's, Cabela's and Applebees. Most redemption options start at 8,000 points for a $25 gift card, which is a value of just over 0.3 cents per point.
  • Donate points — You can donate your points toward any of a handful of causes, starting at 1,000 points. The value for most donation options is 0.5 cents per point.
  • Cruises — You can redeem Choice points for cruise credit, although the value is poor at around 0.3 cents per point. Redeem 85,000 points for $250 in credit or 160,000 points for $500 in credit.

Choice hotels membership levels

Choice Privileges rewards their members with perks the more often they stay with the chain. Loyal patrons of Choice Hotels who stay a sufficient number of nights each year can find themselves earning Gold, Platinum or even Diamond elite status, with increasing benefits. Choice Privileges Visa cardholders also enjoy complimentary Gold elite status. We'll break down how to qualify for each elite level, what benefits you can enjoy and how valuable Choice elite status is.

Basic member

How to qualify: Sign up for the Choice Privileges program.

  • Enjoy an exclusive member rate when booking direct
  • 'Your Extras' rewards on weeknight stays
  • $10 Cambria credit per stay

Gold

How to qualify: Stay at least 10 nights per calendar year or be a Choice Privileges Visa cardholder.

  • Enjoy all Basic member benefits plus …
  • 10% bonus on base points earned
  • Early check-in and late check-out (at hotel's discretion)
  • Reserved elite parking
  • Rollover nights (up to nine per year)
  • Elite customer phone line
  • Welcome gift at check-in (a complimentary snack or beverage or bonus points)

Platinum

How to qualify: Stay at least 20 nights per calendar year

  • Enjoy all Gold member benefits plus …
  • 25% bonus on base points earned (instead of 10%)
  • Up to a total of 19 rollover nights
  • Avis Preferred Plus status

Diamond

How to qualify: Stay 40+ nights per calendar year

  • Enjoy all Platinum member benefits plus …
  • 50% bonus on base points earned (instead of 25%)
  • Up to a total of 39 rollover nights

Many of the primary benefits provided by Choice Privileges elite status are awarded at the Gold level. The primary benefits of Platinum and Diamond status consist of additional bonus points, additional rollover nights and Avis elite status. For the road warrior that stays frequently with Choice Hotels, the additional bonus points provide real value. However, given the lack of other benefits, there is not much incremental value above Gold. We don't suggest going out of your way to pursue it. You can easily get Gold status by having the Choice Privileges Visa card.

Choice hotels status match

Choice Hotels offers an ongoing status match program for those looking to transfer their loyalty from another hotel chain. You must reside in the United States, Canada, or Europe to be eligible. If you match between January and June, your status will be good for the current calendar year. If you match between July and December, your status will be good through the end of the following calendar year. Choice does limit their Elite Status Match Program offer to once per account per lifetime, so make sure you will get real value from it before matching.

To request a status match, you'll need to email [email protected] with the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Your Choice Privileges member number
  • Proof of elite status in another hotel program

Proof can consist of a screenshot/copy of your other program's loyalty card with its expiration date or a screenshot/copy of the other program's current statement or account status page. Choice will respond to status match requests within seven to nine days.

Choice Privileges FAQs

Can I transfer Choice Privileges points?

You cannot transfer Choice Hotels points to another member. However, you can transfer Choice Privileges points to five airline loyalty programs including Aeromexico Club Premier, Aeroplan, Alaska Mileage Plan, Qantas Frequent Flyer and United Mileage Plus. You may also buy up to 180,000 points per year for another program member.

How many Choice rewards do you need for a stay?

Choice Privileges reward nights start at 6,000 Choice Privileges points. Most rewards require at least 8,000 points and vary in price up to 35,000 points. However, some rewards in the Asia-Pacific region may require up to 75,000 points.

How do I check my Choice Privileges points?

You can check your Choice Privileges points balance by logging in to your account at choicehotels.com or through the Choice Hotels app. Your points balance will be shown in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Do Choice Privileges points expire?

Choice Privileges points expire after 18 months of account inactivity. You must have at least one qualifying activity to maintain activity. Qualifying activity includes a point-eligible stay that earns points or miles, redeeming Choice Privileges points, earning points by using your Choice Privileges Visa® card, purchasing points and earning points through a refer-a-friend bonus.

How do I find my Choice rewards number?

To view your Choice rewards number, log in to your Choice Privileges account at choicehotels.com or through the Choice Hotels app. In the app, click on 'Profile' to see your member number. Using the website, click on your name in the upper right corner and then 'My Account' to be taken to the page that includes your Choice rewards number.

How much does Choice Privileges membership cost?

The Choice Privileges program is free to join.

Can I buy Choice Privileges points?

Yes, you can buy up to 250,000 Choice Privileges points per calendar year. The standard price is $12.80 per 1,000 points, although sometimes Choice Hotels runs points purchase promotions.

What is the Choice rewards phone number?

Call Choice rewards at (888) 770-6800 to redeem your Choice Privileges points. Phone representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What is the Choice rewards login?

Visit choicehotels.com and click "Sign In or Join" to log in to your account. You'll have to provide your Choice Privileges account username and password to log in.

The information related to The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card, American Express® Green Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Business Gold Card and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).