In this morning’s newly updated guide to COVID-19 cancellation policies, we added the various elite status extensions and 2020 shortcuts added for each program. In updating the section on Choice Privileges, I noticed something that Stephen pointed out to me we hadn’t previously covered: In addition to extending current status through the end of 2021, Choice is increasing the elite status of all Gold and Platinum members by one level for 2020 with the option to keep that elevated status in 2021 with 5 nights from June 1st to the end of 2020.

Again, Choice is extending status through the end of 2021 even if you have no stays this year. For example, if you have Gold status (which one could get via the Choice Privileges Visa), your status will remain at least gold until the end of 2021.

However, Choice is temporarily bumping that status up a level (to Platinum Elite in this example) for the rest of 2020. If you stay 5 nights between June 1 and December 31, 2020, you’ll keep Platinum elite status through the end of 2021. If you do not, you’ll go back to Gold on January 1, 2021 and keep Gold through the end of 2021.

I find this a really interesting promotion in that they are promising an extension with no activity but giving members a chance to get a taste of the next level up and the ability to keep it with a pretty low bar to meet. Granted, Choice Privileges doesn’t exactly have exciting program benefits. Still, higher status gives some small incremental benefit and it sometimes begets higher status when you can match to another program down the road.

The key benefits of the increased status (Gold members become Platinum and Platinum members become Diamond) are in terms of bonus earn on paid stays:

  • Gold members (ordinarily requires 7 nights) earn a 10% elite point bonus
  • Platinum members (ordinarily requires 15 nights) earn a 25% elite point bonus
  • Diamond members (ordinarily requires 25 nights) earn a 60% elite point bonus

Platinum and Diamond members also get Avis Preferred Plus status and extra rollerover nights, though I don’t know that rollover nights will be useful this year. Still, the ability to get Platinum or Diamond status and potentially keep it through the end of 2021 with only 5 nights this year might be attainable for those who will travel again at some point this year.

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