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The Daily Getaway Deals are a collection of travel deals that are brought together by the U.S. Travel Association and American Express for residents of the United States. They have run for several years, and are being offered every weekday this year from May 19 – June 20, 2014 at 1PM Eastern. The packages and deals are of limited quantity, and there is one new deal per day. You get 10% off if you pay using an American Express card, so absolutely plan to do that. Some of the deals are better than others, and with some deals that demand is so high it is hard to actually score one of the limited quantity packages. So don’t play if that will ruin your afternoon.
The deals aren’t quite as smoking as a couple years ago, in part due to some program devaluations, and in part due to other ways to “manufacture” points these days. However, there are still some good opportunities depending on your travel goals and plans.
For the last several years I have devoted one daily post to each deal, and may still do that for some of the bigger offers this year, or may just do a summary of each week. Let me know which works better for you. I will say that for every offer, you should have an idea on how you will use the nights/points/rentals/etc since you are spending real money to obtain these offers. If you want to peak ahead, you can view all five weeks of deals here.
With all that being said, I bring you Week 1 of the Daily Getaways…
Monday May 19th Wyndham Reward Points:
This deal is marketed as nights in certain types of Wyndham hotels such as Days Inn or Super 8, but in reality it is just bundles of points that you can use however you wish.
- 14,000 Wyndham Rewards points – $84 (500 available) .54 cents each with 10% Amex discount
- 32,000 Wyndham Rewards points – $192 (450 available) .54 cents each with 10% Amex discount
- 40,000 Wyndham Rewards points – $240 (440 available) .54 cents each with 10% Amex discount
- 60,000 Wyndham Rewards points – $360 (100 available) .54 cents each with 10% Amex discount
- 75,000 Wyndham Rewards points – $450 (200 available) .54 cents each with 10% Amex discount
Wyndham Reward points expire 4 years from date of deposit, unless forfeited or canceled earlier due to membership inactivity for eighteen (18) months. Max. Quantity per Purchase: 1. No more than 1 set of points purchased through this offer are allowed per Wyndham Rewards number.
Buy or no buy:
All of the offers are at a rate of .6 cents per point without an Amex, and .54 cents with an Amex and the 10% discount. This is the same price they were last year, but double the price from two years ago. Perhaps more importantly is that in that time many of the more popular hotel redemption rates have increased, and the transfer rate to airlines has gotten worse (with no advance notice given). Some liked to use this to buy points and transfer to Southwest to count toward the Companion Pass. Now for Southwest and other airlines like United or US Airways you would be paying 2.7 cents per mile (with an Amex discount). That is not a good price for airline miles at all.
The only real reason to consider buying Wyndham Rewards is if you want to redeem for Wyndham hotel stays. Here are a few examples of hotels and the price per night at .54 cents per point with the 10% Amex discount:
Days Inn London Hyde Park (has some 4 person occupancy rooms!) – 20,000 points – $108
Ramada Encore London West – 25,000 points – $135
Super 8 Dillon/Breckenridge Area (near many ski options) – 14,000 points – $75.60
Ramada Vancouver Downtown – 16,000 points – $86.40
Days Inn San Diego Downtown – 20,000 points – $108
A family of four in London for $108 is great, as is a place to sleep at night for $75 during ski season. These hotels are not your five star-diamond-platinum-titanium style hotels, but plenty of them seem to have solid enough reviews to totally meet the basic needs of a safe and clean place to sleep at night.
This is no longer an across the board buy, but instead is just a buy just if you want to use the points for Wyndham Hotels.
Tuesday May 20th Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points:
Just like with the Wyndham points, this deal is marketed as things like a one week rental, when in reality it is just a bundle of points that you can use however you wish for Hertz rentals.
- 5,500 points deposited to your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards account – $280 (45 available) 4.6 cents per point with 10% discount
- 13,200 points deposited to your Hertz Gold Plus Rewards account – $475 (35 available) 3.2 cents per point with 10% discount
- 16,500 points deposited to your Herts Gold Plus Rewards account – $775 (50 available) 4.2 cents per point with 10% discount
Key terms: No more than one set of points purchased through this offer are allowed per Hertz member number. A maximum of three sets of points is allowed per Hertz member number across all Hertz offers. (I think that means you can buy one of each package). Points do not expire as long as member has any Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® program activity in the prior 24 months. Minimum age for this offer is twenty-five (25) (exceptions apply).
Buy or no buy:
The prices for these sets of points are similar to last year, though the Hertz award chart has devalued some since then (though with lots of advance notice). It is worth noting that the 13,200 point package is a fair bit lower in terms of price per point than the other two, but with only 35 available on that one (and 130 all-in) this one really is a lottery as much as anything.
Hertz has AnyDay Rewards are not subject to any blackout periods and may be used during the most busy travel periods, and Standard Rewards that are in theory available during all but the most busy travel periods and require less points to redeem than AnyDay Rewards. A free rental day on a standard award is 675 points, and on an AnyDay reward is is double at 1,300 points. A specialty vehicle (like an SUV) weekend day rental is 850 points for standard rate and 1,650 points on an AnyDay rate. You can view the full rate sheet here.
I have gotten big value out of Hertz points, and am currently trying to use them for a trip to Alaska where car rental rates are $150+ per night for our dates. Sadly, those are also only AnyDay rates with Hertz, but even at 1,100 points for a weekend rental that is the equivalent of about $40ish bucks per day when buying points at these rates, depending on exactly which package you get.
I’m a buyer at these prices, but that’s only in theory since the number of packages is so low. I have had very good success with Hertz points, and buying these points would result in real savings for my family when car rental prices are just too high.
Wednesday May 21st Choice Privileges Points:
Again, these offers are bundles of points marketed as a certain number of nights at hotels. This time they are Choice Privileges points up for the buying.
- 40,000 Choice Privileges points – $165 (325 available) .37 cents each with 10% Amex discount
- 36,000 Choice Privileges points – $175 (785 available) .44 cents each with 10% Amex discount
- 32,000 Choice Privileges points – $132 (655 available) .37 cents each with 10% Amex discount
- 20,000 Choice Privileges points – $108 (216 available) .49 cents each with 10% Amex discount
Points are valid through December 31, 2016 at which time they expire. There is a max purchase of 2 sets of points purchased through this offer are allowed per loyalty number. A maximum of 8 sets of points is allowed per loyalty number across all Choice Hotels offers. You can only book award stays thirty (30) days prior to your planned arrival for the United States or Canada, or 60 days on international trips. Elite members have a somewhat higher booking window, and I did match to get elite status when I booked a trip.
Buy or No Buy:
I purchased these points in 2012 to take my family to the Comfort Suites Paradise Island next to Atlantis (staying there gives you included access to Atlantis). At these point prices, that is under $100 per night to take a family of four to Atlantis – including lodging. I say that is a great deal, but obviously that type of vacation isn’t for everyone.
Here are some examples of various redemptions options and the dollar equivalent you are paying if you buy points at $0.0038 cents each.
GEM Hotel Soho – 30,000 points ($111)
Comfort Inn Midtown West (Manhattan) – 25,000/30,000 points ($92.50/$111)
Clarion Collection Hotel Opera Pavillion Paris – 25,000 points ($92.50)
Comfort Inn Buckingham Palace Road – 25,000 points ($92.50)
Comfort Hotel Royal Zurich – 25,000 points ($92.50)
Comfort Suites Paradise Island – 25,000 points ($92.50)
Roadway Inn University Downtown Austin – 12,000 points ($44.40)
There have also sometimes been redemptions in Europe for as low as 8,000 points per night during certain times per year, though I haven’t seen that appear as much this year as in previous years. Some also like to get these points to transfer to Southwest as they have historically counted toward Companion Pass qualification. If you just need a few more points to get to the 110,000 point Companion Pass threshold, 6,000 Choice points transfers to 1,800 Rapid Rewards points. If you bought 40,000 Choice points for $148.50 with the Amex discount, you could transfer that to 10,800 Southwest points at a cost of 1.375 cents per Rapid Reward point. If you wanted a different type of airline mile like United or American, then 5,000 points = 1,000 airline miles.
These are a good buy for Choice Hotel stays as well as topping up to the Companion Pass.
Thursday May 22nd Alamo $50 Certificates
You can purchase $50 Alamo car rental certificates for $25 ($22.50 with 10% Amex discount) and use them toward Alamo rentals at participating locations. There are 2,000 of these certificates available, just like last year.
- The amount will be applied to the total base rate for the entire rental period. Certificate amount will be applied to total base rate for the entire rental period, and may not be applied to taxes, other government-authorized or imposed surcharges, license recoupment/air tax recovery and concession recoupment fees, airport and airport facility fees, fuel, additional driver fee, one (1)-way rental charge, or optional items, which are the responsibility of the renter.
- Certificate not valid with any other discount, offer, or promotional rate, except you may combine up to three (3) separate certificates per single rental.
- When using more than one (1) certificate, reservations must be made by calling 1-866-626-9102.
- Offer valid for rentals at participating locations in the United States.
Buy or No Buy:
I’ve never bought these as you can’t use them with other discounts, and there are some locations/dates they don’t work. However, I do know some people who have had success with them, especially in places where many codes don’t work as well such as Alaska. I’ll be sitting on the sidelines for the same reasons I always have, but they can be a good way to save in some circumstances.
Friday May 23rd Hilton HHonors Points:
The last deal of Week 1 are bundles of Hilton HHonors points that you can use for hotel award night stays.
- 100,000 Hilton HHonors points – $550 (160 available) .495 cents per points with the 10% Amex discount
- 150,000 Hilton HHonors points – $825 (200 available) .495 cents per points with the 10% Amex discount
- 250,000 Hilton HHonors points – $1,375 (200 available) .495 cents per points with the 10% Amex discount
Only 1 set of points may be purchased for this offer. Up to 3 sets of points may be purchased in total (one per offer) per HHonors member for all Hilton HHonors offers in this promotion. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia and must be a Hilton HHonors member to participate.
Buy or No Buy:
These are the same prices HHonors points have been available for via Daily Getaways for several years, but the award chart has gone from topping out at 50k points per night, to 95k points per night in that time. So, if you want to use these points for top tier 95k points per night Hilton hotels such as Conrad Maldives, it will essentially cost you $470.25 per night based on the price per point with the Amex 10% discount. There are obviously many more hotels with lower points requirements, and getting the fifth night free if you are on elite can help as well.
However, given how easy it can be to get Hilton points via credit cards, and the number of points required at some Hilton properties I might want to visit, this is a no buy for me.
Are any of the Week 1 deals “buys” for your family?
Stay tuned for breakdowns of all five weeks of deals – including offers from Hyatt, IHG Rewards, SeaWorld, Club Carlson, Marriott, and more.