Why I Couldn’t Pass Up This Daily Getaways Points Package

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We are almost two weeks into the Daily Getaway Deals and I haven’t purchased any of them until now.  Years ago there are several I would try to pounce on, and I still may go for a couple more this year, but mostly my life just doesn’t line up with being right at the computer at 1PM Eastern when some limited quantity packages go on sale.  If there isn’t ample quantity, I’m probably not even going to give it a try.

However, there was a deal from the first week that still hadn’t sold out, but it’s an offer that very much aligns with my family’s current travel goals.  IHG points are still available for .6 – .565 cents per point, and at that price I know I will get more than my money’s worth out of the points.  To be clear, this post is not intending to convince you to buy IHG points, but rather to explain how I know I will get more than my money out of the points at that price.  Keep in mind that you can “unofficially” buy the points at .7 cents each whenever you want if you have at least 5,000 IHG points in your account. 

Here are three ways to use IHG points where you will probably more than get your money’s worth out of buying them.  I’m going to use .586 as the price per point for the calculations below since that is what I paid for the 50,000 point package.

Point Breaks for $29.30:

It’s been a year or two since I was able to take advantage of an IHG Point Breaks hotel for just 5,000 points per night, but if you are able to find one that aligns with your travel needs then at this price, 5,000 points per night is just $29.30 for a hotel room.  That is a killer deal whether you are talking a Holiday Inn Express in middle America, or an Intercontinental Resort in some exotic part of the world.

Hotel Anywhere in the World for $293:

Top tier IHG properties require 50,000 points per night, so if you buy the 50,000 point package, at worst you know you can use them for a night anywhere that has an IHG property for your $293 investment.  This includes cities from New York City to London, to Hong Kong and beyond.  That isn’t necessarily a killer deal, but it can be a decent return in some high priced cities on peak nights.

Mid Range Properties When Rates are High:

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I don’t actually anticipate using the points I purchased today for 5,000 or 50,000 points per night properties.  I anticipate using them for mid-range properties when the going rates are high.  This has to be the least sexy way to use points, but it can also be the most practical.  Here’s a real life example…

My husband just started a job that makes him a full-fledged commuter going over an hour in the car each way to work.  On nights that he has to work late, go to dinner with clients, etc. it will sometimes make more sense for him to just stay close to the office than get home at 9 or 10PM only to get up again to head back at 5AM.  The area he works in has several mid-range properties like Hyatt Place, Holiday Inn Express, etc. that can be pretty cheap on the weekends, but very pricey during the work week.

In fact, we just used 8,000 Hyatt points (well, really 6,400 with the current promo) to spend the night near his office last night because there was a family dinner event to attend.  The going rate for the Hyatt Place was well over $200/night, so this was a great use of Hyatt points.  He has another night coming up next month where it will make sense to again stay close to the office, but the Hyatt Place is sold out that night.  However, the Holiday Inn Express has rooms available for 15,000 points even though the going rate is over $300/night.

IHG Points

With tax, that room would have come to about $344, which comes out to a 2.29 cent return per point at 15,000 points per night.  On the surface that sounds pretty good regardless of how you earned the points, but when you take into account they were purchased for just .586 cents per point it is easy to see that we are getting way more out of them at that rate than we paid to buy them.  Of course, I don’t think we are in a position to pay $344 for a night at a Holiday Inn Express near the office out of convenience, so I’m not fooling myself into thinking our return is really as great as it looks on paper.  That said, I am quite happy with acquiring a room for the night for the equivalent of $87/night when the hotels all around the area are either sold out, or pricing out in the $300 per night range.

It’s a very non-aspirational use of points, but it sure will make my husband’s night and following day of work much easier.

Rewards Cards Make the Deal Even Sweeter:

I also want to remind you that sometimes if you have certain rewards cards you can make deals like this even a bit better.  For example, the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card gives you 10% of your annual redeemed points back (up to 100k), so that can help stretch the IHG points you may buy from the Daily Getaways even further.  Also, I purchased the Daily Getaways IHG points package using our Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® because reports are the purchases are coding as “travel” and are eligible for points redemptions with 10% of those redeemed points coming back to our Barclaycard account.

This means my out of pocket cost is even lower than the numbers I shared in this post.  This still isn’t an exciting purchase or redemption, but it is a perfect example of how travel deals and points make it possible for my family to do what we do for much less than the going retail price.

Have you pulled the trigger on any Daily Getaway Deals this year?

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Comments

  1. I maxed out and picked up 675k, in anticipation of a sharp increase in my personal hotel stays next year in a very expensive city. I will likely stay about 90 nights at the two InterContinentals in San Francisco in 2016. These points, combined with my existing balance, will pay for about 25-30 nights, and I’ll have to pay for the rest out of pocket. Thank goodness I have a great corporate rate. 😉

    • Just out of curiosity:
      1) How did you buy 675k points if it says only 4 packages of 50k are allowed per loyalty number?
      2) If you use a corporate rate, why do you pay out of pocket for your hotel stays?

      I stayed 3 nights at the Intercontinental SF couple weeks ago and I did not find anything special about that property. The room I got could be mistaken by any Hilton Garden Inn or Courtyard properties. Disappointing to pay $550/night to get a bath tub with a shower curtain in the bathroom.

      • Good questions. I bought three 100k packages, four 50k packages, four 25k packages, and five 15k packages (the limit for each package). I will be traveling to San Francisco for work by my own choice, so I have to pay for it. I have access to my corporate rate through my job.

        There are two IC’s in San Francisco — IC SF and IC Mark Hopkins. I will likely spend the paid nights at the IC Mark Hopkins (better corporate rate) and the points nights at the IC SF (better points rate). I stay at these hotels because I always get a free suite upgrade, free Club access, and free minibar as a Royal Ambassador. Without these benefits, I certainly would look for somewhere less expensive to stay! Plus, I need 60 nights to maintain my status, so this will be an easy way to attain those nights.

  2. A very reasonable perspective. Not very fancy, but practical as can be. Sorry about the commute, but glad he got a job fairly quickly.

  3. I have been going back and forth and back and forth on the IHG points.. The song by the Clash.. Should I stay or Should I go keeps playing in my head.. but I like your logic.. and I think I’m going to buy a 100k package.

  4. Just got 1 100k package on IHG website for $565. It was a good way to add some more points to my balance.

  5. We are planning on spending 4 nights in various locations in Virginia for an upcoming vacation. The cost of the rooms at Candlewood Suites was going to be $556.65. The cost in points would be 50,000 for the 4 nights. 2 nights at 15,000 and 2 nights at 10,000. So, I can stay there using $293 worth of these points or $556.65 in dollars. I like the $263.65 in savings. Heck, I will even buy an extra 50,000 points for future travels.

    Thanks for sharing the info this morning. I had read the earlier pieces, but until I read this morning’s blog, I hadn’t really put 2 and 2 together to see how much I would save by buying the points.

    • Jack, well done! Sometimes the value of these deals are in the medium sized wins that can be more nuanced. Enjoy your trip!

  6. I picked up 2 X 100k IHG points to use in Tahiti and NZ. Also, purchased 2 of the Diamond resort packages. If you plan early, they can be used at the Maui location. You can not beat $105/n on Maui and no timeshare pressure.

  7. Couple years ago we took the kids to east coast for two weeks. One of the stop was Ocean City Maryland, where the room rates were over $400 a night at Holiday Inn Suites. We spent three nights at 35K points per night. While it is by no means cheap at the cost of buying points, it is still much better than paying cash! The suite was by no means fancy, but it had two beds plus a sofabed, worked perfectly for the 5 of us. And the hotel’s location can’t be beat: right on the boardwalk along the beautiful beach. We had so much fun and the kids want to go back again soon. I bought the IHG package this time and am ready for the next Ocean City trip and all-you-can-eat blue crab!

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