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Mark your calendars because the much loved (and sometimes frustrating) Daily Getaway Deals are returning from May 19 – June 20, 2014 with some previews available on May 12th. I think this is very awesome news! Some of these deals aren’t quite as sweet as they might have been a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some gems that you can grab. The site says that American Express Card Members can again get an extra 10% off travel offers when they use their Amex. If you have no clue what Daily Getaway Deals are, then here are some answers.
What are Daily Getaways?
Daily Getaways are limited time/limited quantity opportunities to purchase things like hotel packages, hotel points, discount air travel, car rentals, etc. at a reduced price. They are brought to you via a partnership from American Express and the US Travel Association. Once upon a time they were referred to as the Discover America deals. There is typically one type of deal per day on each weekday for several weeks. The deals are announced in advance and usually go on sale at 1PM Eastern (with some allowing a small advance sale an hour or so earlier if you have the code from Facebook or similar). Some of the deals are smoking and disappear literally within seconds. Some of them aren’t as popular and hang around for hours or even days.
What are some examples of “smoking” deals available through Daily Getaways?
In 2011 I purchased some sets of 32,000 Wyndham Reward points for around $90 and turned that into a two night stay in New York City for my parents. That came to $45 all-in per night for a nice NYC hotel at Christmastime. While I don’t necessarily trust Wyndham at all, they do have a NYC hotel again available for 14k points per night if you still need to unload some points from previous Daily Getaways!
In 2012 my personal favorite purchase was for a package at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas that included:
- 4-consecutive-night stay in a “Mirage Suite” or similar suite (double occupancy).
- Airport limo transfers to and from McCarren Airport to The Mirage.
- Dinner for 2 at Stack. Dinner for 2 at Kokomos Steak Lobster. Dinner for 2 at Onda Italian Cuisine. There is a maximum of $500 per dinner for a max total of $1500.
- VIP seating for 2 to The Beatles LOVE™ by Cirque du Soleil®.
- VIP seating for 2 to Terry Fator. Terry Fator is not performing on Sundays and Mondays; The Beatles LOVE™ is not playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
- Massage for 2 at The Mirage Spa.
- VIP amenities of champagne and strawberries in your guest room.
I think I paid about $1350 for the package, but we got way more than that amount of value from the deal. It was amazing. Other popular items last year were Hyatt points for less than a penny each and some very affordable Hertz points. There were also points deals from IHG Rewards, Best Western, Club Carlson, and others.
Who is eligible to purchase Daily Getaway Deals?
Historically it has been open to US residents 18 and older with a major credit card.
Does using an Amex get you a discount?
Yes, yes, yes! You absolutely want to use an American Express card to purchase Daily Getaways as it gives you a 10% discount on the packages. You are leaving money on the table if you pay with any other type of card. If you plan to try and purchase many packages it may even make sense to time this promo with an application where you get an Amex. That way you can easily hit the minimum spending requirement and get a 10% discount at the same time.
Do you have to be online right when they go on sale?
For the popular deals, yes. In fact, if you have a partner who can also be on at the same time trying to get a package in their cart it isn’t a bad idea. It is a little crazy, and you won’t be able to buy everything you want. Think of it like a bridal sample sale. Lots of folks rushing around trying to pick up a really amazing deal in a hurry…just in a virtual internet world.
Will you detail all the deals as they come out?
Absolutely. The last couple of years I did a separate post for each Daily Getaway deal for all five weeks. I might do that again this year, or I might just do one post summarizing the deals for the week. We’ll see how good the deals look before I decide if it is worth a daily post.
I don’t know what the deals will be this year, but assuming they are at least in the same ballpark as what we have seen the last few years, this is something to pay attention to as it can really make family travel affordable if you leverage it correctly. Packages like the Vegas deal I bought are pricey, but many of the points deals are in the $50 – $100 range, so there are deals that appeal to most budgets.
I will throw out the warning early and often that it doesn’t typically make sense to buy points unless you know how you are going to use them. We have seen many point devaluations this year that can really sting if you aren’t earning (or buying) and burning, so keep that in mind when you are considering spending hard earned cash to buy points.