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The US Travel Association (a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting US travel) and American Express have partnered in order to offer various discounts and deals with travel brands and loyalty programs including hotel packages, points/miles purchase promos, rental car deals and more during the next five weeks.
The last time we saw these deals was in June 2013, but Amex and USTA have just released their list of daily deals that will be running May 19-June 20, 2014.
Each weekday, a new offer will be unveiled on the website at 1 pm EDT and will be available to any US resident, age 18 or older, to purchase throughout the promotion period, until the limited inventory is sold out.
Alerts are emails you sign up to receive to inform you when individual offers go on sale. You can sign up for an alert on the details page for any of the offers.
The method behind this madness is hoping that these deals will encourage people to travel more, as the USTA believes travel promotes good health and relationships, all while giving a boost to the US economy.
Another added benefit is that you will receive an additional 10% off if you use an Amex card to purchase, like the Platinum, Premier Rewards Gold or even co-brand airline cards like Delta Gold, and the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex.
We will be doing a weekly roundup of deals for each week ahead of time so you know what is coming and can plan in advance.
Are These Deals Worth It?
In addition to the weekly roundups, each day before the deals go live, I will post specifically on the offer for that day with a guided analysis to whether or not I feel the deal is worth it. Of course, different types of points and miles have different value to everyone, but this will be a general guide to my thoughts on if the deal has value or not. For now, check out the roundup of deals below for the upcoming week and with brief explanation of each.
List of Deals: May 19-23, 2014 (*Amex 10% discount not included unless specified)
Monday May 19: Wyndham Rewards Points
- 14,000 Wyndham Rewards points for $84 (500 available)
- 32,000 Wyndham Rewards points for $192 (450 available)
- 40,000 Wyndham Rewards points for $240 (440 available)
- 60,000 Wyndham Rewards points for $360 (100 available)
- 75,000 Wyndham Rewards points for $450 (200 available)
Technically you would be purchasing each point for .6 cents per dollar (or .54 cents per dollar if you use your Amex card). This is much higher than the cost paid for Wyndham points during last year’s daily getaways, which isn’t great because Wyndham literally devalued their airline transfer ratio overnight this past January. However, you can put this towards earning a valuable Southwest Companion Pass, though you will only get 1,200 Southwest points for every 6,000 Wyndham points and you need 110,000 Companion Pass Qualifying points to get the pass. At that rate, you’d need to buy 550,000 Wyndham points for $3,300 to get 110,000 Southwest points (worth ~$1,650 in Wanna Get Away Fares, though with the Companion Pass, that would be worth $3,300 in value if you maximized the points for all Companion Pass travel). But the issue is you won’t be able to buy that many, but if you need to top up, it could make sense. Otherwise, Wyndham free nights could be an option, but we will dig more into that next week in our specific post on the sale. These numbers get better if you use an Amex card to purchase, of course.
Tuesday May 20: Hertz Gold Plus Reward Points
- 5,500 Hertz Gold Plus Reward points for $280 (5.1 cents per point, 45 available)
- 13,200 Hertz Gold Plus Reward points for $475 (4.6 cents per point, 35 available)
- 16,500 Hertz Gold Plus Reward points for $775 (4.7 cents per point, 50 available)
Per to the Hertz Gold Plus Reward Chart, a standard free rental day is 675 points ($34 through the most expensive purchase) and anyday award (during peak periods) would be 1350 points. In late 2013 the Gold Plus program underwent a large devaluation, so this may or not be worth it depending at what price you can get your car rental for, and if you need to travel on peak days or not.
Wednesday May 21: Choice Privilege Points
- 20,000 Choice Privileges points for $108 (.54 cents per point, 216 available)
- 32,000 Choice Privileges points for $132 (.41 cents per point, 655 available)
- 36,000 Choice Privileges points for $175 (.49 cents per point, 785 available)
- 40,000 Choice Privileges points for $165 (.41 cents per point, 325 available)
You can transfer 5,000 points to get 1,000 miles with several airline programs associated with Choice Privilege. It might be a good idea to transfer them to Southwest or to Alaska, which are often more flexible than some other airlines. Sometimes you are able to get Choice hotel deals in Europe for just 8,000-10,000 points per night in low season, making this an good deal if used in that way, as European hotels, combined with the poor exchange rate would cost much more if paid for directly.
Thursday May 22: Alamo Gift Certificates
- $50 certificate for $25 (2,000 available)
This seems like a pretty cut and dry deal and if you like Alamo and you often rent cars with them, this could be a way to save a little extra money.
Friday May 23: Hilton HHonors points
- 100,000 Hilton HHonors points for $550 (160 available)
- 150,000 Hilton HHonors points for $825 (200 available)
- 250,000 Hilton HHonors points for $1,375 (200 available)
These all cost .55 cents per point-exactly the same price as in 2012 (about .5 cents per point with Amex discount), although Hilton has massively devalued since then, but there could be decent redemption options if you can find standard redemption rooms in really expensive cities.
Overall, some decent deals- nothing that I’m jumping up and down over, but I may still try to snag some since there is value to be had if you know how to maximize! While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.
While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.