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American Express and the US Travel Association (a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting US travel) have partnered to offer discounts and deals with various travel brands and loyalty programs during the next month, including hotel packages, points/miles purchase promos, rental car discounts and more. These deals are called the Daily Getaways, and this upcoming week is the last week they will be running for 2014.
Here is the 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 or until the limited inventory is sold out.
You can sign up for alert emails on the details page for any of the offers to inform you when individual offers go on sale.
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 benefit is that you can save an additional 10% by purchasing with an Amex card, like the Amex Platinum, Amex Premier Rewards Gold, or even co-brand airline cards like the Delta Gold and Starwood Preferred Guest Amex.
I’ll be doing a weekly roundup of deals for each week ahead of time so you know what’s 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’ll post specifically about the offer for that day with a guided analysis of whether I feel the deal is worth buying. Of course, points and miles hold different values for everyone, but I’ll try to summarize the upside and downside of each deal so that you can determine whether it suits your needs. For now, check out the roundup of deals below for the upcoming week.
Unfortunately, for Week Five, the availability of deals is extremely low, so you absolutely have to be ready to click immediately when the sale starts if you want to try to purchase any of these Getaways.
List of Deals: June 16-20, 2014 (*Amex 10% discount not included unless otherwise specified)
Monday June 16: Las Vegas Hotel Packages
- Two nights in a suite at the Bellagio for $1,375 (4 available)
- Two nights at the MGM Grand for $1,545 (4 available)
- Four nights at the Luxor for $535 (9 available)
- Three nights at Circus Circus for $140 (8 available)
- Three nights in a suite at Aria for $1,625 (5 available)
All of the above deals are packages, meaning each of these offers includes not only the hotel room or suite, but also additional items like show tickets, dining credits, spa services and more, which I will analyze in further detail in the daily recap. The problem with these deals is that there are so few available that it seems highly unlikely you’ll be able to snag one.
Today I will take a look at the deal with the most availability (still only 9), the Luxor package, which includes four nights in a Tower Deluxe Room at Luxor, 2 VIP tickets to Jabbawockees and $400 food/ beverage credit for select Luxor restaurants (Tender Steak & Seafood, Rice & Co., Pyramid Cafe, More Buffet, Backstage Deli and Starbucks). You can use the package anytime through January 31, 2015 except for the two blackout dates, which are December 30 and 31, 2014.
I checked the Luxor website for a long weekend in October in a Tower Deluxe Room. The total room cost for four nights would be $470, which is close to the $535 ($481.50 with Amex discount) Daily Getaway price, but doesn’t include the VIP show tickets or the $400 dining credit, which add well over $500 of value. Clearly the Daily Getaway offers a great deal, but good luck getting it.
Tuesday June 17: Club Carlson Points
- 50,000 Club Carlson Gold points for $247 (100 available)
- 100,000 Club Carlson Gold points for $495 (50 available)
No more than two sets of points purchased through this offer are allowed per loyalty number, and a maximum of 4 sets of points is allowed per loyalty number across both Club Carlson offers. However due to the low availability of these packages, it’s unlikely you’d be able to get more than that anyway. The deal is worthwhile if you can manage to get it, and I might try to jump on this one myself.
Club Carlson points normally cost .7 cents each, and with this deal you can get them for about .5 cents a point (or .44 cents with the Amex discount). This is a great deal, especially if you have one of the Club Carlson co-branded credit cards, which give you the last night free for any award reservation of two nights or more.
Wednesday June 18: Universal Orlando
- Universal Orlando VIP Experience for up to 12 people for $2,848 (1 available)
- Four three-day Park to Park admission tickets to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure for $700 (30 available)
- Universal Resort Package: a three night stay, round-trip airfare, and three-day admission to two theme parks for four people for $2,554 (10 available)
It seems like the theme for Week Five Daily Getaways is limited availability! Your chances of getting this deal are slim to none. The four park passes for three days and two parks with 30 available is your best bet.
I checked on the Universal Studios webpage and the total cost for four adults would be $744. For two adults and two children, the cost is $722. So, if you’re sure you want to visit, the Daily Getaway price at $700 (or $630 with Amex discount) will save you some cash, giving you some extra to spend during your park visit.
Thursday June 19: Caesars/Harrah’s Hotel Packages
- Two nights at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City for $650 (10 available)
- Two nights at your choice of one of Caesars Las Vegas properties for $425 (10 available) (properties include: Bally’s, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Paris, Planet Hollywood Resort, The Quad Resort & Casino, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino)
- Two nights at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas for $520 (5 available)
- Two nights accommodations at Rio Secco for $520 (10 available)
- Two nights at Bally’s Las Vegas for $315 (5 available)
All of the above deals are packages, meaning they include not only the hotel room or suite, but also additional items like show tickets, dining credits, spa services, airport transfers and more, which I’ll analyze in more detail in the daily recap. Not to sound like a broken record, but the limited availability of these deals is again problematic.
I looked into the Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City offer because this is the first Atlantic City option we’ve seen during the Daily Getaways. The deal includes two nights accommodation at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, gourmet dinner for two, champagne in the room and round-trip limousine transfers between the airport and hotel. Travel must be completed by July 1, 2015 and must be booked at least 30 days in advance of scheduled arrival. The price for two nights in August on the Harrah’s website is $715 for two nights, making the Daily Getaway a good value since it includes all the extras. However, the Daily Getaway offer page says that blackout dates apply, but no specific dates are listed.
I recommend staying away from offers with unspecified blackout dates, because you never know what will happen when you try to book. The other Las Vegas deals listed here are also subject to unspecified blackout dates. Plus, you have to reserve 30 days in advance, and let’s be honest, gambling getaways are often spur of the moment travel plans. I vote no on this deal even if it is a money saver; I prefer the option to make last minute plans and am wary of the blackout dates.
Friday June 20: Fairmont Hotels
- Six nights in Hawaii at The Fairmont Kea Lani (Maui) or Fairmont Orchid (Big Island) for $1,980 (12 available)
- Three nights at the Fairmount Scottsdale Princess for $675 (10 available)
This is an excellent offer if you can manage to get one. The Fairmont Kea Lani starts at $549 per night in August on the Fairmont website, for a total of $3294 for six nights. The Daily Getaway price is a huge money saver at $1,980 ($1782 with Amex discount) for six one-night stay certificates, and the fact that they never expire is great. You can also use the certificates separately if you wish. I would love to get this deal, but (tell me if you’ve heard this one before) I probably won’t even try, since there are so few available.
This is the last week of Daily Getaways, and I think the offer I’m most interested in is the Club Carlson points, not just because it’s a good deal, but because the other hotel deals and packages have practically no availability. Good luck to those who decide to click for the gold; may the mouse be with you!