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Last week marked the return of the Daily Getaways, an assortment of daily discounts and deals with various travel brands and loyalty programs sponsored by the US Travel Association. Over the next few weeks, the Daily Getaways will offer hotel packages, points/miles purchase promos, rental car discounts, and more. Last year’s Daily Getaways included some great deals, and there are some equally worthwhile ones planned for the next few weeks ahead.
Each Monday I’ll hash out the details of the deals for that week to help you figure out which ones are worth taking advantage of. Let’s take a look at the deals for this week:
Monday March 30th: 10,000 Best Western Rewards Points for $55
- 10,000 Best Western Rewards Points for $55
- No expiration dates
- Max of 5 sets of points purchased through this offer
- 835 offers available
Compared to other offers this week, this one should be easy to get your hands on. As a general rule of thumb, 10,000 Best Western Rewards points is worth around $100 when redeeming through the Best Western website, so with this deal you’ll be saving about 45%, at least in theory. You can purchase up to five sets of points per membership number, for a maximum of 50,000 points for $275.
The Best Western website isn’t very user-friendly when searching for awards, since each Best Western property uniquely prices out the number of points required per night, whether it be a PLUS, Premier or just a run of the mill Best Western. Frustratingly, there’s no way to tell how many points are needed short of actually attempting to book the reward. I looked at a few properties and found mixed results.
The Best Western City Hotel in Austin, Texas costs 20,000 points or $108 per night in June. Simply paying the cash price actually ends up being less expensive than buying points in this case. However, there were some worthwhile options. In Quebec City at the Best Western PLUS City Centre, room rates start at $216 per night or 24,000 points. In this case, you could purchase three Daily Getaway packages for $165 and save about 30% (plus have some points left over).
I personally wouldn’t be interested in this deal, because I don’t typically stay at Best Westerns and in most cases the savings don’t seem that great. If you have a redemption in mind for a specific Best Western property and the math works out, then this is a good opportunity to save some money.
Best Western points transfer to certain airline programs (like AAdvantage and Aeroplan) at 5,000 points to 1,000 miles. If you were to max out the promotion at 50,000 points for $275, you’d be effectively buying 10,000 airline miles at 2.75 cents apiece, which isn’t a good deal. The one exception might be transferring to Southwest, which gives you a slightly better transfer ratio at 5,000:1,200. Maxing out this deal would net you 12,000 Rapid Rewards points (~$168 in Wanna Get Away fares), and would help you earn the Southwest Companion Pass. If you need some points to qualify, this would be a fairly easy and inexpensive way to get them.
Tuesday March 31st: Spend 2 Nights at The Palazzo for $608
- Receive a certificate good for two nights in a Siena Suite at The Palazzo, Las Vegas
- Must travel by March 31, 2016
- 42 offers available
Note there are numerous black out dates each month including both mid-week and weekend dates.
With average nightly rates in the $500+ range for this summer, this deal provides great value if you’re specifically looking to stay at The Palazzo in a Siena Suite, especially since this deal includes taxes and a $29/night resort fee. However, keep in mind that room rates fluctuate dramatically in Las Vegas, so if you’re not attached to this property, you can often find a better deal.
The Siena Suite is a nice room, but more expensive than standard accommodations at the hotel. Keep in mind that there are many blackout dates with this promo, so check beforehand and make sure you’ll be able to avoid them. There are only 42 offers available, so I recommend buying right away if you’re sure you want to get in on this offer .
Tuesday March 31st: Stay 2 Nights in a Piazza View Suite at The Venetian for $495
- Receive a certificate good for two nights in a Piazza View Suite at the Venetian
- Must travel by March 31, 2016
- 50 offers available
Like the Palazzo deal, there are numerous blackout dates each month, including both mid-week and weekend dates.
Along the same lines as the Palazzo offer, this deal at the Venetian provides a good discount if you’re specifically interested in staying in one of these suites. Rates for the Piazza View suites range from $262 all the way up to $526 per night, so there’s great value to be had when the nightly rate is on the high side.
Once again, there aren’t many deals available, so buy right away once it goes live if you’re interested.
Wednesday April 1st: 2 Night Stay At The Cromwell $590 (and other Caesars deals)
- Two nights accommodations in a luxury king room
- Hotel perks such as $100 breakfast dining credit at Giada’s, access to Drais day pool and nightclub, in-room champagne
- round-trip limo transport
- Travel must be completed by July 1, 2016 and must be booked 30 days in advance
- Subject to blackout dates
- 5 available
Like most Vegas hotels, nightly rates at The Cromwell are low during the week, and surge on weekends. There are some weekends when this could be a good deal, especially when you factor in the $100 dining credit. However, blackout dates apply, and they aren’t listed. There’s no way I would buy this (or almost any) deal without first knowing when I can or can’t use it. Beyond that, there are only 5 deals available, so even if you wanted one, your chances of getting it would be slim.
The value propositions of the other Daily Getaways for Wednesday are all about the same: you might get a good deal depending on when you plan to travel, but without knowing in advance which dates are blacked out, there’s little incentive to buy. Plus, these offers are all fairly limited. I wouldn’t bother.
Thursday April 2nd: Universal Studios Hollywood 4 pack of 2-day park tickets $313
- Must travel by April 30, 2016
- Must give 30 days advance notice prior to arriving at the park
- 115 available
This deal is pretty straightforward, and offers families or groups looking to experience Universal Studios Hollywood a chance to visit the park at a reduced rate. You’ll save about $100 altogether on the four tickets, and they’re valid for two days, so you won’t feel pressured to see the entire park in one day. There are 115 deals available, and these are likely to be popular, so to continue the trend for this week, buy early if you’re interested.
Friday April 3rd:
Cambria Suites: Stay 2 Nights for $160
- 40,000 points deposited into your Choice Privileges account
- 380 available
Comfort Suites: Stay 2 Nights for $132
- 32,000 points deposited into your Choice Privileges account
- 655 available
Comfort Inn: Stay 3 Nights for $155
- 36,000 points deposited into your Choice Privileges account
- 785 available
Sleep Inn: Stay 2 Nights for $90
- 20,000 points deposited into your Choice Privileges account
- 220 available
These deals are marketed as free nights for different hotels, but in reality they’re just bundles of points that you can use however you choose. Travel is valid through December 31st, two years from the date of deposit.
Choice Privileges offers great value for hotel rooms in Europe, where award nights start at just 8,000-10,000 points per night in low season. For example, I searched for a two night stay in Rome at the end of June, and found three hotels available, all in the 8,000-10,000 point range. If you purchased the 32,000 point deal for $132, you could get three or four nights in these hotels at $33 per night, whereas the cost would be $92-150 per night if you paid cash.
Like Best Western, you can transfer Choice Privileges points to several airline programs (like United or American). Transfers to Southwest again count toward Companion Pass status, and 6,000 Choice Privileges points transfers to 1,800 Rapid Rewards points. If you bought 40,000 points for $160, you could transfer 36,000 of them to get 10,800 Rapid Rewards points. Essentially you’d be buying Rapid Rewards at 1.48 cents per point (which is pretty close to the value you get by using them for Wanna Get Away fares), while also earning your Companion Pass.
In conclusion, this deal may be worth it if you have an upcoming trip and you can price out your hotels beforehand, or if you want to top off your Southwest account in pursuit of a Companion Pass. There are plenty of deals available, so unlike other deals this week, there’s a good chance you can get the one you want!
Stay Tuned for Next Week’s Getaways
If you’re interested in planning a Vegas vacation, you’re in luck. Be on the lookout for my assessment of the Daily Getaways for April 6-10, many of which include popular hotel chains.
With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.
- Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
- Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
- There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
- Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees