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Black Friday deal: How I scored a new Away bag for 16,000 Ultimate Rewards points

Nov. 25, 2021
5 min read
Black Friday deal: How I scored a new Away bag for 16,000 Ultimate Rewards points
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While this holiday weekend is about giving thanks and helping yourself to heaps of turkey and mashed potatoes, 'tis the season of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

If you're like me — and your carry-on bag wheels also broke the moment you cascaded down the jet bridge while flying back home this Thanksgiving — you're in luck.

Through Nov. 29, 2021, popular luggage retailer, Away, is throwing a sale where you can save up to 40% on select styles. Not to mention, these bags are a TPG favorite. While pricey, they're designed for the modern traveler and are simple yet functional.

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(Screenshot courtesy of Away)

Better yet, Away only puts on a few sales per year, so this is the perfect time to get shopping if you've been in the market for new luggage.

Even without the discount, the bags can still be quite expensive, and I wasn't particularly in the mood to shell out $150+. Then, I remembered that Chase's Pay Yourself Back (PYB) tool allows you to offset certain purchases at an elevated rate (1.25 to 1.5 cents, depending on the card) — and right now, it's for Airbnb and Away purchases.

For context, the PYB tool was crucial at the beginning of the pandemic for those who weren't traveling and had been amassing points with no use in mind. Chase initially launched the PYB tool and allowed cardholders to offset everyday purchases, like grocery and dining purchases. Until Dec. 31, 2022, you can even donate your points to select charities for this favorable rate.

Sitting on a pile of Ultimate Rewards points and a damaged carry-on bag later (granted, it was my mom's from the 1990s), it was the perfect storm to treat myself to the Away sale.

Related: How I used Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature to give my nephew the gift of travel

I opted for "The Expandable Carry-On," which made its debut in August. It's Away's first soft-side expandable suitcase, made of water-resistant nylon. If you're adamant about never checking a bag like I am, or perhaps you tend to be a bit of an overpacker, you'll enjoy an additional 1.75 inches of room if using the zipper expansion. However, what I especially love about this bag is the front laptop pocket for easy access.

(Photo courtesy of Away)

It's currently on sale for $191, and you can select from three colors: black, green and asphalt.

Savvy points and miles enthusiasts know to always check an online shopping portal aggregator like Cashback Monitor to see if you can get even more points with your purchase, making the deal that much sweeter. Unfortunately, Away isn't found on any shopping portals at the moment.

I simply paid with my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card at checkout, which totaled $204.85 after tax. Then, I headed over to the Ultimate Rewards portal to offset my Away purchase at a rate of 1.25 cents each, or roughly 16,400 Ultimate Rewards points.

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

Keep in mind that you can also select the number of points you want to redeem, so you don't have to cover the full cost in points if that's what you prefer.

While this is under TPG's valuations of Ultimate Rewards points of 2 cents apiece, I still thought this was a good value since the expandable carry-on normally retails for $241 after tax.

After all, I'm a firm believer in burning your points rather than hoarding them. I wasn't too sad to see my Ultimate Rewards balance be docked by 16,000 points, which I know I will earn back in no time, thanks to my Chase trifecta cards.

If you're interested in the other popular Away bags that are on sale right now, here's a look at how much it'll roughly cost you using Chase's PYB tool (before tax):

BagChase Sapphire Preferred Card (1.25 cents each)Chase Sapphire Reserve (1.5 cents each)
The Daily Carry-On with Pocket ($171, normally $245)14,000 points11,500 points
The Everywhere Bag ($147, normally $245)12,000 points10,000 points
The Latitude Tote ($117, normally $195)9,500 points8,000 points
The Longitude Tote ($117, normally $195)9,500 points8,000 points

I especially love my Away Everywhere bag since it comes with a trolley sleeve that slips over the handles of your carry-on or checked bag. It even fits under an airplane seat, so it can count as your personal item when flying!

(Photo courtesy of Away)

No matter which Away bag you choose, you won't regret it as it will last you years to come. Happy shopping, everyone!

Related: Is this a good deal? 3 questions to ask before buying Black Friday deals

Featured image by Patrick T. Fallon
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases