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

2d ago

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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.

(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):

Bag Chase 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 points 11,500 points
The Everywhere Bag ($147, normally $245) 12,000 points 10,000 points
The Latitude Tote ($117, normally $195) 9,500 points 8,000 points
The Longitude Tote ($117, normally $195) 9,500 points 8,000 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 photo by Patrick T. Fallon for The Points Guy. 

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