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[Update at 1:05 PM ET: I successfully snagged the Harrah’s Las Vegas package the second the sale opened at 1:00:00 ET.

As I expected, the packages went fast! All the packages seem to be getting the “Sorry, this inventory is already on hold message.” If you really want one, keep refreshing. Someone might not make the purchase he’s held, which would release the space back to the pool.

What was your experience?

End of Update.]

Today is the fourth day of five weeks of discounted travel packages sponsored by the US Travel Association and American Express called Daily Getaways.

Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will sell out in a few minutes. Some of the offers will be awesome; some will be duds.

Today’s deal is discounted hotel packages from Caesars Entertainment at properties in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Tunica, and Lake Tahoe.

How can you get the deal?

All Daily Getaways packages are discounted. And you get an additional 10% off each sale price by paying with an American Express, so that’s a no-brainer, and I’ll always quote prices after the American Express discount.

Prices range from $297 for a two night package at Harrah’s Las Vegas to $1,386 for a three night package at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. There are only 5 to 20 packages available at each hotel.

Yesterday’s sale still hasn’t sold out, but I expect these hotel packages to sell out pretty quickly, given how few there are and that the deals are pretty good.

I’ve taken the closest look at the Harrah’s Las Vegas package because it looks like the best deal for me.

For the Harrah’s deal, the terms say: “Within 5 business days of package purchase, you will receive via email a certificate with contact information and booking instructions. A hard copy of the certificate will also be sent by U.S. First Class mail within two weeks. Please allow sufficient time for U.S. Postal Service delivery.

Travel must be completed by July 1, 2014 and must be booked no later than 30 days in advance of scheduled arrival date. Blackout dates apply.”

The only blackout dates listed are New Year’s weekend and Superbowl weekend.

The Harrah’s package comes with:

  • Stay 2 consecutive nights and spread out with 500 square feet of space in your Mini Suite at Harrah’s Las Vegas. Harrah’s is far from the nicest property in Vegas, but it just might have the best location mid-strip. (It is also the closest property to my favorite meal spot in Vegas, a little food court with Panda Express and Chipotle.) On the weekends, a standard room goes for about $120 per night plus tax. During the first weekend of March Madness, a standard room is $250+ per night. I think two nights in a Mini Suite on a weekend would conservatively be worth $300. Very conservatively.
  • Enjoy two Buffet of Buffets passes, giving you unlimited access to six of the most spectacular buffets in the city for a 24-hour period. I love the Buffet of Buffets, and often buy a pass for $45 when I go to Vegas. With one 24 hour pass, it’s easy to get a late dinner, breakfast, lunch, and early dinner, making the per meal cost $14 after tax and tip. I value these at the face value of $90.
  • Daily access for two to the fitness center. I don’t hit the gym in Vegas, so I’ll value this at zero, but it might be worth something to you.
  • Complimentary in-room internet access for one device. This is worth face value to me, since I would pay it. Let’s say $20.
  • Round-trip airport limousine transportation for 2 between McCarran International Airport and Harrah’s Las Vegas. The slow shuttle is about $30 roundtrip for two people after tip. A taxi would be $60. Limos are better than taxis, but I’ll conservatively call this $60.
  • Travel must be completed by July 1, 2014 and must be booked no later than 30 days in advance of scheduled arrival date.

Add it up, and I’d get at least $470 worth of value from the package that will sell for $297. I am strongly considering purchasing this package.

The Caesars Palaces Las Vegas package is a lot fancier with a $200 dinner credit, show tickets, and three nights is a suite at the company’s flagship Vegas property. But it’s also way out of my price range at $1,386.

The Harrah’s Tunica package is only $346.50 and includes two nights, a $150 spa credit, a $100 dining credit, and champagne in room.

The Harrah’s or Harvey’s Lake Tahoe package is another budget option at $351 and includes two nights at either hotel, a $100 dining credit, and airport transfer. I’ve never been to Lake Tahoe. Is it worth a trip?

The Harrah’s Atlantic City package is $643.50 for two nights in Bayview Premium room, $150 dining credit, champagne in room, and includes airport transfer.

Purchasing the Packages

To maximize your chances of getting in on the deal, I recommend using a site like whattimeisit.com to figure out the official time. This week’s sales have all started on time to the second. Keep refreshing for the best chance.

This is what happens if you try to purchase something where all quantities are already in someone’s cart.

This doesn’t mean the deal is sold out. If someone doesn’t complete his purchase, that quantity will immediately become available for someone else. Keep checking until the dreaded “Sold Out” appears.

I will be by my computer at 1 PM EST / 10 AM PST / 7 AM HST / (2 PM in Buenos Aires) to try to snag the Harrah’s Las Vegas deal. What about you? Post your successful or failed attempt in the comments, so we can gauge how quick you had to be to snag a card.

Daily Getaways home page

Daily Getaways Help

Daily Getaways FAQ

Harrah’s Las Vegas Package Terms:

  • Package not available over New Year’s weekend or Super Bowl weekend. Subject to availability. Restrictions may apply.
  • Travel must be completed by July 1, 2014, and booked no later than thirty (30) days in advance of scheduled arrival. It is recommended that you call to book your travel early to avoid availability limitations.
  • At least one (1) person in the party must be twenty-one (21) years of age or older to redeem this package. Any minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • This offer is inclusive of taxes and fees. Gratuities are not included.
  • All sales are final.
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