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Daily Getaways is a yearly monthlong sale of travel packages put on by American Express and the U.S. Travel Association.

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This year’s Daily Getaways will run from May 19 to June 20, 2014, and the first two weeks of sale items have been announced.

Typical sale items include hotel points, hotel stays, and discounted gift cards.

Every weekday, a new item or items are put on sale at 1 PM ET. The best sale items sell out in moments, while the less popular items never sell out.

Last year, I wrote a post every day of Daily Getaways with the sale item and my analysis of whether it represented a good deal. This year, I’ll do the same or at least highlight the best deals.

I am very excited by the return of a few Daily Getaways, though I suspect we’ll see even better deals in weeks 3-5.

  • What are the best deals of weeks 1 and 2?
  • Plus a Daily Getaways FAQ

Week 1 Daily Getaways

Note: When it says “Stay x nights,” you’re actually not buying stay certificates but points, which are far more versatile. Monday the points are Wyndham points for all five packages, and Wednesday the points are Choice Privileges for all four packages.

Note: Using any American Express card gets 10% off, so you should always use an American Express card, and I include the 10% discount in all discussions below.

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Week 2 Daily Getaways

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Potential Buys

Monday May 19:

  • 14,000 Wyndham Rewards points | $75.60 | 500 available | 0.54 cpp
  • 32,000 Wyndham Rewards points | $172.80 | 450 available | 0.54 cpp
  • 40,000 Wyndham Rewards points | $216 | 440 available | 0.54 cpp
  • 60,000 Wyndham Rewards points | $324 | 100 available | 0.54 cpp
  • 75,000 Wyndham Rewards points | $405 | 200 available | 0.54 cpp

This is a repeat of last year exactly. Last year, I bought 135k Wyndham points by buying one of each of the two largest packages. I immediately transferred them to airline miles at a rate of 2.5 points to one mile, meaning I basically bought airline miles for 1.35 cents each, a great deal.

Unfortunately Wyndham devalued transfers to airlines (with no notice) since last year.

But I might still be a buyer. There’s a Wyndham property that I want to stay at in Greensboro, NC next year for four nights that costs 10k points per night. If I bought 40k points for $216, I’d get my stay for $54/night all in, which represents a modest discount on the hotel’s normal price.

I’m going to take a close look at my upcoming trips and see which trips there is a cheap, convenient Wyndham property nearby. Unfortunately this deal is no longer a no-brainer like it was when it meant buying airline miles for 1.35 cents.

Wednesday May 21:

  • 20,000 Choice points | $97.20 | 216 available | 0.49 cpp
  • 32,000 Choice points | $118.80 | 655 available | 0.37 cpp
  • 36,000 Choice points | $157.50 | 786 available | 0.44 cpp
  • 40,000 Choice points | $148.50 | 325 available | 0.37 cpp

Don’t buy 36k points, since the 40k package is cheaper.

Last year, when the cheapest packages were also 0.37 cpp, the play I wrote about here was to buy Choice points to transfer to Southwest points, since Southwest points had the best transfer ratio at 6,000 Choice points to 1,800 Southwest points.

This year, since Southwest points were devalued, the transfer isn’t such a great deal. Transfers to other airlines, like United, US Airways, American, and Alaska are at a 5,000 points to 1,000 miles rate, meaning you could buy any of those miles for 1.85 cents each, which is an OK rate, but doesn’t interest me speculatively.

I ended up using some of my Choice points to save 88% on a hotel room in super-expensive Stockholm and some more for a hotel stay in Munich during Oktoberfest when hostels were going for 75 euros per night.

I plan to buy 72,000 Choice points during Daily Getaways, one of the 40k and one of the 32k packages. I’ll use them for stays at modest hotels in expensive European cities when I want a break from hostels and couchsurfing.

Thursday May 22:

  • $22.50 for a $50 Alamo Gift Certificate

I bought the maximum (three) last year on an identical deal and used them for a week long rental in Los Angeles, saving $82.50. I don’t rent cars often, but I do occasionally, so I’ll certainly buy three more this year.

Friday May 23:

  • 100,000 Hilton points | $495 | 160 available | 0.495 cpp
  • 150,000 Hilton points | $742.50 | 200 available | 0.495 cpp
  • 250,000 Hilton points | $1,237.50 | 200 available | 0.495 cpp

Last year, we got the same prices, but some small package sizes. I advised against buying the points. The packages never sold out, so it’s a bit strange that the packages are back without a price reduction.

But this year, I might buy the smallest package. Maybe.

Hilton Category 1 hotels are 5,000 points per night or under $25 at this price, and Category 2 hotels are 10,000 points per night or under $50.

When I published “Free Spreadsheet to Download of Category 1, 2, 9, and 10 Hilton Properties Plus the Only Two Good Hilton Strategies” and then another reader made a map of the locations of Hilton Category 1 and 2 properties, it became a lot easier to see where my 5,000 and 10,000 point night options were.

If enough of those properties pique my interest, I’ll buy the 100k package.

Monday May 26:

  • 15,000 IHG points | $90 | 2,500 available | 0.6 cpp
  • 25,000 IHG points | $150.30 | 2,000 available | 0.6 cpp
  • 50,000 IHG points | $292.50 | 1,250 available | 0.59 cpp
  • 100,000 IHG points | $567 | 1,000 available | 0.57 cpp

Another repeat of last year. Last year I bought 50k.

You can always buy IHG points for 0.7 cents with this trick, so this isn’t a huge sale.

The best way to use IHG points is on PointBreaks stays.

Tuesday May 27

  • Various stay packages at Caesars properties in Las Vegas

Last year, I bought the cheapest package for a stay at Harrah’s, which I took in March, and the identical package is on sale this year for $28 cheaper!

Pros:

  • These feature huge discounts off of list prices if you stay on weekends.
  • There are often great throw ins like dining credits or Buffet of Buffet passes.
  • Many include roundtrip limo transportation, and this was handled very well.
  • I made changes to my dates a week in advance with no problem.

Con:

  • There is just not nearly as much flexibility as with hotel points deals. You must travel by July 1, 2015. I almost didn’t have a chance to use my package this year, which would have meant I was out the $300.

I’m probably going to sit this Caesars sale out, but some of the deals are astounding.

Daily Getaways FAQ

How do I purchase a package?

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

This is what happens if you try to purchase something, but 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.

Where can I see the deals?

Daily Getaways home page

How do I contact Daily Getaways Customer Service?

Daily Getaways Help

Also See

Daily Getaways FAQ with answers to:

  1. ABOUT DAILY GETAWAYS

  2. What is Daily Getaways?
  3. Who is eligible to participate?
  4. Do I need to register to participate?
  5. How do I learn more about what offers are on sale?
  6. OFFERS

  7. When are offers available for purchase?
  8. How do I purchase an offer?
  9. How do I redeem an offer?
  10. Is there a deadline for the redemption of offers?
  11. What are the purchase limits?
  12. PURCHASING YOUR GETAWAY

  13. When will I see my 10% off for using my American Express® Card?
  14. How will I know if my purchase went through?
  15. What if I don’t receive an email confirmation?
  16. Can I cancel or modify my purchase?
  17. Can I add to a purchase?
  18. Can I pay with more than one credit card?
  19. Are taxes included in the price?
  20. Who is the “seller” for the items?
  21. Is transportation included?
  22. GENERAL

  23. Who can I contact with questions?
  24. What are daily e-mails?
  25. What are alerts?
  26. What is the “SHARE” feature?
  27. Will you use e-mail addresses for other marketing purposes? How secure is the site?



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