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Daily Getaways was a monthlong sale that lasted from mid-June to mid-July. Every day different travel packages went on sale, including the ability to buy hotel points, car rental status, gift certificates, hotel nights, and vacation packages.

I was selective, buying packages only four days. Combined my purchases have saved me over $920 in cash with one unused.

My latest redemption of a Daily Getaways package was this week when I redeemed three $50 Alamo Gift Certificates that I had purchased for $22.50 each for a weeklong car rental in Los Angeles.

Instead of saving $82.50–$150 in gift certificates bought for $67.50–like I expected, I saved about $120 with the gift certificates. Now I love car rental gift certificates!

Why do I now love car rental gift certificates? How have my other Daily Getaways packages added up to over $920 in savings? How can you get in on the next Daily Getaways?

Alamo Gift Certificates–$120 Saved

My most recent Daily Getaways redemption was of Alamo gift certificates. I had bought three $50 gift certificates for $22.50 each. When I was in Los Angeles last week, I searched for the cheapest car rental, and Alamo was it at $155 plus taxes and fee for a week.

The taxes and fees were insane of course and added up to about 33% of the base price. Here’s the same car at nearly the same base rate to illustrate the taxes and fees.

The taxes and fees worked out to 22.2% + $10.

The best part about the gift certificates was that they dropped the base price, which dropped the variable 22.2% in taxes and fees significantly, saving me way more money than I was expecting.

The $150 in gift certificates (3 x $50) knocked the base price down to $5. That made the 22% in taxes and fees about $1. There was no effect on the $10 Facility Charge, but my all in price was $16.

For comparison, the all in price without gift certificates was $203, so $150 in gift certificates saved me $187.

Because taxes and fees on rental cars are huge and percentage-based in a lot of places, I am now a rental car gift certificate enthusiast! The $67.50 I paid for mine saved me $187, meaning about $120 saved by participating in Daily Getaways.

Choice Privileges–$800+ Saved

My best purchase during Daily Getaways was 72k Choice Privileges Points for $281, or 0.39 cents each.

I actually promoted the purchase as a way to cheaply buy Southwest points, since Choice Privileges points transfer to Southwest Rapid Rewards at a good rate. But I ended up using the points for hotel stays in Stockholm, Rome, Oslo, and Munich.

None of the properties were sexy, but the savings have been enormous. My hotel in Stockholm was only 10k Choice Privileges points per night–$39 at the price I paid–even though it retailed for $325 per night.

The Munich stay was during Oktoberfest when hostels wanted 60+ euros a night for a bed in a dorm room and hotels wanted several hundred euros per night. I paid 8k Choice Privileges points–$32 at the price I paid for points–per night for three nights at an adequate hotel.

Wyndham Rewards–Great Deal, Hard to Estimate Savings

I bought 135k Wyndham points for $729 to transfer to 54k airline miles at a rate of 1.35 cents per mile. I value most airline miles quite a bit above that price.

I ended up transferring some of the Wyndham points to my American Airlines account and some to the account of a friend. That friend was later able to gift me some Singapore miles by sending some Membership Rewards from his account to my Singapore account. I used those for a dream award in Singapore Suites. It’s nice to have friends in this game!

It’s hard for me to put a dollar value on money saved with this points purchase, but I know I came out way ahead.

Two Night Stay at Harrah’s Las Vegas–Unused so far

I haven’t used the two-night stay in a suite at Harrah’s yet. I hope to use them in March over a weekend, when I would be saving several hundred dollars off the sticker price.

Recap

I know in the end I’ll have come out probably $1,500 or more ahead on Daily Getaways, and so far I’ve saved $920 in cash. Follow MileValue for full coverage of Daily Getaways next year if they return.

While most of this blog talks about free or very cheap ways to earn tons of miles and then how to redeem them, I am also not afraid to spend cash–over $1,000 on Daily Getaways–if I know it will save me even more cash down the line. I’ll use that saved cash to travel more and travel better going forward!

Finally, look for the opportunity to buy rental car gift certificates when possible. They save way more than the stated amount because you also save the variable taxes and fees on the rental that in Los Angeles exceeded 22%!

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