Update 3:13 PM ET: All these deals sold out as predicted. Did you get one? I missed them because I was at the gym. 🙁

Today is the first day of five weeks of discounted travel packages from the US Travel Association called Daily Getaways. Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will often sell out in a few minutes. The morning of interesting deals, I’ll have a full write up.

Today only, Choice Privileges points are being sold for 0.4 cents each.

Today’s deal is:

Note that the packages have names like “Sleep Inn: Stay 2 Nights for $90,” but the terms and conditions and my experience make it very clear that you just get the number of points I listed above in your account without any requirement to use them at the listed brand.

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You can buy two of each package, eight total. If you bought the maximum, you would be getting 256k Choice Privileges points for $1,074.

Choice Privileges Basics

Choice Privileges points can be used at over 4,100 hotels with the following brand names:

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  • Comfort Inn
  • Comfort Suites
  • Quality Inn
  • Sleep Inn
  • Clarion
  • Cambria Hotel & Suites
  • Mainstay Suites
  • Suburban Extended Stay
  • Econo Lodge
  • Rodeway Inn
  • Ascend Hotel Collection

These are mostly utilitarian places, not fancy at all.

Free Nights

How far do Choice Privileges points go?

  • There are no blackout dates!
  • There are over 1,500 Choice hotels with reward nights at 8,000 points or less. Click here to see the list.
  • Reward nights at Choice hotels worldwide are available from 6,000 to 35,000 points (excluding Australasia where points required are up to 75,000)

But sometimes a hotel sells out before you can book it with points because you cannot book very far in advance.

  • Book up to 30 days in advance for hotels in the U.S. or Canada or 60 days in advance for hotels outside of the U.S. and Canada
  • Reward nights can be booked 50 days in advance for Elite Gold members staying in the U.S. and Canada or 60 days in advance for hotels outside of the U.S. and Canada.
  • Reward nights can be booked 75 days in advance for Elite Platinum members and 100 days for Elite Diamond members

Points Plus Cash

Avoid Points Plus Cash stays. They allow you to book hotels for fewer points per night but you basically buy the extra points for 0.75 cents each. During the Daily Getaways deal, you buy points for 0.4 to 0.45 cents each.

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Flex Rewards

Flex Rewards are much more interesting. They are discounted rewards nights at over 1,500 properties worldwide whenever there is less demand–either midweek or on weekends.

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For instance, these Los Angeles properties offer a discount during the week.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 1.53.14 AMAnd this Singapore property offers one on the weekends.Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 1.53.26 AM

My Experience with Choice Privileges Points

I have personally gotten more value out of purchasing Choice Privileges points in 2013 and 2014 than any other Daily Getaways deal. The big value I got from my purchase of Choice Privileges points was using them to book expensive European hotels for very few points.

Namely, I used 20k Choice points for two nights at the Clarion Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden including free internet and breakfast:

  • My Price: 10k points per night, which I had bought for $40 (cheaper than a hostel in Stockholm)
  • Retail Price: $325 per night
  • Savings: 88% off

During Oktoberfest, I stayed three nights at a Comfort Inn a few miles outside of Munich proper, but with easy train access, for 12,000 points per night ($48) when a Munich hostel wanted 75 euros per night and hotels wanted several hundred euros.

Plus I have stayed at adequate airport hotels in Oslo and Rome and motels in the United States.

Using Choice Privileges points in Europe was never glamorous, but was always a huge money saver.

I woke up too late (in Hawaii) last year to purchase Choice Privileges points.

My Plan

I’m going to be ready at 1 PM ET to purchase two 40k packages, and then I’ll try to purchase two 32k packages. Those are the cheapest per point and will set me up with 144k points, which should get me to next year’s Daily Getaways deal.

Note

If I’ve convinced you to compete with me for one of the limited number of packages, do sign up for a Choice Privileges account here now. In years past, you had to have an account before buying the points.

Will This Deal Sell Out?

Last year, all packages of the Choice Privileges Daily Getaway sold out quickly.

What Cards to Use to Purchase Daily Getaways

Last year, Daily Getaways purchases coded as purchases from a travel agency with multiple cards.

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I expect that to be the case in 2016 also. If it is, you should purchase with an Arrival Plus, Citi ThankYou Premier, or Sapphire Preferred.

  • You can redeem Arrival miles from the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® to eliminate the cost of your package if your purchase is greater than $100.
  • You can earn 3x ThankYou Points per dollar by purchasing the packages with a Citi ThankYou® Premier Card.
  • You can earn 2x Ultimate Rewards per dollar by purchasing the packages with a Chase Sapphire Preferred.

While I can not directly link to the current Chase Sapphire Preferred or Arrival Plus card offers, you may find them by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

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. The sale starts at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT. Last year’s sales all started on time to the second. Keep refreshing the deal page until you see the BUY NOW button replace the SEE DETAILS button.

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This is what happens if you try to purchase something when 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.

Key Links

Do you plan to buy Choice Privileges points? Post your successful or failed attempt in the comments, so we can gauge how quick you had to be to snag a deal.

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