Daily Getaways Breakdown For May 20th & 21st: Hertz and Choice Privileges

In case you’re not familiar, Daily Getaways are daily deals sponsored by the US Travel Association.  Some are better than others, so you need to think about whether you can take full advantage of the offer before buying.

For the more popular offers, they will sell out quickly, which means being around right when they go on sale each day at 1:00 pm EDT.  Some offers will sell out in hours, some in minutes.  It’s also important to be patient.  If you click shortly after an offer becomes available and it shows sold out, keep trying.  Someone may have an offer in their shopping cart but change their mind or have their computer crash.  When that happens, their bad luck or change of heart can be your good fortune.

Finally, make sure you pay with an American Express card to save an additional 10%.  Any AMEX card will do.

Since my new daily newsletter format has my notification coming to subscribers between 7 and 10pm EDT, I’ll summarize today’s and tomorrow’s offer so you can plan ahead if reading in the evening.  Feel free to e-mail me or post questions in the comments section.  Good luck chasing the deals you’re looking for!

Tuesday, May 20th: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards

There are 3 different offers:

5,500 points for 4.6 cents per point.

13,200 points for 3.2 cents per point.

16,500 points for 4.2 cents per point.

Pretty easy to see that buying 13,200 points for $475 ($427.50 with the AMEX 10% discount) is the best deal.

But, is a Hertz Gold Plus Reward point worth more than 3.2 cents? Let’s take a look at some of the break-even marks if you buy points:

2,750 points for a standard weekly rental (up to a premium car) needs to cost you more than $88 prior to taxes to equal 3.2 cents/point.

5,300 points for a 4-day one-way rental needs just $170, an absolute steal when you see what rental companies charge for one-way rentals.

8,250 points for a Prestige Collection vehicle needs a $264 rate to break even.

Bottom Line It For Me, Ed

I just wrote last week about Hertz’s recent devaluation. That certainly makes this less of a value now than it was last year. But, there’s still plenty of deals to be had here. I’d even consider buying points speculatively if you plan to use Hertz within the next year.

There are absolutely cheaper car rental companies out there. I’m most comfortable with Hertz for a number of reasons, including their consistency of customer service and quality of their fleet. I don think they’re great at either, but I do think they’re the most consistent in their industry and that’s important to me.

I’m likely not a buyer only because I have enough points for my next two family vacations.

 

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014:  Choice Privileges

The packages being offer are (with AMEX 10% discount figured in):

40,000 Choice Privileges points for $148.50 (.37 cents each).

36,000 Choice Privileges points for $157.50 (.44 cents each).

32,000 Choice Privileges points for $118.80 (.37 cents each).

20,000 Choice Privileges points for $97.20 (.49 cents each).

 

The most obvious point here is unless you have a strong reason to do otherwise, you should be buying the 40,000 point or 32,000 point chunks since their prices are the lowest.

There are plenty of hotels across the Choice brands that you can get really good value out of.  Here’s a couple I pulled:

The GEM Hotels in Manhattan (Chelsea and Soho) costs 30,000 points a night or roughly $111.00 if you buy the points through this offer.  On most nights I checked, rates were at least $200.

Comfort Suites Paradise Island in the Bahamas (Nassau) costs 25,000 points a night ($93).  I see rates anywhere from $150 to $350 a night.

I don’t participate in the Choice Privileges program so I can’t say whether these (or others) are good properties.  But, buying points for an upcoming stay instead of paying cash would seem to be something you can get a pretty good value out of.

There’s also reasonable value transferring Choice Privileges points to airlines.

5,000 Choice Privileges points will transfer to American Airlines, United, US Airways, Aeroplan and Alaska as 1,000 miles.

5,000 points costs you $18.56, which translates to 1.85 cents per airline mile.  This isn’t a bad value. I wouldn’t call it super.  I generally like to redeem my miles for 2 cents a piece or better.  For example, a 25,000 mile award should be for a $500 or greater ticket.  It’s not wrong to redeem for less than that, but that’s where offers like this can come in handy, making it cheaper to redeem award miles.

You can also transfer those points to Southwest at a rate of 6,000 Choice points to 1,800 Southwest Rapid Rewards points.
Those 1,800 Southwest points cost you $22.28 (.0037125 X 6000), or 1.24 cents each.
So, the question is, what are those points worth to you?
Traditionally, you’re going to spend about 1.55 cents per point for Wanna Get Away fares.  So, not much of a deal.
Now you’re talking about a 20% discount on those points, plus you’ll also earn points for charging the transaction on your AMEX card, further reducing the price of the points a bit further.  For example, using an SPG AMEX would net you 1 point per dollar for the purchase, and I value SPG points at right around 2 cents a piece.

 

Bottom Line It For Me, Ed

If a Comfort Inn (or other Choice property) is in your future, give this offer serious consideration.  I also think it’s worth considering the purchase of these points to transfer to an airline, but I wouldn’t buy these points to bulk up your balance in a specific airline loyalty program.  If you have an upcoming trip and can make use of these points for a specific purpose then it’s a great idea.

 

 

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