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!
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014: Alamo Car Rental
Purchase a $50 certificate good towards any car rental for $22.50 (with 10% discount for purchasing with an AMEX card).
Pretty straight forward. There are 2000 certificates available and you are limited to buying 3 per e-mail address.
The T&C state that they will let you apply up to 3 of these certificates to one rental, meaning you can save a total of $82.50 if you redeem 3 certificates on one rental. They also state that the certificate cannot be combined with any other discount offer or promotional rate, so keep that in mind. I don’t have a ton of experience with Alamo, so I’m not sure how tightly they’ll regulate you using these along with a discount code.
Friday, May 23rd, 2014: Hilton HHonors
Purchase 100,000 Hilton HHonors points for $500 (with 10% discount for using an AMEX card) or .5 cents per point.
Purchase 150,000 Hilton HHonors points for $742.50 (with 10% discount for using an AMEX card) or .495 cents per point.
Purchase 250,000 Hilton HHonors points for $1,237.50 (with 10% discount for using an AMEX card) or .495 cents per point.
The two biggest yield a price that’s ever so slightly cheaper. I think half a penny is about right for value on Hilton HHonors points. That’s a far cry from the almost 2 cents I value a Starpoint at.
I ran a couple of searches to show what sort of value you can get out of Hilton HHonors points. Here’s a quick snapshot of 3 properties in NYC:
The DoubleTree Times Square was $512 a night. 80,000 points is $396. I saw rates from $400 up at this property.
The Hilton Times Square had plenty of nights with a rate under $400 ($341 in this example). At 80,000 points this is not a good redemption value.
The Hilton Garden Inn Times Square is about the same price as the Hilton Times Square but will cost you only 70,000 points. That’s $346.50, making this likely a bad redemption value.
A quick search of Hawaii saw rates at the DoubleTree Alana Waikiki and Hilton Waikiki with rates around $200 at a few random times of the year. Both properties will fetch 40,000 points for an award reservation, or roughly the same cost as buying points through this promo.
There are values in the Hilton HHonors system for award night redemption, but with recent large devaluations you’re going to have to look harder to find them.
If you think there’s gold to mine by transferring these points to an airline, think again. Using one of the more generous transfer options with a US-based airline, you can turn 10,000 HHonors points into 1,500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles, or 3.3 cents a piece. That’s more expensive than American sells the points by about a penny each (40% more). United and Delta are worse at about 4 cents a piece.
Bottom Line It For Me, Ed
The Hilton HHonors program has taken a beating with recent devaluations, making this a tough offer to get value out of. You may still find deals for specific stays you’re planning, but under no circumstances can I see where you should be buying these points speculatively. Only buy if you are very sure you will know when and how you’re using them and are getting the right price.