Daily Getaways are back and they start today.
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.
I’ll likely be posting reminders for the more popular/valuable offers, but I’ve broken down the value of each offer this week below:
Monday, March 23rd: Alamo $50 gift card for $25
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 $75.00 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.
I’ve had success with some Daily Getaways offers in the past purchasing them for multiple members of our household (I bought Busch Gardens and SeaWorld tickets in both my name and my wife’s), and you might be able to do that here as well. Keep in mind that it’s a limit of 3 certificates per rental, so if you score 6 you’ll need to split them up on two reservations.
Tuesday, March 24th: IHG Rewards Points For Sale
50,000 Club Carlson Gold Points for $225 (.45 cents per point)
100,000 Club Carlson Gold Points for $450 (.45 cents per point)
Club Carlson is stronger in luxury properties in Europe, while in the US, you’ll find some full service Radissons, a few upscale Radisson Blu hotels (Chicago, Minnesota, Philadelphia) and limited service properties like Country Inn & Suites.
You can normally buy Club Carlson points for about .7 cents each (though they do run occasional specials), making this is a reasonable discount. Anybody considering a purchase of these packages should also consider the Club Carlson credit card. I don’t carry it, though I’ve thought about grabbing it for summer trips to Europe. The big benefit there is that if you hold the credit card you get the last night free of any award stay with no minimum requirement of nights. You can book a 2-night stay where the first night costs you the normal amount of points and the second night is free.
Thursday, March 26th: Diamond Resorts 5-night package
Purchase a 5-night stay at one of a selected list of Diamond Resorts property worldwide for $550.
Diamond Resorts has a lot of properties (something like 300+) and covers all the major destinations. However, the list of participating properties is significantly smaller, numbering about 50. They do cover some foreign countries along with a few properties in places like the Caribbean, Hawaii and Cancun.
You can’t stay at any Diamond Resorts property. There’s a list of participating properties, and it’s anything but comprehensive.
Here’s the problem with this deal. The CEO of Diamond Resorts was on the show Undercover Boss twice. In neither of those appearances did his company represent themselves well. And, they’ve got a ton of complaints all over the internet. I’d stay away from this, even though it’s a cheap vacation.
Friday, March 27th: Hilton HHonors Points For Sale
100,000 Hilton HHonors points for $500
150,000 Hilton HHonors points for $750
200,000 Hilton HHonors points for $1,000
These deals value HHonors points at about half a penny each. That’s pretty close to their value, so no great finds here unless you’re trying to top up for a vacation. I did some research last year on finding good values with HHonors points at this price. It’s definitely a pick-and-choose kind of market. And, you won’t do yourself any favors transferring these to airline partners.
Bottom Line It For Me, Ed
It seems like the loss of the AMEX discount is a non-factor, in that most of the offers this year are comparable to the AMEX discounted prices last year. The Alamo deal is probably the best value of the first week. I’d only dip your toe into the other offers if you have a definite plan on how to put them to work in the near future.
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