Today is the first day of the 2016 collection of Daily Getaways deals offered by the U.S. Travel Association. If you’re not familiar, these are a handful of deals that come up each year where you can purchase discounted travel.
There are 5 total weeks of offers running through May 6th. You can see my brief overview of the first two weeks worth of offers here. I’ll be providing breakdowns of weeks 3 through 5 in the near future and will be trying to move to weekly summaries. But, for now, my travel schedule got into the way of having the first full week summarized for you today.
The first deal this year is from Choice Privileges. Starting at 1pm EST today, they’ll be selling a limited number of packages comprised of Choice Privileges points. They’re advertised as “Stay X nights for $X”, but you’re really just pre-buying points. Here’s a list of packages available with their prices:
- 36,000 points for $155 (labeled as Comfort Inn: Stay 3 Nights for $155): 785 available. That’s just under half a cent a piece (.0043 to be exact).
- 32,000 points for $132 (labeled as Comfort Suites: Stay 2 Nights): 655 available. Slightly cheaper than 36,000 points at .0041 a piece.
- 20,000 points for $90 (labeled as Sleep Inn: Stay 2 Nights): 220 available. Points are .0045 each.
- 40,000 points for $160 (labeled as Cambria Hotel: Stay 2 Nights): 380 available. 4/10ths of a cent each.
Obviously the 40,000 point packages are the cheapest of the bunch by just a little bit.
As a general rule, I don’t believe in buying points unless you have a specific purchase in mind and can make a redemption in the near future. A recent Alaska Airlines change where they drastically increased the cost of certain awards literally overnight is a great cautionary tale.
Keeping that in mind, the T&C state that it can take up to 10 days for points to post, so be sure to take that into account before purchasing.
I don’t participate in the Choice Rewards program so I don’t consider myself an expert on their relative value. The Points Guy currently rates them at .6 cents per point. That seems about right since my back of the napkin calculations seemed to put it at around half a cent.
I don’t think there’s any great danger in these packages selling out quickly today, but it’s still best to be ready a few minutes before 1pm EST. You’ll need a Choice Privileges account number during the purchase process, so be sure to have that ready.
There’s situational value in these packages. There are plenty of Choice hotels around the US and a decent amount in a dozen European countries. Plenty of those properties can be had pretty cheaply. For this to really be worth your while, you’ll need to target a property that’s potentially in high demand or in a popular tourist area.
Since you’re redeeming points and not just buying a room, you’ll also need to make sure there’s award availability and hope that availability stays in place for up to 10 days.