Mar132015

Daily Getaways 2015 discount hotel points preview for March 23 to April 10

The annual Daily Getaways travel offers posted today for the first three of five weeks from U.S. Travel Association, three days earlier than announced. This annual promotion offers 25 days of travel packages including hotel loyalty points, hotel stay packages and car rentals.

Daily Getaways 2015 Week One

Lucky at One Mile at a Time created wonderful charts for each of the hotel points items for sale showing the cost per point and number of packages for sale with each hotel loyalty program.

I’ll refer you to his charts. I disagree with some points of his assessment on the value of different packages.

Hotel loyalty points are best value offers

The best value deals are typically hotel loyalty points. Most of the major hotel loyalty programs offer points at a significant discount from their regular purchase price.

  • Best Western Rewards
  • Choice Privileges
  • Club Carlson
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott International typically offers discount gift cards and Starwood has not participated since the first year of Daily Getaways.

Wyndham Rewards is generally the only other hotel program to sell hotel points. They might be in week 4 or week 5 of the Daily Getaway offers.

Omni Hotels, Loews Hotels and Diamond Resorts offer hotel stay packages. These are the easiest to buy and rarely sell out on the day offered. All three offer good discounts if the hotel brands work for you. When an offer does not sell out, the deal remains available until Daily Getaways ends. Omni, Loews and Diamond Resorts were all available for days after the original offer date.

Caesars and MGM Resorts in Las Vegas typically offer vacation packages. The Palazzo and The Venetian, InterContinental Alliance Resorts also have room packages.

Car rental deals can also be a big savings.

Loyalty Traveler Hotel Points Assessment

Hotel points are my focus for Daily Getaways purchases each year. Here is how I value the offers available during the first three weeks of Daily Getaways 2015.

Best Western Rewards points

Best Western Rewards – Monday, March 30

Here is Lucky’s assessment of Best Western Rewards points.

Is it worth it? In this case they’re just selling really small increments of points. The mileage conversion ratio for Best Western Rewards isn’t very good, so unless you’re looking for a stay at a low end hotel which is extremely expensive on a paid rate, I’d pass on this one.

Lucky recommends a pass on this one. Personally, I plan to buy.

Best Western has around 4,000 hotels worldwide, with about 2,000 international hotels. The large number of hotels outside the USA is one of the competitive advantages for Best Western Rewards. Reward rates for hotels outside the USA tend to be lower priced in points.

Our big summer trip this year is Scandinavia.

Best Western Svolvaer July 2015

Best Western Svolvaer Lofoten is located on Norway’s Lofoten Islands. There are no other major brand hotels on the islands. This is one of the best places in Arctic Norway for whale watching tours and a photographer’s paradise.

20,000 points for $110 in Daily Getaways saves $86 per night on regular room rates at the Best Western on the Lofoten Islands. It is pretty hard to beat this rate with Airbnb or any other lodging option, except a tent. My wife Kelley commented last week how she enjoyed our time living in a tent in the early 1990s in Maine and how she is so glad we stay in hotels when we travel these days.

Loyalty Traveler – Best Western hotels in rural Norway (August 15, 2014)

Travelers who visit U.S. National Parks frequently may have noticed that Best Western is often the closest chain hotel to a National Park. I have saved hundreds of dollars using Best Western Rewards points for hotel stays near national parks.

Loyalty Traveler – Best Western Ruby’s Inn Bryce Canyon City, Utah (July 28, 2013)

Choice Privileges Points

Choice Privileges – Friday, April 3

Purchase limit is 2 sets of points from each offer. Maximum 8 sets of points.

Choice Privileges 20,000 points = $90 with 220 sets of points for sale ($4.50 per 1,000 points).

Choice Privileges 32,000 points = $132 with 655 sets of points for sale ($4.13 per 1,000 points).

Choice Privileges 36,000 points = $165 with 785 sets of points for sale ($4.59 per 1,000 points).

Choice Privileges 40,000 points = $160 with 380 sets of points for sale ($4.00 per 1,000 points).

Choice Privileges points are like a pocket full of gold in Scandinavia where there are more than 170 Nordic Choice Hotels available for reward nights with Choice Privileges points. I spent around 210,000 Choice Privileges points for my two week trip in Norway last summer.

A person can potentially buy 256,000 points on April 3. An important point to remember is Choice Privileges points have an expiration date of December 31 two years after earned. This means points purchased from this sale expire December 31, 2017.

Is it worth it? This is actually a better price per point than we saw last year from Choice, as they’re now selling points for 0.4-0.45 cents each. Choice points can be a decent deal for hotel redemptions, though beyond that the points can be converted into airline miles at a 5,000:1,000 ratio. On the low end that means you could indirectly purchase airline miles through this promotion for 2.0 cents each.

That’s not a rate at which I’d speculatively pick up most miles. Personally I’d pass on this promotion, though I know it will interest others.

One Mile at a Time – March 13, 2015

I hope to buy another 200,000 points or so with this sale. The Thief Oslo hotel is a good example for why I like this deal. The Thief is the top rated hotel in Norway. Last September the rates were about $500 per night when I stayed on points. The free fall of the Norwegian kroner currency against the dollar reduced rates some 25% in 2015.

The Thief Oslo rates july 2015

The Thief is 20,000 points per night for the entry level room or $327 per night. $160 paid for 40,000 Choice Privileges points buys $654 in room. I challenge you to find another hotel room in Oslo for $80 per night. The Thief Oslo is a great luxury hotel experience and available at a budget rate with Choice Privileges points.

Loyalty Traveler – How I stole 2 nights at The Thief Oslo with points (Sep 23)

Loyalty Traveler – Hotel Review The Thief Oslo Room 603 (Sep 23)

Loyalty Traveler – The Thief Oslo by design (Sep 24)

Club Carlson Points

Club Carlson – Wednesday, March 25

Two offers with a purchase limit of two sets from each offer.

Club Carlson 50,000 points = $225 with 100 sets of points for sale ($4.50 per 1,000 points).

Club Carlson 100,000 points = $450 with 50 sets of points for sale ($4.50 per 1,000 points).

This is a good price for Club Carlson points. Regular purchase rate through Club Carlson is $7.00 per 1,000 points with an annual purchase limit of 40,000 points.

The problem here is too few sets available. This deal can be sold out with 75 purchases. This will be a hard item to get. 100,000 points buys 4 nights in London, New York and Paris for a Club Carlson Visa member on 2-night reward stays with the one free night benefit.

Hilton HHonors Points

Hilton HHonors – Friday, March 27

Only one set of points may be purchased from each of three offers.

Hilton HHonors are for the big spenders with $500 as the entry price for 100,000 points. These points tend not to sell out in seconds based on past years of Daily Getaways.

HHonors 100,000 points = $500 with 160 sets of points for sale ($5.00 per 1,000 points).

HHonors 150,000 points = $750 with 200 sets of points for sale ($5.00 per 1,000 points).

HHonors 250,000 points = $1,250 with 200 sets of points for sale ($5.00 per 1,000 points.)

These points can be a good value for HHonors members. I wish I had more HHonors points, but I don’t have unlimited cash to spend and I have more need for points in other programs.

Hyatt Gold Passport points

Hyatt Gold Passport points Friday, April 10

One set of points may be purchased from each Hyatt offer.

Hyatt 24,000 points = $260 with 95 sets of points for sale ($10.84 per 1,000 points).

Hyatt 30,000 points = $330 with 35 sets of points for sale ($11.00 per 1,000 points).

Hyatt 40,000 points = $415 with 15 sets of points for sale ($10.38 per 1,000 points).

Hyatt 72,000 points = $775 with 15 sets of points for sale ($10.77 per 1,000 points).

Hyatt Gold Passport points are a great price, but very difficult to buy due to only 160 sets of points for sale. I have not been successful in buying Hyatt points through Daily Getaways in the past couple of years. They are sold out in the first 30 seconds. Hyatt point normally sell for $24 per 1,000 points with some periodic special offers reducing the rate by 25%.

Loyalty Traveler – Lament for those who missed out on Hyatt points at Daily Getaways today (June 4, 2014)

IHG Rewards Club points

IHG Rewards Club points – Tuesday, March 24, 2015

IHG 15,000 points = $90 with 1,000 sets of points for sale ($6.00 per 1,000 points). Purchase limit = 5 sets of points.

IHG 25,000 points = $150 with 1,000 sets of points for sale ($6.00 per 1,000 points). Purchase limit = 4 sets of points.

IHG 50,000 points = $293 with 1,500 sets of points for sale ($5.83 per 1,000 points).

IHG 100,000 points = $565 with 3,850 sets of points for sale ($5.65 per 1,000 points).

IHG Rewards Club typically do not sell out due to the large number of packages available. You can buy 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points anytime for $7.00 per 1,000 points by booking a Points and Cash reward stay, buying 10,000 points for $70 and canceling the reservation. The points return to your account. This can be done for 250,000 points per year. In the past couple of years, IHG has been featured for two of the 25 days of Daily Getaways sales. IHG may appear again in week 4 or week 5 of the sales.

I prefer to buy IHG points as I need them through Points and Cash rewards. Since Kelley and I earned four free nights from the fall 2014 Into the Nights promotion to use this year, I am not looking to buy IHG points. Of course, they are a fantastic deal if used for PointBreaks nights at 5,000 points per reward night.

Loyalty Traveler – IHG PointBreaks Hotels for stays to May 31, 2015.

Daily Getaways Summary

Daily Getaways is one of the best deals of the year for buying discount hotel rooms. My hotel rate savings has been thousands of dollars over the past few years with the purchase of discount hotel points each year during the Daily Getaways promotion.

Two main points to keep in mind.

Firstly, be aware that the sales pages are opportunities for the hotel chains to promote their hotel brands. For example, Choice Hotels advertises each of its offers as two or three nights in a specific hotel brand. There is no restriction requiring points purchased to be used for a specific hotel brand. You buy points and you can redeem those points just like any other hotel points in your account.

Secondly, since these are very good discount opportunities, especially for Hyatt Gold Passport points, combined with the fact that every points and miles blogger in the USA will promote these sales, you may not be able to buy the points you want. That is why I focus on the midscale chain points like Best Western Rewards and Choice Privileges. There is little competition for purchases.

My view is I can earn points from Hyatt and IHG stays. I tend not to stay too frequently at Best Western or Choice Hotels. My focus is on this year’s trip to Scandinavia where hotel rates are high, and Choice Hotels and Best Western Hotels are far more prevalent than Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and Starwood Hotels.

All hotel loyalty programs have value. You just need to know where in the world you can get better value than simply looking at USA hotels.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. TYPO ERROR:
    “The Thief is 20,000 points per night for the entry level room or $327 per night. $160 paid for —– 80,000—- Choice Privileges points buys $654 in room. I challenge you to find another hotel room in Oslo for $80 per night. The Thief Oslo is a great luxury hotel experience and available at a budget rate with Choice Privileges points.”

    $160 should only get you 40,000 points which gives you 2 nights.

  2. Hmm, Best Western doesn’t look so good in some places. There are 3 BW hotels in Hong Kong (Sheung Wan, Causeway Bay and TST)… searched and could not find any point availability for late December (or really, ever).

    Pity, HK is exactly the kind of market where a good point redemption would be valuable, it’s as expensive as Scandinavia when it comes to hotel rooms (though there are plenty of low-end options if you really want very confined spaces/no windows/questionable areas, like in Mirador/Chungking Mansions in TST).

    Or maybe I’m doing it wrong?

  3. @Dan – thanks for pointing out the error. I changed 80,000 points to 40,000 points. Everything else was correct. $160 buys 40,000 Choice Privileges points which buys two nights at The Thief Oslo where rates are over $300 per night.

    @eponymous coward – I have never looked at Best Western for Hong Kong. I don’t think of Hong Kong as a good place to look for a Best Western bargain. The real value of Best Western is its unique locations where there are no other chain hotels. These tend to be in rural areas and secondary cities where most chain brands have not built a presence.

    I had a great stay in Paris many years ago at a Best Western, but I wouldn’t be looking for a Best Western hotel in Paris these days when there are so many other loyalty program options.

Comments are closed.