Jul242022

Travelers are not buying Daily Getaways points. Prices too high?

During the first week of Daily Getaways there were four days of hotel points sales with IHG, Hilton, Wyndham and Best Western. None of these programs sold out all their points on the day each sale opened. Generally for IHG and Hilton only the highest quantity of points sold out. One market segment is likely loyalty members who needed a few thousand points to top off their account balance for an award. The other market segment are loyalty program buyers with plans to spend tens of thousands of points for hotel stays. IHG sold out their 100,000 points packages for $500 and 2,500 points packages for $25 first. Then, they rebundled their points into new 100,000 points packages on Thursday, three days after the initial sale. Whether they sold out or IHG pulled the points, there are no IHG points available now in Daily Getaways. Hilton initially sold out their 250,000 points packages priced at $1,250, yet 100,000 points packages for $500 did not sell out on the first day.

IHG and Hilton regularly sell points at the same price as offered in Daily Getaways, so many members who might want to buy points during the next year did not see urgency for buying points with this sale. There will likely be several more weeks during the upcoming 12 months with the same discount $5 per 1,000 points price opportunity.

I was a buyer of IHG points.

I personally found great value in IHG points for my recent summer trip to Greece, Portugal and Spain. My travel plans are to spend another 250,000 points for 20 nights in Europe this fall season. I find all kinds of IHG hotels where points purchased at $5.00 per 1,000 save $50 per night compared to the best available rate. These kinds of rate discounts at $50 per night are available widely across the IHG chain when using the 4th night free reward rate offered to IHG Premier MasterCard members on extended stays.

InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco cost 20,000 IHG points per night in Dec 2021 when I stayed.

On the other hand, Hilton is a program where I fail to find much value in buying points for my travels. There are places you can go with Hilton points where $300 in points will buy a $600 room night, but I don’t ever pay $300 for hotel room nights, so that kind of deal is irrelevant to me. What I can’t find with Hilton with any regularity is a $150 per night hotel I can buy for 20,000 points ($100 in points). 

My last big Hilton reward stay was Hampton Inn Cluj, Romania in 2018 I booked for 6 nights at 29,000 points. That was a mistake rate during the transition of the hotel reward rate from 10,000 to 20,000 points per night. I booked a 5th night free reward stay for 19,000 points, then a 6th night for 10,000 points a couple of days before the hotel increased to 20,000 points per night. Many of the low category hotels in Europe I had in my sights doubled in price for points stays during September 2018.

I tend to find one hotel stay a year where Hilton offers the best deal for some place I happen to be.

Wyndham and Best Western both have relatively small purchase limits in Daily Getaways. Best Western Rewards 50,000 points will only buy 2 or 3 hotel nights in most places. There are some Best Western Hotels at 5,000 points or 8,000 points, but not that many. 

2018 World Cup game at Best Western Krakow Old Town, Poland . This was a 20,000 points reward night in an upgraded extra large room.

Best Western Rewards is selling points in Daily Getaways at $5.50 per 1,000 points  This is a lower price than members can normally acquire points when buying directly from Best Western at $10 per 1,000 points to complete a booking.

Prior to 2020 I would have likely jumped on the chance to pick up another 50,000 Best Western points. Best Western devalued their program since 2020 by changing reward night prices to charge more points for room upgrades. Until 2019 it was possible to find hotels in many places where upgraded rooms, including suites at some hotels, were priced at the standard reward rate. This meant it was often possible to book a Best Western upgraded room that was priced $50 or more than the standard room.

When I look at Best Western reward rates now I find very few hotels where the nightly savings using points priced at $5.50 per 1,000 points saves more than $20 per night.

Ramada Plovdiv Trimontium Bulgaria indoor pool. This hotel is $60 per night or 7,500 Wyndham points in October 2022.

Wyndham Rewards points had good value for economy and midscale market segment hotels for a few years up until 2019 when it redesigned its program to a hotel tier system with some hotels at 7,500 points, most at 15,000 points and many at 30,000 points rates in major cities and high tourist destinations. Wyndham also had many hotels where suites were available for points as recently as 2019. Wyndham changed their GoFast rates in February 2017 from a fixed amount to a variable rate pegged to 70% of the hotel average daily rate for the stay, a huge devaluation in Wyndham Rewards points value in my opinion. This article I wrote for 2017 Daily Getaways sale for Wyndham Rewards 15,000 points gives examples showing Wyndham Rewards points were generally more valuable for hotel stays three to five years ago than they are now. 

There are still good deals to be found with Wyndham Rewards for house rentals at $175 per room, but those rates are still more than I want to spend for a hotel night. 

Choice Privileges points can be the most rewarding of all the major hotel point currencies with potential nightly savings over $100 per room night available at dozens, maybe even hundreds of hotels around the world.

An important idea to remember in this era of rapid inflation is hotel points have devalued significantly in the USA due to significant increases in points needed for most USA hotels. I see far better deals in 2022 for Choice hotels in Europe. Hotel room rates and points rates in the USA have risen at a higher rate compared to other global regions. High end hotels have seen the largest percentage rate increases around the world.

While I see great deals with Choice points at some USA hotels, there are all kinds of deals to be found in Europe in places like England, Scotland, Scandinavia, Germany, Czechia and Italy for midscale hotels. Australia is another place where Choice Privileges points have outsized value.

I try and buy as many Choice Privileges points as I can each year during Daily Getaways. This year I will tone it down since I have a good balance of Choice points and I purchased a large chunk of IHG points. Still, I would like to buy another 110,000 points this coming Tuesday.

Clarion Grandhotel Zlaty Lev Liberec, Czechia is currently 10,000 Choice points per night through November 30, 2022.

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.

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Comments

  1. I bought 100K IHG points since I’ve found I can get great value out of them here and there.
    Hilton, on the other hand, has devalued too much for this to be of much use.
    I would be a buyer for Best Western if I didn’t have a decent stash already.
    I’m debating whether to buy Choice to transfer them to United. With the current transfer promo, it ends up being 1.3 cents per MileagePlus mile, which is decent.

  2. I’ve bought a number of times before with different programs but with hotel chains devaluing left and right it’s tough for me to spot genuine values that I can practically use. This has been a slow drift but I don’t think that there’s many people who see the same value now as they did half a dozen years ago. Dynamic pricing, lack of actual award charts, substantially increased redemption prices, reduced elite benefits, etc. have killed most of my enthusiasm. Buying IHG points on sale when they regularly offered random but great deals for 5,000 points, 50,000 points was the price at most expensive hotels, and the $49 annual credit card fee got you a night at any hotel in the chain made for a compelling program. That’s just not the case now.

  3. Everything the other people said, plus our crappy economy and gas prices.
    Add to that the fact that the points were still too expensive, IMO.

  4. Devaluation of points means that the market value per point is less.

    A word of caution to people planning to buy Choice points to transfer to United: Choice has a history of changing the deal without notice. It’s not likely in this case, but it’s possible, especially if Choice notices a flood of transfer requests.

    Oh, and Ric, that Nepal reply is commercial spam.

  5. IHG just had the same purchase points deal before this of buying 20K per $100. I had no interest in daily getaway offer.

    I bought some best western points

    I don’t see the value in Hilton points. I just don’t see points deals from thrm.

    For Wyndham…they had a discount offer recently. They limit point buys per year so buying off of daily bypasses that limit.

    On choice…I have a d bunch of Radisson points thst I can’t figure out how to move them to non NA. Choice is buying Radisson americas. Choice has hurt its point rates lately for Summer stays being inflated relative to room cost. I know of one hotel that pretty much doubles fir summer stats but it’s summer prices don’t double.

    I look at points for deals on where I travel to frequently or plan to travel to.

    I tend to travel to national park areas. Prices for hotels are going to be high. Some have good point deals relative to walk up booking prices. These have devalued with re ent point increases but these are just some…

    1. Super 8 jackson, Wy 15,000 pts per night. Summer rate is $300+ taxes. Super 8 outside of Yellowstone are 30,000 pts per night. Buy points fir those on point deals dtill saves on cost but not as much.

    2. Hyatt house Moab. This was a lower cost rate till this years increase where booking rates are $400+ per night vs point cost

    3. I don’t know current point prices but just outside south rim of Grand Canyon in tusayan there is a BW and IHG property. Points were lower than the avg per night cost on point deals.

    4. West glacier area has some point stays where it’s cheaper to buy and book on points that pay for a night stay.

    BW had some good point rate deals but many have inflated. There are still a few good deals around. These places are going to have higher hotel rates because of their locations.

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