The second week of the Daily Getaway promotion by the US Travel Association brings you Best Western Rewards point packages from $55, hotel packages from Caesars Hotels & Casinos, Omni Hotels and Loews Hotels, as well as amusement park tickets from Universal Studios. Find out whether I plan to pass or strike on those deals and who I think should consider them!
This week features mostly hotel packages and one day of rewards points and amusement park tickets each. They will be available at 1:00pm EDT each day:
Monday, April 17: Best Western Rewards – 10,000 points for $55
Best Western is one of the largest hotel chains with a worldwide foot print. They offer – just like last year – packages of 10,000 points for $55 each. A total of 835 packages are available, you can buy up to 5 sets and they didn’t sell out quickly last year.
I value Best Western rewards points at 0.6 cents/point, so this is actually a discount on the value. Best Western hotel standards vary greatly across their properties (read about the brand experience) and few of their new Glo and Vib hotels are open yet (read here), so you have to look carefully before you book. But they do have more global coverage compared to their budget competitors Choice and Wyndham! They also have the unique feature to offer premier rooms, even suites, on reward nights, so you can snatch a great deal if you want premium rooms! And points never expire, so there is no risk of “loosing” the points you buy.
I might strike: I purchased points last year, but despite my effort, wasn’t able to use them to good value during my travels. But I do believe there is good value in the program and I want to try out their new, more stylish brands! Because their points don’t expire, the risk to me is not that high.
Who should strike: If you are planning road trips in the US and don’t mind staying in budget or mid-range hotels, Best Western can be a good choice. Because they also have more hotels abroad, you can sometimes find them in unexpected places, like the Best Western Faro or Best Western Yangon! If you are planning a stay at a Best Western property were you could use them to good value, this deal might be for you. Because the points are fairly difficult to use, I’d not buy them unless you have current plans for a stay or stay at Best Western hotels frequently!
Tuesday, April 18: Omni Hotels & Resorts – packages $160-$335
Omni Hotels & Resorts has 60 upscale properties across North America, in big cities as well as leisure destinations. In this promotion, they are offering packages of 1-2 nights in various hotel categories:
– 2 weekend nights – $160 / 30 available
– 1 night at “exclusive” hotels – $235 / 15
– 2 weekend nights at “select” hotels – $245 / 41
– 2 nights at “premiere” hotels – $335 / 38
All of these certificates expire December 31, 2017, you are limited to purchase one, they are only valid in standard rooms and there are blackout dates specific to each property (and not listed in the T&C).
I will pass: I generally avoid deals that have an unclear value and so many restrictions. I don’t want to purchase a certificate, just to find out afterwards that the property I want has a blackout date or no standard rooms available. With the short validity of less than 9 months and the small number of Omni properties, the risk of buying these speculatively is too high!
Who should strike: Based on the risks involved with purchasing these and the unclear value, I wouldn’t recommend to buy these. If you stay frequently at various Omni properties, the risk might be worth it to you, but I would be very cautious! I am apparently not the only one, because they didn’t sell out last year.
Wednesday, April 19: Universal Studios tickets – $139
Universal tickets to their Hollywood park for $139 (face value $200), including 1 admission and one-time frontline access. 250 tickets will be available and you can purchase up to nine of them. They are valid through April 18, 2018 and there are blackout dates (not specified in terms & conditions). You need to provide 30 days notice before using your tickets, so you can’t use them until May 20!
I will pass: I’m not a fan of amusement parks and have no plans to visit Universal Studios Hollywood anytime soon. I also don’t like it when tickets have blackout dates but they don’t specify what those are before purchasing!
Who should strike: If you are planning a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood already, like the idea of frontline access and are not visiting on peak-season days, this deal represents a 30% discount and can be a great deal. The unknown blackout dates are a risk, so I wouldn’t chance it during high season or holidays!
Thursday, April 20: Caesars Hotels & Casinos – Packages $315 – $1,400
Caesars offers a number of packages for 2-3 night at their casino hotels in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, including Bally’s Las Vegas ($315), Linq Las Vegas ($350), Planet Hollywood Las Vegas ($500), Rio Las Vegas ($520), Harrah’s Atlantic City ($650) and Caesars Palace Las Vegas ($1,400). All of the packages have various inclusions, like transportation, shows or meals. You can only purchase one package, travel must be completed by July1, 2018 and there are blackout dates, like New Years Eve or Superbowl weekends.
I will pass: I have been to Las Vegas numerous times and have no current plans to visit. When I do go, I usually find the best deal at the time (and there are always deals in Las Vegas) at a hotel that works best for that visit! I also like to roam the different hotels & casinos on The Strip, so I don’t like to be locked in by “packages”.
Who should strike: If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas and like to make the most of a stay at one of the Caesars hotels, this deal can work out well for you. Make sure to read the fine print, can live with the blackout dates and want the various included offers. Also, check my favorite hotel search sites to see if you can beat this deal on your own by booking directly!
Friday, April 21: Loews Hotels & Resorts – 2 nights for $275 – $1,300
Loews offers packages for individual hotels or specific groups of hotels, including 2-night stays in standard rooms to suites. All of the certificates expire by June 30, 2018 and have unspecified blackout dates defined by the individual hotel.
I will pass: Similar to the Omni deal, you buy certificates for specific hotels that have unspecified blackout dates. Even worse, they are defined by hotel and can include according to the terms & conditions whole seasons! With that much risk, the only winner for this deal might be Loews!
Who should strike: Because of the unspecified blackout dates and link to specific hotels, I recommend you pass on this deal! If you are traveling during the off-season (when you have less risk of a blackout date), you are likely to find great deals at other hotels, too, and you don’t need to limit yourself to a specific one upfront.
Come back next week for another week of deals and my tips to make the most of them! You can sign up for daily alerts and see all the details at Daily Getaway!
If you’d like to get more deals like this or missed the time window, please follow me on Twitter – I’m posting great deals daily and many will sell out quickly, so stay ahead with my Twitter updates! Or sign up for Sunday Summary, my weekly newsletter!