The first deal of the 2017 Daily Getaway organized by the US Travel Association is going live today at 1:00pm EDT – and it’s 50% off from Alamo Car Rentals. Later this week, you can purchase InterContinental Rewards Club points and Wyndham Rewards points at a discount, as well as hotel packages from MGM Resorts and entertainment park tickets for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. Find out the details and how to make the most out of these deals below!
As every year with the Daily Getaway, there are some deals of great value, some might work for some people with concrete plans and some will work for few. Here is my take on the first week of deals:
Monday: Alamo Car Rental – 50% off
You can purchase $50 Certificates for $25 – or 50% off the face value. There are 2,000 certificates available and you can purchase up to 3 certificates that can be used anytime at a rental location in the US for cars of any class – but only apply to the base rate, so taxes, (outrageously hight) airport surcharges and other fees are extra. You can combine up to 3 certificates for one rental, but have to call to book in that case.
I will pass on this deal. While it sounds great, car rentals are a very competitive market and the lowest cost provider constantly changes based on dates and location. You’ll also have a lot of heavily discounted offers through other channels, like Priceline. And because taxes and fees are a big part of your rental car bill, the discount will be much less.
Who should strike: If you are looking to book a car rental right now and Alamo is the cheapest provider for your location and date, then this might work for you.
Tuesday: MGM Resorts Las Vegas
MGM is offering a number of packages for their resorts in Las Vegas:
– NewYorkNewYork: $475 / 8 available
– Mirage: $1,750 / 10
– MGM Grande: $1,545 / 8
– Delano: $1,750 / 8
– Excalibur: $475 / 7
Each of the packages includes 2-4 nights of stay, various shows, dinner or food credits and MGM is presenting them as approximately a 50% discount. Because the deal may include a suite (instead of a regular room), show tickets (you might not want) or food credit (when you’d rather eat elsewhere), the actual discount can vary for you.
I will pass on this deal: I have been in Las Vegas many times and have no plans to visit again anytime soon. While the resort would prefer you spend all of your money at their place, I prefer to roam The Strip and eat, shop or gamble at different places to soak up the atmosphere, so package deals are less attractive to me!
Who should strike: If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas, your favorite resort is on the list and the room category and included extras work for you, this can be a great deal. Make sure to check the room prices on my favorite hotel meta search site first – you might be able to “beat” this deal on your own!
Wednesday: IHG Rewards Club – 8,500 – 130,000 point packages from 0.576ct/pt
InterContinental Hotel Group is offering reward point packages from 8,500 – 130,000 points for their IHG Rewards Club program at prices from $49 – $749 at varying prices per point:
– 8,500 points for $49 – 0.586 cents/point
– 15,000 points for $89 – 0.593 ct/pt
– 25,000 points for $149 – 0.596 ct/pt
– 50,000 points for $299 – 0.598 ct/pt
– 100,000 points for $589 – 0.598 ct/pt
– 130,000 points for $749 – 0.576 ct/pt
IHG Rewards Club is one of the most revenue-oriented rewards programs and I value points at 0.5 ct/pt. IHG runs frequent promotions to purchase points at similar prices and you can purchase points at 0.7 ct/pt at any time through the cash & point rates.
I will pass on this deal: IHG Rewards Club is one of my core hotel programs, I have Platinum status through the IHG Rewards credit card, participate in their promotions regularly (read about my latest success here) and I have purchased points previously. But I do have a large stash of IHG points right now and don’t want to add more to it this year. Once they are depleted, I can add new points at the next promotion.
Who should strike: Because status is easy to get through the IHG Rewards card and IHG has great coverage from mid-scale to luxury hotels around the world, I recommend the program as one of the first to sign up for. And it’s a good program to have a points balance as “backup” when you need to stay in a hotel during peak season or a special event and hotel prices are through the roof. So, if you are new to rewards points or already have plans for an IHG hotel stay, this is a good opportunity to buy some points.
Thursday: Bush Gardens & SeaWorld tickets
You can purchase up to 6 tickets to Bush Gardens at $45 ($103 value) or to SeaWorld at $50 ($100 value). Tickets are valid till May 2018 during regular opening hours. A total of more than 3,500 tickets is available.
I will pass on this deal: I am not a big fan of entertainment parks and don’t have any plans to visit one anytime soon!
Who should strike: If you are planning a day trip with your family to any of these parks already, this is a deal you might want to check out.
Friday: Wyndham Rewards – one night from $175
Wyndham Worldwide is selling packages of 15,000 points for $175, a total of 1,143 packages are available and you can purchase up to 2. The Wyndham Rewards program is unique in that it gives you a free night for 15,000 points at any of their almost 8,000 hotels worldwide. You can also use their points & cash rates to combine 3,000 points with a cash co-pay for a low-priced night! The price is up by $25 from last years deal ($150) and values points at 1.17ct/pt. That is the same price you can purchase up to 5,000 points anytime and I value Wyndham Rewards points at 1ct/pt.
Wyndham Worldwide has mostly budget hotels and I have not been impressed with any of the ones I stayed at – they ranged from horrible (like the Howard Johnson South Lake Tahoe) to good (Wyndham Santa Monica). I have been able to get great value of more than 3 ct/pt out of Wyndham – read How I saved 50% with Wyndham Rewards for more. Since then, Wyndham has increased the cash co-pay at many hotels and eliminated premium rooms from reward stays, making it more difficult to find exceptional value.
I might strike! I am torn between the mediocre experience I had at Wyndham hotels and the great value I have found, so I’m still on the fence about purchasing more points. I have also considered signing up for the Wyndham Rewards Visa card that offers a 30,000 points sign up bonus – for at total of 4 free nights or 20 GoFast points & cash award nights from the credit card and promotion!
Who should strike: If you travel a lot in the US or China, are focused on value and don’t mind staying at budget hotel, Wyndham Rewards is a great program to participate in. While the price has gone up this year, you shouldn’t have a problem using the points to great effect and for savings of 50%. I’d consider getting the Wyndham Rewards Visa card as well – in addition to the points, you also get Platinum Status for some (if limited) elite perks.
You can look at the details and purchase the Daily Getaway’s here!
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