Daily Getaways is/are here again! As promised, here is my analysis of this fairly popular promotion in the travel hacking world. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of posts on it already but hopefully, you will benefit from my perspective. If you are new to this hobby, you may be wondering if the “juice” is worth the squeeze. First, here are all the deals for the upcoming week:
Let’s get right to it:
This is the best one of the bunch IMHO, not just this week, but the entire sale. Is it worth pursuing? Maybe. See my post from two years ago, though, be aware, some redemption rates have changed since then. I have a love/hate relationship with Choice program. I’ve been hacking it (legally) long before I got into blogging. I won’t go into details, but there was a time when you could transfer Continental airline miles to Choice and get 25,000 points per each 5,000 miles. I actually discovered it on my own before it was blasted on Flyertalk and subsequently killed. Those were the days! I got some crazy good hotel deals that way.
Anyway, now your best bet is to just buy Choice points via Daily Getaways sale. Sure, there is a credit card that can give you 32,000 points (non-affiliate link), but Barclaycard has much better offers, so I personally wouldn’t bother. A few things you should know about this Daily Getaways deal:
- Even though the offers are marketed as hotel nights, you are actually getting points. They won’t expire as long as you have some activity in your account within 18 months.
- I would NEVER buy Choice points speculatively. This program is super sleazy and devalues without notice on a regular basis.
- There are some genuinely good deals to be had. We stayed in Niagara Falls area for only 8,000 points per night (now costs 12,000 points). The place was very basic, though. Honestly, most Choice properties in US are basic. One exception is Ascend collection, but hotels usually cost a boatload of points per night. Choice has a huge footprint, so you will likely find a hotel no matter where you are going. Whether you want to stay in it is another matter.
- You can’t book more than 30 days ahead, 60 for international destinations. That said, if you have an Elite status with another program (IHG Platinum counts), contact Choice and they will match it. This will increase your booking window to 75 days and allow you to be an early bird who gets the worm. That’s important, see my second point.
- Choice uses variable pricing for their hotels, so the same property may cost 8,000 points one month, and 12,000 points the next. Check several dates if you have some flexibility. Award Mapper tool can be helpful in showing award price range, but it’s not always accurate.
- The “$160 for 40,000 points” deal is the best one of the bunch, but it will also be the most popular. It could make sense to go for the ones that have larger quantity, so you don’t miss out. In all likelihood, all the packages will sell out within minutes.
- You should definitely consider this deal if you are looking to top off your Southwest account for Companion pass. You get 1,800 Rapid Rewards points per each 6,000 Choice points transfer. As of now, it does count towards Companion pass, but that could change.
- If you are going to Europe this summer, check if your destination has Choice properties. Scandinavia and Italy have some very good deals on points.
- One of the best perks of Choice program is that you can get a suite for the same amount of points as it would cost for a regular room. That’s a huge advantage for large families. This Quality Suites Lake Buena Vista costs 25,000 points per night and has 2-bedroom suites (fits up to 8) that include free breakfast each morning.
- There are two new options called Points+Cash and FlexRewards which can be a good deal in certain circumstances.
- Sign up for a free Choice membership number beforehand because you will have to input it during buying process. Every minute counts!
To recap: it can definitely be a terrific deal for some, so do the math and see if it makes sense for you. This is a good opportunity for those who for whatever reason can not sign up for credit cards. I’ve said before that travel hacking is about more than just sign-up bonuses and M/S. Sometimes it’s about arbitrage opportunities like this one. If you have a lot of hotel points in other programs, it’s probably best to pass. Let me reiterate: Don’t buy Choice points speculatively!
You can buy 1-day tickets to Busch Gardens for $45 each and Sea World for $50. It is a very good price unless you happen to be Texas or Florida resident. Very often, you can get an annual pass for about $40 more. I actually did buy Sea World tickets for my parents’ visit during last year’s sale. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, and will have a post on it on Tuesday. My hope is to present a balanced perspective without stirring controversy.
It could be worth it for some, but IHG has sales on purchase of points on a semi-regular basis. I do believe every family should have some IHG points on-hand, but you will most likely do better by doing a mattress run via current Accelerate promo. You can register for it here At some point, I recommend you sign up for Chase IHG co-branded credit card, my favorite product of all time.
Not worth it.
Probably worth it for folks with deep pockets. That ain’t me!
And it’s a wrap. You have a whole weekend to do some research on Choice properties to see if Monday deal makes sense for you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Readers, what are you planning on buying next week?
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.