Daily Getaways Return on May 19

Daily Getaways is an annual promotion run by the U.S. Travel Association in collaboration with American Express. Each day for four weeks there is a new travel deal from a selected merchant (sometimes with multiple price points, like a choice between buying 10K, 20K, 50K, or 100K hotel points). And if you pay with your American Express card you can save an additional 10%.

Daily Getaways

Not every deal is worth buying, but there are enough that are that the site has become overwhelmed with traffic in recent years as it gets more attention. Daily Getaways has added to the buzz by only releasing the details on the offer a week in advance. If you see one you like you should be waiting at your computer, constantly refreshing the browser to make sure you are one of the first to click and buy.

If you’re fast enough, you may even be able to go back and buy another package. Most deals are limited to one purchase of each package type per person (for example, one purchase of 10K points and one purchase of 20K points, but not two purchases of 20K points). Or you could just use another person’s information, like your spouse.

Some of the best deals in the past have been on hotels. These are usually — not always — in the form of blocks of points even if they are marketed as one or more free nights at a specific property. Read the deal terms closely. Even if you don’t want one free night at a Category 7 property, you may be able to buy the points and redeem them for three nights at a Category 3 property.¬†Different package sizes may also have slight differences in the price per point, so the largest package is not always the best deal.

Finally, don’t forget that some points can be transferred to other programs. Wyndham Rewards has gutted their airline transfer ratios, but I successfully bought points in the past with the sole intent of transferring them to United Airlines at a very favorable price.

Here are some good deals from last year that I expect we’ll see again in 2014:

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Six-night package, including breakfast, at the Fairmont Kea Lani (Maui) or Fairmont Royal Orchid (Hawaii) for only $1,800.

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

Several price points available, including the chance to buy Gold Passport points for under 1 cent per point. You can complain about the new Category 7 if you like, but I find Gold Passport points are actually more valuable to me now that I can stretch them with Points + Cash awards, apply an upgrade, and earn elite status.

MGM Resorts

Room, show, and dinner packages at several MGM casino hotels in Las Vegas. (Most likely to be valuable to those who plan to use all the included amenities. Otherwise, book your own package.)

Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Several price points available, including the chance to buy Hilton HHonors points for under 0.5 cents per point. This is not nearly as good a deal as Hyatt in my opinion due to the devaluation of Hilton’s program. At least Hyatt added a fairly generous Points + Cash award chart that earns elite qualifying nights.

Hertz Rent-a-Car

Buy Gold Plus Rewards points for a little over 4 cents each. At the time you could easily get a free rental day for 500 points, so this was an inexpensive way to book rentals below market rate. However, Gold Plus Rewards has suffered its own devaluations and may not be nearly as lucrative this time around.

Scott created Travel Codex after learning how to travel better on a budget during grad school. He now flies over 150,000 miles every year.
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  • choi

    any predictions of what are the special this year ?

    • Scottrick

      I think Hyatt and Fairmont will still be good deals. MGM depends on how much you like the packages. I’m usually happy to go to Vegas, pay for a standard room, and go find my own activities. Hilton will probably be good as long as you have a goal in mind — not all the devalued awards are horrible deals.

      The key is using an Amex card. Some deals are on the edge, and saving an extra 10% makes them more compelling.