The annual U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways sale has returned. It was cancelled last year due to the pandemic with no sign of when it would reappear. Now it’s back with a familiar array of point packages and certificates available in the coming days and weeks. If you’re contemplating travel, it’s definitely worth checking out and doing the math to see if any of the offerings would save you money on your trip.
U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways Preview
The promotion is set to run from October 7 to November 5, 2021 with a different offer released each weekday at 1 pm EST until October 22. There are a limited number of packages available and demand will vary depending on the loyalty program and price.
At the time of writing, the offers from October 7-15 have been revealed and include the following:
[UPDATE: Offers for October 18-20 are now visible as well]
Oct. 7 – Hilton Honors
30,000 points – $150
100,000 points – $500
250,000 points – $1250
Oct. 8 – World of Hyatt
30,000 points – $396
50,000 points – $660
80,000 points – $960
Oct. 11 – IHG Rewards
2500 points – $12
5000 points – $25
25,000 points – $125
50,000 points – $250
100,000 points – $500
Oct. 12 – Choice Privileges
14,000 points – $84
28,000 points – $155
44,000 points – $220
55,000 points – $285
Oct. 13 – Wyndham Rewards
15,000 points – $175
Oct. 14 – Omni Hotels & Resorts
2 Night Weekend Getaway – $175
2 Night Weekend Escape – $245
Stay 2 Nights at Omni Hotels & Resorts – $335
Stay 1 Night at Omni Hotels & Resorts – $235
Oct. 15 – Accor
Luxurious New York Getaway – $1000
Luxurious Los Angeles Getaway – $1700
Luxurious Washington DC Getaway – $1000
Luxurious San Juan Getaway – $1400
Oct. 18 – Best Western
10,000 points – $55
Oct. 19 – The Venetian Resort
Three Nights: Grand One Bedroom Suite – $850
Three Nights: Grand King Suite – $650
Oct. 20 – Marriott Bonvoy
$100 Marriott Bonvoy eGift Card – $80
$250 Marriott Bonvoy eGift Card – $200
$500 Marriott Bonvoy eGift Card – $400
Be sure to review the full offer details and terms.
Remember that all prices are in USD.
Note there is no mention in the promo terms of transactions being processed by Points.com, a Canadian company that usually handles the sale of points by loyalty programs, so this should mean Canadian residents will not be charged HST – just the 2.5% forex fee levied by many credit cards.
Are there any good deals?
If you already have a decent grasp of these programs, a quick glance at the package prices will probably tell you if the value is there for your style of travel or preferred destinations. If you’re not up to speed with how far various hotel loyalty currencies will go, it’s important that you research the possibilities before you buy any points. These are not slam dunk deals but in some instances they could definitely save you some cash, as is always the case when it comes to buying points.
Here are my thoughts on each offer as someone who prefers to stretch points into as many hotel nights as possible:
First up are the Hilton packages and I would give these a pass right off the bat. The program has its strengths but I’ve consistently found it challenging to find hotels on the lower end of the points range, both before and after it switched to a more dynamic pricing model.
Next is Hyatt and this one could be an excellent deal for certain destinations with Category 1 and 2 properties – except for the fact that the number of packages available is ridiculously low. Single digits low. I’m frankly surprised they’re even on the list at all.
Moving on, the five IHG packages look somewhat more promising. Unlike Hilton, its transition to dynamic pricing has somehow opened the door to the potential for terrific redemption value. However, you need to have some flexibility with your dates and destinations to sift through the chaos to find the best deals.
Case in point, the Holiday Inn Express: Edinburgh – Royal Mile shows reward rates ranging from 17,000 to 53,000 points per night in June 2022 with corresponding Member Exclusive Rates of 125 and 173 GBP on those particular nights. And to use an example closer to home, the Holiday Inn Express hotels in Dartmouth and Bedford, NS are both $118 before tax on Dec. 11, 2021 but one is 13,000 points and the other is 18,000 points.
So, if you have a few good options in mind or are ready to book something, it’s not a bad idea to purchase some points at this price as long as the savings are obvious. Just be aware that IHG reward rates change frequently.
Popular in previous sales, Choice points have the potential to yield excellent value. If you have any thoughts of visiting Scandinavia in the relative near future, they will surely save you money in pricey cities like Stockholm and Oslo (or maybe try the Funken Lodge in Longyearbyen?). Elsewhere, there are interesting redemption opportunities if you take the time to seek them out (including larger rooms and suites on points). The biggest drawback is the inability to see reward rates more than a few months in advance. A hotel that’s a bargain on points now might not be in the spring or summer.
If you decide to run off to Rome for Christmas, Choice points could be quite useful…
If you do decide to go ahead and purchase Choice points, note that they typically sell out very quickly – as in minutes. Who knows if that will happen this year in light of the current circumstances around travel, but if you really want them you should be ready to buy as soon as the sale goes live.
The Wyndham package is a non-starter. Many hotels in the 15,000 point range would cost less than the price of these points.
The next two items are not point packages but hotel certificates offered by Omni Hotels & Resorts and Accor. I have no personal experience with Omni hotels so I don’t have much of an opinion. Just be aware that you’ll need to have relatively firm travel plans because the certificates have an expiry date and are limited to certain properties. The Ovation certificates offered by Accor fortunately do not expire.
The Best Western offer gets a big thumbs down from me. Sweet spots are tough to find in this program now. If the limited time promo to redeem 10,000 points for a free night was an annual thing then this would be a super deal, but the promotion was severely watered down the last time it was offered and there is no evidence it will be offered again.
I know little of The Venetian Resort and Las Vegas as a destination is not high on my list so you’re on your own for this one.
The value in the Marriott eGift Cards is pretty self-evident. I assume these will go fairly quickly but I’ve read they can be tricky to use outside of North America.
It’s great to see Daily Getaways return and it will be interesting to view the rest of the offers when they’re released. In the past, there have been a small quantity of Loews packages that are a super deal for an onsite stay at Universal Orlando where the deluxe hotels come with complimentary Express Pass.
Once again though, the Choice points are probably the standout. If you need a top-up or have a high value redemption in mind, the IHG points might not be a bad deal. Hyatt would be decent if there was any realistic chance of nabbing them. If you think you might be headed to Walt Disney World for the 50th Anniversary, those Marriott eGiftCards would help you save on a stay at the Swan, Swan Reserve or Dolphin onsite hotels all of which are in the deluxe category where guests are entitled to extended park hours in the evening.
I have high hopes of resuming travel in 2022 and using points to save money is a integral part of my planning. I’m not sure if I’ll spring for more Choice points yet but it’s tempting. They did go up a bit in price since the previous sale but not by a whole lot. If you’re also considering a purchase, I strongly suggest searching the Choice Hotels site for potential sweet spots and to make sure any old favourite is still in the program.