Middle Age Miles

Daily Getaways 2019 Travel Deals Start Today (May 6) – Review of First 3 Weeks of Deals

daily getaways 2019 review analysis week 1 week 2 week 3


“Daily Getaways” is a program sponsored by the US Travel Association. The gist of the program is that, each weekday for about a month, certain travel deals are put up for purchase – for instance, room & dinner packages at hotels, packages of loyalty program points, a certificate for a free rental car day, etc. 2019 is the 10-year anniversary of Daily Getaways.

Each day’s deal goes up for sale at Noon Central time (1:00 pm Eastern / 11:00 am Mountain / 10:00 am Pacific) that day. The highest-value deals will sell out within seconds. Lower-value deals may remain available for days in the “Last Chance Offers” section of the Daily Getaways website.

This year, Daily Getaways runs from today (May 6) through Tuesday, June 4. The first 3 weeks of Daily Getaways deals have been released already (through May 24). The last few days of deals have not yet been announced. But with any luck based on previous years’ deals, we’ll hope to see offers for Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt within those final few days.

Relevant Link

Daily Getaways may be accessed at the following webpage:

What Card to Use?

Daily Getaways deals code as Travel – Travel Agencies, so you’ll want to pay with a credit card that earns bonus points on general travel purchases. We recommend using one of these cards to maximize your points-earning:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – 3x Ultimate Rewards (UR) as Travel
  • Chase Ink Preferred – 3x UR as Travel
  • Citi Premier – 3x ThankYou Points (TYPs) as Travel
  • Citi AT&T Access More – 3x TYPs as Online Travel/Retail

Review of the Deals

Let’s go through the Daily Getaways deals, week-by-week:

Week 1: May 6-10, 2019

May 6 – IHG Rewards Club points – Various sizes of packages of IHG Rewards Club points at 0.5 cents per point. We currently give IHG points a baseline value of 0.5 cents per point, but we’re in the process of reviewing for a reduction after a recent devaluation. This is not a good speculative buy, but it could be useful if you have a specific redemption in mind that you’re ready to book.

Note that there are often alternatives to purchase IHG points at close to 0.5 cents per point, through IHG points sales promotions or making-and-canceling IHG points-and-cash reservations.

May 7 – Packages from MGM Resorts in Las Vegas – We’re not a huge fan of packages like this, but we can see some value in some of these packages if they exactly suit your needs. We always worry that the dates we want will be blacked out or unavailable, but these packages seems to have very specific blackout dates, so hopefully they’re otherwise available.

  • New York New York – Remember that this package will cost about $560 total once resort fees are added. Otherwise, if you can knock out an expensive $400 steak dinner at Gallagher’s (we’ve eaten there and it was pretty good) and want to see the Zumanity show, this seems like it could be a good deal.
  • Luxor – It’s definitely on the “budget” end of MGM properties in Vegas, but if you’re ok with the hotel itself, it’s hard to beat 4 nights, 2 show tickets and $400 F&B credit for $500.
  • MGM Grand – We don’t see any value in this package at all
  • Mandalay Bay – Precarious value; only useful if you can fully use 2 decadent $500 dinner credits and love massages and the Michael Jackson “One” show
  • Mirage – This one is interesting to us. If you want to totally blow your diet and eat & drink like a king for 3 dinners at Otoro (Japanese), Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak and Osteria Costa (Italian), then this might work for you. Shows (Beatles LOVE and Terry Fator), massages, and a welcome amenity of champagne & strawberries would be a bonus.

May 8 – Wyndham Rewards points – Points at 1.17 cents per point, when our baseline value has been 0.9 cpp and we need to adjust it down to 0.8 or 0.75 cpp after the recent devaluation. No thanks.

May 9 – Alamo Rent A Car – A certificate for $50 off the base rate, which you can purchase for 25 bucks. If you rent from Alamo regularly, this seems like a solid deal.

May 10 – SeaWorld/Busch Gardens tickets & Discovery Cove Dolphin experience – We don’t know enough to have a solid opinion about these deals, but we’re guessing that they can save you some money off regular ticket prices if you know that you’ll be visiting these parks soon.

Week 2: May 13-17, 2019

May 13 – Universal Studios Hollywood – These tickets could represent a nice discount off regular online Express Ticket prices. On the Universal Studios Hollywood website, ticket pricing for Express Tickets is variable, ranging from $179 to $279 (front gate prices are $189 to $289). The Daily Getaways price seems like a great deal for many days, especially if you’ll be visiting in the summer. Express Tickets are $259 for every day July 1 through August 12, which means you’d be saving more than $100 per ticket by purchasing the Daily Getaways deal.

May 14 – Caesars Resorts in Las Vegas plus Harrah’s Atlantic City – Honestly, we’re not too impressed with any of these packages. Hard pass.

May 15 – Choice Privileges points – 4 packages of Choice Privileges points, with prices ranging from 0.48 to 0.57 cents per point. We give Choice points a baseline value of 0.5 cpp. And we’ve actually purchased Choice points through Daily Getaways in each of the last 2 years.

To highlight just a couple of sweet spots for Choice points: You can get outsized value for Choice Privileges points at Nordic Choice hotels (see this example article from Frequent Miler and this one from Loyalty Traveler). You may also be able to get outsized value for high-end hotels through the Choice partnership with Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

May 16 – Avis – One-day free rental (base rate only) up to a Premium Group G car for $30 seems like a solid deal. Even though you’ll still have to pay taxes and fees, there are many days and places where a rental car will cost you more than $30 a day in base rate alone. President’s Club membership for $750 does not seem like a good deal at all, especially given that you should be able to status match to Preferred Plus level pretty easily.

May 17 – Loews Hotels – It’s hard to see much value in the Loews deals, especially given the uncertainty in the terms & conditions about possible blackout dates and resort fees.

Week 3: May 20-24, 2019

May 20 – Venetian & Palazzo, Las Vegas – We’re guessing that you can save a little money at the Venetian on a 3-night stay (and perhaps at the Palazzo at $200 more?), especially given that the package includes the resort fee. But we sure worry about spending that much money when blackout dates are not fully disclosed. And there are lots of other hotel deals in Vegas, such as the ones you can score through the Chase Luxury Hotels & Resorts Collection or Caesars deals after doing a status match with Caesars Rewards.

May 21 – Best Western Rewards points – 10,000 points for $55 is a great deal if Best Western runs another promo where it offers all hotels for 10,000 points per night. But we don’t know if that promotion is coming back, or if so, what the restrictions might be. Otherwise, this seems like a fair price for Best Western points. We wouldn’t purchase them speculatively, but it might not be too hard to plan a specific redemption to get outsized value for these points.

May 22 – Omni Hotels & Resorts, various packages – We’re completely unsure about these deals. All of them seem like solid and potentially quite valuable deals on their face. But on the other hand, all of them are subject to unspecified blackout dates. Too much uncertainty for us. It’s a bit frustrating that US Travel Association and Omni don’t do a better job of disclosing the blackout dates so we can evaluate whether these packages might truly be good deals.

May 23 – More Packages from MGM Resorts in Las Vegas – These are like the May 7 MGM packages. Here, there’s still possibly some value in some of these packages if they exactly suit your needs, but overall we don’t think these deals are as good as those available on May 7. Let’s take a look:

  • Circus Circus – If Circus Circus is your jam, this looks like a very nice deal. If Circus Circus isn’t your jam, they probably couldn’t pay you to stay there.
  • Excalibur – Uncertainty about whether the resort fee is included makes this package a no-go. Our best guess is that the resort fee is not included. If you add resort fees, the true cost here is about $675, and we’re solidly out at that rate.
  • AriaWe love the Aria at Middle Age Miles. The only value in this package is if you’re going to be paying for a Sky Suite for 3 nights anyway. Paying full rate for suites in Vegas isn’t our style; we’ll stick to booking sweet deals using the Chase Luxury Hotels & Resorts Collection.
  • Park MGM – Remarkably, this $1,750 package doesn’t even include the resort fee, which pushes the total price up closer to $1,900. Even if you can use the full $500 credit on 2 dinners and are dying to see “O”, we’re just not seeing the value here. Pass.
  • Bellagio – Could you come out ahead with this deal? Yes, if you were planning to pay for 3 nights in an expensive suite anyway and you love the spa enough to get $500 worth of enjoyment out of it. Not for us, though.

May 24 – Orbitz – A $1,000 hotel discount code for $650 seems like a great deal on its face. And this may indeed be a great deal. But beware – there are many restrictions attached to this deal, including but not limited to the fact that it’s good on one hotel/one reservation only, and there are no changes or refunds available. We’re sure this will work out for some people, and we’re equally sure that some people will purchase it without realizing how the restrictions play out and will be sorely disappointed. For us, we’re not taking that many chances when we’re spending $650.

To continue with our follow-up article on the Daily Getaways 2019 deals for Weeks 4 & 5 (May 27-June 4), please click here:

Will you be taking advantage of any of these Daily Getaways deals? What do you think of the deals and our quick-hit analysis? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!

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