Daily Getaways Week 1: Discounted Points, Rental Cars and Theme Park Tickets
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Welcome to week 1 of Daily Getaways — an annual five-week-long travel discount extravaganza hosted by the US Travel Association. This year, the first week is kicking off with discounted points, one-day rental car passes, rental car elite status and discounted tickets to theme parks.
Each deal will go live at 1:00pm ET, so make sure that you set your alarm for a few minutes earlier than that if you’re really interested in snagging a deal. Based on Daily Getaways purchases I’ve made in past years, they code as travel. So, make sure to use a credit card that has a category bonus for general travel such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x Ultimate Rewards points) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x points).
Let’s dive into the details to see which offers you might be interested in this week:
- Cost: $139
- Retail price: $179 (22.3% savings)
- Description: One Universal Express Ticket, which includes 1-day admission and 1-time express access to each ride and attraction and priority seating at select shows to Universal Studios Hollywood in California.
- Restrictions: Must use the pass between June 1, 2018, and May 24, 2019, but blackout dates are June 29 through August 13, 2018, and December 21, 2018, through January 4, 2019.
- Number available: 250
- Verdict: The blackout dates are quite restrictive for those traveling with school-aged children. For the modest discount, I’d pass on buying now unless you’re set to visit during a non-blackout-restricted date.
April 10: Choice Privileges points packages
- 55,000 Choice Privileges points for $265
- 42,000 Choice Privileges points for $205
- 28,000 Choice Privileges points for $144
- 14,000 Choice Privileges points for $80
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Daily Getaways has been selling points for 0.45 cents and less in past years, and the deals have been selling out in seconds. So, it’s understandable — although disappointing — that the rates have gone up this year to between 0.48 and 0.57 cents per point. Still, compared to TPG’s valuation of Choice points at 0.6 cents each, these are still a reasonably good value.
April 11: IHG points packages
- 8,500 IHG Rewards Club points for $50
- 15,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $89
- 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $149
- 50,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $290
- 100,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $580
- 130,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $749
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While Choice points have historically sold out in seconds, IHG points packages are often around until the end of the promotion. And, while the rates haven’t dropped this year to make the packages any more appealing, IHG has devalued its program noticeably during the past year, dropping TPG’s valuation of IHG points to 0.6 cents. Still, this could be a good deal for those that can maximize PointBreaks promotions and find good IHG redemptions. I’ll likely be purchasing a 100,000-point package to cover a stay in a Category 1 hotel in Berlin, utilizing my new IHG Rewards Club Premier Card to score a fourth night free.
April 12: Theme Park Tickets
- Cost: $50
- Retail price: $79.99 (37% savings)
- Description: One SeaWorld Single-Day Admission Ticket. Valid at SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego or SeaWorld San Antonio.
- Restrictions: Must use the pass before May 25, 2019. Maximum of six tickets can be purchased.
- Number available: 1,658
- Verdict: This could be a good deal if you’re looking to visit SeaWorld and can’t find cheaper tickets through another promotion or package.
- Cost: $160
- Retail price: starting at $260 (38%+ savings)
- Description: One Discovery Cove All-Inclusive Dolphin Swim Package.
- Restrictions: Must use the pass before December 31, 2018. Maximum of six tickets can be purchased. Based on availability.
- Number available: 200
- Verdict: This deal provides a solid discount off of the rack rate, which starts at $260.
- Cost: $75
- Retail price: $100 (25% savings)
- Description: Valid for a total of two visits at any of the following parks: SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Adventure Island Tampa Bay.
- Restrictions: Must use the pass before May 25, 2019. Maximum of six tickets can be purchased. Second visit must be redeemed within six months of first visit, and must be used by the same person.
- Number available: 894
- Verdict: Having family in Tampa, I’m considering purchasing one of these myself for an upcoming visit. However, it doesn’t provide a great discount off of the online purchase price for those that don’t have plans to visit Florida already.
April 13: Avis Rental Car Discounts
- Cost: $30
- Description: One day and mileage charges on the rental of any car of your choice – up to Premium (Group G).
- Restrictions: Must use by May 15, 2019. Only valid at participating Avis location in the US (excluding the New York Metro area), Canada, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Must pay taxes, concession recovery fees, vehicle license recovery fee, customer facility charges ($10/contract in CA). Maximum of seven vouchers can be purchased per transaction.
- Number available: 800
- Verdict: This is a deal that’s always popular. If you’re interested in purchasing, make sure to note the numerous restrictions and factor in the large amount of taxes and fees that you’ll still have to pay.
- Cost: $750
- Description: One Avis President’s Club Membership valid through April 30, 2019.
- Restrictions: Membership open to US residents only. Must be 25 years or older to qualify for membership. US driver’s license must be in good standing to qualify for membership. Only spouses or significant others are permitted to pick up the vehicle in the member’s name. Additional driver fees will apply.
- Number available: 20
- Verdict: Benefits like a two-car-class upgrade, guaranteed car and a dedicated President’s Club line are going to be valuable for some, but this is a hefty price to pay for the elite status.
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