Are Daily Getaways Worth It Anymore?

Old-timer travel hackers will remember the golden days when buying Wyndham points could mean ultra-cheap airline miles when Daily Getaways used to be interesting.  Those days are long gone and no further proof is needed than seeing 1143 Wyndham packages still for sale at 5pm EST.  I remember back in 2012 (before I started this blog) setting an alarm for 2am my time to get ready with browsers loaded to compete to buy Wyndham points and they would sell out in seconds.  Nowadays these point packages have such limited use and you can often find these hotels cheaper on online booking sites that it’s no longer worth it.  Sad!

 

Daily Getaways First 2 Weeks Announced

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In the past, Daily Getaways were one of my favourite ways to buy airline miles at very cheap prices.  Back in the day, you could acquire United, American, US Airways & other miles for around $7-8 per block of 1000 miles by purchasing Wyndham miles at Daily Getaways and then transferring them.

Last year the price was raised to around $13 per block of 1000 miles which still wasn’t bad if you live outside the USA and can’t manufacture spend. Earlier this year, Wyndham cut the transfer rate to airlines in half without warning which basically kills this deal as no one is going to pay $27 for 1000 miles unless they are desperate for a top up.  And most people can do a helluva lot better than a Super 8 if they have a budget of $84!

This year there isn’t much to interest eco-tourists.  I wouldn’t buy points for a hotel, I would rather use a portal such as Pointshound and have a wider choice.  Here are the first 2 weeks in case anyone is interested.  The only possible bargain I can see is Choice ONLY if you are going to use them in Europe.  Don’t bother using them in Australia, the rates are too high.  The program also has an annoying 60 window for booking hotel rewards which cramps the style of those who like to book early.

IHG Rewards are a good deal if you are planning to use them at an expensive place like Bora Bora, Paris or any of the 50,000 point properties which would cost $292.50 a night if you have an Amex.  Hilton is way too expensive, at that level I would be Pricelining for a 4 or 5* hotel.  Don’t bother!

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In past years I used to get up at 3am in Brisbane to buy these and they sold out in seconds.  This year, I’ll probably wake up at my normal time to see packages going begging.

United Airlines: Earn 25% More Miles When You Convert Points Into Miles

This is one of those bonuses many of us wait for to get rid of those extra hotel points we may have accumulated but can’t use.  Since most of our travel is staying in eco-lodges where you can’t pay with points, we value airline miles more as we still need to get to the place!  So here’s the deal:

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Here’s the link to register if you didn’t get the email.  Make sure your transferred points earn at least 5000 miles or you won’t get the bonus.  The normal 5000 miles becomes 6250 miles with the 25% bonus.  This is a complete table of conversion rates.

  • Marriott – minimum conversion of 16,000 points to earn 5000 United miles plus bonus.
  • Hilton – minimum conversion of 50,000 points to earn 5000 miles plus bonus.
  • SPG – minimum conversion of 10,000 points to earn 5000 miles plus bonus.
  • IHG Rewards – minimum conversion of 30,000 points to earn 6000 miles plus bonus (can only do increments of 10,000 points)
  • Club Carlson – minimum conversion of 50,000 points to earn 5000 miles plus bonus.
  • Hyatt – minimum conversion of 12,500 points to earn 5000 miles plus bonus.
  • Choice – minimum conversion of 25,000 points to earn 5000 miles plus bonus.
  • Wyndham – minimum conversion of 16,000 points to earn 6400 miles plus bonus.  (2 x 8000 to 3200 fixed award level).

So is it a good value to make these conversions?  This is where you need to have an idea of how many hotel point redemptions you will be making in the next couple years or so and if you have enough points to do them with anything left over.  You may have a surplus of hotel points if you got the affiliate credit card or bought some on special during a promo.

Wyndham is currently selling their points with a 20% bonus.  This can work well if you need to top up your United account for an award.  For example:

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Buy 20,000 Wyndham points for $220 and get 4000 points as a bonus for 24,000 all up.  These 24,000 points convert in 3 x batches of 8000 (3 x 3200) so you end up with 9600 United miles.  Add on the 25% bonus and the final total is 12,000 United miles for your outlay of $220.

If you wanted to buy 12,000 United miles at the regular price, it would cost you $451.50 so you are buying them at less than half price.  I don’t advise buying miles on speculation as they could devalue before you get a chance to redeem them but this is a good way to top up for an award you will be redeeming soon.

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Wyndham Rewards – Best Uses for Eco-Travelers

WHICH HOTELS DO THEY HAVE?

Wyndham Rewards is the frequent guest program of several different hotel chains.

Wyndham Hotels

The largest presence is in the USA with over 6500 hotels.  This can come in handy if you are connecting to an overseas flights and want a budget hotel for the night near the airport.  The odds are great that Wyndham will have several hotels near most major airports with free shuttles.

They also have a number of hotels overseas, some of which are in countries that will attract eco-travelers and birders.  I have highlighted these in yellow.

Wyndham Overseas Hotels

HOW MANY POINTS DO YOU NEED?

It varies widely depending on the chain.  Hotels overseas tend to be more expensive than those in the USA.

Wyndham Awards

For example, LAX has several hotels all ranging between 14,000 to 16,000 redemption.

Wyndham LAX Awards

Same hotels if you pay cash/credit – notice that they are not expensive!  Not a good use of points!