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In mid-February I first wrote about how Daily Getaways will be returning this year. For those of you not familiar, Daily Getaways is a promotion, sponsored by the US Travel Association, that has been offered annually since 2011 to encourage US tourism.
The promotion consists of all kinds of travel packages, including offers on car rentals, hotel stays, loyalty program points, and theme park admission. A couple of weeks ago I shared a preview of the promotions that are available this year, and last week the promotion formally kicked off.
Today at 1PM ET you’ll have the opportunity to purchase discounted Wyndham Rewards points. While I won’t personally be taking advantage of this deal, I suspect others likely will be.
Specifically, you can buy 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points for $175. There are a total of 1,143 packages for sale, and you can buy up to two packages per Wyndham Rewards account. While the promotion is marketed as offering a free night at a Wyndham Rewards hotel, in reality you can redeem those points however you’d like.
Wyndham Rewards has a unique loyalty program, as they charge the same number of points for redemptions at all of their properties. This was a change that they made in 2015, and that certainly makes aspirational redemptions more lucrative.
The slight problem here is that most Wyndham Rewards properties aren’t especially aspirational. Spending $175 to buy 15,000 points, and then redeeming them at a Howard Johnson that costs ~$70 per night isn’t an especially good deal.
Admittedly this is an extreme example, but there are also redemptions on the other end of the spectrum. Over New Year’s Eve in New York City there are Wyndham properties for $400+, not including tax (including taxes & fees, that’s $650+), like the Wingate by Wyndham Manhattan Midtown and The New Yorker.
The Mills House in Charleston, South Carolina, also frequently has high rates, so is another great property to redeem points at.
I don’t recommend buying points speculatively in hopes of getting such a redemption, since these are the extremes. However, there are several properties that go for $250+ per night, where you can get solid value.
Wyndham Rewards also offers a points plus cash redemption option, though it’s more capacity controlled. When available, that can be a good use of points as well.
Lastly, remember that Daily Getaways purchases should be coded as travel, so if you do make a purchase you’ll want to do so with a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (3x points), Citi ThankYou® Premier Card (3x points), or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (2x points). Personally I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so using the Sapphire Reserve would be like getting a 5.1% “return” on spend, lowering the real cost to ~0.47 cents per point.
Like most Daily Getaways promotions, there’s potential to get outsized value here with the right redemptions. Personally I wouldn’t speculatively pick up Wyndham Rewards points for over a penny each. Big picture, there are very few Wyndham properties where you can redeem points and come out ahead having paid $175 for a “free” night.
But I know many will take advantage of this promotion.
Do you plan on buying Wyndham Rewards points through Daily Getaways?