The counterpoint is our monthly column, dedicated to having a look at a contrarian view at some of the commonly held beliefs in the miles and points space. Last month, we wrote about how Delta’s flash sales are nothing but a play on reference pricing.
Daily Getaways get a lot of attention every year. Daily Getaways is a set of annual deals run by the US Travel Association, in order to promote travel in the US. These deals primarily consist of discounted points or paid value deals for airlines, hotels, car rental agencies and/or theme parks.
Deals for 2019
If you access the Daily Getaways website, you can already see a preview of the deals available for this year. There’s value in these deals if it’s really intended for your specific use which is in the near term. I don’t encourage people buying into deals speculatively just because something is offered at a discount.
‘Limited Time’ Offers
There’s a time related aspect to these deals, since they tend to get sold out in a matter of minutes. However, the sense of urgency isn’t worth it. I’ve been following Daily Getaways deals for many years now and I’ve seen them come back even after deal period is over. One such offer is the Hilton buy points offer. Hilton often sells their points at 0.5 cents a piece as part of the Daily Getaways offer. I’ve seen this offer end during the Daily Getaways period, only to return in a matter of days on the Hilton website.
Out of Stock and Out of Luck
This is my biggest pet peeve with Daily Getaways. These deals have gained in popularity year after year. However, we’ve only seen the same quantity in terms of number of discounted offers. This means that you have to leave everything aside and be among the first 50 or 100 people to get that deal. Given how popular how these deals are, you’ll almost always run out of luck. The Hyatt discounted points deal is always among the most popular ones every year. Good luck trying to get that!
Irrational Buyer Behavior
Most people are loyal to one airline and one hotel chain. People tend to fly other airlines every now and then when there is a deal. Daily Getaways often messes up with customer behavior patters because it tends to offer you things which you wouldn’t usually buy. For example, discounted miles and points offers tend to entice customers to stock up on miles and points. It’s no use doing that unless you are loyal to that brand and have an upcoming stay. Otherwise, you are just stocking up on a currency that will eventually get devalued.
Reading The Fine Print
This annual deal from Orbitz is my favorite example. $650 for a $1,000 hotel stay. Sounds great, isn’t it? Once you jump into the rat race and buy the item, it’s not refundable. Even for a deal like that, it’s not as good as it sounds. The coupon is only valid on a single booking. This means that if you have the coupon, it’s not really a deal if your hotel stay costs under $1,000. My suggestion is to read the fine print first before you decide to buy any of the Daily Getaways deals.
The Pundit’s Mantra
Unless a particular deal is of specific use to use in the near term, I’d suggest you not waste your time and energy on Daily Getaways. Earning miles and points through credit card sign up bonuses still remains my favorite way of quickly racking up mils and points. Why dedicate all that time and stress to buying a limited time, limited quantity deal on Daily Getaways when you can sign up for a miles/points credit card from the comfort of your home? Also, miles and points sales from airlines and hotels happen all the time during the year. You can always get a similar if not the very same deal again.
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