1) A quick overview of this week’s Daily Getaways deals. For the next three days, there are actually some decent offers to be had:
Hertz points packages: Could be a good deal, especially for one-way rentals and SUV. Unfortunately, the quantity is very small, and you are unlikely to snag one. Worth a shot, especially if you have a specific use in mind.
Sea World and Busch Gardens tickets: A good deal, as long as you have upcoming plans to visit one of those parks. You can get a 1-day ticket to Busch Gardens for $45 and Sea World for $49. Certificates expire April 16th of 2016, so keep that in mind. I plan to get two tickets for my parents’ visit next March. We will probably buy annual passes for us, since Florida residents get special discounts.
Marriott gift cards: You can get them for 20% off. Obviously, it’s a good deal if you have Marriott stays coming up in a near future. I have bought these before and was able to utilize them for our Disney vacation in Orlando. I rarely have paid hotel stays, but sometimes it makes sense to pay cash.
I’m actually a fan of Marriott brand, and find it to be consistent and reliable ( a good thing when you travel with kids). Unfortunately, many of their nice properties are expensive on points and promotions aren’t that lucrative.
2) If you love Carrabba’s restaurant as much as I do, you will be delighted to know that for a limited time, you can get a bonus $10 gift card (has restrictions and expiration date) with every $50 gift card purchase. If you want to leverage this further, use Chase Freedom inside the restaurant to get 5 points per dollar. You can use your newly acquired gift card ( not the bonus $10 card) to cover your current dining bill.
Many restaurants run some sort of promotion in time for school graduation, so check with your favorite chain.
3) Today only, Jet Blue is running a special where you can get an award ticket for 20% off. There are restrictions, and you can see all the details on Deals We Like blog
Jet Blue points transfer instantly form Amex Membership Rewards.
4) Just a reminder that after April 17th, Southwest will introduce its new dynamic (less transparent) pricing. No one knows exactly what’s in store, so my advice is to book whatever you planned to book before that date. You can always cancel and re-deposit points without penalty. One thing is for certain: Rapid Rewards program isn’t going to get better for consumer with this new change.
5) Via Doctor of credit, Citi Hilton Reserve card once again comes with $100 credit after your first stay in one of Hilton brand hotels. Of course, that’s on top of 2 free weekend nights. Link, does not pay referral. This is a pretty good sign-up bonus, but only if you are heading to a location with an expensive Hilton property. See more details on this card in my list of hotel bonuses.
6) Not really “miles and points” related, but as you probably know, tomorrow is the last day to file taxes. Make sure to get all the tax breaks and rebates you are entitled to. I used to work as a tax specialist, but ended up forgetting to claim a credit on metal roof we put on our house in 2013. Not to worry, I just filed an amended tax return, and we should be getting $500 from Uncle Sam in the next few months.
If you can afford it, I strongly recommend you consider setting up an IRA for 2014 (deadline is tomorrow). There are all kinds of benefits, and you may even qualify for Saver’s credit. Ask your tax preparer or contact me for details.