September 19 2014

TravelPony Stackable Discounts for Potentially 55% Off Hotels

UPDATE on 9/21/2014: Code FALL6 gives 6% off (use instead of DOD5). Valid today only.


Year-old travel booking site TravelPony is offering some nice discounts to celebrate its birthday.

Currently there are two codes that can be combined to potentially yield 55% off the room rate:

  • TPSAVINGS for up to 50% off.
  • DOD5 for 5% off.

Not all hotels are discounted by 50% (some are as low as 10%), but my random searches turned up quite a few in the 30% or more range.

Below is a random example. I was able to find many other good deals, both domestic and international.

Reno El Dorado

For the 4-star Eldorado Hotel Casino in Reno, the standard rate is $51 for the night. Using code TPSAVINGS for 40% off and DOD5 for 5% off results in a pre-tax rate of $28 (ultimately 45% off).

El Dorado dod5

Do comparison shop just in case. I did not find a cheaper alternative to this example overall, but I did see a cheaper (by $7) pre-discount rate on Orbitz.

Save even more?

If you have a $35 credit from signing up through a referral source it will also combine with TPSAVINGS (but not with DOD5) for a potentially even better discount. In my example it results in a free (pre-tax) hotel stay.

El Dorado referral35

The above screenshot is from an account which is “grandfathered” to give a $35 credit on any booking. I believe referral credits are now only valid on bookings of $200+.

Even if you aren’t spending $200+ this time, it makes sense to use a signup offer and just save the credit in your account for future use. So find a friend with a working referral link, or feel free to use mine (thanks 🙂 ).


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September 17 2014

Free Coffee, Up to 33% off Hotels, and an IHG Points Purchase Promo

Good afternoon! This will have to be another quick post but there are a few deals today I thought worth sharing…

$100 off a Travelocity hotel booking of $300+ (link)

This deal is valid only through 11:59 PM Pacific today (September 17), but if it fits your plans it’s a nice discount.

Use code BIGDAYHOTEL100 for $100 off a Travelocity hotel stay of $300 or more. Note that “pay later” hotel options are excluded.

Travelocity $100 off $300+

(If you’re a package-deal kind of person, also note code BIGDAYPKG100 saves $100 on a flight + hotel package of $500+.)

Up to 100% bonus on purchased IHG Rewards points (link)

In what is the largest bonus I recall ever seeing on purchased IHG points, you can earn a 100% bonus when buying 50,000 to 60,000 IHG points. The bonus offer expires September 22.

IHG Points Bonus

IHG Rewards is InterContinental Hotels Group’s loyalty program. The group’s brands include Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, and InterContinental Hotels, among others.

If you buy 50,000 points through this promotion, you’d pay $575 and end up with 100,000 points. Your net price would be $0.00575 per point.

Since I value IHG points at $0.007 apiece (and there is also an indirect way to obtain points at that rate), I think this promotion is decent. However, I would only buy points if I had a specific redemption in mind.

I don’t buy points just to hoard them as (1) loyalty points can be – and often are – devalued at whim by the company, and (2) I think it unwise to convert a liquid asset (cash) into an illiquid one (hotel points with little value outside their loyalty program) without good reason.

But if you had a specific use for IHG points, this promotion can be compelling.

Take, for example, the InterContinental Amstel. I pulled up a random date in May 2015 and the nightly rate was from €1,460 (about $1,900).

IC Amstel 2

Since a reward night requires 40,000 points, you can effectively book on points instead for $230 (40,000 x $0.00575). (But be sure to check reward availability before buying points!)

Free coffee at McDonald’s (link)


Finally, if you’re near a McDonald’s during breakfast hours, stop in for a free McCafe coffee through September 29. 🙂


September 16 2014

Updated Amex Sync Offers – Save at J. Crew, Walmart, Courtyard Hotels, American Express Travel & More

Maybe I’m just easily amused, but some recent Amex Sync offers got my attention so I thought it was time to share an updated list.

Current travel-related offers include Courtyard Hotels and American Express Travel. Other interesting offers include Whole Foods, Staples, and Walmart.

Walmart Sync Promo 2

The list below includes all current offers I know of (with Twitter hashtags if available).

If you’re unfamiliar with the American Express Sync campaign, it’s a great program. I’ve saved a nice chunk of money, with minimal effort, on things I would normally buy anyway.

Here’s my primer on how to use Amex Sync deals.


If you don’t plan to spend the required amount in one transaction, buy a gift card to use over time.

If you don’t need anything from the retailer ever, you might still find the offer useful. For example, I don’t need any Staples merchandise but I used that deal to buy money at a discount. You can also buy a variety of third-party gift cards at Staples (including Amazon and Shell Gas).

Like Staples, the Walmart deal is also online only. But Walmart also sells gift cards online (for itself and for other retailers). The terms state “not valid on gift card reloads and prepaid cards,” which to me implies regular gift cards and e-gift cards are okay. I also have no need for Walmart merchandise right now, so I’ll just get an e-gift card and probably use it to buy groceries in store at some point (how often can you get up to 33% off on groceries?).

Current offers

  • 1-800-Flowers – spend $50+ get $15 back (exp. Sep. 30, 2014)
  • Alexis Bittar – spend $300+ get $60 back (exp. Nov. 15, 2014)
  • – spend $250+ get $50 back (exp. Nov. 20, 2014)
  • American Express Travel – 30% off select hotel bookings (book by Oct. 31, complete travel by Nov. 15, 2014)
  • Bandits’ Grill & Bar – spend $50+ get $10 back (exp. Oct. 20, 2014)
  • – spend $100+ get $20 back (exp. Sep. 30, 2014) #AmexBareNess
  • Bonobos – spend $150+ get $50 back (exp. Nov. 1, 2014)
  • Brooklyn Industries – spend $75+ get $15 back (exp. Sep. 30, 2014)
  • Carter’s – spend $25+ get $5 back (exp. Oct. 1, 2014, in-store only)
  • Cole Haan – spend $200+ get $50 back (exp. Oct. 2, 2014) #AmexColeHaan
  • The Company Store – spend $300+ get $100 back (exp. Nov. 10, 2014)
  • Courtyard by Marriott – spend $100+ get $20 back (exp. Sep. 30, 2014) #AmexCourtyard
  • Elephant Bar – spend $50+ get $10 back (exp. Sep. 30, 2014)
  • Fig & Olive – spend $100+ get $20 back (exp. Oct. 5, 2014)
  • Four Seasons Restaurant – spend $100+ get $20 back (exp. Nov. 4, 2014)
  • Gelson’s – spend $50+ get $10 back (exp. Sep. 21, 2014)
  • J. Crew – spend $100+ get $20 back (exp. Oct. 5, 2014)
  • – spend $125+ get $25 back (exp. Oct. 31, 2014)
  • – spend $150+ get $30 back (exp. Sep. 30, 2014)
  • Juan Juan Salon – spend $100+ get $20 back (exp. Nov. 27, 2014)
  • Loews Hotels & Resorts – spend $200+ get $50 back (exp. Oct. 29, 2014), possibly available via Facebook only
  • Lucille’s BBQ – spend $50+ get $10 back (exp. Oct. 31, 2014)
  • Marissa Collections – spend $1,000+ get $200 back (exp. Oct. 15, 2014) #AmexMarissa
  • Musashi Restaurant – spend $50+ get $10 back (exp. Oct. 29, 2014)
  • The Palm Restaurant – spend $200+ get $50 back (exp. Nov. 9, 2014)
  • – spend $125+ get $25 back (exp. Dec. 31, 2014)
  • – spend $50+ get $10 back (exp. Oct. 15, 2014)
  • Seasons 52 – spend $50+ get $10 back (exp. Nov. 23, 2014)
  • – spend $100+ get $15 back (exp. Sep. 30, 2014)
  • USA Today – spend $150+ get $50 back (Nov. 4, 2014)
  • Vivid Seats – $10 off a purchase of $50+, use promo code AMEX 2014 (exp. Sep. 30, 2014)
  • – spend $15+ get $5 back (exp. Nov. 30, 2014) #AmexWalmart
  • Whole Foods – spend $75+ get $10 back (exp. Sep. 30, 2014) #AmexWholeFoods
  • – spend $125+ get $50 back (exp. Oct. 12, 2014, use promo code AMEX140850)

If I missed anything please let me know. Enjoy and, as always, be sure to read the terms and conditions of all deals you participate in.

September 9 2014

Free Money, $15 Flights, and Fall Hotel Promos

Long time no post – hope everyone is well! I’m in the middle of a crazy month and have a lot of catching up to do on the travel-deals front, but here are some quick tidbits.


Free money

American Express has a nice little Sync offer for $15 off a purchase of $100+ at (Note this offer is online only.)

Amex Sync Staples

I don’t need any merchandise from Staples right now so I just bought bought a Visa gift card. The gift card has a $6.95 fee so you come out ahead by about $8. While that’s not a life-changing amount, it’s also not a bad return for 90 seconds of my time to place the order.

For a nice double dip if you are in the market for a computer, combine the Sync promo with Staples’ current offer of $150 off all laptops, desktops, and all-in-one PCs regularly priced $499+. (Use coupon code 62638; expires Sep. 13, 2014.)

Staples $150 Discount

If you find a computer that is on sale for less than $499 the coupon still works as long as the regular price is $499+. also carries third-party gift cards – Starbucks, Gap, Groupon, iTunes, and many others – so even if you don’t need anything from Staples itself this Amex deal can still be useful.

Unfortunately this is a targeted offer so there is no Twitter or Facebook registration that I know of. You’ll have to log on to your Amex account and see if you were targeted.

If you’re unfamiliar, read my primer on Amex Sync offers for details and instructions on how to use these deals.


More free money

If you have a Bank of America credit card, there is a BankAmeriDeals promotion offering 10% cash back on a purchase amount up to $125 at Staples.

Staples BofA Offer

You should find (and register for) this offer in the “Cash Back Deals” tab when logged in to your BofA account if you’re eligible.


Frontier $15 flights

Today only, Frontier Airlines has $15 fares from Denver to select destinations on select dates.

Frontier Denver

The applicable markets and dates can be found here, and I’ve also pasted them below for convenience.

Frontier Denver Fares & Dates

Do note that Frontier has fees for carry-on bags, although items fitting under the seat are free.


Hotel promotions

It’s the time of year when hotels announce their Fall promotions, so don’t forget to register!

Starwood’s More for You promo:

  • Earn double Starpoints on stays of two or more eligible nights and triple Starpoints if they include a weekend night.
  • Register by October 31, stay between September 15 and December 15, 2014.

IHG’s Into the Nights promo:

  • Has individualized offers, depending on your account history and stay patterns, but promises “at least two” free nights in addition to a number of bonus points.
  • Most offers I’ve seen are pretty compelling; mine specifically has requirements that can be fulfilled with three (cheap) stays (at Holiday Inns). I would gladly pay for three sub-$100 Holiday Inn stays (on days when I’m traveling and need hotel stays anyway) to earn two free nights (which I would use at high-end properties where rates can easily exceed $500/night).
  • Must register. Stays must be completed by December 31, 2014.

And, though it’s been out for a while, don’t forget about Hilton’s Triple Your Trip promotion which runs through October 31.


Vancouver hotels – $50 gas card per stay

Finally, beVancouver is offering a $50 gas card for Fall stays at participating hotels in Vancouver. Although not nearly as lucrative as past promotions I’ve seen from them, this is still a decent offer if you happen to need a hotel in Vancouver during the promotion period anyway.

The booking calendar goes through October 31, 2014 so I assume that is the end date of this offer.

There are many sub-$100 rates so a $50 gas card in return isn’t shabby.


Enjoy the deals, and as always please read all T&Cs carefully.