Using Groupon Getaways for Cheaper Travel

I enjoy using Groupon for buying discounted activities, like dinner or tickets to a show. It’s a great way to double or even triple dip with very little effort, when using a shopping portal. One part of Groupon that has interested me is their “Getaways.” Groupon Getaways offers some very nice vacation packages, such as: All-Inclusive Resorts, trips to Europe, some of these packages include airfare and meals as well. But is it worth it?

I started looking at different Getaways and found some really awesome looking vacations:

Groupon has list the” “value” of the trip, what Groupon is charging and the discount you are receiving. But is it really as good as it sounds?

Too much snow out my front door!!!
Too much snow out my front door!!!

Since it is currently snowing where I am at, I decided to look at a few All-Inclusive Resorts where they have probably never seen snow.

5 Night All-Inclusive Stay at Flamingo Cancun Resort

  • For this example, I used dates 4/17-4/22, for a 5 night stay. For airfare, all flights would be flown out of Boston to keep everything equal.
I bet there is no snow there!
I bet Mexico has NO snow!

Booking with Groupon:
Groupon list this starting at $669 per person, depending on dates and where you fly from. Boston was listed and I thought Option 6 was a pretty good deal at $769 per person. For 2 people this trip totals $1538.

To make sure you are saving the most, use a shopping portal! TopCashBack offers up to 10%  cash back on Groupon Getaways. So you would save an extra $153.80 using that portal! So that would bring the cost to $1384.20 total!

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 5.22.29 PM
Seems like a good deal, right?

How does Groupon Getaways compare against Orbitz or directly through the Resort?

Booking with Orbitz:
Using the same dates 4/17-4/22, Orbitz total for 2 people is $1486.23.

The best Cash back portal for this trip is TopCashBack, where you earn 4% cash back. Saving you an extra $59.45. Bringing the total cost to $1426.78. Booking through Orbitz, you’d also receive $30 credit to swim with dolphins.

You would also earn 14.86 in Orbucks that you could use for a future hotel stay.

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Orbitz cost more than Groupon for the same trip!

 Booking Directly with Resort:

Now the previous 2 packages included airfare, this does not include that, so we will have to find flights as well. I again used the same dates of 4/17-4/22 for this trip.

The cost for 2 people is $820.

We still need to include airfare
We still need to include airfare

I used Google Flights to do a quick search and I excluded low cost airlines like Spirit Airlines.

Cost for 2 people
Cost for 2 people

Total cost for Airfare and Resort is $2,014.70. This is far more expensive than using either Groupon of Orbitz! As far as using shopping portals, you don’t have options here.

You could book with your cash/points earning credit card, but you could also do that with the other options as well.

In this example, Groupon was much lower in cost compared to Orbitz and the Resort!

4 to 7 Night All-Inclusive Jolly Beach Resort and Spa in Antigua:

  • For this example I chose a 4 night stay. I used dates 4/18-4/23. This is strictly for the resort stay, no airfare included.
Looks good to me!
Looks good to me!

Booking through Groupon:
Groupon list this starting at $799 per person on their page, but when you look, option 5 at $699 appears. The total cost for 2 people is $1398.

Remember, TopCashBack offers up to 10% cash back on Groupon Getaways. Earning you $139.80 back, brining total cost to $1258.20 for 2 people.

$699 for 4 days in paradise, yes please!
$699 for 4 days in paradise, yes please!

Booking with Orbitz:
Orbitz currently is offering 15% off select hotels using promo code TRAVELHAPPY and fortunately this resort was on the list! The total cost for 2 people is $1413.75 for the same dates and same resort.

Using TopCashBack, you could earn 2% or 7% back. Their terms say if used with a promo code you would receive 2% back, but some people have received 7% as well. If you received 2% back, you’d earn $28.28 back, bringing total cost down to $1385.47. If you were to receive 7% cash back, you would receive $98.96 cash back, bringing total cost to $1313.79.

You would also earn $42.41in Orbucks, which you could use for a future hotel stay.

Lots of promo codes for this deal!
Lots of promo codes for this deal! But still more than Groupon!

Booking Directly through Resort:
If you book directly though the resort, you will receive a 30% discount! Sounds good right? Except it will still cost you more than the Groupon or Orbitz! For 2 people, using the same dates 4/18-4/23, it will cost $1681.40

More expensive to book directly through resort!
More expensive to book directly through resort!

Again, Groupon was the lowest cost out of all the options, while the resort was the most expensive. Using your points/cash back card, could yield you more savings.

Credit Card Consideration:

Barclay Representative from Barclay Travel Community Forum
Barclay Representative from Barclay Travel Community Forum

If you have the Barclay Arrival, you will not be able to book through Groupon and redeem for a travel statement credit. You can use your Barclay Arrival for travel statement credit when booking through Orbitz or directly through the resort.

If you planned to use your Arrival miles, using Orbitz would be a much better option since you could redeem your miles for that charge.

I would expect Capital One to have the same issue Groupon is listed as “Non-Travel.”

You could cash in your precious Ultimate Reward or Membership Reward points for 1 cent per point. I would not recommend doing this. You can find much better uses for them!

If you were planning on booking a Groupon Getaway with a cash back credit card, I would go with the Citi Double Cash, it will earn you 2% cash back on the transaction. If you use it in conjunction with a shopping portal, you could save yourself some serious cash!

Conclusion:
In the 2 examples, Groupon was the cheapest option for the same trip. That doesn’t mean it will always occur that way. It is important to look at different sites to make sure you are getting the best deal. Groupon Getaways could be a great way to travel for less on your wallet!

If you are a cash back person, then Groupon Getaways should be considered when looking for a vacation! If you are more of a points/miles person, Groupon Getways might not be the best option for redeeming miles.

If you are looking to book with your Barclay Arrival, using Groupon Getaways would not be the best idea, because you won’t be able to redeem at full value (you’d redeem at half value).

Would you use Groupon Getways to book a vacation?

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