Using points to stay at all-inclusive resorts

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Personal Finance Writer
Summer Hull writes the weekly “Get to the Points” column for CreditCards.com

Get to the Points

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers.

My
husband and I recently used airline miles and hotel points to travel to the
beautiful island of St. Kitts for a Caribbean getaway, but the cost of food and
drinks while there ended up blowing our budget.

While
the trip was still great despite the high food costs, sometimes the best way to
use your points for a stress-free and budget-friendly vacation is to set your
sights on an all-inclusive destination.

At
an all-inclusive resort, you don’t have to go hungry to save money, scour the menu for the cheapest item or pass on an
activity to stick to the day’s budget. Instead, you can say yes to virtually
everything offered and still go home owing almost nothing.

As
with all hotels, the quality of all-inclusive resorts varies significantly from
property to property and brand to brand. That said, some of the all-inclusive
hotels you can book on points are truly top-notch resorts with delicious food,
top-shelf drinks, beautiful pools and more than enough activities to keep you
busy for days.

High-end all-inclusive
beach resorts by Hyatt

My
personal favorite all-inclusive resorts that you can book with points are those
within the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara
brands
.
At the Hyatt Ziva in Cancun, they have a margarita bar that serves handcrafted cocktails and offers tequila tastings, a
café that serves beachside fish tacos, a free KidZ Club with water slides and
included child care for children ages 4-12, a swim-up bar, a teppanyaki
restaurant, room service and even a fancy adults-only French restaurant called
Bastille’s. All of this is available for no additional charge beyond the points
you use to book your stay.

There
are adults-only Hyatt Zilara all-inclusive properties in Jamaica and Cancun and
family-friendly Hyatt Ziva properties in Jamaica, Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto
Vallarta. Award rates start at 20,000-25,000 Hyatt points per night for double
occupancy and children ages 3 and up will cost additional points.

If
you are running short on Hyatt points, you can transfer points into Hyatt from
the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred cards at a 1:1 ratio.

Flat rate of 15,000 Wyndham
Rewards points for all-inclusive resort

Wyndham
Rewards has one of the most interesting award charts out there since all their
properties are a flat 15,000 points per night, and this even includes their Viva family of all-inclusive resorts.

Wyndham
has a mix of adults-only and family-friendly all-inclusive beach resorts in
Mexico, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas.

Award
availability at the Wyndham Viva all-inclusive properties isn’t as consistently
good as with Hyatt, but spending a flat 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night
for two people to enjoy themselves at an all-inclusive resort is a very solid
deal. There are reports that children add a $27 cash copay per night to Wyndham
Viva stays once you go over double occupancy.

If you have your sights on a
Wyndham all-inclusive resort, you can rack up Wyndham Reward points with the
Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature card.

Use Hilton Honors
points at all-inclusive resorts around the globe

Hilton has
all-inclusive properties
 that can be booked using Hilton Honors points not only in
the familiar spots of Costa Rica, Jamaica and Mexico, but also in Egypt and
Turkey!

If you want to try something new, you can seriously stretch your Hilton
points at the all-inclusive Hilton Hurghada Long Beach
Resort

in Egypt that boasts six pools, four restaurants and 12 bars for just 10,000
Hilton Honors points per night. At that rate, the initial sign-up bonus of 75,000 points from the new Hilton Honors Ascend card from American Express would last a long time.

A
little closer to home, the Hilton Rose Hall,
an
all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, sits on the grounds of an 18th century sugar plantation and has Jamaica’s largest water park for 70,000 Hilton
Honors points per night. At this property, children 5 and under are free, those
ages 6-14 are an additional $75 per night, and those 15 and older should be
registered as adults.

Using
your hotel points to stay at all-inclusive resorts is a perfect way to not only
reduce your vacation expenses, but virtually wipe them out so you can focus on
fun instead of the bill.

See related: 8 ways to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, AmEx Hilton cards debut with 100,000-point sign-up bonus, Redeeming miles, points for a ‘free’ spring break trip




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