By Summer Hull | Published: April 6, 2018
Personal Finance Writer
Summer Hull writes the weekly “Get to the Points” column for CreditCards.com
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.
States might have the best miles- and points-earning opportunities
since we have some of the most lucrative rewards credit cards and
sign-up bonuses on the planet, but the U.S.
isn’t always where you can get the biggest bang for your points.
If you are willing to earn your points here and then use them
elsewhere where the cost of living and traveling is lower, you can have the
best of both worlds by stretching your miles and points around the globe.
Traveling within Thailand can be very affordable whether spending dollars or points, which is why nearly every budget travel guide ever written includes a section on Thailand.
For example, you
can book a private hotel room from $10 per day and stay in resorts such as the Le Meridien Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand starting at 7,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points per night. For
comparison’s sake, a similar resort somewhere like Maui would likely
cost 25,000 SPG points per night.
If you crave a bit more city action while in
Thailand, you can book the Aloft Bangkok starting at 3,000 SPG points per night and then take one of the hotel’s
free tuk tuk shuttles to the Skytrain station and be off to your next
destination in a flash.
My favorite hotel
redemption last year was the Andaz Costa Rica at a cost of just 15,000 Hyatt points per night. As a Category 4 Hyatt
property, you can even use a Category 1-4 award night that you earn each year
just by having the Hyatt Visa credit card. Most Andaz Resorts around the world
cost 20,000 to 25,000 points per night, so this one is a steal at just 15,000
points with waived resort fees on award stays.
Costa Rican resort has multiple infinity-edge pools, an included kids’ club
with indoor fort and the very best barista class you will ever take. I promise
it will change the way you drink coffee forever.
When you stay here, you also
get included access to a separate beach club. To save on meals, take the free
hotel shuttle to a place called The Dive Bar where there are rotating half-price
specials each night as well as happy-hour deals that will keep you well within your
If you have
ever wanted to visit Egypt, you are in for a points-fueled treat as it has some
beautiful resorts you can book using just a handful of hotel points.
For example, the Radisson Blu El Quseir can be booked for 15,000 Radisson Rewards points per night. That
is already an insane deal for a gorgeous beachfront resort with multiple pools,
but all rooms include not only a breakfast buffet, but also a dinner buffet!
If you would
like to use Hilton Honors points in Egypt, there are options starting at just
5,000 points per night. One Hilton property that regularly receives good
reviews is the Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian
Resort. This resort reportedly has great snorkeling
just off the beach and even an all-inclusive option.
The Marsa Alam Nubian Resort will cost you 20,000
Hilton Honors points per night, which means you can turn the 100,000-point
sign-up bonus from the Hilton Ascend AmEx into a five-night beachfront
vacation! Contrast that to some other Hilton properties at the top end of the
award chart that cost 95,000 points per night, and you can see how Egypt is a
huge value on points.
In the Dominican Republic, you can stay at the beachfront Westin Resort in Punta Cana for 10,000 Starwood points
per night, or an average of 8,000 SPG points per night if you stay five
nights. Similar Westin beachfront resorts cost a minimum of double that number
of points per night!
If you just need a place close to the airport to lay your
head for a night or two while in the Dominican Republic, you can secure the Four Points Punta Cana Village starting at 3,000 SPG points per night – and that even includes
It is truly amazing how far you can stretch
your points if you expand the limits of where you are willing to travel beyond
the borders of the United States. You will often discover that properties that
would cost 30,000 to 40,000 points per night in the U.S. are comparable to
properties that are available for just 5,000 to 10,000 points per night in some
See related: The 3 types of rewards cards you must have in your wallet, Hotel rewards: Go for free nights, not points
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