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In this hobby, your goals can be two fold. On one hand, you want to stay at the most luxurious of hotels. This is indeed possible with hotel points. However, if you’re spending a lot of time at luxurious hotels, you may often end up spending a lot at the property. Luxury hotels always charge a hefty price for a lot of food and beverages that they sell on property. If you want the best bang for your buck without spending extra, how do you go about doing it?
I find all inclusive resorts to be the ultimate hotel points deal for frugal travelers. If you’re traveling on a tight budget, you always attempt to estimate the total cost of the trip from start to finish. Even if you cover your flights and hotel with miles and points, there are other costs. You’ll spend on dining, you’ll spend on public transportation, gas or on ride share/car rentals.
However, if you use your hotel points to book all inclusive properties, you can reduce your overall trip cost by a substantial margin.
Everything on the House
The best part about all inclusive resorts is that everything is really on the house (well almost). You can always pay extra for whichever a-la-carte items you want. However, once you book your stay, you can be rest assured that you stay, your food and drink is all covered. You can easily spend over $50 on a meal for a family of 4. By using your hotel points to book all inclusive resorts, you can save close to $200 per day just in food and drink costs.
Bookable with points
If you have only a few hotel points remaining, you can really stretch their value by booking an all inclusive property. By simply using your points, you’ll cover a major chunk of your costs during your trip.
5th Night Free
While Hyatt doesn’t offer that option, other hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton help you get a 5th free night while booking on points with certain elite status levels. I’ve leveraged this option many times while using my Hilton points to book some really cool destinations like the Conrad Koh Samui, Conrad Bali and the Grand Wailea Maui. While these are not all inclusive properties, the hotels are amazing and I’d highly recommend if you happen to hold a chunk of Hilton points.
I’ve really found all inclusive resorts to be the best ‘deal’ when it comes to making sweet hotel redemptions. I’ve used points to redeem at these properties in conjunction with the 5th night free benefit. For example, the Hilton Playa Del Carmen costs 80,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
A three night stay would cost you 240,000 Hilton Honors points. However, the price of a 4 or 5 night stay would be the same, which would be 320,000 Hilton Honors points. It’s pretty easy to sign up for a Hilton co-branded credit card from American Express, get the complimentary elite status and use the 5th night free benefit.
I hate devaluations and unpredictable pricing. Among all the major hotel chains, I’m a big fan of Hyatt’s all inclusive properties. Hyatt publishes a clear chart that displays the pricing at these properties. I like the fact that there’s no peak or off peak pricing to worry about in this case.
If you sign-up for the Chase World of Hyatt Card and get the 50,000 points sign-up bonus, you’ll get a minimum of two free nights at Hyatt all-inclusive properties. That’s a value close to $1,000 in value. You can also transfer points from Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. Currently, the Ink Business Preferred is offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points. This is currently the highest sign-up bonus amongst all of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards earning cards.
The Pundit’s Mantra
If you leverage benefits like 5th night free and the elite status from credit cards, you can really stretch the value of your hotel points. Also, since food and beverage is on the house, the ultimate frugal travel can rejoice by saving money on dining (including coffee, snacks or other refreshments) as well while on the road.
Do you use hotel points frequently to redeem at all-inclusive properties? Which has been your favorite all-inclusive hotel redemption thus far? Let us know in the comments section.