How to Book an All-Inclusive Hotel With Credit Card Rewards


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  • All-inclusive resorts are the closest thing to an actual “free” vacation you’ll find.
  • You can book all-inclusive resorts with flexible rewards or hotel loyalty points from credit cards.
  • Brands with all-inclusive resorts include Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Choice, and Wyndham.
  • Read Insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

All-inclusive hotels are something of a Caribbean phenomenon. Certainly there are all-inclusive hotels sprinkled all over the world — but they’re mostly concentrated around Mexico and the West Indies.

Reserving an all-inclusive resort with travel points is just about the nearest you actually come to booking a completely free vacation. If you’re in the U.S., you’ll likely need to fly there — though booking (nearly) free airfare is also very simple if you’ve got one of the best airline credit cards. 

If you’re craving a super-inexpensive all-you-can-eat getaway, there are two easy ways to achieve it.

Book an all-inclusive resort with any flexible rewards program

With flexible credit card rewards, you can book your hotel through a bank’s proprietary online travel portal and receive a flat redemption rate for your points. For example:

Using rewards this way is an especially good idea when rates are low, as the price you pay with points is directly died to the cash price of the room. For example, the below example shows the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun costing $236. This same room will cost:

  • 18,800 Chase points for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders (which allows you to redeem points at 1.25 cents each through the Chase Travel Portal)
  • 15,733 Chase points for Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders (which allows you to redeem points at 1.5 cents each through the Chase Travel Portal)

Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun price page



Hyatt


Another benefit of booking with points from a flexible travel credit card is the fact that you can choose from nearly any resort, and not just ones affiliated with major hotel loyalty programs. This means you can book a small boutique all-inclusive resort if you prefer. You can also book without having to worry about blackout dates or capacity controls. 

Open a credit card that earns hotel points

Plenty of major hotel brands have all-inclusive properties where you can redeem points for stays. All of these brands have their own co-branded hotel credit cards that let you book all-inclusive resorts (and other properties) directly with rewards — and some properties cost fewer points than you might assume.

You don’t even necessarily need a hotel credit card to book a stay with hotel points. Flexible rewards programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards let you transfer points instantly to various hotel programs.

Here’s a handy chart to help you understand how to earn hotel points.

Most hotel credit cards offer a healthy welcome bonus that can be enough for a few free nights, and that you can earn even more hotel points with by using your card for regular spending and bills. Some even offer a free weekend night for every account anniversary which you can use at all-inclusive properties (like the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card).

So why should you bother with hotel points? After all, simply booking through a travel portal is much more straightforward.

Let’s look at the same scenario as above — but on significantly pricier dates. Here, the rooms costs $471. By booking through the Chase Travel Portal, you’ll pay:

That’s a lot of points.

Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun price page



Hyatt


But if you had actual Hyatt points, you could reserve this hotel for just 25,000 Hyatt points per night. Instead of booking this room through the Chase Travel Portal, you could transfer 25,000 Chase points to Hyatt and save 6,400+ points per night!

Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun award price page



Hyatt


You’ll often get the best value for your rewards by booking your stay with hotel points. Just remember to check the price of all-inclusive properties you’re considering through each brand’s travel portal before you transfer your points.

Examples of all-inclusive resorts you can book with hotel points include:

It’s worth noting that Hyatt is in the process of adding more than 100 all-inclusive hotels to its portfolio around the Caribbean, Europe, and Central America. 58 properties will be added by May 9, 2022, with the rest coming soon. This move makes Hyatt points the undisputed most valuable rewards currency for booking all-inclusive resorts.

Bottom line

Attaining an all-inclusive vacation for nearly free has never been as easy as it is in 2022 — again, namely because of the myriad additions from the World of Hyatt program.

By collecting either transferable points or hotel points (or both!), it’s possible to stay in tropical five-star resorts that may otherwise cost $500+ per night. Many rewards credit cards currently come with welcome bonuses sizable enough to potentially single-handedly fund your next vacation.



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