How we booked two (2) FREE nights at Hyatt’s all-inclusive, luxurious, California coastal resort, Ventana Big Sur worth over $5,000

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That’s right. We pulled the trigger. My wife’s s been bugging me to book a stay at Hyatt’s luxurious all-inclusive luxurious coastal property – Ventana Big Sur in Northern California. It’s for adults only – no kids allowed. Standard King bedrooms start at $1,000 up to $2500 per night, and we will be there for two (2) nights (valued at over $5,000).
So let’s get going. We will cover:
  • About Ventana Big Sur
  • How much did it cost to book this stay?
  • How did I book this stay?
  • What credit cards could get you points to stay in a place like Ventana Big Sur?

What’s so special with Ventana Big Sur

It’s all-inclusive, and the list is crazy generous according the Ventana Big Sur’s website:
  • Dining in-room (all meals), poolside on your dedicated chaise lounge (lunch), or at The Sur House (breakfast and dinner).
  • Convenient, healthy, and inspiring snacks to take on the day’s adventures, along with complimentary keepsake reusable water bottles.
  • The Ventana Big Sur picnic program.
  • Access to indoor and outdoor fitness studios. Volvo chauffeur service within a three-mile radius.
  • The Excursion Outpost, featuring complimentary items for your use on picnics, hikes, and more.

Early in 2020, my family stayed at another Hyatt property – the Andaz Costa Rica Papagayo Peninsula. Why did I bring this up? It’s a high end resort, and while we stayed there for free using points, the stay did not come with free food. So to book a stay at Ventana Big Sur, where we do not have to worry about ALL our meals…sign me up, please!!!

Review: Andaz Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo & how we stayed here for FREE

How much did it cost to book this stay

Depending on the date you choose to stay, a visit at Ventana Big Sur could set you back as low as $1,000 per night up to $2,500 per night. For our stay, it’s valued at $5,600 for two nights. Insane.

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But, you all know better that I did not pay anything close $5,000. Of course, I used my points.

How can you book this for FREE

I use the word FREE quite loosely with all of my travel deal bookings. Whenever I say FREE, it means, it was cashless. All I had to use were points earned with credit cards. But not just any credit card. A night at Ventana Big Sur using points starts at 30,000 points.

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How to book this stay

World of Hyatt Points – If you have enough points, at least 30,000 Hyatt point sitting in your Hyatt account, you could book at least one (1) night at Ventana Big Sur. If you have 60K or more, then the more nights you could book.

Chase Ultimate Reward Points – If you DON’T have any points in your Hyatt account, you can easily transfer points from your Chase credit card directly to Hyatt (we will cover the ones with this benefit below). You can do this online or over the phone with a Chase rep, and in my experience, the transfer was quick….as in within that same minute. YMMV.

Image courtesy of AAA

What credit cards could you use to book a stay at Ventana?

So the question, how does earn 60,000 Hyatt points? You don’t have to be a frequent traveler to earn these points. In my case, it’s all about having the right set of credit cards. The following credit cards could make this easily possible:

World of Hyatt Credit Card

For the ones who are not that familiar with how to earn these points, one quick easy way of earning Hyatt points is by applying for a World of Hyatt credit card – this gets you 50,000 bonus points, you do have an annual fee of $95…..but look, if and when used wisely, the card bonus points could get you one night at this property valued up to $2500, or if you keep earning points up to 60,000, you just turned your $95 annual fee and get yourself a stay at an all-inclusive luxurious property for up to $5,000 value. This is the card that could make this $5000 value stay so easily attainable by simply using bonus points that you’ve earned.

What’s the catch:

To get the 50,000 sign-up bonus:
  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points – after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.same page link to offer details reference*
  • Earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening
  • Annual Fee – $95

What else do you get once you meet the requirements

1 free night every year

  • Receive one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your cardmember anniversary.

Plus, 1 additional free night

  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year.
You can apply as an individual, or if you and your significant other applies as well, you both have the opportunity of easily getting 100K bonus points. Click here to apply for a World of Hyatt credit card or to obtain more information.

How to book using World of Hyatt points

If you have enough points with Hyatt, you can book everything online at Hyatt.com, or you could call 1-888-591-1234 and book your stay with a World of Hyatt agent
Image courtesy of Hyatt Ventana Big Sur

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the perfect starter credit card. This card alone, and its sign-up bonus points of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards are enough to get you two (2) free nights at Ventana Big Sur. How? You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your Hyatt account, and the transfer, in my experience is instantaneous.

What’s the catch

To get your 60,000 sign-up bonus with Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Annual fee is $95
If you have enough points to book a stay, you could transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to your Hyatt account. It is a 1:1 transfer ratio. You can do this yourself online or by calling Chase directly and have them transfer your points for you.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

This is the creme de la creme of Chase’s suite of credit cards. If we’re talking specifically of booking Ventana Big Sur, getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns you 50,000 bonus points. Remember, a night a Ventana Big Sur starts at 30,000 points. So you have just about enough for one night with your 50,000 bonus points.

What’s the catch

To get your 50,000 sign-up bonus:
  • Spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Annual fee is $550
If you have enough points to book a stay, you could transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to your Hyatt account. It is a 1:1 transfer ratio. You can do this yourself online or by calling Chase directly and have them transfer your points for you.
Can’t decide between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve? Here’s an article I wrote over 2 years ago, that I think is still pretty timely, some links might be outdated, but the general idea is still relevant.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

This is Chase credit card has no Annual Fee –  Chase Freedom Unlimited. This card gets you 1.5x for every dollar that you spend. This would be great card to use when the purchase would normally earn you 1x per dollar, instead you get 1.5x.

How to earn $200 cash back with Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • Spend $500 in the first three months the account is open.
  • Annual fee = $0
  • In addition, there is a current offer where you will earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. (offer is subject to change without notice)

The catch with this card? The points you earn are Ultimate Reward points. With these point, you can use the Chase Travel Portal and book. HOWEVER, you CANNOT transfer your points to a travel partner such as Hyatt. So, is there a workaround? Yes. If you carry a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer your points from your Chase Freedom Unlimited to your Sapphire and then be able to transfer to a travel partner.

Other cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards are Chase Ink Business Preferred, the Chase Ink Unlimited, the Chase Ink Cash. Those are all excellent cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Final tip

If and when you are ready to book a stay at the Hyatt, I highly suggest calling Hyatt customer directly. They have access to the entire calendar and available dates, this was you are not having to go in blindly.

Good luck, and let me know if you are able to book this property.

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Image courtesy of Hyatt
Author: Jason

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