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How we used credit card points to book a luxurious $7,000 Hyatt all-inclusive vacation – including airfare

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I am so excited to share this new award booking with you. We will be staying at another Hyatt all-inclusive property, we won’t have to worry about our meals, airport transportation, activities….plus, I was able to book this trip and got us free airfare as well. Total value? Over $7,000 worth – and you know very well we didn’t pay that amount. All points of course!!!

It was just recently when we booked a two-night stay at Hyatt’s luxurious property  – Ventana Big Sur, located in Northern California. The booking was worth close to $6,000, and of course, we did not pay anything close to that amount. Instead, we used our points earned with our credit cards for that stay. Here’s what I wrote:

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

That booking at Ventana Big Sur is scheduled much later before the end of 2020. So this still leaves us with no vacation or getaway or staycation plans for the next couple of months. Due to the pandemic, we slowed down our travels. We’ve done a few short getaways in California:

  • a weekend in Manhattan Beach
  • a few days in Cambria (California’s Central Coast),
  • a staycation in Anaheim where we rented a beautiful six-bedroom house with a pool

REVIEW: Oceanpoint Ranch, a charming Schitt’s Creek seaside getaway in Cambria, California’s Central Coast

Cambria’s Leffingwell Landing

We’re not accustomed to traveling locally or spending our vacations stateside, but this is what we chose for now. We’re reserving our international travels for 2021, hoping that the pandemic crisis continues to improve.

Meanwhile, my wife had been inquiring about the all-inclusive resorts in Austin and Tucson. She heard of a great deal and wanted me to look into it. As luck would have it, my travel buddies, Drew and Derrick, made recent bookings at these resorts. That became my kicker. I wanted to see if I could do the same.

What’s the deal

  • World of Hyatt (WOH) – Miraval resorts Buy One Night, Get One Night Free sale
    • Miraval Austin, Texas
    • Miraval Tucson, Arizona
    • Miraval Berkshires, Massachussetts,
  • These are all-inclusive, luxurious wellness resorts 
    • Including daily wellness activities
    • All meals and non-alcoholic drinks included
  • Free shuttle to/from the airport to the resort (no need to rent a car)
  • Each night costs 65,000 World of Hyatt Points, you get the 2nd night free
  • Each guest gets $175 resort credit per night that is booked
    • That’s $350 resort credit for the two of us per each night that we book
    • Could be used for the spa or classes that are not part of the all-inclusive
  • BOGO Promo valid dates: Stay between July 15 and December 31, 2020
  • Stay before October 8, World of Hyatt Credit cardholders also get 25% points credit

There were just way too many buzzwords with those bullet points that were too hard to pass up. Nancy and I have only done all-inclusive once or twice in our lives. These properties tend to be pricey, anything linked with Hyatt tends to be top-notch. We spent a few days at the Andaz Costa Rica (right before the pandemic), had a great stay, but the dining and activities were not included – they were quite pricey.

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

Andaz Costa Rica

So to book a stay at an all-inclusive luxurious wellness resort, where we don’t have to worry about meals, and activities, and will include all of the bells and whistles mentioned above, three words come to mind. SIGN US UP!

Which Miraval Resort to choose

I eliminated the idea of going to Massachusetts for the Berkshires property – there was no availability with our dates of choice (anything before October 8th). So it was a toss up between Miraval Austin and Miraval Tucson. From what I’ve read, you just can’t go wrong with any of the Miraval properties. My buddy, Derrick booked in Austin, Drew booked in Tucson. I checked with 10xTravel  group, and asked for tips, suggestions, preference between the two. One of the respected travel experts, Travis C. A., replied to my post and he said:

I’ve been to both, and personally would choose Austin over Tucson. What I would consider is the experience you’re after. I feel like Tucson is a wellness resort that is luxurious, whereas Austin is a luxury resort with a wellness component. It is a nuanced difference, but does create a different atmosphere between the two.
MIraval Tucson. Image courtesy of Five Star Alliance.
If you’re looking for a real wellness retreat, head to Tucson. If you’re just looking for a luxurious all-inclusive retreat with some wellness components to it (but not the driving factor), head to Austin.
Personally, I preferred Austin over Tucson. I wouldn’t worry too much about the location, as you’ll likely just stay on the resort at either one.The rooms at Austin are much more luxurious than the ones in Tucson, but it has also been renovated more recently.
Image courtesy of US Travel News
That being said, I felt like the desert scenery at Tucson was much nicer, but I also lived in Austin for 5 years so that may just be driven by familiarity. Both are beautiful resorts, so choose based on the experience you’re seeking.
I then looked at pictures of both properties, and I admit, I’m a sucker for infinity pools with a view, and the Miraval Austin has an infinity pool with a dreamy view. I was drawn to the lakeview, and the lush greeneries. So Nancy and I decided to go with Miraval Austin.
Infinity Pool at Miraval Austin. Image courtesy of CN Traveler.

How much does it usually cost to stay at the Miraval using points or cash

A standard room usually costs 45,000 points per night over $1,000 per night. That is the charge for one guest. With an additional guest, it’s another 20,000 points extra per night. But remember, this is an all-inclusive rate. Here’s where it gets exciting. With this promotion, this is how the breakdown looks.

Breakdown of our 4 nights

BOGO and 25% credit

Our entire visit was valued at $6,639.15. With the promo, each night with two guests in a Standard Room costs 65,000. Each booked or paid night gets your $350 (or, $175 per person) resort credit that can be used for massages, classes, etc. The 2nd night is FREE as shown above. We decided to go for 4 nights, so we only had to pay for 2 nights since the other 2 nights are booked for free. With 4 nights, that also gets us a total of $700 resort credit. So for this booking worth $6639, all we used were 130,000 World of Hyatt points (65,000 x 2). 

Image courtesy of US Travel News

Plus, with World of Hyatt’s (WOH) current promotion of 25% points credit for WOH credit card holders for stays through October 8, 2020. We timed it perfectly. We will visit in September (part of the promo period). Therefore, we we will be getting 25% of our 130,000 points credited back to us = 32,500 points credit. This makes our booking only at 97,500 World of Hyatt points.

If you are not a World of Hyatt credit cardholder, but you are a WOH member, you will still get 15% credit.

How did I book?

I did not call World of Hyatt customer service. I called Miraval Resorts directly and booked with them. It was so smooth. Laura, the Miraval rep assisted me and gave me the dates I was looking for me. Remember to call Miraval Resorts at 855-234-1672.

Image courtesy of Miraval Austin

Free airfare worth nearly $500? How?

Well, there’s a perk with American Express Platinum or American Express Business Platinum where we were able to use our airline credit to purchase airline gift cards. At the time, I was able to apply my $200 airline credit with gift card purchases. Not sure this perk works in purchasing gift cards anymore, but we have all of these Southwest Airlines Gift Cards that I was finally able to use for this upcoming trip.


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

So the question, how does one earn 65,000 Hyatt points to get two nights here for free? 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.

World of Hyatt Visa

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.

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 very close enough to get you  up two (4) free nights at Miraval Resorts. How? You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your Hyatt account, and the transfer, in my experience is instantaneous.
Image courtesy of Chase

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 Miraval Resorts, getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns you 50,000 bonus points. Remember, a night a Miraval starts at 45,000 points for 1 person. So you have just about enough for one night with your 65,000 bonus points for 2 people.
Image courtesy of Chase

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.
Image courtesy of Chase

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.

I hope this helps you if you were planning on doing the same. Any questions, join me and my Facebook travel page, and feel free to ask there.

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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