A villa on top of clear blue ocean water off an idyllic island is a dream-like destination that would seemingly satisfy almost anyone’s tropical daydream. While most will wake up from that dream and think “someday”, those who collect miles and points think, “When?”. On this week’s show, we talk about how now (or soon anyway) might be the time to hop on a deal for that ideal exotic getaway — as well as the higher end options you might consider and how to get there. Watch, listen, or read on for more posts about booking that trip to the Maldives, stacking Hyatt promotions for outsized value, how you can leverage bank bonuses for more points in your pocket, and more.
- 3:02 What crazy thing….did Marriott do? They began taking bookings for a Category 5 resort in the Maldives!
- 4:55 Mattress running the numbers: Stacking Hyatt promos and milestone benefits
- 14:22 Main Event: So you want to stay in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives?
- 56:31 Question of the Week: Is a big credit line going to prevent me from getting other cards?
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This week at Frequent Miler
The Maldives on points
Before Greg took a dive into this, I wouldn’t have expected that points could book you into an overwater villa as a standard room at several Marriott properties in the Maldives. While the St. Regis Maldives has long had near-mythical status, it might not be the property I’d pick knowing what I now know from this post (and given that pic of the standard overwater villa at the JW Marriott!). It’s worth adding to Greg’s work here that if you do want to stay at one of the properties where you can’t book into am overwater villa or use a suite night award to upgrade to one, many of these hotels have standard cash upgrade prices you can pay (Flyertalk is typically a good resource to find the going rate for an upgrade if you reach out to the hotel in advance of arrival).
I’m very intrigued by this Le Meridien Maldives. As I said on this week’s show, I’m not yet convinced I’d choose it for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Maldives because I’d want to know the condition of the reef and because the overwater villas lack the deck pool that is standard on others. But on the other hand, I can’t stop thinking about the great value to be had. If you like the idea of an extended stay in paradise and you’ll be traveling during a peak period, a 7-night travel package certainly might make sense. I find that type of package particularly interesting here since, as pointed out on the podcast, you could walk away with enough miles to fly round trip and spend a week in the Maldives by picking the right partner.
In Hyatt and Hilton hotel points and promos
In a continued effort to have updated and method-based point values for the currencies we collect, Greg next takes a look at the value of Hilton Honors points. While I have often redeemed Hilton points for solid value overseas, I have consistently struggled to find decent uses for the points domestically outside of special event periods. Greg’s findings support my anecdotal experience (or vice versa?): Hilton points are typically worth even less than half a cent. However, I think Greg missed a key scenario when he asserted that buying Hilton points presents such little chance of using them for more value: those who redeem in 5-night increments will probably find it quite easy to come out ahead with purchased points given the 5th night is free on award stays.
Hyatt points are worth more than Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Does that make sense? Of course it does — to me, anyway. We have long known that you can get outsized value out of Hyatt. Of course, Hyatt’s footprint won’t work for everyone at all times, but when it works for you, it can be a fantastic value. Greg’s analysis proves what many of us have long known. While Chase Ultimate Rewards points can reasonably get you 1.5c per point or more, those who are able to make use of transfer partner Hyatt can expect even better value toward hotel stays.
I’m including this quick deal post because it was a point of discussion on this week’s Frequent Miler on the Air for our Mattress Running the Numbers segment. The stacking American and Hyatt points along with the current new bonus journeys promo (don’t forget to register right now) can make this a great deal. If you’re able to also trigger a milestone reward, it can get even better. Even those of us at 60-night Globalist status might give these stacking promos a look for the chance to pick up some extra suite upgrade awards (more on that on the show).
I’ve come to enjoy the hunt for bank bonuses almost as much as the thrill of big bonus categories and credit card welcome bonuses. I feel like the low-hanging fruit of a bank bonus is hard to ignore just for the allure of easy money, but another attraction is the ability to put them to work by purchasing points that can be leveraged for even more value. In fact, just this week, I put some of my bank bonus money to work by purchasing Wyndham points on sale that we intend to use for a vacation rental later this year through Vacasa.
In credit cards and resources
There is no time like the present — and my goodness what presents are coming our way in the present moment with continued incredible credit card bonuses. While I’ve seen the sentiment that “I’m not traveling right now, so I don’t need points” in some settings, I just think that anyone missing out on the current huge offers is missing the point(s). The time to collect for the future is now as I can’t imagine we’ll continue to see offers of the same magnitude if and when life returns to normal. In this post, Greg highlights the current crop that’s ripe for harvest.
This resource post is your guide to all of the potential advantages that American Airlines AAdvantage has to offer.
Chase Ink cards have now picked up the home improvement store category. While I find the 1.25c value on those cards much less compelling than the 1.5c per point rate on the Sapphire Reserve. However, if you have a ton of points on your hands and there are things you need more than travel right now, being able to access the 1.25c redemption at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s is an improvement indeed. Between the hardware you need and plastic on the rack that you can use elsewhere, you could meet almost any need.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Be sure to also check out this week’s last chance deals.