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Sunday Reader Question: Using Points at the Four Seasons Maui

Aug. 05, 2012
5 min read
Sunday Reader Question: Using Points at the Four Seasons Maui
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TPG reader Robbie asks a great question about perks and benefits at non-points hotels:

"Do you know any way to get discounts or free nights at the Four Seasons Maui? I am going for my honeymoon end of this month and would love to be able to stay at there."

There are a few different ways to get great free perks and discounts for a room like this at the Four Seasons Maui.

Great choice of hotel, Robbie, the resort looks beautiful and I bet your new wife is going to love it. The downside is that Four Seasons has no points or loyalty program, so you won't be able to use Four Seasons points to redeem for free nights. However, you do have several options available to you, though none are particularly appealing.

Capital One
Capital One points are always 1 cent per point towards travel, so using them for redemptions like Four Seasons can make a lot of sense. With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card you earn 2 points per dollar, so in essence you are redeeming for 2 cents per dollar spent on the card- which is probably your best scenario for Four Seasons redemptions.

Chase Ultimate Rewards
You can use Ultimate Rewards points from the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold to redeem at three five-star hotels on Maui - the Ritz-Carlton, the Fairmont and yes, the Four Seasons - at a value of 1.25 cents each to book stays at any of them through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

American Express
If you have been accruing Membership Rewards points with an American Express card like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, you can redeem them for a stay at this resort in a few different ways.

1) Gift cards:

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-Four Seasons $100 Gift Card: 12,000 points
-Four Seasons $250 Gift Card: 30,000 points
-Four Seasons $500 Gift Card: 60,000 points
-Four Seasons $1000 Gift Card: 120,000 points

You're using 120 points per dollar, or getting a value of about 0.833 cents - not great, but if you're strapped for cash and have a bunch of extra points, you could consider it. Especially since, for that same $465 room you'd need 60,000 points rather than 118,000 redeeming for a certificate (see below), getting nearly twice the value out of your points.

2) Free night certificates: The worst value is when you log onto the Membership Rewards site, click on Use Points, and select the Hotels option. On the left side, you'll see a choice of destinations, including Hawaii. Click on that, and the Four Seasons Maui will come up as one of the options.

It counts as a "Rejuvenate Collection" resort, so that will require a staggering 118,000 points per night! Absolutely not worth it, so use one of the other Amex redemption options.

However, since rooms at the end of August are going for $465 a night, this would be a horrible value of less than 0.4 cents per points. You can do better!

3) Pay With Points: Amex Travel gives you the option of using points to pay for rooms. In the example below, they give the option of using 68,780 points to pay for a $515 room- or .7 cents per point. Not good.

4) Fine Hotels & Resorts (Perks/discounts): If you have the Amex Platinum card, another option would be to book through Fine Hotels & Resorts, which confers extra benefits such as room upgrades, free continental breakfast, early check-in and late check-out, dining and spa credits and more upon cardholders. At this property, those extras include room upgrades, noon early check-in, daily continental breakfast for two, 4:00pm guaranteed late check-in, and a $100 food and beverage credit. So though it doesn't necessarily save you money, it does get you a lot of value-added benefits for your stay. If you don't have an Amex Platinum, get in contact with a Virtuoso travel agent who can get similar, or even better perks.

Stay at Another Amazing Hotel
The Fairmont Kea Lani is a gorgeous resort and you can get two free nights with the new Fairmont credit card. If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points you can redeem for Fairmont gift cards at 1 cent per point to cover the rest of your stay.

Not having luck using your points at the Four Seasons? Try the beautiful Fairmont Kea Lani instead.

You can also book it via Visa Signature Hotels where you'd receive perks such as an automatic room upgrade upon arrival, when available, free in-room internet or valet parking, complimentary continental breakfast daily, 3pm checkout when available and one $25 food and beverage credit.

I'd love to see Four Seasons come up with their own points loyalty program so we'd have better options than those listed above!