9 Best Points Hotels in Mexico

May 24, 2019

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There was a time when it was popular to take a trip to Mexico due to low prices and favorable exchange rates, but those days are long gone. Today, you’ll find prices at Mexican resorts to to be similar to — or even higher than — what you’ll find at a coastal resort in the United States. Instead, the reason to go to Mexico is to enjoy its year-round warm weather, great beaches and fine cuisine without having to travel halfway around the world.

But that doesn’t meant you can’t find some great values at Mexican resorts, especially when you’re redeeming your points and miles. In fact, I was recently able to take an entire vacation to Cancun, using reward points to pay for all of my hotel, transportation, food and activity costs.

Since Mexico is so close to the United States, your hotel costs (in either cash or points) are likely to exceed the costs of your airfare, which is why you should start planning your Mexican vacation by finding a great hotel at which to redeem your points. Today we’ll look nine such properties that offer a great value for your rewards.

In This Post

When looking for the best deals on properties with points in Mexico, it was necessary to narrow it down from the whole country. I started with the major resort cities of Acapulco, Cancun/Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Cabo San Lucus and Puerto Vallarta. These cities have the most extensive airline service from the United States and represent the vast majority of all US tourist visits. While I did consider city locations, those properties didn’t offer nearly the same value as these prime vacation spots.

Next, I narrowed it down to the four most popular hotel loyalty programs for Americans — Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott. Across those chains, I looked at properties that you’ll actually want to stay at on vacation, so I excluded budget properties next to an airport or in urban areas far from the beach.

From there, I looked at the prices in both dollars (including mandatory taxes and fees) and points during two periods: early June and late December. These dates were chosen to represent both the high and low season in Mexico, giving you a good idea of the spread of prices available. Finally, I compared the value per point redeemed against TPG’s latest monthly valuations. The resorts that offered the greatest value relative to TPG’s valuations made the list.

Without any further ado, here are nine great spots to use points for your next vacation to Mexico, including tips on earning enough points to book them.

InterContinental Presidente Cancun Resort

InterContinental Hotels: Presidente Cancun Resort (photo courtesy of IHG)
(Photo courtesy of IHG)

Points required: 35,000 IHG Rewards Club points

Summer prices: $192 (0.55 cents per point)

Holiday prices: $548 (1.57 cents per point)

I was surprised to find that IHG Rewards Club was offering outstanding value for its points hotels in Mexico, especially over the peak holiday seasons, when you can receive 1.57 cents in value per point redeemed, over three times TPG’s current valuation of IHG points of 0.5 cents each. Even summer prices fell slightly above this value, so this can be a solid award option year-round. This resort is situated on the fantastic north-facing beaches of the northern end of Cancun’s hotel zone and made our list of family-friendly Cancun resorts at which you can redeem points.

Earning IHG points: Open the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which is currently offering a welcome bonus of 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve directly to IHG at a 1:1 ratio.

Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt Hotels)
(Photo courtesy of Hyatt Hotels)

Points required: 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night for up to two guests. 10,000 additional points for each additional child three and up.

Summer prices: $310 (1.55 cents per point)

Holiday prices: $900 (4.5 cents per point)

Hyatt Ziva is Hyatt’s family-friendly all-inclusive brand, and this location includes swim-up suites, a waterpark, seven restaurants and nightly entertainment. Like most of the hotels I looked at, you’ll get slightly less than TPG’s valuation during the low season, but here you’ll receive out-sized value for your points during the winter holidays. This property recently made our list of Los Cabos resorts for families. However, it’s unfortunate that you’ll have to pay an additional 10,000 points per child, per night, negating much of the value from this otherwise family-friendly resort.

Earning Hyatt points: Open The World of Hyatt Credit Card, which is currently offering a sign-up bonus of up to 50,000 points. Earn 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening plus an additional 25,000 points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. You can also transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

The Cape, A Thompson Hotel

(Photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy)

Points required: 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night

Summer prices: $357 (1.43 cents per point)

Holiday prices: $1,027 (4.11 cents per point)

This is a boutique hotel in Los Cabos that recently became bookable with World of Hyatt points. All rooms have private balconies overlooking the ocean, and the hotel has its own small beach and is surrounded by a picturesque rocky shoreline. If you’re traveling during high season, this can be a phenomenal use of Hyatt points. That being said, you may not actually value a night in this hotel at over $1,000, even if that’s the price that Hyatt is asking, so be sure to check other points properties to see if there’s a better option nearby.

Earning Hyatt points: The World of Hyatt Credit Card, transfers from Ultimate Rewards

Ritz-Carlton Cancun

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Points required: 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Summer prices: $396 (0.79 cents per point)

Holiday prices: $1,028 (2.06 cents per point)

While the this property received a somewhat disappointing review, it still has plenty of good things going for it, not the least of which is a strong value per point redeemed, especially during peak season. Unfortunately, the value of your points is diminished by the fact that Marriott, unlike Hyatt, imposes resort fees on award stays. However, this could be a great spot to use your free-night certificate from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, which is valid for properties up to 50,000 points per night. Or you could utilize Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express in your wallet, as that would include breakfast, a space-available room upgrade, guaranteed late checkout and an on-property amenity.

Earning Marriott points: Open a cobranded card like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, which is currently offering a limited-time bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening. You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points and American Express Membership Rewards points directly to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.

Thompson Main House in Playa del Carmen

(Photo courtesy of Thompson Beach House)
(Photo courtesy of Thompson Beach House)

Points required: 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night

Summer prices: $218 (1.82 cents per point)

Holiday prices: $473 (3.94 cents per point)

Although TPG Editor at Large Zach Honig was disappointed by his stay at the Thompson Beach House at Playa del Carmen, the chain’s “Main House” property is now available for points awards, and it’s a better deal. At just 12,000 points, it costs less than half the price of the “Beach House” property, is in the heart of Playa del Carman and still has a great rooftop pool and patio. Here, I found that you can get a terrific value award stay during the low season, and this will jump to over double TPG’s valuation during peak seasons. And since this is just a Category 3 property in the World of Hyatt program, you can use your free night certificate(s) from the World of Hyatt Credit Card here, a use that would almost certainly cover your $95 annual fee in one fell swoop.

Earning Hyatt points: The World of Hyatt Credit Card, transfers from Ultimate Rewards

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

St. Regis Punta Mita (photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Points required: 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Summer prices: $560 (0.66 cents per point)

Holiday prices: $1,634 (1.92 cents per point)

When TPG Contributor Michael Spelfogel reviewed this hotel in 2016 — when it was still under the legacy SPG program — he found it to be “one of the most sumptuous and well-maintained hotels” he had ever visited. It’s located about an hour away from the Puerto Vallarta airport, and all the rooms have a private balcony and come with St. Regis’s butler service. It’s safe to say that this would’ve been an absolute steal when top-tier, Category 8 properties were bookable for just 60,000 points per night before Marriott Bonvoy’s March category changes. Even with the higher award rate, it can still be a great value, especially for Marriott Titanium and Platinum members.

Earning Marriott points: Open a Marriott credit card, transfer points from Chase or Amex

Andaz Mayakoba

Bigger Plunge Pool
(Photo by Daniel Hank/The Points Guy)

Points required: 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night

Summer prices: $305 (1.22 cents per point)

Holiday prices: $939 (3.77 cents per point)

This stunning property is set against the lush tropical forest and waterways near the ocean outside of Playa Del Carmen, about 45 minutes from Cancun. Also stunning is its $110 resort fee, on that’s charged per night. But thankfully, you never have to pay these outrageous fees when you redeem your World of Hyatt points for award stays.

Earning Hyatt points: The World of Hyatt Credit Card, transfers from Ultimate Rewards

Hyatt Zilara Cancun

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt)
(Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

Points required: 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night for up to two guests. 12,500 additional points per night for each additional guest.

Summer prices: $402 (1.61 cents per point)

Holiday prices: $733 (2.93 cents per point)

Zilara is Hyatt’s adults-only, all-inclusive hotel brand, and this property is located in the heart of Cancun’s hotel zone. It includes six restaurants and five bars and lounges. My wife and I spent a week here over Christmas, and we most enjoyed the ocean-front dining and evening shows in the lobby’s atrium. 25,000 World of Hyatt points may seem steep, but it can get you decent value during off-season and terrific value during peak travel times.

Earning Hyatt points: The World of Hyatt Credit Card, transfers from Ultimate Rewards

Hyatt Ziva Cancun

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Points required: 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night for up to two guests. 12,500 additional points per night for each additional guest, ages three and up.

Summer prices: $344 (1.38 cents per point)

Holiday prices: $715 (2.86 cents per point)

There’s no doubt that the Hyatt Ziva Cancun is a great property for families, though you really only get superior value from redeeming points when you stay during the peak season. However, as with other Hyatt Ziva properties, Hyatt chooses to charge an amount for each child that’s equal to half the cost of an entire room, far beyond any reasonable estimation of what they might eat. So a family of four will actually pay 50,000 points a night, which may not be the best use of points.

Earning Hyatt points: The World of Hyatt Credit Card, transfers from Ultimate Rewards

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are a plethora of hotel options across Mexico that allow you to redeem points across the major loyalty programs. World of Hyatt is the clear winner here, with two-thirds of the properties on the list falling under the Hyatt umbrella of brands. And there are many other properties not on this list that could still represent a fantastic value, so be sure to research your options with Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott as you start planning your Mexican getaway.

Featured photo by Sir_Moon/Unsplash.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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