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14 cities where you can book luxury hotels at budget prices

July 02, 2021
27 min read
Hyatt Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi lobby
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Luxury hotels, including Park Hyatt, St. Regis and Waldorf Astoria hotels, can cost well over $1,000 per night in some destinations. Redeeming hotel points for luxury hotel stays can undoubtedly save you some money. But award rates can also skyrocket to well over 100,000 points per night in some hotel loyalty programs.

Luckily, there are destinations where everything from drinks to hotel stays will cost less. In fact, you'll see less expensive luxury hotel rates regardless of whether you're booking with points or cash.

Today I'll introduce 14 cities where you can book luxury Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards hotels using relatively few points. For each of the hotels I mention, be sure to also consider the cash rate before redeeming points. Ideally, you should get at least TPG's valuation from your hotel points.

Now, let's get started!

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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

I loved the views from my room at the Hyatt Andaz Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and offers excellent luxury hotels bookable for relatively few points.

For example, if you want to redeem World of Hyatt points, the Category 2 Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi is an excellent choice. I loved my stay at this property in 2019 due to its unique design, great views and friendly staff. You can book this hotel for just 8,000 World of Hyatt points per night for a standard room.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

If you prefer to redeem IHG Rewards points for your stay in Abu Dhabi, you may be able to snag a good redemption at the InterContinental Abu Dhabi. IHG Rewards uses dynamic award pricing, so you'll need to check awards prices for your dates.

As an example, a four-night stay next April with a fourth night reward (a perk available to select IHG Rewards cardholders) would cost just 57,000 IHG Rewards points (effectively 14,250 points per night).

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(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Finally, if you want to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points or free night awards in Abu Dhabi, there are some excellent options, including:

  • Category 4 (20,000 to 30,000 points per night): Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi and Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort
  • Category 5 (30,000 to 40,000 points per night): The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa and W Abu Dhabi Yas Island

Plus, remember that you can get a fifth night free when redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points.

Related: My points and miles journey started with a cheap ticket to Abu Dhabi

Atlanta, United States

I grew up north of Atlanta, GA and my parents still live in the area. So, although I'm very familiar with the city, I've rarely stayed in its hotels. But after finding some appealing luxury hotels bookable for relatively few points, I may stay downtown for a few nights on a future trip.

Now that I've earned World of Hyatt Globalist status, the Category 2 Hyatt Regency Atlanta looks appealing. I can book a standard room for just 8,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

There are also plenty of luxury Marriott Category 5 hotels in Atlanta. In particular, there are 13 Category 5 hotels within five miles of the center of downtown Atlanta. Category 5 hotels cost between 30,000 and 40,000 points per night, so you'll be able to use 35,000-point Marriott free night awards for off-peak and standard nights at these hotels.

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

Finally, you can redeem IHG Rewards points at several luxury hotels in Atlanta. Award pricing will vary based on when you book and stay. But, if you want to stay in Buckhead, the Kimpton Sylvan Hotel or InterContinental Hotels Buckhead Atlanta may not cost you many IHG points. And if you want to stay by the airport, the Kimpton Overland Hotel Atlanta Airport is known for its good views of the nearby Porsche handling course and airport.

Related: American Express aims to open a brand-new Centurion Lounge in Atlanta

Bali, Indonesia

(Photo by Sutthinon Sanyakup/Getty Images)

The popular tourist destination of Bali, Indonesia, has a surprising amount of inexpensive luxury hotels. However, before redeeming points for any of these properties, check the cash rates and promotional packages as you may find you'll get better value on a paid rate.

If you want to redeem IHG Rewards points in Bali, the InterContinental Bali Resort is a great luxury choice. However, unless you stay for four nights or longer and get a fourth night reward when redeeming IHG points, you may find better value booking a paid rate.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Alternatively, you can redeem a few as 18,000 Hilton points per night at the Conrad Bali. If you want to save a few points or prefer the location, you could redeem as few as 14,000 points per night at the Hilton Bali Resort. Hilton uses dynamic pricing for its awards, though. So you'll see different pricing based on your stay dates and when you book.

(Screenshot courtesy of hilton.com)

If you want to redeem World of Hyatt points in Bali, there are plenty of luxury choices, including:

  • Category 2 (8,000 points per night): Grand Hyatt Bali, Hyatt Regency Bali and Alila Manggis
  • Category 3 (12,000 points per night): Alila Ubud
  • Category 4 (15,000 points per night): Andaz Bali

Additionally, there are plenty of luxury Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Bali. However, most of these hotels offer inexpensive cash rates. The one exception that might justify redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points or using free night awards is The Ritz-Carlton Bali. This Ritz-Carlton is Category 6, meaning you'll typically need to redeem 40,000 to 60,000 points per night. But, this property is currently on Marriott's PointSavers list.

Related: Bali delays reopening to foreign tourists following rise in COVID-19 cases

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand, is a popular budget travel destination, but you'll also find many inexpensive luxury hotels. For example, suppose you want to redeem World of Hyatt points in Bangkok. In that case, you have three Category 3 hotels to choose from: Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit or Akyra Thonglor Bangkok. All three are well-located, so you only have to decide what location and experience you prefer.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

Alternatively, if you want to redeem Hilton Honors points in Bangkok, you can book the Conrad Bangkok for just 13,000 points on select dates. However, note that Hilton uses dynamic pricing for its awards. So, as tourists return to Bangkok, I expect cash and award prices will increase at this Conrad.

(Screenshot courtesy of hilton.com)

If you'd prefer to redeem IHG Rewards points in Bangkok, the InterContinental Hotels Bangkok and Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok are appealing choices currently bookable for around 20,000 points per night on most dates. However, like Hilton, IHG Rewards uses dynamic award pricing. So, I expect the cost of award nights to increase as Thailand reopens to tourists. As such, I recommend booking potential IHG award stays now to lock in low rates.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Finally, if you want to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points in Bangkok, you have many choices. For example, you could book the Category 5 St. Regis Bangkok for 30,000 to 40,000 points per night. As such, you could use a 35,000 point free night award for off-peak or standard nights at this hotel.

Or, if you're looking to redeem fewer Marriott points for your luxury stay, consider staying at the Category 3 Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers or Le Méridien Suvarnabhumi Golf Resort & Spa. Both of these hotels cost between 15,000 and 20,000 points per night.

Related: Second Cities: Destinations to add onto a trip to Bangkok

Beijing, China

I've snagged some inexpensive cash rates in Beijing. But, if you want to redeem points, there's some good value to be found with luxury hotels. For example, if you want to redeem Hilton Honors points, you can redeem as few as 40,000 points per night to stay at the Conrad Beijing. Especially considering the 16.6% taxes and fees on cash rates and the ability to get a fifth night free as a Hilton Honors elite, redeeming points may provide great value.

(Screenshot courtesy of hilton.com)

If you have World of Hyatt points, some of the Category 2 and 3 properties in Beijing look appealing. For example, you can book the Category 2 Hyatt Regency Beijing Wangjing for just 8,000 points per night. And I've enjoyed staying in the Wangjing part of Beijing on past trips.

Or, for 4,000 more points per night, you can stay at a Category 3 property, including the Grand Hyatt Beijing, BEI Zhaolong Hotel and Commune By The Great Wall. As you might imagine from its name, the Commune By The Great Wall looks to be a beautiful escape for a few nights outside Beijing.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

And if you have Marriott Bonvoy points, there are many luxury hotels in Beijing you can book, including:

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

Finally, if you want to redeem IHG Rewards points for a luxury stay in Beijing, your best option will likely be the InterContinental Hotels Beijing Beichen. However, if you can snag award space at the Regent Beijing, you may prefer its location. And the InterContinental Hotels Beijing Sanlitun is also a good luxury choice. But, due to IHG's dynamic award pricing, rates for these hotels will vary.

Related: 8 tips for your first trip to China

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt, is high on my wish list of places to visit. After all, on top of having sites I want to see, Cairo also has many luxury hotels I can book for minimal points or cash. For example, I could redeem IHG Rewards points to stay along the Nile River at the InterContinental Cairo Semiramis. Since IHG Rewards uses dynamic award pricing, award pricing will vary. However, when I searched for a random night in December, I found a night bookable for 16,000 points.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

If you prefer to redeem Hilton Honors points for your stay in Cairo, there are two great choices. Like IHG, Hilton uses dynamic award pricing. But, you can currently book the Ramses Hilton for as few as 18,000 points per night and the Conrad Cairo for as few as 19,000 points per night.

(Screenshot courtesy of hilton.com)

You'll also have some great options if you want to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points in Cairo, including:

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

Best of all, you may be able to get a fourth or fifth night free when redeeming points with Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors or IHG Rewards for your stay in Cairo.

Related: Egypt is using new archeological discoveries to lure tourists back

Chengdu, China

Chengdu, China, is best known among U.S. tourists for its pandas. But, you can also often snag a good deal on a luxury hotel in the city. For example, if you want to redeem IHG Rewards points, you can choose from four InterContinental Hotels. And, some of these InterContinentals are bookable for a little as 19,000 points per night on some dates.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Or, if you want to redeem Hilton Honors points, check out the Waldorf Astoria Chengdu. This hotel is currently bookable for as little as 44,000 points per night on select dates.

(Screenshot courtesy of hilton.com)

If you prefer to redeem World of Hyatt points, there are two Category 2 World of Hyatt hotels in Chengdu: the Grand Hyatt Chengdu and The Langbo Chengdu. You can book a standard room at each of these hotels for just 8,000 points per night, which could be a steal on dates with high cash rates.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

Finally, there are also plenty of Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Chengdu to consider. I'd likely go for a Category 2 Marriott hotel such as the Renaissance Chengdu Hotel or the Sheraton Chengdu Lido Hotel.

But, if you're willing to spend more points or you have some Marriott free night awards, the Category 4 The Ritz-Carlton Chengdu is appealing. After all, it's rare to find a Ritz-Carlton you can book for just 20,000 points on off-peak dates.

Related: 5 apps you need on your family’s vacation to China

Chennai, India

Chennai has multiple luxury hotels that don't require a large stash of points or a massive budget. For example, you can book a standard room at the Category 1 Hyatt Regency Chennai or Park Hyatt Chennai for just 5,000 Hyatt points per night. And you can book a standard suite at both hotels for just 8,000 points per night.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

Or, if you want to redeem Hilton Honors points, you can book the Hilton Chennai for as few as 12,000 points on select dates.

(Screenshot courtesy of hilton.com)

Or, if you prefer to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points, the Category 1 Le Royal Méridien Chennai is an excellent choice. You'll only need 5,000 to 10,000 points per night at this hotel. Plus, you can get a fifth night free when you redeem points for five nights or more.

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

Finally, it's a bit outside the Chennai city center, but the InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort looks beautiful. And, it's bookable for as few as 19,000 IHG Rewards points per night on select dates. So, it could serve as a good beach retreat during a more extended trip to India.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Related: The best ways to get to India with points and miles

Doha, Qatar

Paid rates are sometimes high in Doha, but you don't have to redeem many points to stay at a luxury hotel in the city. For example, you could redeem IHG Rewards points to stay at the InterContinental Hotels Doha The City or the InterContinental Hotels Doha. Both hotels are bookable for around 30,000 points per night on various dates, although award rates will likely increase as travel demand increases.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Alternatively, you could redeem World of Hyatt points to stay at the Category 1 Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha. As a Category 1 World of Hyatt hotel, you'll only need to redeem 5,000 points per night for a standard room.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

Or you could redeem Hilton Honors points to stay at the Hilton Doha. Hilton uses dynamic award pricing, but this hotel is bookable for as few as 35,000 Hilton points on select dates.

(Screenshot courtesy of hilton.com)

Finally, there are several Category 4 and 5 Marriott Bonvoy luxury options in Doha, including:

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

Related: Battle of the five-star hotels: Watch TPG UK compare 3 of Qatar’s best Marriott properties

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, offers a surprising number of luxury hotels at excellent cash and award rates. For example, the Park Hyatt Saigon is a Category 4 hotel. So, you can book a standard room for 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night. Or, you can use Hyatt Category 1–4 reward night certificates for your stay.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

Or, if you prefer to redeem IHG Rewards points, you could stay at the InterContinental Saigon. I found some dates bookable for 20,000 points per night. But, award costs will vary based on your dates and when you book since IHG uses dynamic award pricing.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Finally, if you want to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points to stay in Ho Chi Minh City, some excellent Category 3 and 4 hotels are available. For example, you can book the Category 3 Le Méridien Saigon and Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon for 15,000 to 20,000 points per night. And you can book the Category 4 Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers for between 20,000 and 30,000 per night.

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

However, multiple Marriott hotels in Ho Chi Minh City are currently on Marriott's PointSavers list. So you may see even lower award rates.

Related: These are the best times to visit Vietnam

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is one of my favorite cities to visit -- and it certainly doesn't hurt that Istanbul has plenty of inexpensive hotels you can book with points (and in some cases, cash). For example, you can redeem 12,000 World of Hyatt points to book a standard room at the Grand Hyatt Istanbul.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

Alternatively, if you want to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points, the Category 4 W Istanbul is a great choice. Or, if you want to redeem 35,000-point free night awards, look for off-peak or standard nights at the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus or The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul (both of which are Marriott Bonvoy Category 5 properties).

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

If you prefer to redeem IHG Rewards points, you can often get more than TPG's valuation of IHG Rewards points (0.5 cents per point) at the InterContinental Istanbul. Award prices are dynamic, but many dates price around 30,000 points per night.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Finally, if you want to redeem Hilton Honors points, the Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus may be a good choice. You can book some nights for as few as 30,000 points. But, due to dynamic award pricing, you may need many more points for your stay.

(Screenshot courtesy of hilton.com)

Related: Second Cities: The best destinations to add to a trip to Istanbul

Jakarta, Indonesia

If you're looking to redeem the fewest points possible for a luxury stay in Jakarta, you'll want to focus on World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy. After all, World of Hyatt has two luxury Category 3 hotels in Jakarta. In particular, you can book a standard room at the Grand Hyatt Jakarta or the Alila SCBD Jakarta for 12,000 points per night.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

And you can book relatively inexpensive Marriott Bonvoy awards at several luxury hotels in Jakarta. For example, you'll need to redeem 15,000 to 20,000 points per night at the Category 3 JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta. Or, if you want to stay at the Category 4 Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Mega Kuningan, you'll need to redeem between 20,000 and 30,000 points per night. If you have a 35,000-point free night award, you could use it on an off-peak or standard night at the Category 5 Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Pacific Place.

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

Related: 27 stunning Indonesian islands you should visit that aren’t Bali

Mumbai, India

Mumbai, formerly called Bombay, is India's largest city. If you want to redeem World of Hyatt points for your stay in Mumbai, you could stay at the Category 2 Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel & Residences. A standard room requires 8,000 points per night, while a standard suite requires 13,000 points per night.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

If you want to redeem IHG Rewards points in Mumbai, you could stay at the InterContinental Marine Drive-Mumbai. IHG uses dynamic award pricing, but I found some dates bookable for as few as 23,000 points per night.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Finally, if you'd prefer to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points or 35,000-point free night awards, there are several luxury Category 3, 4 and 5 hotels in Mumbai, including:

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

Related: Cleared for Takeoff: Miami to Singapore and Mumbai in business class

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile, has offered some excellent rates during the pandemic. And, even once Chile reopens to tourists, I expect some great deals with remain with points even if the cash deals disappear. For example, you can redeem IHG Rewards points to stay at the InterContinental Santiago. On some dates, you can redeem as few as 23,000 points per night. But, since IHG uses dynamic award pricing, the award rate will vary based on your dates and when you book.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

Or, if you want to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points or free night awards in Santiago, there are some excellent options, including:

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

If you time your stays correctly, you can use 35,000-point Marriott free night awards at the W Santiago and 50,000-point Marriott free night awards at the Ritz-Carlton Santiago. Plus, Marriott Bonvoy members can get a fifth night free when redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points.

Related: 7 amazing hotels around the world you can book with points

Bottom line

You can book some fantastic luxury hotels for a relatively small number of points per night. And by booking these inexpensive awards, you can stretch your points budget further. You may even be able to get multiple nights in an affordable city for the cost of a single night in a more expensive destination.

However, be sure to check paid rates before redeeming points. After all, many destinations that offer inexpensive award rates also offer cheap paid rates.

If you need to earn more hotel points before making your next redemption, check out our guides to earning World of Hyatt points, earning Hilton Honors points, earning Marriott Bonvoy points and earning IHG Rewards points.

Additional reporting by Eric Rosen.

Featured image by The Hyatt Andaz Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi was a great experience. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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1 - 10X points
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

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Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more