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Aruba opening to tourists from the US, Canada and Europe in July

June 11, 2020
5 min read
Aruba opening to tourists from the US, Canada and Europe in July
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At TPG, we paused traveling to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Local and federal governments around the globe are now debating the appropriate levels of isolation and distancing. Before booking that next trip, we recommend you talk to your doctor, follow health officials' guidance and research local travel restrictions. TPG is continuing to publish deals, reviews and general travel news to inform and prepare you for that trip, whether it is next month or next year.

Eager for some fun in the sun? Aruba just confirmed plans to begin opening its borders on June 15, with U.S., Canadian and European passport holders permitted to enter beginning in July. The island will begin welcoming tourists as follows:

  • June 15: Bonaire, Curacao
  • July 1: Canada, Europe, Caribbean (excluding DR and Haiti)
  • July 10: United States

According to the island's announcement, "Official opening dates for other markets, including South America and Central America, have yet to be determined... but hopefully soon!"

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Aruba is encouraging travelers to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival. According to authorities, "All travelers not showing documentation indicating a negative PCR test result prior to travel to Aruba as a part of the ED card process, will receive a mandatory PCR test at the Airport when arriving in Aruba, at the visitor’s expense, followed by a mandatory 24-hour quarantine at the travelers’ accommodations while test results are assessed."

Additionally, visitors showing evidence of a negative test will undergo a temperature check upon arrival, and all visitors will be required to a mask during their flight to Aruba, though masks are optional on the ground.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Aruba, and I'm eager to return. In fact, my very last international trip was to the island, just a couple of weeks before lockdown began. On both of my visits, I stayed at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino — my go-to, since guests get access to Marriott’s private island, a short (and free) boat trip away.

The Renaissance has confirmed that it'll open to guests on June 30, so the property should have some time to work out any last-minute kinks before Americans begin to return on July 10. The resort is rolling out a number of new procedures, including check-in through the Bonvoy app, adding hand sanitizer throughout the resort, requiring social distancing in all public areas, limiting Renaissance Island boats to 10 guests and more.

Award nights are available starting at 45,000 points, worth $360 based on TPG's valuations, but paid rates may be the better bet, starting at $237, or just under $300 per night after taxes and fees. The hotel is also offering pre-purchased vouchers with a 25% bonus until June 30, valid for two years and refundable anytime before Dec. 31, 2020 without penalty. Additionally, guests who book using promotional code "SUM" (excluding stays between 12/25 and 12/31) will receive a $30 discount per night, intended to cover a $15 per-person-per-day COVID insurance charge reportedly required by the island.

Aruba visitors can choose from a number of other points hotel options, too, including the Hyatt Regency, starting at 25,000 points (worth $425), or $336 ($425 after tax) per night; the Hilton, starting at 78,000 points (worth $468), or $274 ($349 after tax); and The Ritz-Carlton, starting at 85,000 points (worth $680), or $460 ($582 after tax); among others.

Related: Review Hyatt Regency Aruba

Flights are a bit of a different story, though. While it's always possible carriers will soon choose to add more options, given that the island has confirmed an opening date, as of now, nonstop flights are limited — and, in several cases, very expensive. For example, the least expensive nonstop flight from New York City on the day after Americans are welcome, operated by JetBlue, will run you $668 or 48,000 points (plus $85) round-trip.

Screenshot courtesy JetBlue.

There are far more affordable opening-day options from other cities, though, including Fort Lauderdale (FLL), with $199 round-trips operated by Spirit.

I'm glad to see Aruba including a requirement for visitors to provide a negative COVID-19 test or undergo a test upon arrival, rather than the open-border approach we've seen in some other countries, such as The Maldives. Meanwhile, if you're looking for somewhere else to go, check out our country-by-country Caribbean guide for more on when your destination of choice plans to welcome guests.

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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.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
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Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees