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Having just asked our TPG Lounge audience to share their favorite flight redemptions a few weeks ago, we were curious about the best hotel redemptions they’d been able to score in 2018. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).
The Best Trip Ever, All on Points and Miles
Many TPG Lounge members were savvy enough to use a combination of airline miles and hotel points to plan the ultimate getaway, whether it was an epic trip to the South Pacific or a memorable wedding and mini-moon in Hawaii.
“Just booked the Maldives for November 2019 — I’m very happy I started following The Points Guy years ago! It’s over $60,000 in cash equivalency and my wife and I are out a grand total of $500. [We spent] 200,000 Delta SkyMiles [to fly in] Air France business class, 120,000 AAdvantage miles [to fly in a] QSuite double bed on the way back and 240,000 SPG points for five nights at the W Maldives.” — Mike M.
“240,000 Marriott Rewards points for five nights at Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai; 85,000 United miles for Swiss business class from Los Angeles (LAX) to Chicago-O’Hare (ZRH) to Zurich (ZRH) to Dubai (DXB); and 85,000 United miles for Ethiopian Air business class from Dubai to Chicago to Los Angeles over Valentine’s Day. I booked it in August 2018, when all activities were included with points redemptions and have fortunately received written confirmation from the property that full board and daily activities will be included [Marriott has also confirmed this with TPG].“ — Gary W.
“40,000 SPG points (pre-merger) for four nights in a 450-square-foot King room at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place. I was upgraded to a 1,600-square-foot River View Suite — 10,000/night? not bad! — and for the flight, used Alaska’s $99 companion fare for my wife’s ticket.” — Jason L.
“125,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for five nights at Hilton Hawaiian Village (two oceanfront) and three at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa for my wedding in Oahu and mini-moon in Kauai.” — Timothy O.
“Conrad Maldives for 380,000 Hilton Honors points and 140,000 miles for [a round-trip flight] from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Doha (DOH) to the Maldives (MLE) in QSuites.” — Deana D.
“180,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for an eight-day trip to Tahiti for two, including flights, hotels, activities and staying in an overwater bungalow. We took advantage of United’s new route from San Francisco (SFO) to Papeete and got the flights individually with points, which [would have been] roughly $490 each round-trip. We’re staying one night in Papeete, five days at the Intercontinental Resort and Spa Moorea — which I got as a deal staying in a standard room since we will be out and about during the day — and finishing the trip with two nights in an overwater bungalow at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa.” — Alan B.
“Palm Beach to New York City last-minute at 7,500 miles each way on Delta. Then 20,000 Hilton Honors points for a room each night in Manhattan!” — Jay C.
“48,000 SPG points for five nights at The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler over New Year’s Eve. Also 50,000 Alaska miles for Cathay Pacific business class from Shanghai (SHA) to Hong Kong (HKG) to Seattle (SEA).” — Allen C.
“Southwest Florida to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, in first class with AAdvantage miles on JAL before they increased their mileage requirements. Stayed four nights free [thanks to the] sign-up bonus from The World of Hyatt Credit Card at the amazing Grand Hyatt Hong Kong on Victoria Harbour. It was during Chinese New Year and we had front row seats to the fireworks show from our room! Working on the best use of our points for a spring trip in first or business class to Hawaii.” — Michele F.S.
Saving Money With Marriott and Hilton
From cushy Conrad properties in Cartagena and the Maldives to luxury collection hotels in Boston, our TPG Lounge readers definitely know how to put their Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors points to good use.
“The Liberty, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Boston. 60,000 points a night but we were upgraded due to status and the whole stay was mind-blowing.” — Rachel M.
“A 1,000-square-foot one bedroom suite at Conrad Cartagena for six nights over Christmas for less than 350,000 Hilton points (not an upgrade).” — Michael K.
“Seven beautiful days at the Conrad Maldives in the spa villa.” — Laurel C.
“600,000 Hilton Honors points for nine days in London, two nights in Paris and three nights in Amsterdam.” — Frank A.
“40,000 Hilton Honors points for Patriots tickets and field passes via Hilton Experiences!” — Kevin B.
High Times at the Hyatt
Several TPG Lounge readers wrote in with stories about how they’d saved big time by booking epic stays at places like the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek or Park Hyatt New York with World of Hyatt points or free night certificates.
“30,000 World of Hyatt points for Christmas Eve at the Park Hyatt New York. The regular room price was over $2,000.” — Jamie P.
“Two nights at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek between Christmas and New Year’s — December 26 and 27 — with one night on my free night certificate and one on points. Breakfast and parking were included with my Globalist status. It would have been $1,300 per night. I booked in September and was quite surprised there were openings. Hyatt Place Keystone also had openings when I looked.” — Craig D.
“32,000 World of Hyatt points (transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards) for four nights at Hyatt Place Minneapolis/Downtown for the 2019 Final Four. The regular price was $2,400 including taxes.” — Mark Y.
“The Park Hyatt New York, which ended in an upgrade to the $30,000 per night presidential suite.” — Jacob H.
“36,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points converted to Hyatt for three nights in Augusta for The Masters, where the rate was $3,300.” — Chris K.
IHG, Fairmont and Choice Hotels
Not to be outdone by the other hotel brands, several readers said they scored free (or almost free) vacations by cashing in hotel points with IHG, Fairmont and undervalued points program Choice Privileges.
“An all-inclusive in Jamaica for 40,000 IHG Rewards points per night.” — Mike A.
“Three free Fairmont nights in Singapore, upgraded to a penthouse suite on arrival at 8:30am!” — Beverly B.
“8,000 Choice Privileges points for a $225 room is sort of an insane valuation for them. I was proud of that one. The sign-up bonus is actually really solid for a card with no annual fee. You can also rack up tons of points during their ‘Stay Twice Get a Free Night’ promotion because you can get the bonus an infinite number of times and hotel hopping on consecutive nights nets you an 8,000-point bonus. They do it a few times a year. Some of the brands are crap, but Sleep Inn (the renovated ones) and Comfort Suites (all of them) are solid.” — William M.
Featured photo of the Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy.
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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.
- 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.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel