This card bonus gets you 5 nights at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
It's not every day that a sign-up bonus is big enough to cover an entire vacation, let alone an all-inclusive one. Most of the time, we're lucky if a credit card offers enough points for more than one award flight or a couple of free hotel nights.
By now you've read plenty about the virtues of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with its incredible 100,000 point welcome offer after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. But did you know the current sign-up bonus is enough to book a five-night all-inclusive hotel stay in Mexico?
Or, if you shorten it to four nights, you can even cover airfare. Here's how:
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Hyatt's all-inclusive hotels
Hyatt's all-inclusive portfolio is unrivaled when it comes to the quality of its properties and redemption rates. You can book an all-inclusive award night for up to two people, starting at just 20,000 points.
The Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta and Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos both fall into this bucket, offering tremendous value. Both properties are family-friendly, are right on the beach, offer a wide range of cuisine and include a limited number of complimentary cabanas free of charge (on a first come, first serve basis).
You then have the Hyatt Ziva Cancun and Hyatt Zilara Cancun, along with the Hyatt Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic and soon-to-open Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun. While these three properties are priced a little higher at 25,000 points per night, for two guests, most of them typically receive slightly higher reviews (although all of the Ziva and Zilara properties are excellent) and allow for an adults-only experience at the Zilara property. At the slightly higher price point, this will only give you four free nights with the 100,000 point welcome offer, but it's still an amazing value.
And, once Hyatt implements its off-peak and peak award pricing chart, if you're flexible in your travel dates, you might even be able to redeem fewer points for that exact same vacation. Although, as of now, the full details of the new award chart have not been released.
A better deal for families
Hyatt's Ziva hotels are family-friendly all-inclusive properties. That being said, the standard rate of 20,000-25,000 points per night is only for two guests. If you're traveling with kids (3 or older) or an extra adult, you'll need to redeem extra points per person, per night. The exact amount will vary depending on the hotel, but it's 50% of the standard award rate. So if you have four or more people in your party, it may make more sense to just book two rooms — depending on the makeup of your family.
While this won't allow you to stay a full four to five nights (depending on the property of choice) solely on the welcome offer alone, if you're able to earn points from regular credit card spend, you can increase your award balance, allowing you to eventually fully cover the cost of additional guests in the room.
Or, you can instead likely pay a cash surcharge for each extra person. At the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, for example, the surcharge for an extra child in the room is only $100. At this price point, you're actually better off paying the extra fee over using points as you'll receive an extremely low value on your point redemption.
More bargains outside of Hyatt
Hyatt Ziva hotels are great, but there is potentially a way to extract even more value out of your Sapphire Preferred's sign-up bonus for all-inclusive hotel bookings: The Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel portal. This portal is accessible to Chase cardholders and is undervalued as a redemption option.
While we didn't have any luck finding Hyatt Ziva and Zilara properties that required less than the 20,000-25,000 points if booked directly with Hyatt, if you are open to looking beyond Hyatt, there are many other all-inclusive options available using your Chase Ultimate Reward points.
Sapphire Preferred cardholders get 1.25 cents per point in value when redeeming through Ultimate Rewards Travel, while Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get 1.5 cents. The rates you see above are for Preferred cardholders during the end of April 2022.
It's pretty incredible to redeem less than 13,000 points per night for an all-inclusive hotel in Puerto Vallarta.
Depending on the caliber of hotel and travel dates, you might save even more (although the high-end properties typically require significantly more points). This can allow you to pocket the extra points for a future vacation, extend your stay even more or put the remaining points towards a flight to get you to your Mexican destination.
You'll find similar deals in Cancun, with some of them being subject to hefty discounts, also in April 2022.
Getting five nights at an all-inclusive hotel from one card bonus is great, but what if you can work in airfare?
If you end up booking a less expensive property — on points — through the Chase travel portal, that might give you a good amount of points left over to book airfare. Let's assume you book a hotel that costs 15,000 points per night, for two adults, which will end up requiring 75,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points.
From the 100,000 points earned from the welcome offer, you're left with 25,000 points towards flight. While this might not sound like a lot of points left over to get you to Mexico, if you are flexible with your travel plans, it is definitely feasible.
With the Chase Ultimate Reward program, you can transfer your points to a number of frequent flyer programs, including your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards account. By putting in a random date in October, we were able to find fares on Southwest for less than 4,000 one-way per passenger, on a nonstop flight between Houston and Cancun.
At just 15,936 Chase Ultimate Reward points, two passengers can fly roundtrip to Cancun.
While there are many ways to redeem the 100,000 points earned from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, staying at an all-inclusive property for five nights — without having to spend any extra money on food or drinks — is quite amazing.
This is the perfect scenario where redeeming points and miles for a "free" vacation, truly can come out very close to free, without added expenses.
Additional reporting by Jennifer Yellin