Part 1 – Introduction & Planning
Doesn’t this place look amazing?!?!
The first question I sometimes get asked is “Where is that?’
The Maldives is a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean – very close to the equator and India. Most resorts occupy their own small island and require a boat or plane transfer (in our case both) from the capital city of Male. While it is a long journey to get there, it truly is a paradise!
Here is a map:
This trip started when American Airlines announced a devaluation to their award chart for flights booked after March 22, 2016. With over 400,000 American Airline miles in our accounts and our 15 year wedding anniversary coming up in December 2016, I thought it would be an amazing trip to take.
The devaluation wasn’t huge in terms of Business class tickets (increasing from 67,500 one way to 70,000) for flights from the US to the Indian Subcontinent, but First class tickets were increasing from 90,000 to 115,000 one way. I really wanted to try out First Class on at least one way.
For the hotel, we decided on the Park Hyatt Maldives as we had many Hyatt points, many Chase Ultimate Reward points (transferable to Hyatt), and Hyatt Diamond status (from Hyatt’s generous status match offer in November 2015).
In the next few posts, I will show you how I found and booked the flights and all about the Park Hyatt Maldives.
As you can see we used 470,000 points and spent ~$2600 on this trip. $1000 of the $2600 was an optional upgrade to the over water villa for 2 nights.
But you are probably thinking, where am I going to get almost half a million points? It’s actually easier than you think – the easiest way to collect miles and points is to sign up for certain credit cards. You should be able to replicate this trip with 7-8 new credit cards (less if you fly economy) between 2 people.
Credit card offers are changing all the time, but below is an example of what would be needed to replicate our Maldives trip.
- 2X – Chase Hyatt Visa – 2 free nights + 5K hyatt points after spending $2K in 3 months
- 2X – Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World Mastercard – 50K after $3K spend in 3 months
- 2X – Citi Platinum Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard – we received 100,000 points each from a past offer for this trip
- 1X – Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Business Preferred – 80K-100K points after $5K in 3 months
After meeting all of the spending requirements, you should have:
- 4 free nights at any Hyatt;
- 300,000 American Airline Miles; and
- 80-100K Chase Ultimate reward points which can be transferred to Hyatt (Park Hyatt Maldives costs 25,000 pts/night)
which is enough to plan your own Park Hyatt Maldives trip!