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In my family, we have an expression: “Free is a good price.” Even when your airfare and hotel are booked with credit card rewards, the cost of food and vacation activities can still be expensive. But when you can use your points and miles to stay in an all-inclusive hotel, the price of your trip can shrink toward almost nothing.

Recommended Credit Cards

Credit Card Rewards Rate Annual Fee Bonus Offer Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

1x- 5xPoints More Info

Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

$95 75,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. Dollar Equivalent: $1,725 (75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn 3 points for every $1 on Southwest Airlines® purchases, 2 points for every $1 on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, 2 points per $1 on local transit and commuting (including rideshare), 2 points per $1 on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming, and 1 point for every $1 on all other purchases.

$99 50,000Southwest Rapid Rewards Points More Info

Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $700 (50,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points * 0.014 base)

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

2%Cashback More Info

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

$0 $200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

1% - 5%Cashback More Info

Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Special Travel Offer: Earn an additional 4% cash back on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked on Citi Travel℠ portal through 6/30/2025.

$0 $200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Thankfully, several major hotel loyalty programs allow you to redeem their points for stays in all inclusive properties. Here's how I use points and miles to stay at these hotels for free.

Choice Hotels

Don’t look now, but the brand most famous for budget properties in rural locations also happens to operate a few all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. This resort pricing varies by property and by season, with some as low as 25,000 points per night and others as high as 100,000 by using their Choice Privileges® rewards program.

Hilton

Of the thousands of Hilton properties around the world, more than a dozen are all-inclusive resorts. However, they are scattered about the world in Mexico, Jamaica, Egypt, Turkey, Curaçao and the Dominican Republic. Stays start at just 30,000 points per night at the DoubleTree by Hilton Sharm El Sheikh - Sharks Bay Resort in Egypt, but most have prices of between 20,000 and 95,000 Hilton Honors™ points per night, depending on the resort and the season.

The Hilton Playa Del Carmen and the Hilton La Romana for Adults are for adults only. Those that allow children charge $40-$120 per night for additional children, although some allow children ages five and under to stay for free.

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Hyatt

Hyatt now offers 10 brand names of all-inclusive resorts under their "Inclusive Collection," which includes properties throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria, Columbia and Panama. These also include family-friendly resorts and ones that are adult-only.

You can book an all-inclusive stay for two guests for about 15,000 points to over 50,000 points per night, depending on the resort. But sadly, Hyatt prices additional guests at 50% of the cost of the room. This makes the cost of a family of four double the price of a room, even if the guests are small children. For older children, you might as well just book two rooms. And things become really ridiculous for those with three or more children.

Hyatt also features its upscale Miraval Resorts which costs 65,000 World of Hyatt® points per night, based on double occupancy, but offers a $175 nightly resort credit per person. However, these resorts normally cost well over $1,000 per night.

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IHG® One Rewards

IHG® One Rewards offers all-inclusive resorts in Aruba, Montenegro, Brazil, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico. IHG Hotels & Resorts has partnered with Iberostar Beachfront Resorts and has added their resorts to the IHG portfolio. Prices start at 26,000 points per night and can go up from there, not including children and other additional guests beyond two adults.

Marriott

Marriott currently has 32 all-inclusive resorts, with properties in Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica and throughout the Caribbean. Currently, these properties require 40,000 to 100,000 points per night for two people through the Marriot Bonvoy™ loyalty program. The price of additional children and guests varies by resort.

Use Credit Card Rewards to Book All-Inclusive Stays

Two credit card providers that offer exceptional value when redeeming your rewards for hotel stays, including all-inclusive resorts that aren’t part of a loyalty program, are Chase and Capital One.

Since you pay for your hotel stay with your card, you can use whichever booking channel offers you the lowest price or the best benefits, which is often the case when you book directly through the hotel.

Here are a couple of our top recommended cards from Chase and Capital One that can help you earn rewards to put toward hotel stays.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR22.49% - 29.49% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$550
  • Sign-Up Bonus 75,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. Dollar Equivalent: $1,725 (75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

This card features an annual credit for travel purchases, which can offset the annual fee, plus bonus points when you sign up. You'll also get free access to tons of Priority Pass lounges and restaurant options around the world, along with access to the Chase Sapphire Lounge network.

Overview

If you’re looking to elevate your travel experience, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. When you first get approved, you’ll earn a generous sign-up bonus that can be used for travel-related spending booked through Chase Travel℠. Transfer the points to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners and they’re potentially worth even more.

Read the review

Pros

  • An array of premium travel perks including access to Priority Pass lounges
  • Easy-to-use $300 travel credit that helps offset card's annual fee
  • Generous rewards rates for spending

Cons

  • High annual fee may be a deterrent for some
  • Perks are starting to get stale relative to newer competition

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Product Image for Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Sign Up Bonus 75,000Capital One Rewards Miles More Info

    You can earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,350 (75,000 Capital One Rewards Miles * 0.018 base)

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a lot of value to both beginner and expert travelers. The upfront bonus and high ongoing rewards rate aren’t easy to beat, making the card a solid option for a large audience. Where it really shines is with the flexibility of the redemption process, though. You can redeem miles to cover past travel expenses, book travel through Capital One or transfer miles to any of Capital One’s airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Overview

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a lot of value to beginner and expert travelers alike. The card’s big upfront bonus and high ongoing rewards rate aren’t easy to beat, making it a solid option for a large audience. Where it really shines, though, is with the redemption process. When it comes to travel credit cards, it can be really challenging to find a way to use your rewards in the way you want.

With hotel and airline credit cards, for instance, you’re basically stuck redeeming your points or miles with the co-branded hotel or airline partner. And with some general rewards programs, you might get less value if you use your points or miles to book a flight versus a rental car or hotel.

With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, though, you’ll get a lot of flexibility. Here are some of the top redemption options that are available: redeem miles to cover past travel expenses, book travel through Capital One or transfer miles to any of Capital One’s multiple airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Read the review

Perks

  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Access to premier culinary events, must-see music events and major sporting events

Pros

  • Simple rewards and earning structure
  • Ability to earn transferable points to use with travel partners
  • Relatively modest $95 annual fee
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

Cons

  • Other travel cards offer higher rewards rates on certain spending categories

Bottom Line

When you count on food and activities, a lot of award vacations are far from free. But when you use your points and miles to stay at an all-inclusive resort, especially with a great travel rewards credit card, you can have a relaxing trip and return with a total bill of almost nothing.

JS

Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a journalist who specializes in covering credit cards, award travel and other areas of personal finance. As one of the nation’s leading experts in the credit card industry, Jason’s work has been featured at mainstream outlets such as Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money and Business Insider.