5 last-minute spring break trips to book with points and miles – The Points Guy

With the holiday season now over and summer still far ahead, the time has come for one of the most anticipated vacation periods of the year: spring break.

Thanks to the scattered scheduling of spring break recess nationwide, there are many opportunities to cash in your points and miles and save big on a beach getaway — even if you book at the last minute.

Check out some of our favorite flight and hotel award redemptions you can book for an unforgettable spring break getaway. (But note that some points and miles redemption rates may no longer be available.)

Book a spring break trip to Miami using points and miles

ALEXANDER SPATARI/GETTY IMAGES

Miami is the place to be for a quintessential action-packed spring break experience.

Although you’d typically never run out of things to do there, events like Miami Music Week and the Miami Beach Gay Pride festival make spring an especially exciting time to visit the city. There are fabulous points hotels right in the heart of South Beach, and finding award flights to get there isn’t too challenging.

Related: TPG’s ultimate guide to Miami and South Florida

American Airlines award flights to Miami

American Airlines currently offers flights to the Sunshine State from just 17,000 AAdvantage miles round-trip. The low fares are available from cities nationwide, including ones on the East Coast, such as New York City, and on the West Coast, including Los Angeles.

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United Airlines award flights to Miami

United awards are similarly priced, starting around 7,700 points for a one-way flight from Newark and 8,700 points from Chicago. You may unlock additional award availability with MileagePlus Premier status or an eligible United MileagePlus credit card.

Though United eliminated its close-in cash booking fee, the airline may charge more miles for flights booked within 30 days.

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You can transfer points to United’s MileagePlus loyalty program from Chase Ultimate Rewards if you carry the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

United.com

Delta Air Lines award flights to Miami

Delta prices its awards more dynamically. The lowest fares out of New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in March and April start at 12,000 SkyMiles round-trip but can sometimes cost double that.

If you’re short on SkyMiles, Delta is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

Related: The best credit cards for Delta flyers

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Hotels in Miami to book with points and miles

You can get amazing value from your Marriott Bonvoy points by staying at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach. Not only is the hotel located right on the beach, but it offers beautiful rooms and delicious food and drink options. There’s availability in most of March and April, with redemption rates between 88,000 and 115,000 points per night.

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If you want something swanky but with a more modern, minimalist design, you can stay at the Miami Beach Edition for 98,500-115,000 Bonvoy points per night.

If you prefer more of a party scene, there’s also the renovated W South Beach for 82,000-108,000 points per night.

Related: The best Marriott properties for every budget in Miami Beach

For those on a budget, Marriott also fields the Moxy Miami South Beach, where rooms range from 33,000 to 52,000 points per night in March and April. The hotel boasts two rooftop pools, and while not located directly on the beach, it still offers guests access to beach chairs.

BENJI STAWSKI/THE POINTS GUY

For Hilton Honors fans, the Hilton Bentley Miami/South Beach is available for 95,000 points per night throughout March and April.

Some slightly less expensive options include The Gabriel Miami South Beach, but it will still set you back 80,000 points per night.

If you prefer being downtown, you could spend around 55,500 IHG points per night to stay at the Kimpton Epic Hotel. IHG also fields several Kimpton properties in South Beach, including the Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach, Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel and Kimpton Angler’s Hotel South Beach. For those looking to spend fewer points, consider the Hotel Indigo in Brickell, where rooms start at 52,000 points per night this spring.

Arguably, the best points redemption you can make in Miami is World of Hyatt’s The Confidante Miami Beach. Almost the entire month of March is classified as peak, meaning award nights will set you back 23,000 points, though there are some more nights at the standard 20,000-point rate in April.

If you’re short on World of Hyatt points, you can instantly transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.

Book a spring break trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, using points and miles

San Juan, the most popular tourist destination in Puerto Rico, has a variety of hotels that you can book with points — and since Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, Americans don’t even need a passport to enter.

Related: A beginners guide to visiting Puerto Rico

DISCOVER PUERTO RICO

Flights to San Juan using points and miles

Puerto Rico is a short flight away for U.S. visitors. There are nonstop flights to San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín Airport (SJU) from many major cities, including New York, Chicago and Dallas.

Cash fares between the U.S. mainland and San Juan are fairly low, so you’ll likely get the best deal by booking your award with an airline that uses a dynamic award pricing scheme like Delta, JetBlue or Southwest Airlines.

All three airlines have awards to San Juan from around 8,000 to 10,000 points round-trip throughout March and April.

Southwest is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, and JetBlue is a transfer partner of Chase, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards.

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On the other hand, American requires at least 26,000 miles round-trip, and United’s rates are almost double that.

Related: How to fly to the Caribbean, Mexico or Central America for the price of a domestic award

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Hotels to book in San Juan with points and miles

The La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort sits on Condado Beach.

It boasts five restaurants, three swimming pools and a casino on-site. But you’ll want to make sure you also explore historic Old San Juan, which is not too far away. Award nights require 48,000 to 77,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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For a slightly less expensive option, you’ll want to check out the AC Hotel San Juan Condado, which features a stunning rooftop pool.

Nights in March and April cost 49,000 to 59,000 points per night.

Hilton Honors loyalists also have various options, including the Condado Plaza Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Juan, Embassy Suites by Hilton San Juan Hotel and Casino, and the Hampton Inn and Suites San Juan. These hotels have award availability in March and April from 60,000 points per night.

Caribe Hilton is probably the nicest Hilton option in San Juan and charges from 70,000 Hilton points per night.

Related: How to choose the best Hilton credit card for you

CARIBE HILTON

You can use World of Hyatt points at the Hyatt House San Juan or Hyatt Place San Juan for 12,000 to 15,000 points per night (unfortunately, there are no off-peak nights in March or April).

While a bit farther out, the Hyatt Place Manati is available for 8,000 to 9,500 points per night.

The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico. JAMIE OPPENHEIM/THE POINTS GUY

If you want something more luxurious and don’t need to stay directly in San Juan, there are other great options like the stunning St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico and the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico.

Book a spring break trip to Jamaica using points and miles

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If you want to indulge your senses with postcard-worthy beaches and not completely wipe out your stash of points and miles, then Jamaica is for you.

While most resorts are family-friendly, some focus on adults and relaxation. Given that most resorts offer a full array of activities, you won’t need to step off the property to keep yourself entertained.

Related: An insider’s guide to what to see and do in Jamaica with a family

Award flights to Jamaica

American offers the most availability to Jamaica of the three major U.S. carriers. Still, given low cash rates, you once again may be able to get better value by redeeming JetBlue or Southwest points.

You can find round-trip award flights to Jamaica from many U.S. cities for just 18,000 miles.

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Delta offers similar rates from New York City, with some midweek departures starting at 20,000 points.

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On the other hand, United requires about 40,000 miles for a round-trip award flight from most cities, including Houston.

United.com

Depending on your departure city and dates, you may be able to book your flight for less than 12,000 points round-trip with Southwest or JetBlue.

That’s a fraction of what the legacy carriers are charging.

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Hotels in Jamaica to book with points and miles

Jamaica is the perfect opportunity to redeem your points for a stay at an all-inclusive resort on the island. At least three all-inclusive points hotels on the island are available this spring.

Two of them belong to World of Hyatt. The chain offers both its family-oriented Ziva brand and its adults-only Zilara brand in Jamaica.

BENJI STAWSKI/THE POINTS GUY

The two hotels are located on Montego Bay and are adjacent, allowing you to trek between the resorts for a greater selection of activities and dining outlets.

Across the two, guests have access to over a dozen restaurants and bars and room service, available 24 hours a day and for free. Rooms are available at the hotels throughout March and April for 35,000 points per night for double occupancy.

Related: ‘This is one of the best all-inclusives’: Jamaica’s Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall

Also, remember Hyatt’s all-inclusive offerings have increased with the addition of the Secrets, Dreams, Breathless, Sunscape, Alua and Zoetry brands. Jamaica has several Secrets and Breathless properties for 35,000 Hyatt points per night.

Hilton offers the family-friendly Rose Hall Resort. It features the largest water park and longest white-sand beach on the island, and 11 restaurants and bars. There isn’t much availability in March, but rooms are available for 81,000 points per night most nights in April.

If you prefer to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points, there are various all-inclusive Royalton resort options in Jamaica, part of the Autograph Collection, with prices in March and April starting from 70,000 Bonvoy points per night.

Related: The best ways to get to the Caribbean using points and miles

Book a spring break trip to Cancun using points and miles

SECRETS RIVIERA CANCUN RESORT & SPA/FACEBOOK

From the beautiful white-sand beaches — perfect for swimming, snorkeling, diving and sunbathing — to the vibrant nightlife, Cancun has something for everyone.

Try diving into a cenote, a natural sinkhole with crystal-clear freshwater pools, or explore the archeological site of the ancient Mayan ruins. Cancun is super easy to reach, with many cities across the United States offering nonstop flights. Plus, for those interested in exploring Tulum, flights have also commenced at the new Tulum International Airport (TQO).

American award flights to Cancun

American Airlines has round-trip flights from many U.S. cities from as low as 16,000 AAdvantage miles. If you don’t have a stash of AAdvantage miles, Bilt Rewards is a transfer partner of the airline.

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United award flights to Cancun

If you’re traveling from the West Coast, specifically LAX, United offers round-trip flights from as low as 15,800 MileagePlus miles.

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Delta award flights to Cancun

SkyMiles members can redeem just 24,000 miles for flights from New York, provided you are willing to travel midweek.

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Hotels to book in Cancun using points and miles

Cancun offers many accommodation options, focusing on large, well-priced, all-inclusive resorts.

Marriott Bonvoy members have plenty of options, with the Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun all-inclusive available for 53,000-70,000 points per night, with many award nights in March and April still available.

Or, try the massive 648-room Planet Hollywood, an all-inclusive Autograph Collection resort with rates starting at 70,000 Bonvoy points per night. It features excellent dining options, including an extensive breakfast buffet and ample restaurant options for dinner, with their burgers being a highlight meal.

Related: 7 things to know before booking a stay at Marriott’s Planet Hollywood Cancun

KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Hyatt boasts a lengthy list of properties in the Cancun area, from Playa del Carmen up to Playa Mujeres.

If you’re heading to Mexico on a budget, Thompson Playa del Carmen Main House is available from just 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night. Or for something more luxurious, Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is an all-inclusive, adults-only oasis for 35,000 Hyatt points per night over spring break dates, saving you $873 per night.

For Hilton Honors members, you can book the Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort from 86,000 Hilon points per night in March and April. Enjoy a roving tequila cart and swing in hanging rattan chairs beside ornamental water features.

Related: 13 best all-inclusive resorts in Cancun

Book a spring break to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, using points and miles

BEN SMITHSON/THE POINTS GUY

Fancy getting away to a beautiful Caribbean island without breaking the bank?

The Dominican Republic has lush rainforests, breathtaking mountains and Instagrammable waterfalls without the eye-watering prices of some neighboring islands like Antigua or St. Barts.

Whether you want to lie by the pool or the beach sipping a cocktail or prefer something more active like mountain biking, horseback riding or scuba diving, spring break is an ideal time to visit the Dominican Republic and its main resort town, Punta Cana.

United award flights to Punta Cana

Depending on your preferred travel date, you can fly to Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) from New York using United MileagePlus miles for under 30,000 miles per person round-trip in March.

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American award flights to Punta Cana

If you’re willing to travel midweek, American Airlines offers round-trip flights from Texas to this island paradise for only 16,000 AAdvantage miles.

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Southwest award flights to Punta Cana

Meanwhile, Southwest offers round-trip flights from Florida for under 10,000 points per person if you are willing to travel midweek.

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Hotels in Punta Cana to book with points and miles

We are huge fans of Hyatt’s spectacular adults-only, all-inclusive Zilara Cap Cana resort.

There are six incredible restaurants, seven bars, an on-site water park, and live music performances at the resort’s amphitheater. While 45,000 World of Hyatt points per night may seem steep, you’ll save $700 per night in March and April at what we believe is one of the best all-inclusives in the Caribbean.

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If you have Hilton Honors points to redeem, you could book the Hilton La Romana all-inclusive adults-only resort for 95,000 points per night in late March and early April.

The property features 356 guest rooms and suites, which include private balconies and views of Bayahibe Beach and the ocean.

Related: Best all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic

HILTON LA ROMANA

For something a little more economical but still packed with inclusions, try a Royalton property, which is bookable with Marriott Bonvoy points.

Royalton Splash Punta Cana, an Autograph Collection all-inclusive resort, is available for 53,000-69,000 points per night and is available on most dates in March and April. As an added perk, this resort features a high-quality water park.

Bottom line

It’s not too late to book an amazing spring break getaway using points and miles. If you don’t find award availability for the hotel you’d like to stay at during your preliminary search, consider searching for award space night by night.

After all, you could book some nights with points and some with cash.

If you’re short on points and miles with any of the airlines or hotels mentioned in this post, there are many travel credit cards that allow you to transfer points to partners.

However, you should always compare the cost of using fixed-value points to transferring points to an airline or hotel program. You may come across a good last-minute cash booking option, in which case you’ll be better off redeeming your points at a fixed value through a travel portal.

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