- Maui and Kauai Hotel Points Options
- Big Island and Oahu Hotel Points Options
This write-up was inspired by my last week’s post on Chase Fairmont Signature Visa If you look at the comments, you’ll see that a certain selfish reader has slyly manipulated me into it:
This topic has been covered extensively in blogs. What I want to do here is give my personal opinion on what credit card options would be best. Emphasis on “personal.”
Hawaii is a place most families would love to visit, but simply can’t afford to do so. A beautiful thing about The Hobby that with some planning, it’s very much within your grasp. Of course, some work and effort are required. I’ve mentioned some possible options for flights, like Air France and Singapore programs. You can also book off-peak Hawaii tickets at a cost of 17,500 miles one-way using AAdvantage, as long as you do it before March 22nd.
But today, I’ll focus on hotels and what IMO would be your best bet. See this post on hotel bonuses for reference. I’m looking for options that are easily achievable via new credit cards sign-ups.
I’ve mentioned before that if you are visiting the state of Hawaii for the first time, I would split the stay between Maui and Kauai. Once again, this is my personal opinion, and I strongly recommend you do your own research. I thought for sure my father-in-law would love Kauai, based on what I know about him. He didn’t.
If you badly want to see Volcanoes National Park, then you should fly to Big Island. Enjoy large cities and are dying to visit Pearl Harbour? Then you should go to Oahu. Keep in mind, you can also do a day trip to a neighboring island, especially if your kids are older. So, without further ado:
I honestly think this is your best bet for Maui. Read my post on Fairmont card to see why. If both spouses get this bonus, you will have 4 nights in a suite (fits 5) in an oceanfront property, plus dining credits. Seriously, forget Hyatt, this card is the one to get. Speaking of…
I admit, this property looks amazing. That said, I think it became a victim of its own success as far as award rooms go. Many blogs report that it’s hard to find availability during peak times. And that’s when you plan to travel with your kids, right? There is also a $40 (plus tax) resort fee. I don’t think that those things are deal-breakers, but you should take them into consideration. If you have some flexibility and don’t mind the crazy resort fee, go for Chase Hyatt Signature Visa.
This looks like a poor cousin of Maui Andaz. Of course, the term “poor” is relative. It’s a very nice property, located in Lahaina, the heart of Maui. That means you will have more access to affordable dining and entertainment. So, if you get Chase Hyatt Visa, and Andaz has no availability, this could be your back-up option.
It’s a Category 5, so the cost varies between 12K-16K points, depending on the season. You would have to sign up for Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card, personal or business version. Right now, the offer comes with 25K points, but will probably increase in the summer, maybe even sooner. If you haven’t heard, Marriott bought out SPG, so eventually, Amex card will be phased out once the merger is complete.
This hotel is also a Category 5, and doesn’t appear as fancy as Westin, but it’s an option.
This would probably be my last pick. Why? The certificates that come with Citi Hilton Reserve card are only valid on weekends. So, you’ll have to make sure that it would work with your award tickets. Then, there is also an issue of availability. This property is very popular, and standard rooms sell out on a regular basis. It’s not that it would be impossible to find availability. You just need to have a lot of flexibility, a luxury many families just don’t have.
All these hotels go for more than $400 per night in peak season, so it could make sense to burn your certificates/points here. That said, don’t overlook other options like renting a condo in Kihei area via VRBO or similar site. You’ll get a unit with a kitchen and washer/dryer combo. Of course, the pools won’t be as fancy and landscaping not as impressive. I do think Fairmont property is the overall winner on Maui, and would be my top pick for all the reasons I’ve mentioned.
My cousin-in-law and her husband have stayed here and really enjoyed it. It has extensive facilities and entertainment options for kids. Once again, you would have to apply for Chase Hyatt Signature Visa in order to get 2 free nights. The resort fee will be going up to $30 per day staring in January of 2016.
The cost varies between 12K-16K points per night. Be aware, rooms that fit four come with two double beds.
This is currently the best option for Kauai. You can redeem points for 1-bedroom and occasionally even 2-bedroom unit.
This is as smoking hot deal as it gets! So why is it merely an honorable mention? Well, availability is very spotty. Award rooms open up and disappear with no rhyme or reason. Also, some reports indicate that this property will be re-branded in 2016. I personally would hesitate pursuing this redemption. Will they honor your reservation when you get to Kauai? That’s a million dollar question.
If you do decide to go for it, you would have to apply for Wyndham Signature Barclaycard (see my linked post). Make sure to select the version with an annual fee of $69. You will get three nights at this property from just one bonus, IF you can find availability.
Just like Maui, Kauai has many non-points options for you to consider, so definitely do your homework. My cousin-in-law went through Hotwire, and was able to get this Kauai Beach Resort for $123 per night (including resort fee). She said they really liked it, in fact, almost as much as Hyatt.
Hawaii is a good place to burn certificates from credit card sign-up bonuses. The rates are very high, and resorts have many amenities for kids. But don’t ignore other non-hobby options, which may suit your family better. That said, if I were to plan a week in Maui and Kauai, I would get Fairmont card X 2 for Maui, and Chase Hyatt Signature Visa X 2 for Kauai. No, they don’t pay me referral.
Readers, what are your thoughts? Anything you would like to add?
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