Trip Report: A Trip to Cancun For Less Than $150
Whenever you hear of Cancun, the first thoughts you closely relate it to is the white sandy beaches, bright blue water, and luxurious getaway. While it may seem like a place you’d only go on a special occasion like a honeymoon, anniversary, or even spring break. There are peak times and off-peak times to go to beat the crowds. Times you should try to avoid are December through April, as they are considered the best time to visit Cancun but also means the highest prices and lots more people. If saving money is a major concern for you then try to avoid these months. However, as a travel hacker with miles and points you don’t need to worry whether there is a peak time vs an off-peak time or even holidays. As they can provide you the best savings you can get for any hotel and flight all year round.
Next month I have already planned a trip to Cancun with my significant other. I will show you how a couple can get airfare and 5 nights in Cancun for less than $150. It’s easy as applying for some credit cards, meeting the minimum spending, and then redeeming them.
Outbound route: SJC – DFW – CUN (American Airlines)
Inbound route: CUN – PHX – SJC (American Airlines)
Hotel: Hyatt Zilara (All-inclusive) 5 nights
Airfare: American Airlines (SJC-CUN route)
Retail Cost: $1,140 ($570 each)
Out-of-Pocket Cost: 35,000 American Miles + $71.09 per person (Round-trip)
Points Earning: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card
- 50,000 signup bonus after meeting $3,000 within 3 months
- Each of you will need to apply for this card and meet the minimum spending (MS). Once you reach the MS each and you’re actually left over with 15,000 points each to spend on another flight award.
Be mindful this route doesn’t necessarily have to originate in SJC. It can originate anywhere in North America excluding Alaska and Hawaii. However, if you’re on the east coast then getting there would be cheaper with miles to go through British Airways (BA). For an example Miami to Cancun will only cost 4,500 BA Avios +$28 (one-way trip).
Hotel: Hyatt Zilara
Retail Cost: $2,630 ($526 per night)
Out-of-Pocket Cost: 125,000 Hyatt Points (25,000 per night)
Points Earning: Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) and Ink Plus
- CSP – 40,000 sign-up bonus after meeting $3,000 within 3 months + 5,000 bonus for adding an authorize user
- Ink Plus – 70,000 sign-up bonus after meeting $5,000 within 3 months (Limited time until it goes back to 50K)
- Since the Ink Plus will go down soon back to 50K. I would suggest the both of you getting the CSP together and then one Ink plus. Combined that’s a total of 151,000 points.
You don’t necessarily have to choose Hyatt Zilara. We only chose it because we get the most bang for our buck. 1) It’s Hyatt’s new line of properties, 2) all rooms on the property are ocean facing suites, and the most important part; 3) it’s an All-inclusive hotel which means unlimited food/drinks provided If you want to stretch your points then I would suggest other hotel properties like the Courtyard Marriott which will 10,000 points a night. You can easily achieve this by getting the chase Marriott card but doesn’t come with the location on the beach, all-inclusive, or suites that you’d imagine when thinking of Cancun.
Grand Total Retail Cost: $3,770 ($1,140 Airfare, $2,630 Hotel)
Out-of-Pocket Cost: 70,000 AA points + 125,000 Chase UR Points + $142.18 cash
As you can see you would be saving yourself over $3,600 if you were to redeem your travel with points. This doesn’t include any activity but nonetheless food and drinks will be covered by your hotel. Off season or not this is definitely a great bargain for less than $150 for a couple traveling to Cancun. This is just a touch of insight to those destinations you’ve always dreamed of but never couldn’t due to the cost.
*I would greatly appreciate it if you use my link above if you are interested in getting this card. The link is my Chase refer a friend link that gives me 5,000 ultimate rewards if you are approved. As far as I know this is the best offer that Chase is currently giving. Additionally, I will never promote anything that is not the best offer on the market.*