How to Stay at the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa for "Free" Using Points

The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is a Category 6 hotel, which costs 25,000 points per night. Be aware that the award night with free points is not for the overwater villa. You'll need to have status or pay out of pocket for the villa.

Optimal Strategy: Which Credit Card Should You Use?

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Option 1: Chase Trifecta

If you're someone under Chase 5/24, then I recommend focusing on cards affected by the rule, and not the Chase Hyatt card. Getting cards like the Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited get you 15,000 points each, so both bonuses combined will total 30,000 points.

Chase markets the Chase Freedom cards as "cash back" for simplicity, but on the back-end, it's actually points (a good thing).

  • Freedom = 15,000
  • Freedom Unlimited = 15,000

You can "liquidate" these points for $150 each (1 cents per point). With a card that has transfer partners, we'll be getting 4 CPP.

  • 25k points for ~$1,000 in value (400% more value).

Keep in mind that the Chase Freedom cards are good for accumulating points, but you'll need a Chase Sapphire card to redeem the UR points for travel. For beginners, I recommend going with the Chase Sapphire Preferred because the annual fee is waived the first year, and you can redeem points for travel at 1.25x. 

  • Chase transfers to Hyatt at a 1:1 rate
  • 25,000 Chase : 25,000 Hyatt
  • 25,000 Hyatt = Free night at the Park Hyatt Maldives

If you're just starting out in your credit journey, you'll need to plan out how much your monthly expenses are and which cards to apply for. 

Minimum Spend (First 3 Months)

The 3-card system I recommend to optimize for travel is the Chase Trifecta, which consists of the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and a Chase Sapphire card. 

You can only have either the Chase Sapphire Preferred OR the Chase Sapphire Reserve due to the One Sapphire rule. 

  • 15,000 UR = Chase Freedom ($500)
  • 15,000 UR = Chase Freedom Unlimited ($500)
  • 50,000 UR = Chase Sapphire Preferred ($4,000) OR
  • 50,000 UR = Chase Sapphire Reserve ($4,000)

Total points from the Chase Trifecta  = 80,000 UR = 80,000 Hyatt / 25,000 points = 3 nights

Return on spend

  • Total minimum spend = $4,000 + $500 + $500 = $5,000
  • Signup bonus = 80k points
  • 80,000 / 25,000 = 3 nights
  • 3 nights * $1,000 = $3,000 in value
  • 60% return on spend

Option 2: Chase Ink Preferred

Alternatively, if you are a business owner, you can skip the Chase Trifecta and apply for the Chase Ink Preferred to earn 80,000 UR points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. 

Total points from the Chase Ink Preferred = 80,000 UR = 80,000 Hyatt / 25,000 points = 3 nights

Return on spend

  • Total minimum spend = $5,000
  • Signup bonus = 80k points
  • 80,000 / 25,000 = 3 nights
  • 3 nights * $1,000 = $3,000 in value
  • 60% return on spend

If you want to extend your stay in the Maldives, combine the Chase Trifecta with the Chase Ink Preferred to get 6 nights.

  • Total from Chase Trifecta + Chase Ink Preferred = 160,000 UR = 160,000 Hyatt
  • # of nights = 160,000 Hyatt / 25,000 = 6.4 nights

Option 3: Chase Hyatt Credit Card

If you're over Chase 5/24, then go for the Chase Hyatt card. The signup bonus is 40,000 points, and adding an authorized user will earn an extra 5,000 points.

The optimal strategy for the Chase Hyatt card is to spend $2,000 at restaurants to meet the minimum spend requirement. The card earns 2x points on dining, so you'll earn an extra 4,000 points. 

The total number of points comes out to 49,000, which is just 1,000 points short of a two-night stay. You can either spend $1,000 more on the Hyatt credit card or transfer 1,000 UR points to Hyatt. 

  • 40,000 points = Hyatt card signup bonus
  •  5,000 points = Adding an authorized user bonus
  •  4,000 points = $2,000 min spend * 2x points at restaurants
  • 49,000 = Hyatt = ~2 nights at Park Hyatt Maldives

Return on spend

One night at the Park Hyatt Maldives retails for $700-$2,600, depending on the season. For our calculation, let's assume each night is $1,000.

  • Hyatt signup bonus = ~50,000 points = ~2 nights
  • Night cost = ~$1,000
  • 2 nights = ~$2,000
  • $2,000 min spend for $2,000 in hotels
  • 100% return on spend

Authorized Users

One important note is that when you add an authorized user, be sure it's not your Player 2. Adding someone as an authorized user to a credit card that they are planning to acquire will disqualify them from getting the bonus. 

For example, if you add your significant other as an authorized user to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, they will not qualify for their own signup bonus or card (one sapphire rule) until they cancel the authorized user card and it falls off their credit report.

The credit issuer will see that the person already has the credit card, which will prevent them from getting a signup bonus. 

If you do add an authorized user, be sure it's a relative you trust, and that they don't have the intention of applying for the respective card in the near future. 

Park Hyatt Maldives Water Villas

The free nights you receive from award bookings are not for an overwater villa. As of Nov 2017, the price to upgrade upgrades are:

For 2017 (Price for November)

  • $210+23.2% tax = $258.72/night for pool
  • $310+23.2% tax = $381.92/night for deluxe pool
  • $410+23.2% tax = $505.12/night for water villa
  • $610+23.2% tax = $751.52/night for sunset water villa
  • $1400+23.2% tax = $1724.80/night for 2 br pool villa

Source: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hyatt-world-hyatt/1216828-park-hyatt-maldives-review-master-thread-20.html

Another big disadvantage is that you'll need to pay out of pocket for the small plane to get to the Maldives. 

If it were me, I would try to experience the over water villa for two nights, and use the rest on land. 

An alternative destination would be Bora Bora, but availability is scarce.