Want to enjoy a five-star stay in the Maldives on a motel budget? Milk those credit-card bonuses.
That’s what Sam Huang did last week when he nabbed a free four-night stay at the Park Hyatt Maldives. Unlike most of Huang’s complicated budget hacks, the 26-year-old owner of the travel blog TopMiles leveraged his and a friend’s Chase Hyatt Cards’ bonuses, which award two free nights per person at any Hyatt hotel after $1,000 in expenses.
Huang lived like a king on a private island. His one-bedroom villa included a butler, swimming pool and sweeping views of the pristine Indian Ocean.
Of course, Huang had some out-of-pocket costs. Not only did he cough up the airfare to get to the Maldives’ international airport, but the round-trip fare from there to the island was about $520 per person.
Still, Huang says it was a small price to pay for living luxe.
“The resort looks exactly like it does [in] the pictures,” Huang wrote on his blog, “and that itself is hard to replicate anywhere.”