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TravelUsing 75K Chase points for a last-minute getaway to Mexico for 2

Using 75K Chase points for a last-minute getaway to Mexico for 2

Two of the best travel rewards cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®, both currently have sign-up bonuses of 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. There are many ways to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but you’ll usually get the most value when you transfer your rewards to one or more Chase transfer partners.

To illustrate the types of trips you could book with these new sign-up bonuses, two TPG staffers and I each went on trips using 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. I opted to book flights and an all-inclusive resort for a last-minute weekend escape to Mexico with my husband. Here’s how I did it and what our trip was like.

How I planned this trip

When the opportunity to redeem 75,000 Chase points for a last-minute trip dropped into my lap, my schedule was already pretty full. But we could fit in a long-weekend trip in mid-April. So I started looking at what type of getaway I could book that would cost 75,000 Chase points or less for both of us.


World of Hyatt, which is a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, has drastically expanded its Inclusive Collection of all-inclusive resorts over the last few years. But I’d yet to find an opportunity to visit any. So, I checked whether I could stretch the 75,000 points into a weekend trip to a Hyatt all-inclusive resort for my husband and me. I was willing to go anywhere in North America as long as I could fit round-trip flights for two and a few nights at a resort into my points allotment.

As it turns out, I was able to put together the perfect last-minute Cancun trip.

Related: 11 reasons to choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred over the fancier Chase Sapphire Reserve

4,565 points for flights to Cancun

I was amazed when I found a nonstop flight from William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) to Cancun International Airport (CUN) on my desired Friday departure date bookable for just 2,905 Southwest points plus $48.23. The negative: This flight departed Houston at 6:45 p.m. and arrived in Cancun at 9 p.m. That’s a particularly late arrival if we were going to only spend a few nights in Mexico.


The slightly more expensive Wanna Get Away Plus fare allows for free same-day flight changes starting at midnight on the day of travel if space is available. So, after having been on many Southwest flights recently that either went out with empty seats or cleared many standby passengers at the gate, I decided to book a Wanna Get Away Plus fare for my husband at 4,565 points plus $48.23 in taxes and fees with the hope we’d be able to use a same-day change to take one of the two earlier nonstop flights.

You might be wondering, “That’s just one ticket. What about your flight, Katie?” The reason I only needed points for a single ticket was that my husband earned a Southwest Companion Pass in early 2023 that’s valid through the end of 2024. So, I could add myself to his flight for no additional points, instead only paying $48.23 in taxes and fees for the second ticket.

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No space was available on either earlier flight when the same-day change window opened at midnight on the day of our flight. But I woke up at 7 a.m. to check availability again and snagged two of three available seats on the 9:25 a.m. departure. This same-day flight change meant we arrived in Cancun nine hours earlier than we would have on our original flight, albeit with a little less sleep than is optimal!

The downside of our same-day flight change: We got C17 and C18 boarding positions. We expected this and planned to buy Upgraded Boarding, as our Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card reimburses up to four Upgraded Boarding purchases each anniversary year. However, no Upgraded Boarding positions were left for our flight when we checked in.

We assumed these mid-C boarding positions would put us in middle seats near the back of the aircraft. But although we were some of the last passengers to board, we were surprised to find empty window and aisle seats near the front of the plane. We each sat next to couples and found the approximately two-hour flight comfortable.

Related: 15 lessons from 15 years of having the Southwest Companion Pass

46,000 points for 2 nights at a Hyatt all-inclusive resort

Hyatt award availability in Cancun was limited when I booked my stay about two weeks before departure. But, out of the options available, Dreams Jade Resort & Spa stood out for its Preferred Club — which I could access as a Hyatt Globalist member — and its beachfront setting just 30 minutes from CUN.


Dreams Jade Resort & Spa is a Hyatt Category B property that costs 17,000 points on off-peak nights, 20,000 points on standard nights and 23,000 points on peak nights. Unfortunately, both nights of my weekend stay were peak nights, so I had to redeem 46,000 points for my two-night stay. If I’d paid cash, I would have needed to pay $1,088 for the same room — giving me a solid redemption value of 2.37 cents per point.


Besides its beautiful beachfront location, the highlights of Dreams Jade Resort & Spa are its friendly staff, excitable guests and good-quality food. I was impressed with most dishes I tried, including the ceviche at Castaways Cafe, the Preferred Club Pool Cafe fish tacos, and the Spice salmon.

Fish tacos, a burger and fries at the Preferred Pool Cafe. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

I also absolutely loved the swings and hammock chairs at the beachfront bar — this was my favorite place to chill.

I was impressed by the good attitudes of my fellow guests, many of whom could be found cheering for others in pool activities, chatting to strangers at the bar and learning new dances.

Hyatt elite perks on-site, outside of Preferred Club access and a higher-floor room with an appealing view, were limited. But the only timeshare sales pitch I got was at the airport while waiting for my hotel shuttle.

View from my room’s balcony. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Related: When and how to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt

23,074 points for flights back to Austin

Finding a modestly priced award flight from Cancun to Austin on April 14 proved difficult — especially since we booked within two weeks of departure and wanted to leave later in the day to maximize our time in Mexico.

I booked what is likely the most expensive Southwest award flight I’ve ever reserved for my husband: a nonstop Cancun-to-Austin flight for 23,074 points plus $77.58 in taxes and fees. This nonstop flight was perfect, though, as it let us enjoy the morning and even have lunch and a few final drinks at the resort before leaving for the airport.


As with our other Southwest flights, I could add myself as a companion after booking my husband’s flight. My cost with his Companion Pass was just the taxes and fees.


We checked in for our flight exactly 24 hours before departure and got B15 and B16 boarding positions. We snagged a window and aisle seat in the same row near the back of the aircraft. The flight departed with no empty seats, but a woman seemed happy to sleep most of the flight in the middle seat between us.

Related: 7 Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits you might not know about

Was my weekend escape worth it?

I wasn’t sure whether traveling to Mexico for only two nights would be enjoyable. But we had a nice long weekend, especially since we had nonstop flights and could spend over 48 hours enjoying the all-inclusive resort. We loved the energy of the guests and staff at Dreams Jade Resort & Spa and spent the weekend relaxing. Knowing what I know now, I’m happy we took this trip.

My Hyatt Globalist status gave us a nicer experience at Dreams Jade, including a high-floor room with sweeping views across the resort and access to better-quality drinks in the Preferred Club lounge.

Having the Companion Pass made Southwest a compelling option for booking round-trip flights for my husband and me, especially since Southwest operated nonstop flights on the routes we needed. Taking advantage of a same-day flight change for our Houston-to-Cancun flight was also extremely valuable.

That being said, I normally wouldn’t transfer Chase points to Southwest. After all, I like to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for at least 2 cents per point. For reference, we got 1.79 cents per point on our outbound flight, 2.37 cents per point on our Hyatt all-inclusive stay and 1.35 cents per point on our return flight (assuming you put the points cost of my Companion Pass flights at zero).

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Sapphire Reserve: Should you go mid-tier or premium?

Bottom line

It was fun to show how one sign-up bonus — and some cash to cover the taxes, fees, tips and airport transfers — could get us a last-minute getaway to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico.


With the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve offering 75,000-point sign-up bonuses, now is a good time to apply. This story focused on how I redeemed 75,000 points for a getaway, but you could use the 75,000 points in many other ways. For example, you could transfer 75,000 Chase points to Hyatt and redeem for up to 21 off-peak Category 1 Hyatt hotel nights.


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