Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card issuers from which MillionMileSecrets.com receives compensation. Compensation does not impact the placement of cards on Million Mile Secrets other than in banner advertising. MillionMileSecrets.com does not include all credit card offers that might be available to consumers in the marketplace.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Change My Mind – This Is the MOST FREE 5-Star Vacation You Can Take

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Change My Mind – This Is the MOST FREE 5-Star Vacation You Can Take

Joseph HostetlerChange My Mind – This Is the MOST FREE 5-Star Vacation You Can TakeMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

I’ve been flirting heavily with a trip to the Caribbean.  It’s a trip that trends much differently than what I’d normally plan.  But at the moment it sounds SO relaxing, and it is SO cheap.  And yes, it involves all-inclusive resorts.

The key to this free trip is with:

  • Southwest points
  • Hyatt points
  • Capital One miles (optional)

I’ll run down the strategy with you and show you how it’s possible to actually pay zero dollars for a bucket list vacation.  You can sign-up for our newsletter if you want more strategies to take 5-star vacations while paying no money.

You can book all-inclusive resorts with points.  It’s not even that expensive!

Booking Flights to One of the Best All-Inclusive Resorts With Points

Here’s the itinerary:

  • Book flights to Cancun with Southwest points
  • Stay at the Hyatt Zilara all-inclusive resort with Hyatt points
  • Use Capital One miles to pay for all incidental travel expenses

Again, Capital One miles aren’t that important here.  But to achieve a zero dollar vacation, you’ll need them.  I’ll quickly show you my booking process so you can replicate it from your own home airport.

1.   Book a Stay at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun

Hyatt has a handful of all-inclusive resorts around the Caribbean and Mexico.  They’re called Hyatt Ziva (family-friendly) and Hyatt Zilara (adults-only).

From my research, Hyatt’s best all-inclusive resorts seem to come from the Hyatt hotels in Cancun.  The Hyatt Zilara costs 25,000 Hyatt points per night.  That’s pretty good, considering you’ll receive:

  • An ocean view suite with a giant hot tub
  • Unlimited free food at 6 restaurants and 5 bars
  • Free top-shelf alcohol
  • Free activities and entertainment
Rooms at the Hyatt Zilara are a respectable size with great views

Booking an all-inclusive hotel with points is just about the closest thing to an actual free lunch.  You don’t need to pay for ANYTHING while you’re there.

How to Copy This Plan

To earn Hyatt points quickly, you can open The World Of Hyatt Credit Card.  It comes with up to 50,000 Hyatt points:

  • 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Another 25,000 bonus points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening

That’s enough for a weekend at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun!

You can also instantly transfer points you earn with the following cards to Hyatt:

2.   Book Southwest Flights to Cancun

Southwest flies to lots of fun destinations in the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico (including Cancun!).

From my home airport of Cincinnati, it costs ~25,500 Southwest points round-trip to visit Cancun.  Not to mention ~$87 in taxes & fees.

The price of 2 round-trip tickets to Cancun from Cincinnati

My woman and I have the Southwest Companion Pass (as I know many of you do!).  A Companion Pass allows you to bring a travel buddy with you for just the cost of taxes and fees every single time you fly Southwest.

This means reaching Cancun will cost us just ~25,500 points total.  However, we’ll still need to pay taxes & fees, so our round-trip flights will cost ~$174.

How to copy this plan

To earn Southwest points, you can open any of the following cards:

You can also instantly transfer points you earn with the following cards to Southwest:

To earn the Southwest Companion Pass, you’ll need to earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points in a calendar year.  You can quickly earn Southwest points by opening any of the above Southwest cards and earning the bonus.

But you can only have 1 Southwest personal card at a time.  And you are only eligible for a bonus on a personal Southwest credit card once every 24 months.  So I recommend opening one Southwest personal card and one Southwest small business card (you’ll have 104,000 of the points you need after you meet your minimum spend requirements!).

Read this for everything you need to know about the Southwest Companion Pass.

3.   Other Expenses

We’ve now reserved our hotel ($0 and 25,000 Hyatt points per night) and our flights ($174 and 25,500 points).  That’s pretty great for a 5-star vacation.  But there are other random expenses that will fall into your lap.

The Hyatt Zilara is a true 5-star hotel.  And you don’t have to pay a dime when you mix Southwest points, Hyatt points, and Capital One miles

For example, you’ll need transport between the Cancun airport and the hotel.  You can:

  • Hire a shuttle company (~$70 round-trip)
  • Request that the Hyatt Zilara pick you up in a luxury SUV ($165 round-trip)
  • Rent a car (~$11 per day, free parking on-site)

With any travel expense (such as a rental car or a purchase made with the hotel, like an airport transfer), you should be able to redeem Capital One miles instead of paying cash.  So for example:

  • If you book an airport pick-up with the hotel, you’ll be able to get it for free with Capital One miles
  • If you’re paying $174 in taxes & fees for your award flight (like the example above), you can use Capital One miles instead of cash and pay nothing

How to Copy This Plan

To earn Capital One miles, you can open cards like:

Read here to learn how to use Capital One miles.

Bottom Line

With a combination of Southwest points, Hyatt points, and Capital One miles, you can actually pay $0 for a 5-star vacation at an all-inclusive resort:

  • Southwest points cover the flights
  • Hyatt points cover the hotel, food, and drinks
  • Capital One miles cover flight taxes & fees and airport transfer, Uber to the airport, and any other miscellaneous travel expenses

The only expenses you’ll pay for are things like fuel (if you rent a car), airport parking from your home city (if you don’t Uber to the airport), and airport food if you eat during your journey.

That’s a super amazing, $1,000+, Instagrammable, bucket list, make-your-friends-jealous kind of trip.  And it cost you barely ANYTHING out of pocket.

Let me hear your idea of the cheapest possible vacation with miles & points!  No way can you come up with a cheaper itinerary.

Subscribe to our newsletter if you want to hear more ways to take FREE vacations!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

10comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Booked this almost exactly but at the Hyatt Ziva, can’t wait!

We did this actual trip over the holidays and it was great. We couldn’t find availability where we wrrr trying to go so we just posted up at zilara for a few days first. I hate AIs but it was actually not bad esp for 25k points / night for two people.

Also, I used to call my girlfriend my girl for short for a long time but people do find it offensive and demeaning. “My woman” sounds even worse. I get that you were joking, but if you’re going to write for a blog, it’s probably not the best look.

There are too many harsh and nit picking too often in the comments on this blog.

I sometimes think about not reading them but there can be some great comments that add to the article!

I’m trying to do this but at the Hyatt Ziva in Puerto Vallarata. I’m usually a Marriott girl but the Hyatt AI has me on a mission!

> 2 nights is hardly a vacation.

> The Southwest CC free companion pass offer is gone, so if you didn’t get it, you’re SOL.

> Burning through 3 SUBs represents a huge opportunity cost.

And you get what? 2 nights (basically 1.5 days) at a resort, a day of travel time, and jealousy from your friends? None of those sound appealing to to me. Heck, you’d have to pay ME to go through that ordeal.

Insta schminsta. Man, people’s priorities are really messed up nowadays.

Load more