Jamaica: A Great Place for a Cheap Vacation on Credit Card Rewards

If you’re looking for a new island to visit and have never considered Jamaica, now may be a great time to give this destination another look. Currently, I am on my 8th trip to the island of Jamaica, which I have been told makes me a “Jamerican.”

I have stayed at the Holiday Inn Montego Bay Resort four times, along with the Hyatt Ziva, IBEROSTAR Rose Hall, Moon Palace in Ochos Rios, Sandals Montego Bay, and the Grand Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay. I have loved every trip and I love Jamaica in general, which is why I keep going back.

Here are some of the reasons Jamaica is such a great destination for a rewards-fueled trip:

There are so many hotels you can book with points.

The first reason to consider Jamaica is the fact you can book so many hotels with points. You can book the Holiday Inn Resort Jamaica in Montego Bay with IHG Rewards points from the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card, for example. You can also book the Hyatt Ziva or Hyatt Zilara in Rose Hall for 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night based on double occupancy.

Hilton also has several all-inclusive resorts you can book with points, although their prices vary. This summer, the following Hilton properties featured these rates for double occupancy:

  • Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa in Runaway Bay – 67,000 points per night
  • Jewel’s Dunn Rivers Beach Resort & Spa – 70,000 points per night
  • Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa – 57,000 points per night

Flying to Jamaica is easy.

Flying to Jamaica is easy if you have airline miles with several different programs. Not only can you fly the major carriers like American, United, and Delta to the island, but you can fly Southwest or JetBlue to Montego Bay for as little as 10,000 miles one-way plus taxes from select American cities.

Club Mobay exists.

Club Mobay is an airport VIP program that lets you skip the lines at customs and immigration and leave the airport asap after you land. Since I am usually traveling to Jamaica with my parents and kids, I pay for their arrival service and believe it’s an excellent value. It’s $50 for the arrival service, but you can frequently save 2-3 hours in line when the airport is busy.

Getting around is cheap.

Where a lot of Caribbean islands gauge you for taxis and transportation (I’m looking at you, St. Thomas), prices in Jamaica are very reasonable. For this year’s spring break, I paid $42 for transfer to the Hyatt Ziva for six people plus luggage, plus another $42 for the ride home. I typically use Lyndon from Purpose Driven Tours and highly recommend his services if you want your money to go to an individual business owner. He’s a nice guy and he always shows up.

There are plenty of things to do if you like to get off your resort.

While Jamaica is a great place to park your butt on the beach for a week, there is plenty to see and do as well. Dunn’s River Falls is a popular day trip a lot of people book, but you can also see Bob Marley’s childhood home in Nine Mile. I did a river raft tour down the Martha Brae once and it was really fun as well. The best part is, you can book these excursions and more with points through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Have you ever visited Jamaica? If so, where did you stay?

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