Booked: 3 Free Nights at Hyatt Zilara Cancun With Points!

What I like most about the points and miles hobby is setting a goal, then attaining it.

For a long time, I’ve wanted to stay at the all-inclusive and adults-only Hyatt Zilara Cancun. And in a few weeks, I’ll be there!

Hyatt Zilara Cancun Points

Coming for ya, Zilara!

I used 75,000 Hyatt points for a stay that would’ve cost over $1,900 out-of-pocket. Here’s how it came together.

Booking a Hyatt Zilara Cancun Points Award

American Airlines had a recent fare sale on non-stop flights from Dallas to Cancun in early 2017.

I instantly thought about the Hyatt Zilara Cancun. First, I made sure the fare didn’t have any minimum stay requirements and that I could find a 3-day chunk of time. I found a few combinations that worked – options!

Ocean View Junior Suites were selling for $641 a night + taxes and fees

Ocean View Junior Suites selling for $642 a night + taxes and fees

Then, called Hyatt to check for award space. A rep answered right away and had no problem searching dates. I told her the first set I found – and she confirmed all 3 nights were available in an Ocean View Junior Suite with double beds. I didn’t ask her check the other dates.

I transferred Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt to top-up my account  (I already had some from work-related stays). She held until the transfer went through, which took seconds. And then booked it!

I got the confirmation email before we hung up – it took under 5 minutes to book.


The 3-night stay would’ve cost $1,926

My 75,000 Hyatt points got me a stay worth $1,926, which means each point was worth ~2.5 cents.

Hyatt points can certainly be much more, but there is no way I’d pay the cash rate for that hotel. Plus, I figure I’ll save big on food and drinks, which is another value-add.

Also, I’ve just been really wanting to stay here. Ultimately, your points are there for you to use for experiences you’ll enjoy.

I don’t see myself having paid stays with Hyatt any time soon, so I was eager to zero out my Hyatt points balance. Earn and burn, baby!

AA flights with Citi ThankYou points

  • Link: I Saved $3,000 With Citi Prestige Last Year (and Got a Retention Offer)

Flights were next. I had them pulled up in another tab on the Citi ThankYou travel portal, and went through the booking process.


~22,000 Citi ThankYou points for TWO round-trip tickets

Thanks to Citi Prestige, each Citi ThankYou point is worth 1.6 cents each toward American Airlines flights (through July 23, 2017). I can earn ThankYou points easily with my Citi AT&T Access More card (no longer available), so I thought nothing of using them for this trip.

Both flights cost 21,634 Citi ThankYou points, or 10,817 points each. That’s an incredible deal!

Of course, once the time comes, I’ll credit them to Alaska. 🙂

And that was it! I put this trip together in under 10 minutes by running a quick flight search and calling Hyatt. Just like that, a travel goal got checked off the list.

Bottom line

I am so so so looking forward to a stay at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun in 3 weeks. And I’m glad I was able to combine a cheap flight deal with open award dates.

A room for 2 costs 25,000 Hyatt points per night. Considering stays can cost $600 to $1,000 a night, that’s a good deal.

I am most looking forward to the all-inclusive and adults-only aspects of the resort. I’ll try to sample as many restaurants as I can and snap lots of pics around the property.

I used points to completely cover 2 round-trip flights, and the cost of all 3 nights. My only expenses will be transport to and from the airports, and anything extra in Cancun. So this trip will be incredibly easy on the wallet.

If you have any tips on what to do at the resort, please share. And if you’ve stayed there, let me know how it was!

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. Just got back. Highly recommend emailing the property and try and pay for an upgrade to a swim out suite. Got mine for $150. Food and drinks are really good here.

  2. Will be staying @ the Sister Hyatt Ziva in Feb. 2017. Booked four nights on points. We toured both the Zilara & Ziva before choosing. Ziva is a better location and has the cool Dolphin pool & rooftop infinity pool. It is also newer. Will fly SW out of BWI on points using my companion pass. Initially wanted to stay in Playa del Carmen on points & cash using Diamond upgrade but wasn’t available for 8 nights. Will be doing four nights @ the Intercontinental prior to the Ziva. Wife is Spire Ambassador so we always get an Oceanfront confirmed. They’ve been giving us Lounge also on our last three stays which is absolutely fabulous. Here’s a DP: use from CUN. Only $55.00 for two r/t. Driver will be waiting for you w/ name sign.

  3. I just went to Playa del Carmen earlier this month. Uber also just started in the area (less than 2-3 months). Just an FYI.

  4. I had to check your dates, as I had the same idea. I will be using two free Hyatt nights from my credit card and then used 75,000 Hyatt points to add another three nights. We arrive January 25th. Looking forward to it!

    • That sounds heavenly! I check out the day you arrive so we will *just* miss each other.

      Congrats on getting the space – and this property is a good way to use the 2 free nights for sure. Have so much fun!

    • I remember those posts on your blog. They are partly the reason I wanted to visit here. I enjoy your posts so much.

      Can’t wait to get there and take it all in! This will be my first all-inclusive. I have a feeling I’ll be spoiled!

  5. How timely!

    I was wanting to set up the same thing, but since this is the first time I’ve booked a trip with points, I’m a bit confused on the order of things.

    (Also, I should probably tell you that I have points with my Chase Sapphire preferred card, so I’m going to need to transfer them to Hyatt first.)

    So should I check at flight dates or hotel dates first? Do I call the hotel, book the dates with my points, then go about getting the flight?

    I just don’t want to burn my hard-earned points!

    Thanks for the reply. Hopefully it can help somebody else out too

    • First of all, you are going to love it!

      Here’s how I did it.

      I found the flights I wanted first. But I didn’t book them. Then I called Hyatt to see if award space was open at the Zilara.

      I checked two blocks of 3 days each. They were both available.

      So I picked the dates with the best flight times. Then booked the hotel.

      As soon as I hung up, I booked the flights. It was all done in about 20 minutes. Best way to go about it, IMO.

      You could even wait to transfer your Chase points to Hyatt when you’re on the phone because transfers are instant – if you wanted.

      Hope that helps you out! 🙂

      • We’re booked for five nights for free!

        Plus we got $300 off our flight. Not a bad way to celebrate 4 year anniversary.

        Thanks for your help!

        • Wowwww you are going to have a BLAST. Prepare your tummy for a ton of food! And take sunscreen even if you have for pay for a checked bag – it’s cheaper that way. Once you get there, it’s $20 for a tiny tube and you’re def gonna want it.

          Have so much fun!

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