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For many, a honeymoon is a trip of a lifetime, one in which no expense should be spared. But as the upcoming nuptials start heading (way) over budget, conversations could turn to post-wedding cost-cutting, including that dream honeymoon (eek!). Thankfully, not all honeymoon-related plans require cash. Some exclusive honeymoon destinations are possible to visit using points and miles, including the biggest names in tropical travel: The Maldives, Seychelles and Bora Bora.
Here’s where (and how) to book your honeymoon with points and miles — without compromising your original fantasy of top-tier accommodations and comfortable flights.
Scattered across the Indian Ocean, the Maldives — and its jewel-toned water world, rife with overwater bungalows — is exactly what honeymoon dreams are made of. International flights arrive at the capital island of Malé, from which you’ll need to take a seaplane or speedboat to reach paradise. Every resort in the Maldives sits on its own private island (yes, you read correctly), which means privacy and social distancing are implicit in this luxury honeymoon experience.
How to book a Maldives honeymoon with points and miles
The Maldives is one of the most exclusive honeymoon destinations you can visit using travel points and miles — especially if you have a stack of Marriott Bonvoy points at hand. There are three excellent Category 8 properties to choose from: The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort in the Dhaalu Atoll, W Maldives on Fesdu Island in the North Ari Atoll and the recently debuted The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands in North Male Atoll.
Pricing at Category 8 properties ranges from 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night to 100,000 points per night, depending on timing during off-peak, standard or peak times. Our searches done in March 2021, showed rooms are available at all three properties for stays, short and long (including ones in excess of five-nights, an entire week or even more, which is what you’d want for a honeymoon).
For booking a long-haul flight from the U.S. to Malé in business class, there are three main options for reasonably priced award seats with minimal taxes.
Look at using American Airlines AAdvantage miles on Qatar Airways for 70,000 miles.
Try using Alaska Airlines miles to book a seat with Emirates Airlines, where one-way in business costs 82,500 miles.
Consider redeeming United Airlines miles to book a ticket with a partner like Turkish Airlines, with business seats starting at 93,500 miles. And remember that United is a Chase transfer partner if you need to boost your account balance.
Sandwiched between East Africa and the Maldives, the 115 islands that form Africa’s smallest nation, the Seychelles, are a contrasting mix of low-lying coralline islets and the world’s only high-rising mid-oceanic granite islands. Most resorts are found in Seychelles’ Inner Islands, namely the capital island of Mahé, the heart and soul of the archipelago’s granitic grandeur.
How to book a honeymoon in Seychelles with points and miles
Seychelles’ natural splendor is easily accessible to those with Hilton Honors points. The capital island of Mahé features two top-tier beachfront properties in the Hilton portfolio: Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa and Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts, which each cost 95,000 points per night. Nearby on Silhouette Island, a near-private island with 200 inhabitants, is the Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa, which runs at 80,000 points per night.
At the time of writing, there is plenty of availability for longer stays — perfect for taking advantage of Hilton’s fifth night free on award stays benefit. Five nights on Mahé plus five on Silhouette Island would make for an excellent honeymoon.
To get to Mahé in business class, use American Airlines points to book Qatar Airways at 75,000 miles one way. Alternatively, use Alaska Airlines miles to book a seat with Emirates Airlines at a cost of 120,000 miles each way.
3. Bora Bora
The island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia is a global honeymoon mainstay, revered for its turquoise waters and incredible overwater bungalows. The island is notoriously expensive, and not so long ago, using points and miles for a luxury honeymoon in Bora Bora constituted the ultimate travel hack, which included using points and certificates earned from Hilton credit cards.
However, word of standard award space has spread like wildfire online in recent years, and nowadays, it’s exceptionally difficult to plan a luxury honeymoon here on points. It can be difficult to find availability for multiple days, and in some cases, only the super pricey premium award stays are available. That said, points availability is always changing, so it still may be worth looking into, and there's an IHG hotel option that may have better availability.
How to book a Bora Bora honeymoon with points and miles
According to the Hilton Honors Points Explorer tool, the stunning Conrad Bora Bora Nui should be bookable with Hilton Honors points for 90,000 points per night for a standard room. However, in our most recent search (which spanned as far as the points’ calendar allowed), we were unable to find a single room for this amount. The lowest points’ rate found was 193,000 per night in January 2022. Likewise, InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa hotel, theoretically bookable with IHG points at the program’s max of 100,000 points per night, had zero inventory for award stays in our search.
A second, older Intercontinental on Bora Bora, InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora, on the other hand, could accommodate up to six nights in a row on a reward stay at rates of 70,000 points per night. If you're looking to head to Bora Bora, you may need to make this hotel your target.
Getting to Bora Bora first requires flying to the French Polynesia capital island of Tahiti. You can fly to Tahiti on miles with American Airlines using Air Tahiti Nui; one-way flights in business cost 80,000 from the U.S. to Tahiti. Flights from Tahiti to Bora Bora aren't redeemable with points and must be booked on Air Tahiti.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with Hilton Honors
The bottom line
Though Bora Bora has become increasingly difficult to find award availability, there are two equally exclusive honeymoon destinations you can visit using travel points and miles: Maldives and Seychelles. You can still travel hack your honeymoon and land a five-star castaway fantasy without paying for it all with cash.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card