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Comprising about 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean, the nation of the Maldives is a dream destination for many travelers. There are a number of international airlines that can get you to the Maldives, and fortunately for points and miles nerds, some are members of airline alliances that let you redeem United, American or Delta miles.
It’s a long trip — 19 hours or more from the U.S. But once there, you’ll also find several amazing resorts where you can earn or redeem points for your stay.
Some hotels may only offer a subset of their rooms for award bookings, and these may not always include the most desirable options, like overwater villas. But with a little planning and searching, you can find your perfect Maldives resort to book with points.
Consider earning points on your Maldives stay
If you don't have any points waiting for a prime redemption, consider paying for your hotel stay in cash to earn a solid chunk of points. This can be especially points-lucrative if you pay with a credit card affiliated with the hotel chain, as these cards typically award bonus points when you use them to pay for stays. Some of these cards also come with automatic elite status or perks like potential room upgrades.
For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status, the program’s highest tier. The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Hilton Honors Gold elite status, helping to multiply the perks (like a potential room upgrade) during your stay.
Plus, there are several new hotels coming to the Maldives, including Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa and Hilton Maldives Amingiri.
Where to use hotel points for (nearly) free nights in the Maldives
World of Hyatt
1. Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, on the Huvadhoo Atoll, features beach or overwater villas and the option for all-inclusive or a la carte dining.
This Category 7 property in the World of Hyatt program offers redemption nights starting at 30,000 points. Don’t forget that World of Hyatt is a transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards®, which means you can move points from Chase to help pay for a stay here.
» Learn more: Guide to the World of Hyatt award chart
2. JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa
Overwater and beach villas at the JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa take advantage of the beautiful water surrounding the Shaviyani Atoll. Japanese, Italian and Thai cuisine are among the many dining options. Watersports, a kids club, spa and infinity-edge pool are among the many activities at the resort.
At this Category 8 property, a redemption night cost 65,000 to 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
3. The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
On the Dhaalu Atoll, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is a Category 8 property where a redemption night costs between 65,000 and 100,000 points. The resort has 77 accommodations, split between overwater and beach villas.
Guests can enjoy a watersports and dive center, full-service spa, kids club, beach, infinity pool, yoga and meditation studio, and fitness center. No one will go hungry here, with pan-Asian, Indian and Italian among the many dining choices.
4. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
At the Category 6 Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, a redemption night goes for between 35,000 and 60,000 points.
The resort has 176 rooms, overwater bungalows and ocean viewing villas and offers numerous watersports, dining options, a kids club and pristine tropical views. When you pay with a Marriott Bonvoy credit card, you can rack up bonus points for each dollar you spend.
5. The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
Among the newest openings in the Maldives, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands offers paradise views from its waterfront and overwater villas, each with private pool and butler service.
There’s also the Ritz-Carlton Estate, which sleeps six with private indoor and outdoor living areas, a pool, full kitchen, private buggy service and butler service. Only about 45 minutes from the international airport via speedboat, this resort on the North Male Atoll counts Cantonese, Italian, Japanese and Mediterranean restaurants among its many dining options.
As a Category 8 property, a redemption night costs between 65,000 and 100,000 points.
6. W Maldives
Marriott’s music and lifestyle brand has a Maldivian outpost. W Maldives, a Category 8 property, offers redemption nights for between 65,000 and 100,000 points.
Located on a heart-shaped island in the North Ari Atoll, the resort boasts that it has the only music curator in the country. Three restaurants, two bars and a mix of overwater and beach villas and bungalows welcome guests to a stylish paradise.
7. InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort
On the Raa Atoll, the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort features a mix of villas and residences, including beach and overwater options with single or multiple bedrooms. Numerous dining options are available focusing on fresh seafood, Asian fusion cuisine and a pizzeria, among others. You can book a club-level category rate, which includes things like free breakfast, afternoon tea, evening aperitifs and all-day beverages.
The IHG Rewards program operates with dynamic pricing, which means the points rate varies based on the paid cost, and there is no points chart to serve as a guide.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with IHG Hotels
8. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers overwater villas, beach residences and, most famously, The Muraka — the world’s first underwater residence, with submerged bedroom and overwater villa. Located on the South Ari Atoll, it features numerous dining options including an underwater restaurant.
Hilton Honors program operates with dynamic pricing, which means the points rate varies based on the cash rate. Be sure to use a Hilton Honors-affiliated credit card to maximize the number of points you earn for each dollar spent.
9. SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton
Only 15 minutes by boat from the international airport, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton is a great option for travelers who prefer not to pay extra for the seaplane flights required to get to many Maldives resorts. The resort has standard rooms, beach villas, overwater villas and multibedroom overwater villas with private pools. Guests can also walk to The Marina @ Crossroads Maldives for dining and shopping.
Hilton Honors program operates with dynamic pricing, which means the points rate varies based on the cash price.
10. Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
On the South Male Atoll, 40 minutes by boat from the international airport, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is one of the newer resorts in this island nation. With nearly a dozen dining and drinking options, plus 119 beach, reef and overwater villas with private pools, there is plenty to experience here. The resort also has a private island for those who truly want to get away from it all.
The points rate for a stay here varies based on the paid cost as the Hilton Honors program pegs award values to cash values.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards right now
If you book a hotel with points in the Maldives
Whether you're looking to rack up points for hotel stays or prefer to redeem them for an award stay, the Maldives is a welcome destination to advanced and beginner points and miles enthusiasts alike.
With even more resorts on the way in the coming year, be sure to pack the right credit card to earn the maximum amount with every stay.
All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.
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