Reader Success Story to Aruba


I started following Jess over at Made Possible By Points right after I returned from an amazing trip to Kauai, Hawaii. My husband and I had the time of our lives at the Grand Hyatt, and Jess was sharing a reel about how she scored a trip to Hawaii using points from a welcome offer. I couldn’t believe it, I wanted to know how to book nearly free vacations in places like Hawaii! 

That’s when my curiosity got the best of me, and I began following her page. About four months later, I took the plunge and enrolled in her Award Travel Academy Course on the very day it was released. Let me tell you, I’ve been all in ever since!

Nowadays, the only reason I open up Instagram is to see what my favorite travel trio is up to. Points and miles has truly transformed the way my family and I travel. In just a little over 16 months, I’ve managed to rack up over a million points across four major banks. And guess what? My recent trip to Aruba was booked entirely with points. Now, let me spill the beans on how I made that happen!


Deciding Where to Go with Credit Card Points and Miles

Let’s rewind a bit to springtime when Hyatt rolled out some new point changes. It was time to book our annual fall getaway to celebrate our anniversary. We were contemplating a Caribbean destination and wanted to avoid the hurricane belt, so it boiled down to a choice between Costa Rica and Aruba. Ultimately, we opted for the Hyatt Regency in Aruba, and it turned out to be an absolute winner!

But hold on. Here’s a quick heads-up: September in Aruba is the hottest time of the year, and it’s a tad windy (thank goodness for that breeze!). So, don’t forget to slather on sunscreen to avoid becoming a crispy critter. The rainy season usually falls between October and December, leaving the rest of the year with mild weather. While Aruba itself isn’t in the hurricane belt, you might pass through it when flying there, so keep that in mind when booking your flights. 


Blue water with white sailboats

It is no wonder people love Aurba, look at the water!


Flights to Aruba with Credit Card Points and Miles

Fortunately for us, we had zero weather-related hiccups or delays. We hopped on a Delta flight from Charlotte, NC, to Aruba with a quick pitstop in Atlanta. I had 25k Delta miles in my account, and I sweetened the pot with an extra 10k from AMEX to cover our journey there. 35k miles for both of us felt like highway robbery, considering the actual ticket price was a whopping $1200! The total travel time was roughly 8 hours, with just about 5 hours spent in the air. 

The real deal came with our return flight. Armed with newfound knowledge from the Award Travel Academy about transfer partners, I spent days toying around with return flights.

I used to scout the best deal, and guess what? We snagged a direct flight from Aruba to Charlotte on American Airlines for a mere 22k points! I booked the route through British Airways with Avios, which I had transferred from AMEX. All in all, we paid just $65 in taxes. On the way to Aruba, our bags flew for free, but for the return trip, we paid $40 per bag and even splurged on upgrading our seats to economy plus for $79. The best part? My American Express Platinum Card swooped in like a hero, reimbursing me for all those expenses thanks to its $200 annual airline credit. Ultimately, I scored two tickets to Aruba for just $65 and 57k points. Now, that’s what I call a deal!


Aruba Hotel Stay with Credit Card Points and Miles

Once we touched down in Aruba, we checked into the magnificent Hyatt Regency Aruba for four nights and five glorious days. The first night was 25k points, while the remaining three nights were 21k each, totaling 88k points for the entire stay. I swiftly transferred points from the Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt, and voilà, it was instant gratification. I made the reservation about six months in advance, and the only award option available was a room with a partial ocean view and two queen beds. 

Luckily, the room had recently been renovated, boasting a spacious bathroom and heavenly tranquility. This room normally costs $495 a night, which would have left us with a bill of $1950. But thanks to those points, we were golden. There is suite availability at this property, but I do think you would need to book nine months to a year out to find it.


Hotel room with 2 white beds - Reader Success Story to Aruba

Hyatt Regency Aruba is a great deal with Hyatt Points!

Review of the Hyatt Regency Aruba

Now, let me wax poetic about the Hyatt Regency itself. This place is like a dream. Picture three dazzling pools, including an adults-only oasis. You’ve got over 100 cozy huts perched on the water that you can rent for a cool $40. And if you’re all about that shade without spending a dime, you can snag a free hut closer to the resort. But the fun doesn’t stop there. The hotel boasts a spa, a casino, and a few delectable restaurants. The layout of the Regency is reminiscent of the Grand Hyatt in Kauai, complete with a waterslide, cascading waterfalls, and charming wildlife encounters. The entire property is meticulously maintained. 


Palm trees and blue water

The Hyatt Regency Aruba looks gorgeous!



Hotel grounds

The grounds at the Hyatt Regency Aruba were pristine.


We dined at the main restaurant on our first night, and while the food was good, it couldn’t quite match up to the other culinary gems we discovered on the island.

Situated right on Palm Beach, the hotel is in the company of about ten other hotel chains. The ocean is calm and absolutely stunning. This spot is perfect for families with little ones, as the lack of waves makes it safer for kiddos. After strolling through all the neighboring hotels, I must say the Hyatt left the most lasting impression. It boasts the largest pools and the most enchanting atmosphere. If you’re a die-hard Marriott fan, fret not; there are three Marriott properties lined up in a row, offering a cozy stay. But when it comes to value and redeeming those hard-earned points, the Hyatt reigns supreme.


Hotel pool area

Stephanie thought the Hyatt Regency had the best pool in the area.


Dining in Aruba

Going out to eat is one of my favorite parts about traveling. I did a lot of research and booked reservations at the following three restaurants:

  • Madame Janette – This gem oozes charm with its cute atmosphere and dishes to die for. It’s not too far from the hotel, and we feasted on steak and a mouthwatering shrimp dish after enjoying a delicious ceviche appetizer.
  • Barefoot – Located downtown right on the waterfront and this spot is pure magic. Some of the tables were right on the beach, and we watched the sun dip below the horizon while savoring a sumptuous meal of lobster and steak. The view here was hands-down the best. Just a quick tip: the lobster in Aruba is rock lobster, so it’s a bit heartier and less sweet than Maine lobster but still delicious.
  • OceanZ – If you’re hunting for the best food and ambiance, look no further. OceanZ takes the crown for its mouthwatering offerings. I indulged in delectable shrimp pasta, ceviche, and a refreshing Greek salad while my husband devoured an unreal fish special. The view here is unobstructed, overlooking the ocean, and we were serenaded by live music as we dined. It may be a bit pricier, but trust me, it’s worth every penny.


Couple eating at table in restaurant - Travel Hacking Mom Reader Success Story to Aruba

Stephanie and her husband found many good places to eat out on their anniversary trip.


Bottom Line

So, let’s tally it up. All in all, our Aruba adventure set us back about $1200, which covered everything from excursions and food to airline taxes and souvenirs. Sure, we could have spent less if we opted for more budget-friendly dining options, but hey, indulging in exquisite food is my absolute favorite part of traveling, so I’m more than happy with it.

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Alex, Pam, and Jess! This fantastic trip became a reality thanks to credit card points and miles!


Thanks, Stephanie, for your Reader Success Story to Aruba! I’ve been there before, but you’ve made me want to return and stay at a Hyatt!

Row of hotels on white beach near blue water

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a Travel Mom Squad advertiser, but we always show the best public offer even when we don’t earn a commission. Terms Apply. 

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  1. Jess says:

    So we have both the Grand Hyatt Kauai and Hyatt Regency Aruba booked for this summer (as well as a trip to an SLH property in the Turks and Caicos). I am curious, which resort did you like better? Aruba or Kauai?

  2. Julie says:

    Thank you for this great review, I am currently looking at this property for a trip. I was wondering if what I am reading on some reviews is true regarding taxes on award stay at this resort. Can you share if you incurred any taxes at the end of your stay? Thank you!

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