Table of Contents
CNN Underscored reviews financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts based on their overall value, but does not review all financial companies or all available financial offers. We may receive compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com, and this compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Spring break is right around the corner. And even if you haven’t yet booked your vacation for some much-needed rest, relaxation and — hopefully — good weather, it’s not too late.
The spring break travel period is one of the best opportunities to grab a good deal on a vacation. That’s mostly thanks to the fact that spring break is spread out over the course of a few weeks.
Don’t fret if you’ve not booked — there are still plenty of deals to be had. If you feel comfortable traveling right now, keep in mind that Covid-19 restrictions could change at a moment’s notice. Be sure to do your research and ensure you have all of the required documentation and testing in place before heading off on your vacation — especially if you’re traveling internationally.
We found some of the best cheap and last-minute spring break travel deals out there — including flight deals, hotel deals and vacation package deals. For the purpose of looking at these deals, we searched between March 8 and April 10 — your spring break dates may fall outside that period. If you see a deal you like, try searching to see if it’s also available within your dates.
Ultimately, when it comes to finding deals, the best tip is to remain flexible. Be ready to tweak your dates of travel (as much as you can for a weeklong break), look for surrounding airports and keep in mind that points and miles can be extremely valuable in high-demand periods like this.
These last-minute spring break hotels deals include properties where you can extract a ton of value from your loyalty points and miles for a free stay rather than forking out potentially hundreds — or thousands — of dollars.
This adults-only property is one of our favorite uses of Hyatt points. That’s because you can get great value from your points and get an all-inclusive stay in return. Over the spring break period, you can redeem 40,000 World of Hyatt points per night for a standard suite room. So, a four-night stay would cost 160,000 Hyatt points for a completely free stay — and that’s for two people. If you were to pay cash on the same dates, it would cost $614 per night, or $2,456.
Hyatt points are extremely valuable because you can use them for a variety of redemptions, including those at all-inclusive properties. The quickest way to earn Hyatt points is via a credit card like the World of Hyatt Credit Card, That card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 points — 30,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the card, then up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total for every dollar you spend in the first six months after you open the account, up to $15,000 in purchases.
This property located near downtown Miami offers easy access to all the city has to offer. The property features its own outdoor pool while also being located just a short walk away from Miami’s famous beaches. Cash rates around the spring break period tend to hover around $199 per night, meaning a seven-night stay would cost around $1,393.
But instead, you could redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for a free stay. That same seven-night stay would require 160,000 Bonvoy points, as Marriott awards a fifth night free if you pay for five consecutive nights with points.
You can quickly earn Marriott points to use on redemptions like this in the future by considering one of the hotel chain’s American Express cards. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card currently comes with a welcome offer of 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening the account.
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Jamaica
This property in Montego Bay, Jamaica, made our list of the best all-inclusive resorts where you can redeem points for a free stay. And that’s especially evident during spring break, where cash rates can be high. For a four-night stay during the spring break period, you can redeem 107,000 points for a free night, or 428,000 for a free stay. That’s as opposed to paying cash on the same dates, which would cost you $1,732.
Hilton credit cards are the quickest way to earn Hilton Honors points for redemptions like this in the future. The Hilton Honors American Express Card, for example, comes with a welcome bonus of 70,000 Honors points, plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $1,000 in the first three months, putting a redemption like this within reach for the future.
Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences, Dominican Republic
This stunning 5-star property is now available for point redemptions, thanks to Hyatt’s partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The small property — which features just 26 suites, including seven casitas — also has two restaurants and a fitness center and spa on property, plus outdoor pools. For a sample seven-night stay over the spring break period, you can redeem 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night — 175,000 points in total for the stay. Alternatively, the hotel is charging $485 per night over the same dates — $3,395 in total.
A redemption like this will save you cash that you can spend elsewhere while you’re on spring break, and the World of Hyatt Credit Card will help you start working your way to a redemption like this. It currently comes with a sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 Hyatt points — 30,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the card, then up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total for every dollar you spend in the first six months on purchases, up to $15,000 spent
This is a terrific deal if you’re looking to splurge on a free hotel stay in the Bahamas for spring break. The Coral at Atlantis is charging 60,000 Marriott points per night over the spring break period. Plus, since Marriott gives members the fifth night free on award stays of five consecutive nights or longer, you’re only paying for six nights on a seven-night stay.
That seven-night stay with points during spring break will cost 360,000 Marriott points. If you were to pay cash on the same dates, it’d cost you a whopping $848 per night, or $5,936 for the seven-night stay.
Marriott points are easy to earn en masse, thanks to welcome bonus offers across the hotel chain’s credit card portfolio. For example, the Marriott Brilliant Amex currently comes with a welcome offer of 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening the account. That bonus, plus the points you’ll earn for your everyday spending, will put you on your way toward a free stay.
This property dubs itself as the only downtown Miami waterfront hotel with private dockside arrival. All rooms at the hotel have a private balcony, and there are multiple restaurants, a spa and a fitness center on-site. During a sample seven-night stay over the spring break period, you can find a room for 85,428 IHG Rewards points per night. On the same dates, nightly rates run $375, or $2,625 for the same length of stay. Ultimately, for a great property like this, saving the cash to spend on other parts of your spring break trip could be a great way to go.
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a good way to earn IHG points quickly for redemptions like this. It currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 125,000 points and a Free Night certificate after spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the card. That sign-up bonus alone will put you well on your way toward redemptions like this in the future.
Getting to your destination can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some good deals we’ve found on airfare to popular spring break hot spots.
This fare will get you from the cold of New York to the sunshine of south Florida nonstop for less than $100 round trip per person.
Want to escape to Puerto Vallarta for spring break? Fly nonstop from LA to the hot spot for just over $240 round trip.
Head down to the Bahamas for just $192.29 round trip per person from Miami for some spring break fun.
This itinerary with Frontier doesn’t require a stop in either direction, so you can get down to Jamaica in less than three hours of flying time. Plus, at less than $230 round trip, this is a great deal.
Fly nonstop from Dallas to Miami for less than $100 round trip per person for a one-week stay.
This itinerary is operated by United on the outbound and JetBlue on the return. And, keep in mind it’ll depart from LaGuardia and return to Newark. But at less than $250 for last-minute spring break travel, it’s a good deal.
Fly with Delta and United on this one-stop itinerary from Baltimore to Los Cabos. You’ll pay just over $260 round trip to get to the sunny Baja peninsula.
If your mind is now set on the idea of heading on a last-minute spring break vacation, make sure you book your flight the right way in order to maximize what you’re getting for your purchase. For instance, there are a number of credit cards that earn extra rewards or perks when you book travel with them.
Widely considered the best card for booking flights is The Platinum Card® from American Express. You’ll earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on flights booked directly with an airline or via Amex Travel when you use the Amex Platinum. So if you book the $225.68 round-trip flight from Atlanta to Montego Bay directly with Frontier Airlines, you’ll earn 1,128 points from Amex.
Alternatively, you could book these flights with a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which earns 3 points per dollar on travel, including flights, and 5 points total on air travel if you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
And if you’re planning to book with an online travel agency like Priceline, remember to book your flights with a credit card that earns points on all travel, not just travel booked directly with airlines or via an issuer’s booking portal. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns a general 2 points per dollar on travel purchases.
For those looking for a package holiday, there are still deals to be had there as well — these are especially good last-minute family spring break deals. We’ve rounded up a few of the best ones we’re seeing, which include both round-trip flights and accommodation.
Round-trip flights from New York (JFK) to Punta Cana (PUJ) + 6 nights at the Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville All Inclusive
This package booked via Expedia includes round-trip airfare for two from New York’s JFK airport to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, it includes six nights at the Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville in a Junior Suite Deluxe room. The all-inclusive property offers an exclusive beach area, the main buffet restaurant and two specialty restaurants.
This spring break stay includes seven nights at the Canopy by Hilton Cancun La Isla as well as round-trip flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Cancun (CUN) for two passengers. The total for the seven-night stay is $1,777 for dual occupancy. This Canopy by Hilton Cancun property is located in the Zona Hotelera neighborhood, offering access to a shopping center as well as a nearby beach.
This vacation package includes round-trip flights from Miami (MIA) to Aruba (AUA) for two people and a seven-night stay at the Hyatt Place Aruba Airport. Don’t let the “airport” in its name fool you. This property is a short distance from some of Aruba’s best beaches, Arikok National Park and more. Guests also have access to a pool during their stay.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
Looking for a new travel credit card? Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as our best travel credit cards of 2022.