How to travel to the Maldives (Part 2)

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Yesterday, I wrote about collecting enough hotel points to stay in the Maldives for free. Today, I’ll examine how to collect enough miles to fly to the Maldives for free.

The Maldives are very remote (see the map above) and are a very desirable destination thus making award flights pretty hard to find. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible but rather more difficult than other destinations. In this post, I’ll examine award flights through Delta and United. There are plenty more options than these, and I’ll be linking some other bloggers’ tips at the bottom of this post.

If you are traveling to either the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island hotel or Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa hotel that I suggested in my post yesterday, please note they both include a transfer fee from Male International Airport. The Conrad charges $500 and the Park Hyatt $510 per person round trip. Unfortunately you can’t use standard miles or points for these charges, but you can sign up for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card and use the $400 dollar statement credit towards these charges.

Delta

Atlanta to Male, Maldives

Atlanta to Male, Maldives

While Delta does not fly to the Maldives, it’s SkyTeam members do. Saver flights on partner airlines will cost 80,000 Skymiles. Delta Skymiles can be acquired through Delta co-branded American Express cards and through transferring American Express Membership Rewards points. Let’s take a look at a few of these cards below.

American Express Delta Gold Skymiles Credit Card
-Currently this bonus is for only 30,000 Skymiles after spending $1,000 dollars and $50 dollars in statement credit after your first Delta purchase. A 50,000 Skymiles bonus is offered several times a year.

American Express Platinum Delta Skymiles Credit Card
-Currently this bonus is for only 35,000 Skymiles after $1,000 in spending and $100 in statement credit after your first Delta purchase. Though increased bonuses vary for the Platinum card, I’ve seen them as high as 60,000 Skymiles.

American Express Everyday Preferred Credit Card
-This card doesn’t come with a huge sign up bonus, only 15,000 Membership Rewards points after $1,000 dollars in spending though as high as 30,000 Membership Rewards points. The reason I’m suggesting it is the spending bonus categories. You can earn 3x points per dollar on groceries (up to $6,000 in spending a year) and 2x points per dollar on gas and 1x point on other purchases and a 50% bonus on all points if you make 30 purchases in a billing cycle.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card
-Currently only a 25,000 Membership Rewards sign up bonus after $2,000 in spending though I’ve seen bonuses as high as 50,000 to 75,000 Membership Rewards points.

Apply for any two of these cards during their increased sign up bonuses and you’ll earn the 80,000 Skymiles to book a saver award ticket. Cash value for these tickets are $1,800!

United

Atlanta to Male, Maldives (42.5k points one-way)

Atlanta to Male, Maldives (42.5k points one-way)

United does not fly to the Maldives either, however Star Alliance partners do. Saver award tickets will cost you 85,000 MileagePlus miles. United MileagePlus miles can be acquired through United co-branded Chase credit cards and through transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Let’s take a look at a few of these cards below.

Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card
-Currently this card only has a 30,000 MileagePlus miles offer though increased 50,000 MileagePlus miles offers come out several times a year.

Chase Sapphire Preferred card (If you’d like to support my blog, click this referral link earning you the same 50k bonus and me 5k points ) 

-Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points (50,000 Gold Passport points) after $4,000 in spending (an additional 4,000 Ultimate Rewards points) and earn an additional 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points after adding an authorized user and their first purchase. The 50,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus is increased from the normal 40,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus.

Chase Freedom  (If you’d like to support my blog, please send me an email (nick@pointstutor.com) and I can email you the same bonus offer while earning me 5k bonus points) 

-Earn 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points (15,000 Gold Passport points) after $500 in spending (an additional 500 Ultimate Rewards points) and an additional 2,500 points after adding an authorized user and their first purchase. This offer is increased from the normal 10,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus but less than the 20,000 Ultimate Rewards I’ve seen a couple times.

If you apply for a couple or a few of these cards, you’ll easily earn the 80,000 MileagePlus miles needed for a saver award ticket. Cash value for this ticket is $1,170. If you’re already planning on using points from the Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire Preferred card for your Hyatt stay, consider the Chase Ink cards if you have a bonus.

Other blogger tips!

The Points Guy – What’s the Best Way to Search Airline Award Availability?

One Mile at a Time – How To Book An Award Ticket To The Maldives?

Million Mile Secrets – Our $27,000 Vacation to the Maldives for ~$4,300 & How You Can Do It Too: Part 1 – Introduction & Planning

Conclusion

While it is hard to find a free flight to the Maldives, it isn’t impossible. Apply for a couple of credit cards and you can earn $1,200 to $1,700 dollars worth of flights.

Have any questions? Comment below!

-Points Tutor