Our 7 Night Stay At Hyatt Zilara Cancun All Inclusive Resort – FREE (part 1)

Well, here we are just days away from boarding our plane to Cancun. I never thought we’d be able to experience a 7 night stay in Cancun at Hyatt Zilara’s all inclusive resort: including food, lodging, entertainment and airfare – ALL FOR FREE! But, alas, here we are! As I think about the process of getting to this point, it really was quite simple. So simple, in fact, that I’m going to show you exactly how you can enjoy a wonderful, and absolutely free, vacation in Cancun!

 

Step 1: Hotel (Hyatt Zilara – Cancun)

 

In the beginning of the year, I began a search to find how we could enjoy a seven day vacation absolutely free. A tall task, indeed, but I was sure I could find some way of accomplishing it. The only stipulation I had for the location, it has to be somewhere on the beach. Me and my wife are pretty fond of the ocean, and what’s better than looking out your window to enjoy the sunset over the ocean!

After some research I discovered that Hyatt has a few all-inclusive resorts in Mexico. Living in TX, I knew Mexico would probably be our best bet for only having to endure a few hours’ plane ride.

I stumbled upon Hyatt Zilara Cancun, an all inclusive resort that is just a few steps to the ocean. Hyatt Zilara boasts an expansive hotel with pools, fitness center, yoga and pilates classes, breathtaking views (from what I hear), and five restaurants!

Hyatt Zilara Cancun

So, how are we going to stay there free? I’m glad you asked! I noticed that Hyatt has a credit card sign up bonus of 2 Free nights after you sign up for their credit card. If you’re wondering how that works, you sign up for their credit card and must spend $2,000 in the first three months. After that you get 2 free nights at a Hyatt hotel.

Surely you can’t use your 2 free nights for Hyatt’s all-inclusive resort?!? That was the same thing I thought! A quick call to Hyatt’s customer service hotline confirmed that I could use them at ANY Hyatt Hotel! I also found out that if I was using any previous points, one night would require 25,000 points.

So here’s how I got to 7 free nights:

  1. I signed up for a Hyatt Credit Card = 2 FREE NIGHTS
  2. My wife signed up for a Hyatt CC = 2 FREE NIGHTS
  3. I also got the Chase Sapphire Preferred and redeemed 50k points = 2 FREE NIGHTS
  4. With my previous travel I had already accumulated 25k points through Hyatt’s Passport (rewards membership program) = 1 FREE NIGHT

Keep in mind this whole process took me about 6 months because we only average about $2,000 per month in spending. So each time I signed up for a credit card, we would use that card for our normal spending, until we reached the minimum to receive the award. After that I called Hyatt’s customer service and made back to back reservations using my free nights and my wife’s free nights.

That’s the whole process for how we got 7 FREE NIGHTS (including food / drink) at Hyatt Zilara!

 

Step 2: Flights (Southwest Airlines)

The beauty of Southwest Airlines is that they also have an associated credit card that you can apply for! At the time, the bonus was 50,000 miles! This was simple also, I just signed up for the credit card, continued our normal spending and BOOM! We only ended up using about 30,000 miles for BOTH of our round trip flights!

 

Let’s look at the numbers

Here’s a little disclaimer about some of the small fees we ended up paying for using points. For each of the Hyatt credit cards, they normally have a 75$ annual fee for each, so it would have been 150$. At the time we signed up, Hyatt waived the first year fee, so we literally paid nothing for those 4 nights!

For the Chase Sapphire Preferred AND Southwest Airlines cards, we did have to pay 99$ each for using the card. In addition, we did have to pay taxes / fees for the flights we are taking, which came out to be 48$.

 

TOTAL EXPENSES = $250! (Ok, so maybe not completely free, but pretty close!)

Now let’s look at how much this 7 night all inclusive vacation would have cost if we paid out of pocket.

Flights ~ 400$

Hotel for seven nights ~ $3850$ (assuming room is at 550$ a night)

TOTAL VALUE = 4250$

So what’s the return on that 250$ investment? Almost 1700% NOT TOO SHABBY!


 

I told you it was simple, although you do have to plan out well in advance of the actual vacation! I hope that inspires some of ya’ll to “travel hack” your way to a free vacation! In part 2 I’ll give my review of our experience and let you know how we liked it!

 

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