I’ve been dying to visit the Park Hyatt St. Kitts ever since it opened in November 2017. While the resort has previously offered great nightly rates including resort credits periodically throughout the year, I decided to redeem 30,000 World of Hyatt points per night for an upcoming 3-night stay to keep our short family getaway affordable. The total cost for a standard room during our travel dates would be $2,214.30, so I’d say it’s an excellent use of 90,000 World of Hyatt points!
Not only does the property now offer a complimentary over-the-top Kids Club from 9am to 5pm, as a World of Hyatt Globalist, we can get the most out of our getaway by enjoying a suite upgrade, free daily breakfast, and 4pm late check out. I’m certainly looking forward to our visit.
Hotels aside, St. Kitts is a destination that appeals to the “luxury market”. No matter how you look at it, flights to St. Kitts are generally expensive (even from Miami), so redeeming miles and points is key.
Booking the Flights
Beginning January 5, 2019, United will operate a nonstop flight between Newark (EWR) and St. Kitts (SKB) twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I was able to find 4 nonstop flights from EWR to SKB for $208 each and covered the cost of the outbound flights using some United travel vouchers from previous flight mishaps. To sweeten the deal, I was even able to confirm all four upgrades shortly after booking by using regional premier upgrade certificates.
I waited a bit before booking the return flight because I wasn’t sure how many nights I initially wanted to stay or if we should extend our trip somewhere else at a neighboring island afterwards. I started to notice that flight prices were increasing slightly every day, so I knew it was quickly time to make a decision.
The nonstop United flight back into Newark was pricing at $323 each (or $303 via hidden city SKB-EWR-TPA), so it was time for me to explore award options instead of shelling out an additional $1292 for return flights.
United charges 17,500 miles each way for economy at the saver award level between the US and St. Kitts, which isn’t a terrible redemption when flight prices are soaring. Keep in mind that taxes and fees can run you an additional $53-59 per ticket.
Singapore Airlines and Avianca LifeMiles also aren’t bad options as they each also require 35,000 miles round trip, but keep in mind that LifeMiles doesn’t always show partner availability on their site (I couldn’t find anything from SKB to EWR even though United had plenty of award space).
Another great Star Alliance option to consider is Aegean, which only requires charges 12,500 miles for any awards within North America. With that being said, it’s only 12,500 miles + taxes and fees between US cities and St. Kitts.
Not only is Aegean’s Miles+Bonus is a very underrated frequent flyer program that allows you to easily obtain Star Alliance Gold status (you must credit 19,000 miles of flying to Aegean’s Miles & Bonus program to reach gold, and you receive 1,000 miles just by joining), there are some great uses of their miles such as this example and business class awards to/from Europe or North Africa for just 45,000 miles each way.
Moving away from United and Star Alliance awards, American Airlines also operates a nonstop flight from Miami (twice daily) and seasonally from Charlotte and New York (JFK).
American Airlines typically charges 15,000 miles each way between US cities and SKB (and Citi AAdvantage credit cardmembers receive a 10% rebate back on redeemed AAdvantage miles), but British Airways is likely a better option if you’re based in Miami, Charlotte, or New York.
British Airways uses a distance-based award chart, which means the price of the award ticket in Avios depends on the distance of the flight. Avios award flights in the 1,151 to 2,000 mile range will cost 10,000 Avios each way, so flights to St. Kitts on American Airlines between Charlotte, Miami, and New York is a great redemption using Avios.
When pricing out 4 award tickets (2 adult and 2 kids under 5) from SKB to JFK with Avios, I noticed that the taxes were significantly lower for the children, so keep those savings in mind if you’re traveling as a family!
Delta also has seasonal nonstop service from New York and Atlanta to SKB (believe it or not, many of the ATL to SKB nonstop flights for the months of January/February priced at over $920 round trip), so let’s take a look at options using Delta SkyMiles and Air France Flying Blue miles.
While Delta and Air France both sometimes have award flash deals (SkyMiles Deals and Promo Rewards, respectively), in my example for a flight to New York, Delta was charging 19,000 miles +$53.73 one way in economy, while Air France wanted 18,500 miles + $71.81 for the same flight. I personally don’t see either of those options as a good redemption, but it can be if you have a surplus of Delta or Air France miles you’d like to part with.
Credit Card Points
We seem to always emphasize that you can get the most value out of your credit card programs by transferring points into airline and hotel transfer partners instead of redeeming them for charges, but there are two instances where paying for airfare with points is a good idea.
If you or someone in your household has a Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can redeem points for flights at 1.5 cents per point, which is an excellent value if you take airline elite status perks and earning miles on that ticket into consideration. My SKB to EWR example on a $323 flight would cost approximately 21,533 Ultimate Rewards points for each ticket (20,200 if I booked it as a $303 hidden city ticket to Tampa).
Another thing to keep in mind if you are an AmEx Business Platinum cardmember is the 35% rebate when you use “Pay With Points” to redeem your points economy flights on your selected airline (in my case it was United for 2018) or toward paid business or first-class flights on any airline.
If I had chosen this method, my sample flight above would end up costing 20,983 Membership Rewards points after the 35% points rebate is factored in. The best part of it all is that you can also still earn award miles, elite qualifying miles, and status perks on this ticket since it’s essentially a paid ticket.
As you can see there are many ways to use your miles and points to get to St. Kitts to avoid paying a fortune for flights to check out the Park Hyatt St. Kitts if it’s also on your bucket list.
After reviewing all of my options, I decided to book the 4 nonstop flights to JFK for a total of 40,000 Avios and $140.92. Even though JFK is my least-favorite NYC airport to fly in and out of, I had a stash of Avios that I hardly can use, and the savings on the taxes & fees for the kids’ tickets will cover my Uber from the airport to my home.
What miles have you used to St. Kitts? Feel free to share your tips and tricks in the comments!