The St Regis Hotel brand is an upper-class luxury brand. It is one of the five luxury brands in the Marriott portfolio, including the Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, JW Marriott, W Hotel and Luxury Collection. In this post, I will go through a strategy of earning enough points for a 5 night stay at the The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort.

As a reminder, this is our complete travel guide to Maldives;

Hotels

Flights

Discretionary Expenses

Overview

WARNING: The Marriott Bonvoy program is going through multiple changes starting in March 2022 and ongoing changes until 2023. We are uncertain what the changes might be, so you need to be careful before proceeding down this path.

Every Marriott Hotel has a category that is assigned, and the points required per night varies on that. Below is the category chart across the entire Marriott chain:

CateoryOff-PeakStandardPeak
15,0007,50010,000
210,00012,50015,000
315,00017,50020,000
420,00025,00030,000
530,00035,00040,000
640,00050,00060,000
750,00060,00070,000
870,00085,000100,000

The The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort is a category 8 hotel, requiring between 70,000 and 100,000 points per night. A 5 night stay will cost either 280,000, 340,000 or 400,000 points depending on the season.

Notes:

  • Marriott has a 5th night free offer across the entire portfolio when using your points
  • The 5th night free only applies to the base cost of the room. If you opt for an upgraded room, the additional up-charge will still be charged in either cash or Marriott Reward Points
  • Peak Period is typically between October and February
  • Standard Period is typically between February and May, and August to October
  • Off-Peak Period is typically between May and August

Room Categories

There are eleven room categories at the hotel, however, not all of them are available through points. I have outlined all the rooms that are typically available for a points redemption.

St Regis is the only hotel in Maldives where upgrades are not prohibitively expensive for significantly larger villas in most cases.

It’s important to mention, like the W Maldives and JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa, all villas, including the base room comes with a private pool.

Base Room: Garden Villa

Garden Villa - Base Villa
Garden Villa – Base Villa

Upgrade 1: Overwater Villa

Overwater Villa
Overwater Villa

Typically costs an additional US$25 per night or 5,000 points.

If this is an upgrade that you desire, I would opt to pay the cash and conserve the points.

Upgrade 2: Beachfront Villa

Beachfront Villa
Beachfront Villa

Typically costs an additional US$45 per night or 9,000 points.

If this is an upgrade that you desire, I would opt to pay the cash and conserve the points.

Upgrade 3: Sunset Overwater Villa

Overwater Villa
Overwater Villa

The same Overwater Villa except with a sunset view.

Typically costs an additional US$50 per night or 10,000 points.

If this is an upgrade that you desire, I would opt to pay the cash and conserve the points.

Upgrade 4: St Regis Overwater Villa

St Regis Overwater Villa
St Regis Overwater Villa

Typically costs an additional 15,000 points. If there is a cash option, it will be US$75 per night.

If this is an upgrade that you desire, I would opt to pay the cash and conserve the points.

Credit Card Rewards

Earning up to 400,000 points to go on this dream vacation is possible if you are two working individuals. There are three primary cards that will enable you to make this redemption incredibly accessible:

  • American Express Marriott Bonvoy Personal Credit Card
  • American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card
  • American Express Cobalt Credit Card

With the strategy I will outline below, a couple stand to earn at least 410,000 Marriott Reward points by applying for the three cards for each person. That is enough for 5 nights irrespective of the season you choose to travel.

Credit Card: AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card

AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card
AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card

Signup Link | Card Review

Bonus

  • 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of membership
  • 10,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Up to 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months Gas, Dining and Travel.

This gives an opportunity to earn between 85,000 and 94,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points

Ongoing Benefits

  • 5 Marriott Bonvoy Points for every dollar spent at Marriott properties
  • 3 Marriott Bonvoy Points for every dollar spent on gas, dining and travel
  • 2 Marriott Bonvoy Points for every dollar spent on everything else
  • Annual Free Night Certificate (up to 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) upon renewal of the card
  • Employee Card Misuse Protection
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Lost or Stolen Bag Insurance
  • Hotel Burglary Insurance
  • Buyers Assurance Protection Plan
  • Purchase Protection Plan
  • Access to American Express Offers

Annual Fee

C$150

Credit Card: AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Personal Credit Card

AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Personal Credit Card
AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card

Signup Link | Card Review

Annual Fee

C$120. Not waived for the first year.

Bonus

  • 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of membership
  • 3,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of membership
  • 5x Bonvoy Points on spending up to $5,000 on gas, dining and travel, up to 15,000 Bonvoy Points.

This gives an opportunity to earn a total of 73,000 to 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points.

Ongoing Benefits

  • 15 Elite Qualifying Nights. Complimentary Silver Elite status and a jump start for other statuses.
  • 5 Marriott Bonvoy Points for every dollar spent at Marriott properties
  • 2 Marriott Bonvoy Points for every dollar spent on everything else
  • Annual Free Night Certificate (up to 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) upon renewal of the card
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
  • Flight Delay Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Lost or Stolen Bag Insurance
  • Hotel Burglary Insurance
  • Buyers Assurance Protection Plan
  • Purchase Protection Plan
  • Access to American Express Offers

Credit Card: AMEX Cobalt

AMEX Cobalt
AMEX Cobalt

Signup Link | Card Review

Annual Fee

$12.99 / month. $155.88 / year. The first year fee is not waived.

Bonus

  • 2,500 Membership Reward Points each month after spending C$500 each month in the first 12 months of membership.
  • 20,000 Membership Reward Points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of membership.
  • 7,500 to 37,500 Membership Reward Points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of membership and $500 per month thereafter for the first year.

You will earn at least 57,500 Membership Reward Points after spending $6,000. If you spend it on the 5x point categories, that would increase to 87,500 Membership Reward Points.

Ongoing Spend

  • 5 Membership Reward Points per dollar spent on dining, groceries and food delivery in Canada.
  • 3 Membership Reward Points per dollar on streaming services
  • 2 MRs Points per dollar spent on transit and gas.
  • 1 MRs Point per dollar on all other spend.

Membership Reward Select (MRs) Points vs Marriott Bonvoy Points

You may have noticed that the AMEX Cobalt is issuing you Membership Reward Points and all the other credit cards listed above are issuing Marriott Bonvoy Points. It’s important to know that 1 MRs = 1.2 Marriott Bonvoy Points. That means, earning 30,000 membership Reward Select Points is equal to 36,000 Marriott Reward Points.

Executing the Plan

  • Day 0: Person 1 (P1) applies for the AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Business card through the public offer
  • Day 0: Person 1 (P1) applies for the AMEX Cobalt Card through the referral
  • Day 30: Person 2 (P2) applies for the AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Business through a referral from P1.
  • Day 30: Person 2 (P2) applies for the AMEX Cobalt Card through a referral from P1.
  • Day 90: P1 applies for the AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Personal through a referral link from P2.
  • Day 120: P2 applies for the AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Personal through a referral link from P1.  

It’s important both people apply for the AMEX Cobalt Credit Card as soon as possible. The reason is, their sign-up bonus will take at 12 months to maximize.

I have indicated a 90 day gap between applications as that is the recommended time to wait before applying for a second credit card.

With the strategy outlined above, you will earn the following points:

  • 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points by AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card for P1.
  • 57,500 Membership Reward Points by AMEX Cobalt Referral for P1. This is equivalent to 69,000 Marriott Reward Points.
  • 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points by AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Business Card for P2 with a referral from P1. The referral also gets you 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points.
  • 62,500 Membership Reward Select Points by AMEX Cobalt for P2 with a referral from P1. This is equivalent to 75,000 Marriott Reward Points.
  • 88,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points by AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Personal Card for P1 with a referral from P2 through the existing Marriot Business Credit Card.
  • 88,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points by AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Personal Card for P2 with a referral from P2 through the existing Marriot Business Credit Card.

Together, you will earn 505,000 Marriott Reward Points. This is more than enough points for peak period travel as well.

Pricing

It’s important to go through all the costs related to acquiring all the points we have described above as well as the minimum spend requirement.

PersonBankCredit CardSpend ($)Annual Fee ($)
1American ExpressMarriott Bonvoy Personal1,500120
1American ExpressMarriott Bonvoy Business5,000150
1American ExpressCobalt6,000155.88
2American ExpressMarriott Bonvoy Personal1,500120
2American ExpressMarriott Bonvoy Business5,000150
2American ExpressCobalt6,000155.88
Total25,000851.76

Minimum Spend Requirement

C$25,600. You don’t have to complete it all within a year, but that is the minimum spending necessary to optimize this promotion.

As part of the minimum spend, for each AMEX Cobalt card that you hold, it is recommended to spend at least C$500 / month on Groceries, Dining and Food Delivery purchases for each card. That is the best way to turbo-charge your mileage accumulation.

What is my total annual fees paid for the hotel?

C$851.76 for credit card annual fees

What are my total savings?

With average rates of US$1,000 per night, for a 5 night stay, the total cost will be US$5,000 just for the room. The cost to and from the airport is in addition to that. This represents savings of nearly 90%!

Getting to St Regis Maldives

Maldives is one of the few places in the world where you cannot land at a major international airport and just Uber it to the hotel. You will need to pre-arrange a seaplane transportation option with the hotel. All charges are in addition to the room rate and do not change irrespective if you are paying with cash or points for your hotel.

Later in the series, I write about how to mitigate the cost of this component as well.

Seaplane

USD 745 per adult and USD 499 per child between 3-12 years old. Rate is inclusive of 12% GST. 

Conclusion

If you made it through this far… congratulations. It was a long post. W Maldives, like most resorts in Maldives area truly an unique unforgettable experience.

If you have any questions, feel free to add a comment below.