I have been writing about earning reward points on credit cards for over 3 years now and have been in the credit card reward games for nearly a decade now. However, one important aspect of earning reward points is to redeem them for travel, vouchers or cashback. My recent trip to Mauritius was my biggest redemption to date. Nonetheless, I have made big redemptions for my trips to Singapore in 2019 and Mussorie in 2023; however, in terms of money saved this trip to Mauritius beats them all.
In this post, I will focus on how I redeemed my credit card points for flight tickets & hotel bookings.
Trip to Mauritius 2023
Brief details of my trip to Mauritius
Travel Period: September 2023 for 8 nights
Places Traveled: Mauritius
Nos of people: 2 Adults and 1 kid
Mode of travel: Flight – Air Vistara
Hotels: Sofitel Mauritius L’Impérial Resort & Spa and Le Meridien Ile Maurice (Pointe Aux Piments)
Cards used for redemption: Axis Magnus (Apply Now), HDFC Diners Black (Apply Now), Amex MRCC (Apply Now) and Amex Plat Travel (Apply Now)
Flight booking – Air Vistara
There are only 2 direct flights between Mumbai and Mauritius, they are Air Vistara and Air Mauritius (codeshare with Air India); one flying at 2:00AM and another at 2:30AM respectively.
I used my United Airlines miles to book tickets on Air Vistara for the trip to Mauritius. I used 77,000 miles + 51.9 USD as taxes for 2 tickets from Mumbai to Mauritius and 115,500 miles + 107.6 USD for 3 tickets from Mauritius to Mumbai. I had to book one revenue ticket from Mumbai to Mauritius, as I didn’t have enough miles in my United Airlines account.
Overall, I spent ~41k to book flight tickets worth ~165k and used 192k United miles in the process. A decent value of 65p per United mile or 50p per Axis Edge point.
However, this was a sub-optimal redemption. If I had enough Vistara CV points, I could have booked the entire trip to Mauritius for just 132K CV miles and INR 15.7k in taxes. However, I had been transferring my Axis Edge points into United’s MileagePlus program as I had some other destination in mind earlier and thus didn’t have any CV points with me.
Sofitel Mauritius L’Impérial Resort & Spa – 3 nights
I booked Sofitel L’Imperial for the first 3 nights of my trip to Mauritius. I booked the hotel from the Accor app and opted to pay at the hotel. However, I figured that there were no eating joints near the hotel and thus mailed the reservation desk to convert my booking into half board.
For redemption, I initially transferred my HDFC Diners Black points to Accor. However, I was falling short of the points required for a full redemption. Thus opted for pay at the hotel option. Since the booking was done in June and travel was at the end of September; this allowed enough time for the Axis Magnus’ monthly bonus points to come in (the good old days 😃) that were then transferred to Accor.
During this time, there were a few stories on Twitter about how Accor’s redemption at the hotel was not working for one reason or the other. I was also concerned about my trip to Mauritius and got a confirmation from the hotel that I would be eligible for redemption during the stay. However, luckily for me, the redemption process went smoothly without any hiccups. The only thing I did was I did the redemption right at check-in itself, instead of waiting until checkout.
Since we were landing in Mauritius early in the morning, we requested early check-in. The hotel did allow us early check-in and gave complimentary breakfast on that day too. In all, I had 4 breakfasts at the hotel.
Le Meridien Ile Maurice – 5 nights
For the rest 5 nights of my trip to Mauritius, I booked the Le Meridien Ile Maurice. I used Marriott Bonvoy points on the Marriott app and used the 5th-night free offer on Marriott for this booking. I transferred my Amex MRCC(Apply Now) and Amex Platinum Travel(Apply Now) reward points to Marriott for redemption.
Of all the bookings made on this trip to Mauritius, Le Meridien was the smoothest one. Transfer from Amex to Marriott is reflected in minutes and the hotel was booked without any issues.
Overall I used 231k Marriott points transferred from Amex MRCC and Amex Plat Travel credit cards to do a booking worth ~1.9lk. Resulting in a redemption value of 80p per Amex/Marriott point.
Trip to Mauritius – Redemption Summary and Total Spends
Below is the summary of the redemptions I did for this trip and the savings I got instead of going for revenue bookings. I was able to save more than 4lakhs on this trip using credit cards. Huge!!!
However, lets be honest, if I had to book this trip to Mauritius completely in cash, I would have opted for cheaper hotels than these 5-star resorts. Thanks to credit card reward points, I was able to book these resorts and still saved tons of money.
For this trip to Mauritius, I burned 284k Axis Magnus points, 27k HDFC Diners Black points and 231k Amex points. In addition, I had to spend around 1.25lk in cash for the flight ticket mentioned above, taxis, food, shopping, entry tickets, excursions etc.
An obvious question is how did I rack up so many points for my trip to Mauritius? Well in the glory days of Axis Magnus earning 30k ER points in a month was a norm. Further, I have been using HDFC Diners Black since 2020, so have been accumulating points on it too. Lastly, for the Amex MRCC and Amex Platinum Travel apart from the monthly and annual milestones, the referral bonus helped a lot in accumulating MR points in the last 1 year.
Credit/debit cards used for the bookings were:
Axis Magnus (Apply Now) to book a BOM-MRU flight ticket on Axis Travel Edge and to transfer my points to the United and Accor programs.
HDFC Diners Black(Apply Now) to transfer points to the Accor program for hotel booking
Amex MRCC(Apply Now) and Amex Plat Travel(Apply Now) for Marriott hotel booking
Federal Scapia credit card for making payments while in Mauritius and Niyo DCB debit card for cash withdrawal in Mauritius.
Few glimpses of my trip to mauritius
The idea of sharing the redemption story of my trip to Mauritius is to highlight credit cards are extremely beneficial if used properly. These reward points allow us to experience luxury that we would generally not pay for. Further, to redeem your credit card points you need not be a guru or ace in credit cards or hotel/airline loyalty programs. Most redemptions are possible with basic knowledge itself. Further, as I have mentioned earlier, reward points are like monopoly money; earn them and burn them; they have 0 value lying in your account.
Featured image credit: Focus Photography Mauritius on Unsplash. The article was published/updated on 30th Sept 2023.
In the interest of full disclosure, Credit Cardz may earn a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the links in this post. However, opinions and views expressed here are of the author's alone and not those of the bank, credit card issuer, or anyone else and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.