3 Beach Resorts Where You Can Optimize Travel Rewards

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The time has come to start thinking about which beach you’re going to visit this summer. Need help narrowing it down? Try using travel rewards cards to help pay for your stay at three of the top beach cities in the U.S.

Miami Beach, Florida

The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort is an excellent hotel if you want a luxurious vacation. The hotel offers amenities such as a 14,000-square-foot spa, gourmet dining options and oceanfront day villas. The resort is located on Miami Beach’s trendy Collins Avenue, which bustles with shopping, restaurants, nightclubs and more, so there’s plenty to explore should you get tired of the sun and sand.

The card: The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is a great card for hotel benefits. Yes, it does come with a $450 annual fee, but if you’re a Marriott enthusiast and travel often, that fee is balanced by useful perks. Use this card to book a stay at the St. Regis Bal Harbour and you can take advantage of a $300 credit applied to all eligible purchases made at Marriott hotels. This statement credit renews annually on your cardmember anniversary. Terms apply.

» Learn more: Top family-friendly beach vacations

Cardholders get 6 points for every $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels. If you’re not already a Bonvoy member, there’s a tempting offer on the table from AmEx. New cardholders get 100,000 Bonvoy points once they spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. The offer expires April 24, 2019. Terms apply.

Clearwater, Florida

The Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater, Florida offers great perks and a more family-friendly pace than what you’ll find at the St. Regis. The hotel has something for everyone — from beach tennis and games to an ocean-facing pool and spa treatments.

The card: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers plenty of love to those who book stays through Hotels.com. Use the card to book your room at the Sheraton Sand Key and you’ll get 10 points for every $1 spent. The best part of using this card on hotel stays? There are no blackout dates, so you’re free to book whenever you can schedule your trip. The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card also offers 2 points for every $1 spent on all purchases.

» Learn more: Why Clearwater Beach should be your next beach vacation

If you’re thinking of signing up for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, the annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95, and the sign-up bonus is as follows: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel.

Huntington Beach, California

The Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach, California is an hour from Los Angeles International Airport and only a 30-minute drive from Disneyland.

The card: The Waterfront Beach Resort is a Hilton hotel, so use your Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card when booking to earn 12 Hilton Honors Bonus Points for every dollar spent on Hilton properties. You can also earn a Weekend Night Reward after spending $15,000 on purchases within a calendar year. Cardholders are granted Gold status with Hilton, and you can elevate that to Diamond status if you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year. Terms apply.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:

Why Clearwater Beach should be your next beach vacation
NerdWallet’s top travel credit cards
The top family-friendly beach vacations

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