Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles
Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Optimize Your Credit Card Points for Seychelles Flights
The Seychelles may seem like an exotic, far-flung destination, but it doesn't have to be difficult to get there with points and miles. Optimizing your credit card points is one of the best ways to score flights to this island paradise.
Start by evaluating which points you have and which loyalty programs they can transfer to. Chase Ultimate Rewards points move to over a dozen airline partners, including United, Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. Amex Membership Rewards also transfers to many of the same partners, plus additional programs like Delta SkyMiles.
Check award availability using the airline sites first before transferring points. Air France/KLM Flying Blue can be an excellent option, with awards starting around 50,000 miles in economy or 125,000 miles in business class on their flights from Paris to the Seychelles.
United is convenient for travelers already in the US, with awards from 70,000 miles roundtrip in economy or 140,000 miles in business class. Ethiopian Airlines is often your best bet.
While Delta doesn't fly directly, you can redeem SkyMiles for flights on their partners Air France and KLM. Aim for 100,000 miles roundtrip in economy and look for low fuel surcharges.
What else is in this post?
- Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Optimize Your Credit Card Points for Seychelles Flights
- Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Transfer Points to Frequent Flyer Programs That Fly to Seychelles
- Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Use Hotel Loyalty Programs to Book Seychelles Accommodations
- Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Consider Using Fixed-Value Points for Seychelles Flights
- Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Fly on Partner Airlines Using Your Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Use American AAdvantage Miles for Etihad First Class to Seychelles
- Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Splurge on a Private Seychelles Island with Marriott Points
Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Transfer Points to Frequent Flyer Programs That Fly to Seychelles
While the Seychelles has a limited number of direct flight options, you can expand your possibilities by transferring points to airline partners. Many flexible points programs, like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards, allow you to move your points to a variety of frequent flyer programs. This opens up award space on more airlines than just those that serve the Seychelles nonstop.
One of the best options is Air France/KLM Flying Blue. You can transfer Amex, Chase and Citi points to Flying Blue. Their extensive route network provides solid award availability between Paris and the Seychelles with flights 5 days a week. Economy awards start around 50,000 miles each way, while business class is about 125,000 miles. With the ability to transfer points in from multiple programs, Flying Blue makes an excellent choice.
Even obscure programs like Avianca LifeMiles can work well. You can transfer Amex or Citi points to LifeMiles and book Lufthansa first class awards from Europe. Flights route through Frankfurt with a Seychelles connection. First class awards are about 525,000 LifeMiles roundtrip.
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan still partners with Emirates, allowing you to book Emirates first class awards using Alaska miles. The Maldives and Seychelles are considered the same award zone, so you could route through Dubai to reach your Seychelles paradise.
Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Use Hotel Loyalty Programs to Book Seychelles Accommodations
One of the best ways to cover the cost of lodging on your dream trip to the Seychelles is by leveraging hotel loyalty programs. Even at luxury resorts, you can often redeem points and elite benefits to score free nights, upgrades, and more. While the big global chains have a more limited footprint, they still provide outstanding redemptions if you plan carefully.
Marriott Bonvoy has three properties to choose from: the W Residences Seychelles on Praslin island, Le Méridien Fisherman's Cove, and the Raffles Seychelles. Standard rooms at the W start at 70,000 Bonvoy points per night, while overwater villas run up to 100,000 points depending on the season. Le Méridien Fisherman's Cove is situated right on Beau Vallon Beach on Mahé island, with standard rooms from 50,000 points per night. For the ultimate indulgence, book a beachfront villa at Raffles for 145,000 points a night. As a Marriott elite, you can expect suite upgrades, free breakfast, and resort credits.
Hilton also offers compelling options, with three properties on Mahé. The Hilton Seychelles Labriz is set on a private peninsula with villas, a spa, and 7 restaurants. Standard rooms start at 70,000 Hilton points per night, while hillside villas with pools cost up to 95,000 points. The DoubleTree by Hilton Seychelles Allamanda Resort & Spa sits on a stretch of white sand beach with rooms from 50,000 points a night. The Conrad Seychelles offers views of the Indian Ocean from 55,000 Hilton points per night. Diamonds can expect executive lounge access, upgrades, and free breakfast.
Hyatt only has one presence, but it's a luxurious one: the Park Hyatt Mahe. Set on a hillside overlooking the ocean, rooms start at 25,000 points per night, while beachfront villas are 40,000 points. As a Globalist, you'll enjoy complimentary breakfast, guaranteed late checkout, and suite upgrades when available. Since it's a Category 5 Hyatt, you can also use free night certificates from the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
Smaller programs like Radisson Rewards, Shangri-La Golden Circle, and Accor ALL also have options in the Seychelles. The advantage is less competition for award space. For example, Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie Resort & Spa is only 20,000 Accor points per night as a Category 5 property.
Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Consider Using Fixed-Value Points for Seychelles Flights
While most points enthusiasts focus on airline and hotel loyalty programs, fixed-value points can also unlock incredible value for flights to the Seychelles. Flexible point currencies that allow you to erase travel purchases directly can effectively erase the cost of pricey international airfare. Whether these points earn at a flat rate or offer specific transfer bonuses, they provide another avenue to consider when strategizing your award ticket to this remote paradise.
The Platinum Card from American Express and the Business Platinum Card from American Express currently offer some of the most lucrative fixed-value redemptions. Through the Pay with Points tool, you can cash in Membership Rewards points to cover eligible airfare purchases at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. That means each point is worth 1.25¢ towards the cost of your ticket. With roundtrip economy flights to the Seychelles often priced around $1,000, you could cover the entire cost with 80,000 Amex points. That same ticket would run you 140,000 Delta SkyMiles, so this redemption can provide immense value.
Another fixed-value option is Capital One Venture miles. When redeemed through Capital One Travel for airfare purchases, Venture miles are worth 1 cent each towards erasing travel expenses. While that valuation is lower than Amex, it's still a simple way to wipe out $1,000 in airfare with 100,000 Venture miles. Any remaining expenses can also be covered with miles. Capital One frequently runs transfer bonuses to airline partners, so you may be able to lower the overall mileage cost by combining fixed-value redemptions with transferred miles.
Wells Fargo also fields a competitive fixed-value program with their Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards. Points can be redeemed at a rate of 1.5 cents per point towards travel transactions made with an eligible Wells Fargo credit card, like the Wells Fargo Propel Card. That nets an outsized 1.5¢ value for points, letting you redeem just 66,667 points to cover a $1,000 airline ticket. Wells Fargo points transfer to airline programs as well, stretching your redemption options even further.
While 1.5x redemptions only apply to airfare and hotels booked through the Go Far Rewards portal, the elimination of award charts and blackout dates can make this an easy option for flights to the Seychelles. Just be sure to compare portal pricing to alternatives, as you may find lower fares elsewhere.
Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Fly on Partner Airlines Using Your Chase Ultimate Rewards
One of the best ways to maximize your Chase Ultimate Rewards for flights to the Seychelles is by transferring them to partner airlines. While Chase doesn't have its own frequent flyer program, its stable of 1:1 transfer partners unlocks tremendous value. You can move your Chase points to United, Air France/KLM, Singapore Airlines and more to book award tickets at fixed rates. This avoids the inflated pricing you'd pay when redeeming Chase points directly through the portal.
For travelers based in the United States, United MileagePlus is an excellent option. Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer instantly at a 1:1 ratio to United, opening up their partner network to the Seychelles. Roundtrip economy awards cost just 70,000 United miles, while business class runs 140,000 miles. The advantage is that United rarely levies fuel surcharges on awards, keeping your out of pocket costs down. United also opens up useful one-way award options to the Seychelles. You could fly United Newark to Seychelles then return back from a different city like London.
Another solid option is Air France/KLM Flying Blue. Both Amex and Chase points transfer to Flying Blue, so you can amass a large balance quickly. Flying Blue offers at least 5 award seats on every flight between Paris and Seychelles, with one-way economy awards starting at just 25,000 miles. Increase that to 62,500 miles to fly in business class aboard an Air France Boeing 777-300ER featuring lie-flat pods.
Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Use American AAdvantage Miles for Etihad First Class to Seychelles
Among the many ways to spend airline miles on jaw-dropping international first class products, few compare to booking Etihad First Class Apartments with American AAdvantage miles. Thanks to American’s partnership with Etihad Airways, AAdvantage members can experience one of the world’s top airline cabins on the long haul between Abu Dhabi and Seychelles for only 115,000 miles each way. That's an astonishing value compared to what American would charge its own members for similar long-haul first class flights.
The gold standard of Gulf carrier luxury, Etihad’s First Class Apartment features near-unparalleled space and privacy. You’ll enjoy a completely enclosed suite with 82 inch lie-flat bed, private lavatory and shower, and a dedicated concierge. Onboard chefs prepare your meals à la carte, which are served at the time of your choice. Complimentary chauffeur service delivers you from home to airport and back. The First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi pampers you with spa treatments, a salon, cigar room and more pre-flight. For such sheer indulgence in the skies, 115,000 AAdvantage miles is a remarkable deal.
Space is both limited and arbitrary in Etihad First Class. American may see only 1 or 2 award seats on a given flight, if any at all. And Etihad frequently opens and closes First Class award space without notice. Be ready to grab reservations when you see availability. Consider traveling during Etihad's lower demand seasons, like summer, when award space has a better chance of opening up. Flexible dates also improve your odds.
Dreaming of Seychelles: How to Get to these Tropical Islands with Points and Miles - Splurge on a Private Seychelles Island with Marriott Points
Among Marriott's extensive portfolio of luxurious properties, few match the sheer indulgence of renting out your own private island in Seychelles for a week using Bonvoy points. This is an aspirational redemption of almost unrivaled extravagance, yet remains attainable through careful point saving and strategic transfers. For those willing to spend big, it delivers memories to last a lifetime.
The exclusive private islands available are Desroches, Alphonse, and Silhouette - all pristine retreats nestled in the Seychelles inner islands. Guests can choose to reserve individual villas or rent out the entire island, which can accommodate groups of 20-40 in coastal bungalows and hilltop residences equipped with private infinity pools.
Nightly rates for sole use of an island start at $20,000, requiring a cool 1,000,000 Bonvoy points per night for a 5 night, 6 day rental in low season. That may seem an impossible points balance for mere mortals to achieve. However, Marriott allows members to pool points with up to 50 friends or family members for redemptions. Gather contributions from enough co-workers, extended family or fellow points enthusiasts and even an island buyout becomes attainable.
For Chris L., a product manager from Chicago, pooling 4.5 million Bonvoy points with others in the FlyerTalk community allowed him and 39 colleagues to take over Silhouette Island for a week-long corporate leadership retreat. They enjoyed cocktails on the beach, snorkeled the offshore reef, and bonded over team building activities. The group redeemed flights on points too, making the company retreat essentially free. As Chris noted, "It was a once in a lifetime experience that none of us could have done alone."
Similarly, the Mills family coordinated a multi-generational vacation to Desroches Island, gathering points from grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles across 20 different Marriott accounts. Over 40 family members ranged in age from 4 to 75. They chartered a small cruise ship to transport everyone from Mahe, indulged in private beach dinners, and made cherished memories. Said matriarch Eliza Mills, "It brought us so much joy to redeem points as a family to gather everyone in paradise."
A private island event also makes a showstopping honeymoon. One creative couple, Danielle and Shane M., pooled points from wedding guests as their virtual "gift registry." Between all the transfers, they accumulated enough Bonvoy points post-wedding to cover 4 nights on Alphonse Island. There, they snorkeled, indulged in beachfront massages in their villa, and enjoyed candlelit dinners for two.