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I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve been fortunate to have been to a number of islands throughout the Caribbean, which makes me somewhat of a Caribbean expert. I’ve not been to all of the islands, but I’ve been to enough to know that anytime we’re looking to plan a trip to the Caribbean, my wife and I almost always want to return to our favorite island – Providenciales, Turks & Caicos.
The beaches in Turks & Caicos, especially Grace Bay in Providenciales, are second to none. The clearest blue water compliments the incredibly soft white sand beaches. The food and culture here are absolutely incredible. The pace of life is so relaxed that as soon as you step off the plane, you immediately are able to unwind and forget all of the responsibilities from home.
All of this is what makes this island so special for us.
But there’s one major thing inhibiting travel here by a lot of people – it’s expensive to visit in comparison to some other islands in the Caribbean. Plane tickets are often at a minimum $500-600 per person on most major carriers, and are often more during peak travel dates. Dinners out can easily cost $100+ per person for a cocktail, appetizer, entree and dessert. And hotels during peak dates can easily eclipse $700+ per night.
Thankfully, points and miles can make Turks & Caicos more of a realistic travel destination than you might have previously thought. Let’s look at how you can make this tropical paradise a reality without spending “retail” rates.
How to Book Flights to Turks & Caicos with Points and Miles
Most major U.S. carriers offer service to Turks & Caicos, including American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United.
American Airlines is the most popular carrier flying into Turks & Caicos, offering nonstop service from the following airports:
- Boston (BOS) – seasonal
- Charlotte (CLT)
- Chicago (ORD)
- Dallas (DFW)
- Miami (MIA)
- Philadelphia (PHL) – seasonal
American Airlines is surprisingly good at offering consistent economy MileSAAver space on nonstop flights from some of its hubs, like Charlotte. You’ll need either 12,500 American miles one-way per person for economy off-peak pricing, or 15,000 American miles one-way per person for economy peak pricing.
Additionally, you’ll find that with American Airlines Economy Web Specials, you can sometimes get lucky and find pricing even lower than economy off-peak and peak pricing. But these can be hit or miss. They come with a number of restrictions, but a number of Economy Web Specials on the nonstop Charlotte to Providenciales route have been available for 10,000 miles one-way, allowing you to save a few miles.
Short on American miles, or just don’t have any? Your other option is to use British Airways Avios to book these same American Airlines operated flights. This will only make sense if you’re able to take one of the nonstop AA operated flights listed above since British Airways will charge you for each segment you take.
By using British Airways Avios, you’ll be able to book MileSAAver flights for as low as 9,000 Avios one-way on flights from Charlotte and Miami, and 11,000 Avios one-way on flights from the other airports listed. Since booking these same flights with American miles would cost you up to 15,000 miles, this represents a great savings.
Since British Airways Avios is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can easily earn the necessary points.
New to using miles to book partner airlines? check out this guide to learn the basics.
Delta offers nonstop service from the following airports:
- Atlanta (ATL)
- New York (JFK)
Delta doesn’t publish an award chart which means it can be tough to figure out the saver level award rate for any given route. To figure out the minimum number of miles you can use, you can expand your Delta search to see a calendar of dates. By scrolling through several months, you can get an idea of the award rate you should be trying to book.
In this case, you can find basic economy award seats for as low as 22,000 Skymiles one-way per person, or 27,000 Skymiles for standard economy, for the date range.
JetBlue offers nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York and seasonal service from Boston.
JetBlue prices their awards primarily based on the cash cost of the flight, so the amount of JetBlue TrueBlue points needed for each ticket is directly correlated to the cash fare of tickets.
Your best option for searching for award availability is going to be using JetBlue’s Best Fare Finder to find award space available and rates around your desired dates of travel.
In our case, we were able to find economy award seats for as low as 8,300 JetBlue TrueBlue points one-way, representing a tremendous value.
Southwest also operates a revenue-based loyalty program, which means that the number of points required is directly correlated to the cash price of those same tickets.
Southwest offers nonstop flights to Turks & Caicos from Baltimore (BWI) and Ft. Lauderdale.
Southwest offers a Low Fare Calendar, which you can use to find the lowest fares across a variety of dates should you have flexible travel plans.
Southwest is a great option for getting to Turks & Caicos, especially if you’re a holder of the Southwest Companion Pass, which essentially is a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for all Southwest flights. Better yet, if you’re a family traveling with multiple Companion Passes, this can save you a ton of points.
United offers nonstop service from the following airports:
- Chicago (ORD)
- Houston (IAH)
- New York/Newark (EWR)
- Washington, DC (IAD)
Similar to Delta, United no longer publishes an award chart. However, using the old chart as a reference, you should expect to see economy award space available for 17,500 United miles one-way. You might even find better rates than that. For example, we found a number of dates with options for only 13,000 miles one-way.
Your best approach in booking United flights will be to use their 30-day calendar view, assuming you have flexible travel dates. This way, you can plan your trip around the lowest fares, if possible.
Don’t forget, if you’re a cardholder of Chase co-branded cards or have elite status, you’ll have access to expanded award availability.
Where to Stay in Turks & Caicos with Points and Miles
At the moment, Turks & Caicos is a somewhat difficult place to redeem points and miles for hotel stays. The reason for this? You won’t find many major hotel chains there..
In fact, the only 2 hotels bookable with hotel points in Turks & Caicos at the moment are Point Grace Resort and Spa on the island of Providenciales, and Sailrock Resort on the island of South Caicos. These 2 hotels are bookable with 40,000 Hyatt points per night thanks to Hyatt’s recent partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
A few properties are also expected to open in 2021. Both the Andaz Turks & Caicos and the Ritz-Carlton Residences Turks & Caicos, Grace Bay are expected to open in 2021.
Use the Chase Travel Portal to Book Hotels
With the above in mind, your next best bet is to use something like the Chase Travel Portal to book your stay.
Plus, if you can time it right with a low cash rate, you can stretch your points further than using 40,000 points per night at the Category 8 properties on the island.
As a Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholder, your points are worth 1.5 cents each in the Chase Travel Portal. As a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card holder, your points are worth 1.25 cents each.
The Chase portal provides plenty of independent and boutique hotel options at various price points.
On my selected dates, I found points rates as low as 13,000 points per night and those exceeding 36,000 points per night as a Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholder.
My personal recommendation in this list is the Royal West Indies Resort. It’s on the best strip of beach on Grace Bay, and consistently is priced much less than many of its neighboring hotels, making it a bargain. I’ve stayed there twice now, and wouldn’t hesitate to return for future stays.
Use an Airline Travel Portal to Book Hotels
Since Turks & Caicos isn’t exactly hotel points friendly just yet, if you’ve resorted yourself to paying cash for your stay, why not earn some valuable points at the same time?
Interested in earning the Southwest Companion Pass, or just some valuable Southwest Rapid Rewards points? Book a hotel through Southwest’s hotel portal, and you could earn a sizable return on your stay.
A weeklong stay at the Wymara Resort & Villas will run a steep $4,410. But, this isn’t completely out of the ordinary for Turks & Caicos as it’s an expensive place to visit and stay.
However, earning 56,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points for your stay isa nice return. You’ll be almost halfway to requalifying towards re-earning the Companion Pass, which can provide thousands of dollars in value on its own.
Things You Should Do in Turks & Caicos
The beaches of Turks & Caicos have the clearest water you’ve seen and beautiful white-sand beaches, so make sure you get out of your hotel and resort and explore the island. Here are a few activities that you can’t miss during your stay in Turks & Caicos.
Thursday Fish Fry
The Thursday Fish Fry is the highlight of the week for most people on Providenciales. This weekly festival takes place at Bight Park, and starts at 5:30pm every Thursday, rain or shine. Locals and tourists all come together to share the local island culture. Delicious (and very reasonably priced) food such as lobster, fish, jerk chicken, and other local cuisine are accompanied by seemingly endless rum punch and the local Turk’s Head beer. Take in some local crafts and souvenirs, all while jamming along to some local music.
Parking is very tricky, so you’re likely best off to take a taxi to and from the Fish Fry.
Grace Bay Beach
Grace Bay Beach is located on the Northeast side of Providenciales. A majority of the island’s hotels are located on Grace Bay, but there are still a number that are located elsewhere on the island, especially short-term rental properties.
If you’re not staying on Grace Bay Beach, you need to plan on spending a day or two making your way to it.
It consistently ranks as one of the best beaches in the world, and regularly wins a number of awards. There are a few components that make it so special.
First, the entire beach is protected by a large barrier reef located about a mile offshore. This means that there are literally no waves in Grace Bay at all. Seriously. No current, no waves, anything. You can literally float for hours and not move.
Second, the water is some of the clearest you’ll find anywhere in the world.
Third, the sand is pristine, and not only has minimal trash, but also no rocks, seaweed or other pollution. It’s incredibly soft, easy to walk on, and a beautiful contrast to the incredibly clear blue water.
Be sure you make your way to Grace Bay Beach at some point during your stay; you won’t regret it in the slightest.
Turks and Caicos has a million beaches that are all incredible. It’s hard to just pick a few, but other than Grace Bay, the other beach you have to visit is Sapodilla Bay on the southern corner of the island.
This beach also consists of incredible white sand and clear blue water. It’s much smaller, being only a few hundred yards wide, and has a few houses and villas that are beachfront (some of which are rentable).
What makes this beach special is how shallow it is. You’ll have to walk out about 100 yards or so just to be in waist deep water. This makes it a great beach to catch a lot of sea life activity. You’ll find lots of starfish, sea turtles and more.
The sand here is the same color as elsewhere on Providenciales, but it’s a very fine and silt-like sand. So if you’re a fine sand connoisseur, you’ll want to study the incredible sand on Sapodilla Bay.
Another reason to visit? If it’s rainy and stormy on Grace Bay, it’s almost guaranteed to be clear and sunny on Sapodilla Bay, so it’s a beautiful place to watch the storms roll by.
Caicos Dream Tours
There is plenty to explore on land in Turks & Caicos, but getting out on the water will likely be the highlight of your trip. That’s why I’d recommend booking a half or full day boat tour with Caicos Dream Tours.
Regardless of which tour you choose, you’ll have a great day out on the water snorkeling, diving for conch in which they make fresh conch ceviche salad for the boat to share, and more. You’ll also get to explore Iguana Island which, you guessed it, has a bunch of indigenous iguanas that hang out just off the beach in the shade under the trees.
How to Earn Points and Miles for Your Trip to Turks & Caicos
Chase Ultimate Rewards will likely be the best option for many wanting to book flight and hotels. With transfer partners such as British Airways, Delta, Jetblue, Southwest and United, most of the carriers operating flights to Turks & Caicos can be booked with Ultimate Rewards points.
Plus, Ultimate Rewards points are easy to earn with cards like the Chase Ink Business Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and Chase Sapphire Preferred thanks to generous welcome bonuses as well as bonus spending categories.
Don’t forget that you need to be under 5/24 to be approved for any of the Chase cards.
However, Ultimate Rewards points aren’t your only option.
If you’re booking a connecting flight on American Airlines, then American miles are likely going to be your best bet for booking those flights. You can earn AAdvantage miles with co-branded cards offered by both Barclays and Citi.
If you want to fly Delta, you can earn Amex Membership Rewards points from any of several cards then transfer points to Delta. Additionally, you can earn Delta Skymiles directly with its co-branded credit cards issued by American Express.
Final Thoughts on a Turks & Caicos Getaway
Turks & Caicos has long been one of, if not my favorite, islands throughout the Caribbean. The laid-back lifestyle, and relatively minimal infrastructure and influx or large resorts, has prevented an overcrowding of tourism and helped to keep Turks & Caicos a gem of the Caribbean.
Of course, the white sand beaches and clear blue water are literally second to no other Caribbean island.
As you can now see, it couldn’t be easier getting to and from Turks & Caicos thanks to points and miles. What normally is a cost-prohibitive destination is now much more in reach for more people.
If you’ve been considering a trip to Turks & Caicos, I highly recommend it.
New to the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card to start with.
With a best-ever bonus of 100,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.