Credit Card Churning Featured Destination: The Maldives

The Maldives is a South Asian country with coral islands, blue lagoons, and gorgeous beaches to bask in. The Maldives make for the perfect island getaway, especially when your trip is covered by your churning rewards. Whether you want to dive in the reefs or explore the sights and landmarks, there’s a myriad of activities to enjoy in this tropical country.

5 Best Things to Do in The Maldives

  1. Diving

Scuba diving is a traveler favorite in the Maldives for a number of reasons. The ocean’s clear waters and marine diversity make diving an unforgettable experience. Northern areas of the Maldives have more reefs and macro life to view while the southern areas typically have more sharks.

The Banana Reef is one of the best places to dive as it is protected and well-renowned for its caves, coral growth, and variety of sea life like snapper, grouper, and morays. But no matter what you’re interested in seeing, you’re bound to see beautiful and unique marine life.

  1. Visiting Malé

Malé is a small but charming city home to beautiful architecture and other sights. A top site to visit is the Old Friday Mosque. Dating from 1656, the Old Friday Mosque is the oldest mosque in the country. It’s well-known for its architectural design with Qur’anic script and intricate designs chiseled into the structure, which is made of coral stone. However, if you’re Non-Muslim, you need to receive permission from an official Ministry of Islamic affairs to enter the mosque.

The Maldives’ National Museum is another interesting place to stop by. The exterior of the building isn’t too impressive, but the inside features an in-depth collection of historic artifacts that display the odd history behind the isolated islands.

  1. Eating Tasty Food

The Maldives offers all kinds of restaurants from a variety of regions. From authentic Maldivian cuisine like mas huni and rihaakuru to Italian pizza, there’s something for everyone. Not only is the food delicious, but incredibly fresh. Popular restaurants in Malé for a quick bite include the Royal Garden Café and the Seagull Café.

  1. Visiting Alimatha Island

This beautiful island was renovated in the late 1990s and is known for some of the best activities in the area. It features a local resort with relaxing beaches and fishing areas that guarantee some top-quality catches like marlins. While the Maldives are generally considered paradise, Alimatha Island is no exception – it is especially paradise for avid fishermen and beach bums.

  1. Enjoying Water Sports

Thanks to its crystal-clear waters, the oceans of the Maldives make for great fun. Snorkeling and diving are typically the most popular water activity, but it’s not uncommon to see people surfing the ocean. Some people prefer the excitement of water skiing, wake-boarding, kite surfing, and windsurfing, which are top-notch in these waters.

In particular, Maafushi is one of the best places to enjoy these activities. If you’re new to water sports, lessons from natives of the Maldives are available for purchase. But if you’re interested in having a little more freedom, you can easily rent a jet ski and shred the waters on your own. Regardless of your sport of choice, there are plenty of ways to relish in the Maldives’ gorgeous waters.

Expected Costs

While many of these costs can be covered with churning rewards, it’s important to know what you’re paying for when visiting the Maldives. Let’s take a closer look at your anticipated costs:

Accommodation Many credit cards work with specific airlines and hotel chains, so you might be able to apply your rewards to your resort of choice. Aside from the country’s capital, there are no traditional hotels in the Maldives. Instead, visitors stay in resorts. Resorts on the cheaper end usually cost around 900 MVR per day in the low season, but most double-room resorts cost roughly 1,500 MVR per day. Similar to hotels, WiFi and air-conditioning are usually a standard at these resorts. Just keep in mind that resorts with pools will cost significantly more than resorts without pools.

On the other hand, new laws have allowed locals to open guesthouses, which can be found on many of the islands. Guesthouses start around 600 MVR per night, which includes a private bathroom, WiFi, and breakfast.

Transportation – If you stay at a resort, the resort will take care of transportation. To get to Malé from the airport, you can take a ferry, which costs roughly 40 MVR per person. Depending on where you want to go, the resort will direct you to ferries that will take you to your destination. Inter-island ferries cost 30 to 75 MVR, but you can also take speedboats that cost 110 to 310 MVR.   

Food – Meals and drinks are included when you stay at resorts. There are plenty of local markets, restaurants, and cafés that you can find on the main island of Malé. Meals from these smaller restaurants usually cost around 80 MVR. For a higher-end meal with table service, you’re probably going to pay around 325 MVR. High end, but stunning restaurants in the Maldives include the 5.8 Undersea Restaurant and the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. But if you’re not interested in that underwater atmosphere, the Reethi Restaurant is excellent on all levels.

Activities Diving costs vary depending on the business, but a single-tank dive usually costs around 100 MVR. A full week of diving will cost you around 5,250 MVR.

On some islands, non-motorized water activities are free of charge, and if you bring your own snorkeling equipment, you don’t need to pay to snorkel. However, water sports like jet skiing and windsurfing are going to vary between resorts.

Ways to Save Money in The Maldives

It’s great if you can pay for the entirety of your vacation in churning rewards but saving points can help you save money for future trips. So, here are 4 tips to help you save some cash on your trip to the Maldives.

  1. Utilize the ferries. Ferries are the primary form of transportation in the Maldives. The ferries hardly operate on Fridays due to the Muslim sabbath, but they leave and return to Malé on opposite days of the week. For example, ferries can leave Maafushi on Monday and return to Malé on Tuesday. Inter-island ferries only cost 30 to 75 MVR, so if you’re going to go island hopping, ferries or transportation provided by travel packages are your best bet.
  2. Alcohol is not permitted. The Maldives is a Muslim country where alcohol is inaccessible almost everywhere. However, resort islands are a special exception. You’ll save a good amount of money opting for non-alcoholic drinks, especially when the non-resort restaurants don’t sell them.
  3. Take lots of USD. Despite having its own currency, US dollars are accepted in many parts of the Maldives. What visitors might not know is that you can often get better deals if you pay in USD. It all depends on the shop or restaurant but keeping both USD and MVR can come in handy. This way, you can pay for whichever option is cheaper!
  4. Take advantage of the included excursions. If you’re paying with churning points or rewards, chances are you’re eligible to participate in scheduled excursions. Package deals can save you a lot of money, especially if they’re already covered by your rewards. You can even ask the locals if they’re aware of any planned activities to participate in. Whether you’re scuba diving with the host of a private guesthouse or snorkeling with a group of fellow travelers, there are plenty of activities you can enjoy for a relatively-low price.

With many islands comes many great opportunities. Blindingly-white sand and turquoise tides are everywhere you look. From exploring the coral reefs in a glass-bottomed boat to relaxing on private resort beaches, the Maldives makes for an unforgettable vacation. You won’t regret putting your churning rewards toward a trip to this destination!

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