Destinations

How to Travel to Bora Bora on Points and Miles

Bora Bora, French Polynesia is a breathtakingly beautiful destination known for its crystal-clear lagoons, overwater villa bungalows, and exceptional activities like diving and snorkeling. However, it can also be an extremely expensive vacation, with hotel rooms costing thousands of dollars per night. But don’t let the high prices deter you from experiencing this dreamy South Pacific destination. With the right strategy, you can book your Bora Bora trip using your credit card points and miles. In this post, we’ll explore the best ways to use your points to book round-trip airfare and 5-star award stays at some of the most and most luxurious Bora Bora hotels.

If you are new to earning points and miles then check out our Reward Travel 101 post here!

For our free Points and Miles Crash Course, see here!

bora bora on points and miles

Table of Contents

Booking Flights to Bora Bora on Points from the US

Regardless of where you are departing from, you’ll need to fly to Tahiti first (which is the main island of French Polynesia) before you take your final leg to Bora Bora. Getting your flights to Tahiti on points is the best way to cut down your flight costs. Once you land in Tahiti, please be aware you’ll need to take a separate inner-island flight on either Air Tahiti or Air Moana to get to Bora Bora. There are not any direct flights to Bora Bora from the US. These inner-island flights are short (just under an hour flight) but they don’t have any award availability. Plan on spending an additional $200 – 300 dollars round trip per person.

Inner Island Flight Options

In our experience, we’ve found Air Moana, while a new airline with fewer flight options, is significantly cheaper than Air Tahiti. It’s not a bad idea to check out both options and see what is a better fit for you.

Although you can’t use points to book these inner-island flights, it can be a great option to erase your inner-island flight purchase using Capital One Miles with a card like the Capital One Venture X Business if you have one.

tahiti to bora bora flight map
Regardless of where you depart from in the US, you’ll need to take a short inner-island flight to Bora Bora from Tahiti.

Getting to Tahiti from the US on points!

If you’ll be flying to Tahiti and then on to Bora Bora from the United States, you may want to consider positioning your departing flight from either San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX). These airports often have the best availability and redemptions for non-stop flights to Tahiti on points.

There are several different airlines and options you can use to book your Tahiti flights on points.  Each of these airlines discussed below offers flights to the international airport in Papeete, Tahiti.  However, availability will be limited with some airlines and prices will vary, so it’s important to compare redemptions and dates.

Expert Tip: Positioning Flights

A positioning flight gets you to or from a smaller regional airport to a major international airport hub where you then take a long-haul flight. For example, if you live in Austin, Texas you may want to take a short domestic flight to either SFO or LAX and then catch your long-haul flight to Tahiti from there.

To learn more about positioning flights and what hubs and focus cities are, click here.

Delta Flights from the US to French Polynesia on Points

Standard Delta award flights from the US to Tahiti average around 80k points per person, round trip. However, the price point may vary depending on where you are departing from and the season (we’ve found departures out of LAX to be the best). You can use either Delta SkyMiles to book these flights or you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Delta Airlines and then book. Depending on the schedule, you can potentially book Delta flights to Tahiti through their airline alliance partners AirFrance and Virgin Atlantic.

Delta to Bora Bora on Points
Remember this is the total for round trip and it can change depending on demand.

Expert Tip: Delta’s Take15

If you have either the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, or the Delta Reserve you’ll get 15% off of your award bookings with Delta’s Take15 Program.

Our Favorite Cards That Earn Delta SkyMiles

United Airlines Flights from the US to French Polynesia on Points

Often you can find one-way international flights to Tahiti on United Airlines for about 45k points in economy and 170k for business class awards. Keep in mind that United doesn’t offer flights to Tahiti every day, so it’s best to check their flexible date calendar. United Airlines also still operates on an award chart so you may find that you don’t need to position your flights. Instead, you may be able to book your flight to Tahiti for 45k points with a layover in SFO. This will depend on where you live and where you are flying from.

Depending on schedule and availability, you may be able to book United flights through their partner airline Air Canada. You can earn United MileagePlus Miles with Chase co-branded United credit cards or by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points earned from a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (our favorite card for beginners) to your United account.

united airlines to bora bora on points

Expert Tip: Earn a ton of points fast!

With our Points and Miles Made Easy Program, you can learn how to earn hundreds of thousands of Chase Ultimate Reward Points responsibly and fast! It’ll be the best $9 and 35 minutes you have ever spent. You can learn more about it here!

Our Favorite Cards that Earn United Miles

American Airlines Flights from the US to French Polynesia On Points

Standard American Airlines AAdvantage Miles flights from the US to Tahiti average around 40k points per person each way.  American Airlines also operates from an award chart so you might not have to position to LAX or SFO. Unlike United and Delta Airlines you can’t transfer points from credit card issuers to American Airlines. This means if you want to book these American Airlines flights you’ll need to earn AAdvantage Miles through a co-branded American Airlines card.

Our Favorite Cards that Earn American AAdvantage Miles

Expert Tip: American Airline Shopping Portal

One of the easiest ways to earn AAdvantage Miles is through the American Airlines shopping portal. When using the portal, eligible purchases will count toward your American Airlines status and help you earn a ton of American Airlines miles in the process. You can learn more about it here.

Alaska Airline Flights from the US to French Polynesia on Points

It needs to be noted that at the time of writing the Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines merger has been announced but nothing has gone into effect. This merger may affect routes and pricing for future flights. We’ll keep you updated if/when that happens.

Standard Alaska Airlines award flights from the US to Tahiti average around 30k points per person each way from LAX (which is awesome!). These flights are then operated by their partner Air Tahiti Nui. Like American Airlines you can’t transfer points from a credit card issuer to Alaska Airlines. This means if you want to book these Alaska Airlines flights you’ll need to earn Alaska Mileage Plan Miles through a co-branded Alaska Airlines card.

flying alaska airlines to Bora Bora on points

Our Favorite Cards that Earn Alaska Miles

Flying from the US to French Polynesia on AirFrance (Our favorite way!)

Hands down one of my favorite ways to book flights to Tahiti on points is by using AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue miles. This is the exact way we have booked our recent trip. Flying Blue is the milage program for both AirFrance and KLM. What I love about them is that they are a transfer partner of all the major points programs, including Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, and Capital One Miles. This means that you have ample ways to earn these points.

I also love their “Flying Blue Family Program” where you can pool a lot of points together and get discounted rates on your child and infant bookings. They often have amazing point redemptions throughout the year. It isn’t rare that you can book economy flights on Air France and its partner airlines, for 27k miles each way. Prices do vary depending on availability and seasonality, so it’s best to book in advance and be flexible with your travel dates. Also, AirFrance can have higher fuel surcharges, so you’ll want to make a note of that in your budget.

flying blue to bora bora on points

Air France Flights to Bora Bora with flying blue
Because of the Flying Blue Family Program and the ability to pool points across the different card issuers, I think using Flying Blue miles to get to Tahiti is our favorite!

Expert Tip: Flying Blue Account

To book an AirFrance flight on points you’ll first need a FlyingBlue account. You can set one up here. Keep track of your account number and login information because this is what you’ll use when you log into AirFrance’s website. AirFrance’s website and program isn’t the easiest to navigate and their website can be a little finicky. If you are having a hard time booking something, we’ve had success calling their US support line at 800-237-2747. I’ve also had success on their website by clearing my cookies and cache before logging into my account.

Our Favorite Cards that Earn Flying Blue Miles

how to travel to bora bora on points

Booking Hotels in Bora Bora on Points

There is no shortage of luxurious places to stay in Bora Bora. Nearly every resort is situated on white-sand beaches with gorgeous views. Four main options are feasible to book on hotel points. They are the St. Regis Bora Bora, The Conrad Bora Bora Nui, and two Intercontinental properties. Each of these options is a five-star property with amazing amenities, a private beachfront, and a mix between overwater bungalow villas or garden and beachfront villas. The St. Regis is the most luxurious of the four, with the Conrad coming in at a close second and the Intercontinental coming in tied for third.  We’ll cover each one below and how to earn the points needed and book them.

Expert Tip: Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts

You can book some of the other Bora Bora resorts like the Four Seasons Bora Bora through the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts Program. If you have an The Business Platinum Card® from American Express you get select American Express Benefits like free breakfast, a spa credit, and more. However, the point amount for this property can be astronomical. However, do know that it is an option if you have a bunch of Amex points.

Booking the Conrad Bora Bora Nui on Points (Our favorite point option in Bora Bora!)

One of the easiest ways to stay in Bora Bora on points is by booking the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. This upscale property is on a private island and is part of the Hilton hotel chain. This luxurious resort offers garden, beach, and overwater bungalows, private beach access, and stunning views of Mount Otemanu. It is also just a short 10-minute boat ride to the main town Viatape on the main island. Something great about this property is that booking a standard room is more feasible than some of the other resorts. It usually has better availability and more realistic redemptions. If you have elite status with Hilton (Gold or above), you’ll also get upgraded rooms as well as free breakfast.

To book this property you’ll need a decent amount of Hilton points. There are two ways to earn Hilton points. You can earn Hilton points directly through co-branded Hilton credit cards or you can earn American Express Membership Rewards and then transfer them to Hilton at the standard 1:2 ratio. This means for every 1 Amex point you transfer, you’ll get 2 Hilton points. You can also use some of your free night award certificates that you can earn with your Hilton-branded cards to book this property.

Expert Tip: Transfer Bonuses

During certain promotional events each year American Express offers “transfer bonuses.” This means if you transfer your points to Hilton during these periods you can get anywhere from 20-35% more bonus points. The tricky part about these transfer bonuses is that American Express doesn’t announce these promotions ahead of time. So it’s important to be aware and keep an eye on your Amex account. Each transfer bonus period (when you can transfer your points at a bonus) usually lasts about a month and is often announced at the beginning of calendar months. Making use of these transfer bonuses can help you book a great deal on this resort.

Finding Award Availability at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui

The easiest way to search for availability is using Hilton’s Flexible Date Calendar. You can see a screenshot of this below. Hilton’s awards do not always make the most sense. Sometimes the awards are listed at over a million points a night while on other nights you can snag a beautiful room at 120k Hilton points. One hundred and twenty thousand points might sound like a lot, but keep in mind that is only 60k American Express points. Search the calendar and select the nights that have availability for the point redemption that works for you!

Conrad Bora Bora Point availability
When looking at availability be sure to check the flexible date calendar. If you want to take advantage of the 5th-night free program, select 5 nights when you are looking.

Expert Tip: Hilton 5th Night Free

When you book 5 consecutive nights or more with Hilton awards you get your 5th night free. Because of this, we suggest if you will be staying at the property make sure you are staying at least 5 nights to take advantage of getting that last night free.

Our Favorite Cards to Earn Hilton Points

Booking the St. Regis Bora Bora on Points

Arguably, because of the nature of Marriott’s program, earning enough Marriott points to book this prime property is going to be a bit harder than the Conrad. However, it isn’t impossible. We had a TRU student of just over a year earn enough points to be able to book it! This stunning resort features villas with private pools, direct access to the lagoon, butler service, and exceptional dining and activity options.

Nightly rates at the St. Regis easily reach over $2,000 per night, but you can also use your Marriott Bonvoy points to book your stay. Depending on the season, award nights start at around 85,000 or 100,000 points but can regularly sit at 150k or more during peak season. Something nice about Marriott’s program is that both Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards transfer to Marriott. This means you have some great ways to earn your points for this location. If you’re looking to earn hundreds of thousands of Chase points responsibly and fast, check out our Points and Miles Program here!

Finding Award Availability at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

The easiest way to search for availability is using Marriott’s Flexible Date Calendar. You can see a screenshot of this below.  Search the calendar and select the nights that have availability for the point redemption that works for you (although depending on the time of year you can see that availability isn’t a guarantee). Just like with Hilton, when you book 5 award nights or more at a Marriott property you’ll get your 5th night free with Marriott’s 5th Night Free program. Because of this, we suggest if you will be staying at the property make sure you are staying at least 5 nights to take advantage of getting that last night free.

st. regis bora bora resort availability on points
Availability here can be tough so if you want to book a stay here, having flexible dates will be key

Expert Tip: Getting Overwater Bungalows

It is REALLY hard to book overwater bungalows completely on points in Bora Bora, particularly at the St. Regis. However, you can often find availability with points + cash upgrades. If an overwater bungalow is your dream, you may want to build a cash buffer into your budget.

Our Favorite Cards that Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points

Booking Bora Bora Intercontinental Properties on Points

The Intercontinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort and Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa are some other choices you have when you book with points with both hotels starting at 109k points per night. IHG (the hotel brand Intercontinental falls under) is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards and has its co-branded cards as well. Finding availability at these properties is where things get tricky.

IHG only releases their Bora Bora hotel redemption availability 120 days in advance. These hotels might not be the best options if you are trying to plan around school breaks or PTO but could be a good fit if you can find last-minute airfare and you plan a spontaneous trip! Regardless, it’s good to know what your options are, and keep an eye on these properties when you are narrowing down your hotel search.

Expert Tip: Transfering to IHG

Usually, we like to suggest earning IHG points through the co-branded cards and saving your Chase Ultimate Rewards to transfer to Hyatt since the point values are higher. However, if you can snag availability at these two Intercontinental properties we say transfer those points and go for it! Remember for only $9 and 35 minutes you can learn how to earn hundreds of thousands of Chase Ultimate Reward points. You can check out the program here!

Our Favorite Cards for Earning IGH Points

How to Travel to Bora Bora on Points Wrap-Up

Booking a trip to Bora Bora on points is a great way to experience this dream destination without breaking the bank. By using your points strategically, you can book flights and hotel stays at a fraction of the cost of paying in cash. The key is to be flexible with your travel dates, have a points plan, and use all of the resources found here for the best deals!

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