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Understanding Resort Credits at All-Inclusive Resorts: Are They Truly Worth Choosing a Resort Over?

All-inclusive resorts offer an enticing vacation experience, promising unlimited food, beverages, and a host of activities. To sweeten the deal, many resorts also advertise the inclusion of resort credits as part of their packages. However, these so-called "resort credits" often turn out to be more like coupons, rather than actual credits.

As advisors, we like to help set this expectation with our travelers! Let's delve into how resort credits work at all-inclusive resorts and shed light on the potential pitfalls and misconceptions surrounding these offers. It can be confusing for a first-time visitor to an all-inclusive property.

Understanding Resort Credits

Resort credits are marketing tools employed by all-inclusive resorts to entice guests with the promise of extra perks or discounts on various amenities or services. While they may sound like a lucrative addition to your vacation package, it is essential to understand their limitations and how they are typically structured.

The Misleading Nature of Resort Credits:

Despite the name, resort credits can be misleading. Instead of a true credit that can be freely spent, they are often restricted to specific areas of the resort or limited to certain activities. In reality, they function more like coupons that provide discounts on select purchases or experiences. These limitations can significantly impact the value of resort credits and might not align with guests' expectations.

For example:

  1. Riu Resorts is a well-known and loved brand for our Iowa travelers that offers all-inclusive vacation packages with the inclusion of resort credits. They promote these credits as a way to enhance your stay. For instance, they may offer $500 in resort credits with a seven-night stay. However, upon closer examination, guests discover that the credits can only be used for specific services within the resort, such as spa treatments, excursions, or upgrades. They are not applicable to everyday expenses which might be an area where guests were hoping to use the credits. They usually appear as an incentive like, "Purchase a $200 massage and get $20 off."

Managing Expectations:

To make the most of resort credits, it is crucial to manage your expectations and conduct thorough research before booking an all-inclusive vacation. Consider the following points:

  1. Read the Fine Print: Carefully review the terms and conditions associated with resort credits. Look for restrictions, eligible services, minimum stay requirements, and expiration dates. This information will help you determine if the credits align with your vacation preferences.

  2. Calculate the Potential Savings: Evaluate the value of the resort credits based on the services you plan to use. Consider whether the savings justify any additional costs associated with the all-inclusive package itself.

  3. Research Alternatives: If resort credits do not align with your interests or intended expenditures, consider exploring other all-inclusive resorts that offer transparent pricing without the resort credit scheme. This way, you can have a clear understanding of what is included and what is not, allowing you to budget accordingly.


While the idea of resort credits may initially appear appealing, it is crucial to approach them with caution. All-inclusive resorts often utilize resort credits as a marketing tactic to entice guests, but they frequently come with limitations and restrictions. Understanding the fine print, managing expectations, and calculating the potential savings are essential steps to ensure that resort credits truly enhance your vacation experience. By being well-informed, you can make an informed decision and enjoy your all-inclusive getaway to the fullest.

Remember, an all-inclusive vacation should be about relaxation and worry-free indulgence, regardless of whether or not resort credits are part of the equation.

Resorts and online travel resellers are amazing at creative advertising tactics and marketing to swindle consumers and online shoppers into thinking that have found the deal-of-a- lifetime. If you really want to know if you're finding a great price or "deal" - contact one of our travel advisors! We work tirelessly to find the best deal and pricing for our clients and can quickly tell if what you're seeing is a great price or not.

Start planning your next all-inclusive vacation with one of our specialists and submit your online inquiry at

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