At GSTP, we’re always trying to highlight amazing flight deals, and there are usually quite a few US cities where round trip flights to New York are under $200 round trip, and plenty of options to use points for 7,500-15,000 miles, if booked in advance. In fact, here’s an example for $97 round trip from Chicago.
But in New York, getting there isn’t the problem – it’s affording to sleep and eat there! Since we’ve always got your back, here’s how to do both, enjoying flights and hotels for a great trip to New York City, for next to nothing…
Empire State of Mind
Yes, I know. Once again GSTP is trying to get you to visit amazing places and has tips on how to get there on the cheap, but once you get to NYC, you will have to reverse mortgage your house for even a decent hotel. Just like on our previous post where we tackled Paris, let’s look at we can really stay in New York for next to nothing, and particularly without filing for Chapter 11.
As you can imagine, New York City is exploding with hotel options, most of which will cost a fortune and will offer a glorified closet, no matter how much you spend. With that in mind, let’s look at a few good options you can book via points, simply from a little bit of planning after enjoying the welcome bonuses from a couple great credit cards you’ll want to keep in your wallet long term. If you already have the points, even better!
World of Hyatt
Last time I was in NYC, I stayed at the Gild Hall, which is a Thompson Hotel you can book as part of the World of Hyatt program. Just to jog your memory, Hyatt is one of the best transfer partners from Chase Ultimate Rewards.
You can book the Gild Hall, located in the financial district, for 15,000 points a night, which is a steal. It’s also worth noting there are no other Hyatt properties in Manhattan for that price point.
Another solid options is the Hyatt Herald Square, which is very close to Penn Station, and will run you 20,000 points per night. If you’re staying there, you should go up to their rooftop for amazing views of the Empire State building.
And yet another central option is the Grand Hyatt right at Grand Central Station. Also bookable for 20,000 points, and in a great location, I can’t vouch for it as I just won’t ever stay there, but to each its own so I’m putting it out there.
Chase Credit Cards
When we’re talking Hyatt, we’re really talking Chase credit cards, and there’s really four cards that can help you stay at one of these hotels for next to nothing.
If you were to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card (and spend $4000 in the first three months) you could earn 60,000 welcome bonus points. Plus, if you’re spending those $4K on travel or dining (which earns twice the points), you’d earn an additional 8,000 points.
That means you can stay four nights at the Gild Hall hotel, just by using your points. If you were to Stay at either the Hyatt Herald Square or the Grand Hyatt, you’d be able to redeem them for three nights instead. None of those hotels are bookable for under 200 dollars a night. You could also enjoy GSTP favourite the Andaz for 25,000 points per night.
Another credit card option, especially more appealing because it does not carry an annual fee, is the Chase Freedom Card, or perhaps even the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Both cards currently offer a limited time 20,000 point welcome bonus, after approval.
While that’s only enough to redeem for just one night at either of the three options above, you’re still able to stay a night in the Big Apple without any cash, from a card with great earning rates and no annual fee.
Lastly, there’s also the Chase World of Hyatt credit card, which upon approval earns you a juicy 25,000 points after your first $3000 in spend, followed by another 25,000 points after another $3000 in spend. Additionally, you get a Free Night Award on your account opening anniversary, redeemable at hotels category 1 through 4, as well as another Free Night Award after $15K in spend.
That means you could potentially stay at the Gild Hall hotel in Manhattan for FIVE NIGHTS by using 45,000 points from your bonus plus those two award nights.
Since merging with SPG, Marriott now has the largest footprint in Manhattan I can think of, with tons of options to choose from if you’re booking with points.
The two credit card options I would suggest for Marriott are the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Chase card. Any of those cards would earn you a 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy point welcome bonus, after spending $3000.
There are SO MANY options for Marriott within the island known as Manhattan that we’ll just focus on a few below. For palatable, solid options, the Courtyard, the Four Points Midtown – Times Square, the Maxwell, and the Moxy Times Square, are perfectly nice places to rest your head. If its your first time, you may even enjoy being near Times Square. With all that said,, there are now over THIRTY Marriott Category 5 properties that you can book for 35,000 points.
If you’re as quick to do math as I’m not, you would have noticed this means you can get a two-day stay booked fully with points with the welcome bonus from either of those two Marriott credit cards.
Only in New York
Now, as usual, here’s the disclaimer that you should always consider the credit card’s annual fee into the mix. But, as expected, here’s me telling you that if you can get anywhere between two to five hotel nights in New York City taken care of by points, you can do the math to figure out how much you’d save in this one stay alone.
For those wondering how to scale it up, and for those of you with a significant other in the mix, you can maximize credit card welcome bonuses by having both of you apply for cards, thus doubling your bonuses and potentially doubling your stay in the Big Apple.
Now that you have your accommodation in New York City figured out, you should check the 48-hour guide to NYC Gilbert compiled so that you’re smartly using your time in the city that never sleeps and avoiding the innumerable places with horrible coffee on the East Coast…