Maximize Monday: Earning Points and Miles on New York Airport Car Services

by on June 10, 2013 · 11 comments

in Car Services, Maximize Monday, Uber

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Getting to New York City from the three main airports in the area – JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark – can be an expensive challenge. Taxis cost a lot and there are often long lines, while picking up a private car at the curb can mean ridesharing (and spending a lot of extra time in the car getting into the city) and sky-high rates. Public transportation is an option and may even be quicker, but this post will focus on private car services and the best ways to earn miles and points and save money with some of the top options. Feel free to share your thoughts and if you have a company you use that you recommend.

There are several car service options getting to/from the airports.

There are several car service options getting to/from the airports.

Generally speaking, most of the companies charge a cheaper rate for a pickup at an airport headed into NYC, as opposed from a pick-up in the city headed to the airport.

In terms of bonus points, one of the travel categories that earns 2X points per mile on the Sapphire Preferred is limos and taxis, so if you charge your ride to that card, you should be earning double points. The Barclaycard Arrival with the annual fee earns 2x on all purchases, but does not include limousines, taxis or private car services in its travel category so don’t expect the 10% rebate on travel redemptions if you want to use points to cover your rides.

Here’s a comparison of some of the major car services that offer rides to and from the major airports. For comparison, here is what a taxi will cost you from each (approximately).

JFK to Manhattan: $52.50 plus tolls
LaGuardia to Manhattan: $24-$50 plus tolls
Manhattan to Newark: $60-$80 plus tolls

Carmel Limo
Prices to JFK: Full Size Sedan: $52, Luxury Sedan: $57, or Deluxe Sedan: $60
Prices from JFK: Full Size Sedan: $44, Luxury Sedan: $51, or Deluxe Sedan: $54
Prices to LGA: Full Size Sedan: $34, Luxury Sedan: $37, or Deluxe Sedan: $42
Prices from LGA: Full Size Sedan: $30, Luxury Sedan: $33, or Deluxe Sedan: $38
Prices to EWR: Full Size Sedan: $51, Luxury Sedan: $56, or Deluxe Sedan: $59
Prices from EWR: Full Size Sedan: $46, Luxury Sedan: $53, or Deluxe Sedan: $56

These prices do not include tips or gratuities. In addition, for pickups above 125th Street in Manhattan, there is an additional $5 charge.

Carmel partners with several airlines including: JetBlue, Delta, American, Alaska, US Airways, and United. For JetBlue, Delta and American, you will earn 200 base miles to/from the airport. With the others, you’ll earn 1-6 miles per dollar based on the fare. For all of these airline partners, you must book your reservation through the airline partner page and include your frequent flyer number in order to earn any bonus miles.

Save 15% with GroundLink when using code CAR15.

Save 15% with GroundLink when using code CAR15.


Prices to/from JFK: Economy Class: $55, Luxury Class: $65, or VIP $85
Prices to/from LGA: Economy Class: $44, Luxury Class: $48, or VIP $65
Prices to/from EWR: Economy Class: $55, Luxury Class: $65, or VIP $85

Wait time, tolls, stops, processing fees, inside pick-up and car seats are not included in the base fare. However, you are not responsible for paying the driver a tip when exiting. The driver has already been taken care of.

Groundlink partners with JetBlue, United, and Airtran, but they do not offer any bonus miles for booking with them. With JetBlue at least, any fuel surcharges are waived and you get 45 minutes of free waiting time.

Now through August 31, 2013, you can receive 15% off using Promo Code CAR15.

Dial 7 Transportation 
Prices to JFK: Sedan-$52, Luxury Sedan: $57
Prices from JFK: Sedan: $48, Luxury Sedan: $53
Prices to LGA: Sedan: $34, Luxury Sedan: $38
Prices from LGA: Sedan: $33, Luxury Sedan: $38
Prices to EWR: Sedan: $52, Luxury Sedan: $57
Prices from EWR: Sedan: $48, Luxury Sedan: $53

These prices do not include tolls or gratuities. Unfortunately Dial 7 isn’t partnering with airlines at this time, however, you can get $5 off any fare $29 or up with coupon code UA06121 until December 31, 2013.

Although it’s generally more expensive that taxis and other car services, I happen to love Uber because you can page private cars and taxis directly from your smartphone without having to plan in advance or wait out on the street and try to hail a cab or call a town car, and it can be a godsend in cities where taxis are scarce. Not only that, but Uber automatically bills the (points-earning) credit card you have on file and gratuity is included, so no arguing with the driver about paying in cash or credit, waiting for a receipt, or any other inconvenience.

Prices to/from JFK: UBERx: $65, Black Car: $85, SUV: $125
Prices to/from Newark: UBERx: $85, Black Car: $105, SUV: $150
Prices to/from LaGuardia: No set rate, price based on distance.

These prices do not include tolls, but tips are included.

Currently, American Express has teamed up with Uber to offer first time users savings.The Uber discount is $10 off a single ride of $30 or more taken by June 30, 2013. To use, click on the offer in your American Express account and be sure sync your Amex card to it and use it to pay to get the $10 statement credit back.

Do you have a favorite car service you use when headed to/from NYC, or do you just hop in a cab? Feel free to share your tips below!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Danny

    The Carmel offer is very interesting. My company covers all of my taxis/cars to the airport for my business travel (which is 95% of my travel), so I’m not particularly price sensitive about these options, and I may try Carmel out just because they seem to offer the most points.

  • Julie Mimer

    It can be very difficult to get Carmel to credit your miles properly. Sometimes the miles wouldn’t post, and even after re0peated emails and phone calls to “customer service” (what a misnomer) I got nothing. Their motto: The customer is always wrong.

  • flyinace2000

    I used Carmel for a long time when i was in Hoboken going to EWR on a weekly basis. Always got my miles posted and their drivers were pretty reliable

  • Mike Stanioski

    Anyone have something similar for Boston car services?

  • M

    I tried to use the CAR15 groundlink code for a ride in Boston and it said “Promo code valid for rides done before Jun 15, 2013″

  • R B

    I have been using Dial 7 for years. I was happy with them until my last booking, to be picked up at JFK Terminal 4 coming from CDG. There was no car waiting for us, then the Dial 7 operator told us to go to the ‘Departures’ level then to go to Terminal 3. What a mess! I canceled the booking and jumped into a cab. I emailed Dial 7 to complain, but did not even receive any acknowledgment.
    I will now try one of the other car services provided.

  • thepointsguy

    Hmm strange, the offer says “Promotion ends August 31, 2013.”

  • Mitch

    You get 250 United miles per trip for Carmel

  • alistair

    what do you mean when you say (for Carmel) to “book through the airline partner page” is that a page at or on the carmel site??

  • FF No. 1

    Watch out for Carmel – They overcharge for tolls and then demand want the tolls both ways from Manhattan. This appears to be all Carmel drivers not just a random driver. Carmel therefore is much more expensive than other car services or even taxis. I no longer use Carmel as a result. It is certainly not worth it for the miles – If you ever receive them!

  • Ben Brooks

    Another cost saving tip is to see if your company has a corporate rate with any NYC-area car service providers. This can result in decent savings and you can often set up a profile with billing details, etc. so it is quick to book either online or over the phone. I’ve used Planet Limo for years and have been very happy with them. Even when there is an issue they always handle it with grace and speed!

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