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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
In the latest installment of our “Points and Miles Destination Guide” series, TPG Contributor Whitney Magnuson explores the many different ways to maximize hotel redemptions in Boston using points and miles.
With an Irish bar on every block, fantastic seafood, winning sports teams and some of the country’s top universities, it’s no wonder that more than 15 million travelers pass through the city of Boston each year. If you’re among that group and currently planning a trip to Boston, let us help by suggesting five hotels that offer great points redemption values for different types of travelers.
If you’d like to see Boston’s historical landmarks: Boston Marriott Long Wharf
Located just off State Street near both the Old State House and Faneuil Hall is the Boston Marriott Long Wharf. With views of both the Boston harbor and the Financial District, rooms at this upscale Category 9 property start at about $399 or 45,000 points per night.
While that’s undeniably a hefty redemption, the 50,000 bonus points you’ll receive after spending $2,000 on the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card in the first three months means you can get at least one free night. Plus, because Marriott always offers a fifth night free when you redeem four award nights, a five-night stay would mean a redemption value of 1.4 cents per point — that’s double the most recent TPG monthly valuation for Marriott points.
If you want a taste of Boston’s hippest hood: Le Meridien Cambridge-MIT
Ask five Bostonians what area of Boston is the coolest and you’re bound to get five different responses, with Allston, Cambridge, Jamaica Plain and Sommerville all likely to make an appearance on the list. If you’d rather explore the up-and-coming areas and make your own decision on the matter, you’d do well to consider a stay at the Le Meridien Cambridge-MIT.
Located near the MIT campus in the Cambridge area, the property is a quick 10-minute cab or Uber to any of the above-mentioned neighborhoods, and just a five-minute stroll from the closest Red Line station. With rates averaging $485 per night, this Category 5 property will run you 12,000-16,000 points per night, depending on whether you stay on a weekend or weeknight.
With the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, travelers could earn 25,000 bonus Starwood points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card issue. That’s enough for a weekend stay in Cambridge and exploring all of Boston’s hottest locales.
If you’ve got an early flight at Boston Logan Airport: Hyatt Boston Harbor
Boston is one of the few US cities where the airport is located near the center of town. Because of that, nearby hotels can come at a premium, especially if you’re looking for a last-minute room to camp out during a long layover or ahead of an early-morning flight.
For those travelers, the Hyatt Boston Harbor offers a good compromise of comfortable accommodations with fantastic city views and close proximity to the airport (with a 24-hour airport shuttle). Nightly rates start at about $149 on the low end or $400+ per night for higher-demand dates. Award nights are available from 15,000 points per night.
As Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer 1:1 to Hyatt, a traveler hoping to nab a free night might consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. After spending $4,000 in the first three months and adding an authorized user, you’ll earn 55,000 Ultimate Reward points — more than enough for a three-night stay.
If you’re headed to a conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center: Westin Boston Waterfront
The BCEC is the home to hundreds of annual international conferences and events, which brings numerous visitors to the Boston area each year.
Located literally right next door to the BCEC is the Category 5 Westin Boston Waterfront. The property boasts an additional 80,000 square feet of meeting space itself, meaning that many of the larger conferences actually take advantage and book satellite events here as well.
Rates at this hotel can sometimes jump above $499 per night (though negotiated conference rates can significantly cut down that price, so always check whether there’s a group rate for your event before booking). Award nights start at 12,000 points per night, which equals a solid redemption rate of 4.2 cents per point, based on a $499 nightly rate.
If you want to take in a Patriots game: Holiday Inn Express Plainville-Foxboro
Regardless of whether you’re a diehard Pats fan or can’t stand Brady and crew, if you plan to take in a Patriots home game, you’ll actually be heading outside the Boston city limits to the nearby Foxborough area.
While the Renaissance Boston Patriot Place Hotel is the closest hotel, located directly at the stadium, you won’t find availability there for the remaining 2015 New England season. As an alternative, I’d recommend the Holiday Inn Express Plainville-Foxboro, which still shows both cash and award rooms available for all three remaining home games (as of press time).
This property is just a 10-minute drive from the Stadium and also features an outdoor heated pool where you can continue the celebration after the game ends. Room rates start at $165 or 30,000 IHG points per night. With the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which currently offers a 60,000-point bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months, earning two free nights for an upcoming game is definitely doable.
No matter why you’re planning a trip to Bean Town, you’ll find plenty of hotels and great available award redemptions. Need additional ideas for what to do in Boston? Check out this other recent TPG content:
- A Week in the Admirals Club: Boston Logan International Airport
- Destination of the Week: Boston
- Should I fly JetBlue or Delta out of Boston?
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards