From budget to luxe: Use hotel points at these 9 NYC hotels
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New York City is famous for its epic pizza, endless must-do attractions, and high price tags for things like lodgings. If you are planning to visit the Big Apple, hotel points can come in handy for defraying some of these expenses. Whether you are visiting family in Manhattan or booking a quick overnight stay at JFK, you have options thanks to your hotel points.
With decent hotel rooms starting around $300 in some areas of New York (and climbing), here are some hotels you can book completely on points in New York City.
Courtyard New York Manhattan/Fifth Avenue
If you are looking for a simple, budget-friendly, yet overall well-done hotel, you can’t go wrong with the Courtyard New York Manhattan/Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. You are walking distance from a seemingly infinite number of restaurants, Times Square and Bryant Park. Most importantly, this property is classified as a Category 5 hotel, meaning you could redeem 30,000 to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points or use a free-night certificate (on nights up to 35,000 points) from a card like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. Standard rooms come with two double beds or one king bed. With paid rates at this hotel starting at $400 per night, you’ll have no problem squeezing the value out of your Bonvoy points — and that’s without using Marriott’s fifth-night-free benefit on award stays.
If you’re a little shy of this award, there are many ways to earn Marriott points, including the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, which is currently offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you use the card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.
AC New York Times Square
Another great points option at the budget-end of the spectrum in NYC is the AC New York Times Square, a Marriott Category 5 hotel. Despite its name, this hotel isn’t really in the heart of Times Square — which can be a good thing. Here, 30,000 to 40,000 Marriott points per night will book you a room with one king or two double beds at the relatively new AC hotel. Paid rates are often $300+ per night.
The AC is on 40th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, and is home to a nice rooftop bar. You are within easy walking distance of Times Square, Herald Square, Bryant Park, Penn Station, the Port Authority and several subway stops.
TRYP Times Square South
Another great budget-friendly award redemption also has a Times Square name, though TRYP Times Square South isn’t in the heart of the madness.
What makes TRYP Times Square South great on points is that you can book a family room that sleeps eight people for the same award price as a room for one or two people. For 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night, you can bunk up the whole crew here and stay on 35th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, which really isn’t Times Square, after all.
Hyatt Andaz 5th Avenue
The Andaz 5th Avenue by Hyatt is a boutique hotel, which is a midrange to almost luxe option, located across the street from the New York Public Library. With cash rates over $600 a night, it is not a wallet-friendly hotel. However, 25,000 World of Hyatt points will get you a king bedroom inside this property.
TPG Points and Miles Editor Nick Ewen stayed at the Andaz 5th Avenue a few years ago and gave it two thumbs up, noting that the hotel “is in the perfect location,” if you’re looking to visit the major sites. It’s just far enough away from Times Square that you don’t feel the intensity from that location. Instead, you are right across the street from Bryant Park. Note that Hyatt also provides several options to book upgraded rooms using points, which could be a great value here as well.
If you want to earn valuable World of Hyatt points, apply for the World of Hyatt Credit Card, which currently offers a sign-up bonus of up to 50,000 points. You’ll earn 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and an additional 25,000 points after you spend $6,000 total within the first six months of account opening.
Kimpton Hotel Eventi
In the Chelsea neighborhood is the Kimpton Hotel Eventi. A standard room in this stylish hotel, is a modest 275 square feet but comes with amenities such as floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bathrooms and a rainfall showerhead. Along with this, Kimpton is famous for hosting a wine hour each night in the lobby of their hotels.
Award nights are priced at 70,000 IHG Rewards Club points, which are worth $350 based on TPG’s valuations. However, rooms at the Kimpton Eventi typically start at $450 per night, so you’ll get a great value from your points. It’s easy to earn IHG points along with high-tier status. To earn points and status simultaneously, apply for the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. This card is offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Along with the sign-up bonus, you will earn automatic Platinum Elite status, which we value at $880.
Times Square is a love it or hate it location. If it’s a must-see destination on your trip, and you want to stay in this teeming hub, the Marriott Marquis is a very large, very popular hotel located in the heart of it all. Rooms can easily cost $400 but are otherwise 40,000 to 60,000 Marriott points per night for one king or two double beds — with a pull-out couch, which is a large accommodation for NYC. (View the full review of the Marriott Marquis.)
This hotel is also eligible for a free night with certain Marriott credit cards, like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (up to 50,000 points per night). Along with earning Marriott Bonvoy points, you can also earn elite status through credit cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, which will give you complimentary upgrades (when available) and other perks.
Conrad New York Midtown
Have any Hilton points or a Hilton free-weekend-night certificate at your disposal? If so, look no further than the remodeled and rebranded Conrad New York Midtown located just south of Central Park on West 54th Street. This all-suites hotel still has a new hotel smell after its renovation last summer.
Suites start at 90,000 to 95,000 Hilton points per night, so this is when you want to cash in a weekend-award night from a card such as the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. The Hilton Diamond status you get from that card will also help you out when it comes to enjoying a breakfast benefit.
St. Regis New York
Standing proudly at 55th and Fifth Avenue since 1904, the St. Regis New York is a timeless classic, elegant and — expensive. It’s exactly the kind of place most of us would never pay for with cash (with rates often $1,000+). With points, a stay at this hotel can become a reality.
In this case, you’ll need a lot of Marriott points as it sits at the top of the award chart costing 70,000 to 100,000 points per night. But, if you can come up with the points via Marriott credit cards, hotel stays or transfers from Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’re virtually guaranteed a nice stay with butler service, hot chocolate in the lobby and insanely comfortable beds. Typically, you can only book a king room with a standard points award, though other room types are available, so you could book something refundable and then inquire with the hotel about what it would take to lock in a different room type.
(Read our full review of the St. Regis New York.)
Park Hyatt New York
To round out this list, is a luxury property that may offer the best bang for your points in all of New York City. The Park Hyatt New York is one of the city’s most luxurious properties. The hotel has a modest 210 guest rooms — including 92 suites. The hotel has a full-service spa, full-size indoor pool, fitness center and over 350 pieces of art throughout the hotel. Located directly across from Carnegie Hall and one block south of Central Park, the property is in a perfect location for tourists. However, it comes at a steep price, with rates typically starting about $1,000 per night.
(Read the full review of the Park Hyatt New York.)
On the other hand, the award cost is much more manageable, as you’ll need to redeem just 30,000 World of Hyatt points for a free night. As TPG values World of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents, you can easily get close to (or more than) double the value at this property.
If the World of Hyatt Credit Card doesn’t suit your needs, consider one with transferable points like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can then transfer Ultimate Rewards points directly to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.
Booking a trip to New York City can be an incredibly expensive proposition. However, with the right amount of planning and strategizing with points, you can easily save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in hotel expenses. In some cases, your trip can even become more plush by leveraging credit cards that offer hotel elite status. Hopefully this guide has given you some concrete suggestions on how to make the most of your hotel points on a trip to the Big Apple.
Featured photo by Oliver Niblett/unsplash
Additional reporting by Brett Holzhauer/The Points Guy
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