The ultimate guide to visiting Prague with points and miles
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I’ve spent more time in Prague than anywhere else outside of the U.S. A good portion of my family is from the Czech capital, and I recently claimed Czech citizenship through descent. In turn, I’ve spent many summers in Prague and have recently started to take learning the Czech language seriously. Prague and its endless history, top-notch pubs and restaurants and incredible culture have become my second home over the years.
Better yet, the Czech Republic is again open to American tourists. You can travel to the country without quarantine or other restrictions so long as you pack a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination. Much of the country has reopened too — you can visit museums, pubs and everything else that makes the city so unique.
Countless trips to Prague over the years taught me how to get to the city at a discount with points and miles. So in this article, I’ll show you how to do the same. I’ll start by showing you how to book flights from the U.S. to Prague with your points and then dive into booking hotels. Plus, you’ll get some insider tips on where to stay in Prague along the way.
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Airlines that fly to Prague
Unfortunately, there are no nonstop flights between the U.S. and the Czech capital of Prague at the time of writing this article. In the past, American, Delta and United each operated seasonal nonstop flights from their largest East Coast hubs. I hope these flights make a return in a post-pandemic world when international travel completely recovers.
Thankfully, it’s still easy to get to Prague (PRG) with any of the major alliances — you just need to layover in another European city. Star Alliance has the easiest connections with its partnerships with Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines. You’ll get the fastest connections when you fly via Munich (MUC) on Lufthansa or Vienna (VIE) on Austrian Airlines.
Here’s a look at your flight options on all the major alliances and how to book them with points and miles.
Related: Things to do in Prague with kids
Best award flight options
Cheapest Oneworld awards to Prague
Oneworld loyalists are best off booking tickets to Prague with the Madrid-based Iberia. You’ll fly via Madrid (MAD) and pay minimal award taxes and fees regardless of the Oneworld currency you use to book your ticket. That said, I recommend booking with Iberia’s own Iberia Plus program.
The program charges as little as 37,000 Avios and roughly $115 in taxes one-way in blue fare economy, which is the carrier’s version of basic economy. Premium economy tickets start at 33,000 Avios, and business class tickets cost 49,000 Avios. Flights from Iberia’s West Coast gateways will cost more Avios, but you can still get a great deal.
How to earn points for a Oneworld flight to Prague
You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Iberia Plus. You can also move British Airways Avios to Iberia Plus Avios so long as both your British Airways and Iberia accounts are open for at least 90 days.
You can earn Avios with one of these cobranded credit cards:
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card: Earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
- British Airways Visa Signature Card: Earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
- Iberia Visa Signature Card: Earn 100,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
Cheapest SkyTeam awards to Prague
You can fly SkyTeam carriers like Air France and KLM from the U.S. to Prague via their respective hubs. It’s worth noting that Czech Airlines is also in the SkyTeam alliance, so the Prague-based airline may operate your connecting flight. Your best bet for booking SkyTeam awards to Prague is booking with Air France and KLM’s joint Flying Blue program. It prices award tickets dynamically, but you will often find flights starting at 21,500 points one-way in economy and 53,000 in business class. Taxes and fees are between $200 and $300 each way.
How to earn points for a SkyTeam flight to Prague
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Earns 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on dining and 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. Earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining purchases.
Cheapest Star Alliance awards to Prague
Star Alliance has excellent connectivity to Central Europe with Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and LOT Polish Airlines. This provides some of the quickest connections between the U.S. and Prague and is how I usually travel to Prague when traveling on points and miles. My favorite route is New York-JFK to Prague via Vienna (VIE) in Austrian Airlines business class, in large part due to its top-notch catering and great hard product.
The cheapest way to fly to Europe with Star Alliance carriers is by booking with ANA Mileage Club. You’ll pay 55,000 miles round-trip in economy and 88,000 miles round-trip in business class. You can also add a free stopover to your booking, letting you see a second European city free of charge. The only downside to booking with ANA Mileage Club is that you have to pay fuel surcharges on carriers like Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa. You can avoid this by booking tickets operated by United, LOT and SAS.
For example, this itinerary lets you see Warsaw and Prague in LOT business class for 88,000 miles and $272.54.
If you want to save on fuel surcharges, consider booking with Avianca LifeMiles. You’ll pay 30,000 LifeMiles for a one-way ticket in economy and 63,000 LifeMiles one-way in business class. You won’t pay fuel surcharges on any Star Alliance ticket, so this is my preferred way to book Austrian and Lufthansa flights to Europe./
How to earn points for a Star Alliance flight to Prague
You can transfer Amex points to ANA Mileage Club. On the other hand, Amex, Capital One and Citi points transfer to Avianca LifeMiles. Consider opening one of these Amex cards to boost your balance for a trip to Prague:
- American Express® Green Card: 45,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. Earn 3x points on dining at restaurants, travel and transit (including flights, hotels, transit, taxis, tours, and ridesharing services), 1x points on all other purchases ($150 annual fee; see rates and fees).
- American Express® Gold Card: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of card membership. Earn 4x points on dining at restaurants; 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x points); 3x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines; 1x points on all other purchases, ($250 annual fee; see rates and fees).
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly from airlines with American Express Travel (earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), 5x on prepaid hotel bookings with American Express Travel Travel, and Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts; 1x on all other purchases, ($695 annual fee; see rates and fees).
The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Prague has a handful of points hotels scattered throughout the city, but the selection isn’t as plentiful as Paris or other large European cities. That said, you can get a solid deal for your points when redeeming for higher-end stays during peak dates. Always compare the cost of a paid stay with the redemption rate, as hotels in Prague are generally inexpensive.
Hilton has two properties in Prague, both under the flagship Hilton brand. You can use your Hilton Honors points to book stays at either of these properties for reasonable rates. Just remember that Hilton Honors prices award nights dynamically. This means that pricing changes by the day and can skyrocket during holidays and peak travel times. Here’s a look at pricing for a mid-October stay:
- Hilton Prague: 35,000 points per night
- Hilton Prague Old Town: 42,000 points per night
Both of these properties are centrally located, but I recommend the Old Town location for tourists. It’s right in the middle of Prague’s Old Town district and steps away from the iconic Old Town Square. You’re also right next to the Namesti Republiky metro stop and across the street from one of Prague’s major rail hubs, making it convenient if you arrive by train.
How to earn Hilton points
You may want to consider applying for a Hilton cobranded credit card to earn more Hilton points. Each has a solid welcome bonus and various benefits like complimentary elite status, an annual free night and more. Here’s a look at the current lineup of Hilton credit cards:
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Earn 150,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of membership.
- Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn 100,000 Hilton honors points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of cards membership, plus earn $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of membership.
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Offer expires 7/6/2022.
The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
World of Hyatt
Unfortunately, there are no Hyatt hotels in Prague at the time of writing this article. Thankfully, this will change in the coming years when Hyatt finishes developing the Andaz Prague.
IHG has two points-bookable properties in downtown Prague and one at Prague Airport. Like Hilton Honors, IHG now prices award nights dynamically, so the price you see for your travel date may be different than what’s listed below. Here’s a look at IHG Rewards pricing for Prague hotels in early November:
- Holiday Inn Prague: 12,000 points per night
- Mr & Mrs Smith The Emblem Hotel: 47,500 points per night
While not the most luxurious property, the Holiday Inn Prague is in a good location south of Old Town. It’s near Vysehrad — a historic fort — and the Charles River. There are plenty of great restaurants and pubs nearby with more of a local vibe than what you’d find in Old Town. Those wanting a more luxurious stay in Old Town will love the Mr & Mrs Smith The Emblem Hotel — this is located in the heart of the tourist district and near many of Prague’s famous tourist attractions.
How to earn IHG points
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG, but you won’t get a great redemption value. Instead, we recommend earning IHG points with an IHG cobranded credit card:
- IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card: Earn 140,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
- IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card: Earn 120,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Marriott has a substantial presence in Prague, with four hotels in the city and one at the airport. Brands range from a flagship Marriott property to a Courtyard to a Luxury Collection hotel, so there’s something for everyone. You can use your Marriott Bonvoy points to book a free night at any of these properties. Here’s a look at standard award pricing:
- Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel: 60,000 points per night
- Courtyard Prague City: 25,000 points per night
- Prague Marriott Hotel: 50,000 points per night
- Stages Hotel Prague, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel: 35,000 points per night
The Prague Marriott is your best bet for being close to Old Town and tourist sites. It’s within reach of most tourist attractions and close to many public transport links. On the other hand, the Courtyard is near the Vinohrady neighborhood, filled with trendy bars, cafes and outdoor markets. Finally, The Augustine is perfect for history-lovers as it’s close to Prague Castle and a handful of great museums and cultural sights.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points
You can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards to Marriott, but like IHG, it’s not usually a good deal. Instead, consider earning Marriott points with a cobranded credit card.
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Earn 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 in the first three months from account opening.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card: Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
Prague is one of Europe’s oldest cities and has an incredible culture, food and museums. Bookmark this article and refer to it if you decide to make the trip to the Czech capital. After all, the money you save on flights and accommodations gives you more budget to visit awe-inspiring museums like the National Gallery in Prague and sample foods like Svickova and Hovezi Gulas.
Feature photo by Noppasin Wongchum / Shutterstock.com
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