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New York City hotels will cost less this summer as city suspends occupancy tax

May 20, 2021
3 min read
New York City hotels will cost less this summer as city suspends occupancy tax
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If you need another reason to book that New York City summer trip you've been thinking about, here's one more: Hotel rooms just got a little bit cheaper.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed an executive order that suspends the city's 5.875% hotel room occupancy tax for the summer to help kickstart the ailing hotel industry, one of the hardest-hit business sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The occupancy tax will be eliminated for all bookings for three months from June 1 through Aug. 31, 2021. It's hoped that waiving the tax for the summer season will motivate hotels to lower rates and drive demand for bookings.

“As our COVID rates continue to plummet and we continue to drive a recovery for all of us, tourists will be coming back to New York City in droves," said Mayor de Blasio in a statement after signing the executive order. "We’re ready for them."

Hotel industry leaders said the move provides some instant relief for the city's all-important leisure and hospitality sector, which lost an estimated 257,000 jobs in 2020, according to NY1.

"The temporary occupancy tax waiver is a much-needed lifeline that is strongly welcomed by the beleaguered hotel industry,” said Vijay Dandapani, President & CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City.

City officials estimate revenue from the hotel room occupancy tax is down nearly 90% compared to the past fiscal year, with the pandemic and its crippling impact on travel and tourism the clear leading factor.

So how much will not paying the occupancy tax save you on a hotel room? As an example, we looked into booking a room at one of the most famous hotels in Midtown Manhattan, the St. Regis New York. For a sample weekend in June, a deluxe room booked through the hotel's official website costs $922 per night. Removing the 5.875% occupancy tax would save you $54.16 per night.

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While that not sound like much for each night individually, on a two-night stay, that comes out to a savings of $108.32.

(Image courtesy of Marriott)

Let's look at a more budget-friendly accommodation option: the Hyatt Place New York/Midtown-South. For the same weekend in June, a two-night stay at the property costs $350.40 for the room rate only. On top of that, the occupancy tax represents an additional $10.29 each night. In other words, you could be saving $20.59 on your two-night stay.

(Image courtesy of Hyatt)

Put another way: The money you save from the withheld tax could pay for a good meal at a restaurant in the city.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees