Don’t Drop the Ball: Last Chance for Times Square Hotels on New Year’s Eve – FREE With Marriott, Hilton, or IHG Points

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While New Yorkers might roll their eyes at the thought of spending New Year’s Eve at Times Square, it’s something you need to try at least once.  However, getting a hotel anywhere in New York on December 31 is expensive, let alone at Times Square, where hotels can easily cost more than $2,000 for the night!

Fortunately, many hotels don’t completely block award bookings on December 31, even in Times Square.  You may need to get creative in how you book (I’ll show you a loophole at one location), but you can access these hotels in Times Square right now using points from the best travel credit cards.

Is Celebrating the New Year in Times Square on Your Bucket List?  You Could Stay for Free With Points!

If you’re interested in seeing the ball drop for New Year’s Eve, act fast and book one of these hotels!

Book Hotels With Points on New Year’s Eve in Times Square

1.   Marriott / Starwood

The New York Marriott Marquis is located in a prime viewing spot in the center of Times Square.  If you want to see the ball drop, this is the place to be.  While you probably won’t get a room overlooking Times Square (those sell out months in advance), you’re steps away from the action.

When staying at this hotel, you’re given a key that lets you roam freely through the hotel and into Times Square.  There are reports on Trip Advisor of folks leaving their hotel room around 11:00 pm and being able to see the ball drop – that’s a big deal!

Most revelers spend hours in Times Square without access to food, drinks, or even toilets.  Staying at the Marriott Marquis virtually guarantees an unparalleled level of comfort and accessibility for spending the evening.

If you try searching for an award night on December 31, 2018, Marriott will say there’s no availability.  But there’s a way to get around this!

Marriott’s Website Won’t Let You Just Book 1 Night for New Year’s Eve!

First, search for an award stay from December 27 to January 2, 2019.  Rooms will show available using points.

Booking Multiple Nights Opens Up Award Nights

Proceed to book this award.  With Marriott Rewards, you don’t need to have any points in your account to book a stay, so don’t worry about not having enough points.  Note this booking is refundable until December 6, 2018.

After booking, retrieve your reservation by clicking My Trips on the top header.  Select the reservation you just made, then click View/Modify and then Edit Room.  Now you’ll be able to modify your reservation.  Change the dates of your stay to December 31, 2018, to January 1, 2019.  An award room then becomes available for the 1 night.  Click on Update” and confirm your reservation for 1 night.

You CAN Book the Marriott Marquis Using Points for 1 Night!

You’ll be confirmed at the Marriott Marquis for 1 night over New Year’s Eve using points – an amazing deal and experience!  You can’t even buy a single night at this hotel if you wanted to!

Note:   The Marriott Marquis adds a $25 per night “destination fee,” but it includes a $35 restaurant credit, enhanced internet, and a tour ticket.

The Marriott Marquis is the best available hotel at Times Square, but you can book the following Marriott hotels at or near Times Square easily by just booking a 1-night stay on Marriott’s website:

  • The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel for 60,000 Marriott points ($975)
  • The Westin New York at Times Square for 50,000 Marriott points (no cash rates available)
  • Sheraton New York Times Square for 45,000 Marriott points ($537)
  • Four Points by Sheraton Times Square for 35,000 Marriott points ($479)
  • Element New York Times Square for 35,000 Marriott points ($871)
  • Fairfield Inn and Suite Times Square for 35,000 Marriott points ($744)
  • Moxy NYC Times Square for 35,000 Marriott points ($587)

You can earn more Marriott points from cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card or Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

2.   IHG

IHG operates the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan, which is central in Times Square with a great view of the action.  While New Year’s Eve is selling for $2,330 for the night (!) you can redeem 60,000 IHG points for a 1-night stay instead!  This offers phenomenal value at ~3.8 cents per point.

It’s easy to earn IHG points with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card or by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to IHG from cards like the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve.


Redeem 60,000 IHG Points Instead of Paying Over $2,700 After Taxes at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan

Note:   Like many New York hotels, the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan adds a daily “facility fee” of $30, which includes 2 welcome drinks on arrival, Wi-Fi, access to the fitness center, and unlimited domestic and international phone calls.

If you’d prefer to be close but not in the crowds, the following hotels near Times Square have award space available for New Year’s Eve:

  • Staybridge Suites Times Square for 50,000 IHG points ($666)
  • InterContinental Barclay for 70,000 IHG points ($511)

3.   Hilton

While not directly in the crowds, the Hilton Times Square is only a block away from the action.  A base room costs $1,592 on New Year’s Eve, or 80,000 Hilton points.

Hilton points are easy to earn from cards like the Hilton Honors American Express® Surpass Card, The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, and Hilton Honors American Express Card.  Check out our post on all the ways to earn Hilton points. The information for the Hilton Surpass card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Save Big at the Hilton Times Square by Redeeming Points Instead of Paying Cash

If you’re a high roller, you can redeem for a guaranteed Times Square view for 331,200 points as a Premium Room Award at the DoubleTree Suites Times Square, a room selling for $7,999!

Other Hilton options near Times Square include:

  • Hampton Inn Times Square North for 70,000 Hilton points ($769)
  • DoubleTree Times Square West for 70,000 Hilton points ($720)
  • Hampton Inn Times Square South for 70,000 Hilton points ($1129)

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to do something extra special for New Year’s Eve, spending the night at Times Square is a bucket-list trip that you need to try once.  While hotel rooms are obscenely expensive, points offer you an accessible way to make the night magical.

You can stay right in the action at the Marriott Marquis or the Crowne Plaza Times Square, or stay nearby without the crowds and security at the Hilton Times Square.  But book quickly – these rooms will sell out fast!

Avery is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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