Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
New York City is 1 of the world’s most vibrant cities. It has a reputation for being expensive. But there are plenty of summer activities that’ll allow you see New York without running up a big bill.
If you’ve thought of visiting New York but were turned off by the costs, I’ll tell you about how to get there, where to stay, and what to do in the Big Apple with Small Money!
How to Fly to New York With Miles and Points
It’s easy to fly into New York from nearly anywhere. It has 3 major airports (JFK, LGA, and EWR). And hundreds of flights per day.
You can use your miles to get to New York City for close to free!
1. United Airlines
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
There are lots of ways to earn United Airlines miles. This includes transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines. If you need help with booking a United Airlines award flight, check out my series on how to use United Airlines miles.
You can use United Airlines miles to fly into any of New York’s airports. They have a hub at Newark Airport (EWR). A round-trip coach award ticket on United Airlines is 25,000 United Airlines miles from anywhere in the US and Canada except Hawaii.
Southwest flies into New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA).
The number of Southwest points required for an award flight depends on the cost of a paid ticket.
If you have the Southwest Companion Pass, flying on Southwest can be a great deal!
3. British Airways
If you’re a short flight away from New York, you can save miles by using British Airways Avios points to book an award flight on American Airlines.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points, American Express Membership Rewards points, and Starwood points transfer to British Airways.
A 1-way coach award flight under 650 miles costs 4,500 British Airways Avios points. To get to New York at this rate, you can fly from:
And a 1-way coach award flight between 651 to 1,150 miles costs 7,500 British Airways Avios points. To get to New York at this rate, you can fly from:
- Fort Lauderdale
- St. Louis
You can get big value from British Airways Avios points especially on short, expensive flights!
4. Budget Airlines
Read my post about how to find and book low fares.
How to Stay in New York With Points
New York City has no shortage of hotels where you can put your points to good use. But you’ll pay lots of points for the best locations!
Link: Chase Hyatt Visa
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Hyatt has LOTS of hotels in New York! You can choose from:
- Andaz 5th Avenue (Read about my experience here!)
- Grand Hyatt
- Hyatt 48 Lex
- Hyatt Herald Square
- Hyatt Times Square
- Park Hyatt
- And many more!
The Andaz 5th Avenue is ~$405 a night in July. Or 25,000 Hyatt points.
Hilton has ~40 hotels in the New York area. Hilton hotels include Conrad, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Home2Suites, Homewood Suites, and Waldorf Astoria brand hotels.
An award night that caught my eye was at the Hilton Midtown. Summer rates are $359 a night. Or 60,000 Hilton HHonors points.
Right now, the sign-up bonus on the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card is 2 weekend night certificates that are good at almost any Hilton. You get them after spending $2,500 in purchases within 4 months of account opening.
If you used the 2 weekend certificates in New York, you’d get over ~$700 in value from them!
Or, consider the increased sign-up bonus on the Citi Hilton HHonors card. For a limited time, you’ll earn 50,000 Hilton points after completing the minimum spending requirement. Plus a $50 statement credit when you spend $50 or more on your 1st Hilton stay in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.
Starwood has ~30 hotels in New York, many of which cost 20,000 Starwood points or less per night.
The sign-up bonus of 25,000 Starwood points on the AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest card is enough for a weekend getaway in New York City. And you’d have several hotels to choose from!
Hotel Award Search Sites
Here are 2 places I like to check for award nights:
- AwardMapper (shows hotels you can book with points)
- Hotel Hustle (shows available award nights and compares price of a paid room, plus you can set alerts if award nights become available)
What to Do in New York
Here are some fun summer activities where you can explore New York City with Small Money.
Free Movies at Brooklyn Bridge Park
My buddy in Brooklyn always takes his family to Brooklyn Bridge Park to watch movies. You can watch a movie projected under the Brooklyn Bridge. For free!
Their movie lineup is out for July and August. Bring a blanket and some snacks and enjoy the show. Although the scenery will be competing for your attention, too!
The views from the Brooklyn Promenade are fantastic. And you can visit after walking over the Brooklyn Bridge!
New York is 1 of the most expensive cities in the country. But not if you know how to get Big Travel with Small Money!
With miles and points, fare deals, and plenty of free or nearly-free things to do, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to experience New York.
Hyatt, Hilton, and Starwood have great hotels that are easy to book with points. And if you’re a short flight to New York, you can get a 1-way coach award flight on American Airlines for only 4,500 British Airways Avios points.
When you get to New York, there is so much to do that costs very little. And sometimes events are free!
Please add your Small Money tips for New York! Is anyone planning a trip to New York this summer?