Using miles and points for Valentine's Day getaways
Summer Hull writes the weekly "Get to the Points" column for CreditCards.com
Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is coming around again. While it can be humorous to poke fun at a day that revolves around overpriced flowers, gaudy teddy bears and candy, Valentine’s Day can be so much more than just a bad Hallmark commercial if you let your miles and points do the work.
Instead of being a day of high expectations and even higher prices, you can put together a romantic getaway built for two using almost nothing but the miles and points you already have on your reward credit cards and in your airline and hotel accounts.
Enjoy a Valentine’s staycation at a top-notch hotel
Getting away to a local luxury hotel without having the hassles of really leaving town can be the perfect way to spend time with the one you love. Putting even just a few miles between you, the laundry, the dishes and the responsibilities of home can make a world of difference, so consider using your hotel points to spend Valentine’s Day in a chic hotel in your nearest big city.
If you live near New York City, you can still spend Feb. 14 at high-end hotels such as the Park Hyatt New York (30,000 Hyatt points per night), the Andaz Fifth Avenue (25,000 points per night) or the Hotel Henri (15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night).
In Washington, D.C., I’m a huge fan of the Kimpton Rouge for a couples getaway with its sexy black-and-red decor, included evening wine in the lobby and leopard patterned robes. This hotel can be booked for Valentine’s Day for 50,000 IHG points per night.
In the Miami area, you can book Valentine’s night at the sensuous Hyatt Centric South Beach or Confidante Miami Beach for just 15,000 Hyatt points per night. Alternatively, since those are Category 4 Hyatt properties, you could use the Category 1-4 Hyatt award night that comes annually with the Hyatt Visa.
Out West, you could head to California’s iconic beachfront Hotel del Coronado to spend Valentine’s night in a Victorian or Ocean Tower King Room for 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night. If you book your stay with points, maybe you will have a few dollars left over to splurge on one of their Valentine’s activities, such as roasting s’mores by a private beach bonfire.
Fly to Vegas, baby
If you want to hop on a flight with your significant other, a great spot to celebrate Valentine’s Day in an over-the-top way can be Las Vegas. There are tons of ways to use your airline miles to get there since almost every major air carrier flies to Las Vegas.
When it comes to booking a hotel room, most of the hotels on The Strip have relationships with big hotel loyalty programs. At the M life properties, such as Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and the Mirage, you can use your Hyatt points to book a stay, availability permitting. The same is true at the Caesar’s properties using 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night.
Video: How your points can pay for memorable experiences
For an iconic Valentine’s Day trip to Las Vegas, I would consider using 60,000 IHG points to stay at The Venetian or The Palazzo. On Valentine’s Day, your points can get you a 650-to-720-square-foot luxury king suite with a big soaking tub! Not only that, but at The Venetian you can take a gondola ride through the canals and pretend you are really in Venice without having to actually cross the ocean.
If you want to take things to the next level, there will be a pop-up marriage license office at Las Vegas McCarran Airport the week of Valentine’s Day!
Head to the City of Love
If Vegas isn’t authentic enough for you, go all-in and spend your miles to fly to Paris, the City of Love.
I see availability at the lowest saver award level on an Air France-operated flight from New York City to Paris on Feb. 13, arriving in Paris the morning of Valentine’s Day. You can book that flight with 35,000 Delta miles. From Texas, you can fly American Airlines from Dallas to Paris on the same night for just 22,500 American miles.
Fly to Europe in a double bed built for two
Those award prices for flights to Paris are for economy seats, but if you really want to fly close to the one you love for Valentine’s Day, you can book first-class seats on the Singapore Airlines A380 that flies from JFK to Frankfurt, Germany. If you depart New York City on the evening of Feb. 13, you can arrive in Europe on the morning of Valentine’s Day for 130,000 miles per adjacent first-class seat. Upon request, the flight attendants will happily convert the two seats into a double bed for you and your companion!
Just think, as the calendar rolls to Feb. 14, you can be over the Atlantic Ocean on an airplane sleeping in a bed made for two! That’s way better than chocolates or flowers.
You can book this flight using Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles that you transfer at a 1:1 ratio from Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, such as the Sapphire Preferred, Citi ThankYou cards, such as the Citi Prestige, or American Express Membership Rewards cards, such as the Amex Platinum. If you want to experience this first-class bed for two in the sky for fewer miles, you can check different dates on the Singapore Airlines website and look for saver availability that will cost you 76,000 miles per ticket.
Since Valentine’s Day this year falls on a midweek day in an otherwise relatively low demand travel season, there are lots of fun deals and romantic opportunities still to be found using your miles and points!
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