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Whether you want to take in some Revolutionary history, championship sports or top museums and universities, nothing beats Boston, also known as Beantown. And there are plenty of cheap and simple ways to get to Boston using points and miles.
With no single airline dominating the market for flights to Boston, travelers reap the benefits of some fierce fare competition, which means you can sometimes find great deals to this historic city.
Here’s your 2021 guide on how to plan your Boston trip with points and miles.
Getting to Boston
The airports serving Boston include:
Boston Logan, which is only a few miles from downtown.
Manchester, New Hampshire, about 50 miles north of the city.
Providence, Rhode Island, about 50 miles south of the city.
If you fly to Logan, the best way to get into town is using Boston’s public transportation, the MBTA (also known as the T). A taxi will cost $20 to $25. When returning to Logan, take either the Blue Line or the Silver Line on the T. Don’t drive in Boston. Just don’t. The rumors are true.
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and the T.F. Green Airport in Providence are excellent choices if you need to be north or south of the city, respectively. Both airports have a heavy Southwest Airlines presence, which keeps fares down.
» Learn more: Southwest Airlines sweet spots
Major airlines flying to Boston
Virtually every major carrier flies into Boston Logan. The carriers with the most routes include:
Air and hotel rates reflect the weather, with the high season starting in late spring and ending with leaf-peeping in October. In the winter months, the rates drop almost as much as the temperature does.
Points and miles travel to Boston
Given the number of airlines flying there, using miles and points to book an affordable Boston trip is easy. Delta and JetBlue are trying to grow in this market, so the prices on those airlines are particularly good.
JetBlue, which is facing increasing competition in Boston from Delta, is a good place to start. A one-way flight to Boston from a JetBlue hub like Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in May can start at 5,600 TrueBlue points each way.
Coming from across the country? Flying JetBlue to Boston from Los Angeles could start at 14,200 points each way.
Delta also has some great rates. A flight from Minneapolis to Boston would be 11,500 Delta SkyMiles in economy class (8,500 in basic economy). The flight from Los Angeles is also surprisingly cheap: 13,500 Delta SkyMiles in economy (9,000 in basic economy).
One other way to get great rates is to fly from a city that discount carrier Southwest services nonstop. Often, these are alternative airports, such as Baltimore instead of Washington, D.C., or Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami.
» Learn more: Which Delta Air Lines credit card should you get?
Hotels on points in Boston
If you're looking for hotels to book with points in Boston, look at the area around Boston Common first. This is the beginning of the Freedom Trail historic walking tour path, making it a convenient home base for a step-by-step trip back in time. For even better hotel deals using points, search for stays in the Back Bay, which borders Boston Common on the west or in the Theater District to the southwest.
Hilton hotels in Boston
You have plenty of options for redeeming Hilton Honors points for a Boston stay. The number of points you need for a free night varies by property, demand and time of year.
DoubleTree by Hilton Boston – Downtown
Located in the Theater District, just a mile from the financial district, the affordable DoubleTree by Hilton Boston – Downtown caters to fun-seekers, business travelers and fitness buffs. Hotel guests get complimentary access to the adjoining YMCA Fitness Center’s indoor basketball court, pool, whirlpool and jogging track, plus two whole floors of fitness equipment.
Cost to book in points: Rooms here typically range from 23,000 to 48,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
Hilton Boston Back Bay
Coming to Boston to catch a Red Sox game? The Hilton Boston Back Bay is just three blocks from Fenway Park and a five-minute walk to the Prudential Center. For students exploring Boston’s world-class academic institutions, this Hilton is within a mile of Boston University, Boston Conservatory and Emerson College, and is about five miles from Boston College.
Cost to book in points: Expect to pay 44,000 to 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
How to earn Hilton Honors points
The right Hilton credit card can earn you enough points to cover a good portion of your stay in Boston. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is offering a nice welcome bonus: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months. Terms Apply.
NerdWallet values Hilton Honors points at 0.5 cent each. Other benefits include 10 complimentary visits to participating Priority Pass Select airport lounges every year (enrollment required), a free weekend night after spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year and automatic Gold Elite status. The annual fee is $95. Terms apply.
Don’t want an annual fee? Hilton Honors American Express Card is a great value option. Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months. Terms Apply. You also receive automatic Silver Elite status.
Marriott hotels in Boston
Marriott has a chart that lays out the number of Bonvoy points you need for a stay, with rates divided into off-peak, standard and peak. Occasionally, you will also find discounted PointSavers rates.
Courtyard Boston Downtown
The Courtyard Boston Downtown is itself a piece of U.S. history, sitting on land once owned by a participant in the Boston Tea Party. Guests here enjoy easy proximity to Chinatown, the Theater District, Faneuil Hall and the Freedom Trail.
Cost to book in points: This is a Category 5 hotel in the Marriott Bonvoy program, which means a free night will cost from 27,500 to 40,000 points.
Moxy Hotel Downtown
Looking for something a little more hip? Moxy Boston Downtown offers stylish minimalist accommodations in an atmosphere best described as “party-loving.” The swanky Bar Moxy is a destination unto itself. But if you want to venture beyond the hotel’s neon-splashed walls, you’re close to nightlife, galleries, theaters, Fenway Park and Chinatown.
Cost to book in points: Depending on when you stay, you’ll need anywhere from 27,500 to 40,000 points for a night in this Marriott Bonvoy Category 5 property.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points
Marriott has two great options for travelers looking for a quick way to earn Bonvoy points. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card has an attractive welcome bonus: For a Limited Time Only! Earn 125,000 Bonus Points and 1 Free Night Award (value up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus you get 15 elite night credits each year — enough to qualify for Bonvoy Silver Elite status. You also get a free night each year valued at up to 35,000 points. The card does have a $95 annual fee, but at a value of 0.7 cent per point, your welcome bonus and other card perks can more than make up for it.
Dead set against an annual fee? Check out the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card card, which offers 15 elite night credits and a competitive welcome bonus: For a Limited Time Only! Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Hyatt hotels in Boston
World of Hyatt members don’t have a huge selection of hotels where they can redeem their points in Boston, but you can still find some good options.
Hyatt Regency Boston
Right in the heart of the city just south of Boston Common, the Hyatt Regency Boston is within walking distance of about 200 restaurants. Shopaholics enjoy easy access to Macy’s, which is connected to the hotel. Culture-seekers can take in the Boston Ballet or a Broadway show at the lavish Boston Opera House, just a three-minute walk away. And the state-of-the-art screening room of Emerson Paramount Center is just a five-minute walk from the hotel.
Cost to book in points: This Category 5 World of Hyatt property costs 20,000 points per night.
Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall Boston
The chic, but affordable Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall Boston is in the financial district, just a few blocks from its namesake Faneuil Hall — one of the must-sees on your trip to Boston. Sample the city’s best Italian cuisine in the North End or take in the activities or scenic views at the Boston waterfront while you're here.
Cost to book in points: You’ll need 20,000 points per night for a stay in this Category 5 World of Hyatt hotel.
How to earn World of Hyatt points
The World of Hyatt Credit Card can supplement your Boston trip. Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
You earn points for every purchase and bonus points when you use the card at Hyatt family hotels, plus you get automatic Discoverist elite status and one free night at a Category 1 through 4 hotel every year on your card anniversary, plus a second free night if you spend more than $15,000 on the card in a year.
» Learn more: World of Hyatt: The complete guide
If you travel to Boston with points and miles
Boston can be an expensive city to visit. The solution? Book your trip with points and miles. With a little effort, using miles and points to book a cheap trip to Boston is easy.
To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, see this page.
To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, see this page.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card