How to Travel to Jacksonville on Points and Miles

This underrated northeast Florida city has many hotels on the water with either beachfront or riverfront views.

Ramsey QubeinJun 29, 2021
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As one of the largest cities in the southeastern U.S., Jacksonville deserves far more attention than it gets. Beautiful beaches, an active downtown and a large cultural and entertainment scene bring leisure and business visitors from all over to this corner of Florida.

There’s plenty to see and do in the area, but for the savvy traveler, trip planning starts with figuring out how to travel to Jacksonville on points and miles.

Getting to Jacksonville

Nearest airports

Jacksonville International Airport is about 13 miles north of downtown. There are multiple options for getting from the airport to where you need to go, including taxis, rideshare services and rental cars.

Major airlines flying to Jacksonville

Seven airlines serve the airport:

Flying to Jacksonville on points and miles

These are some cheap and simple ways to get to Jacksonville using points and miles. For most flights, you will need to transfer via an airline’s hub network, although Allegiant, JetBlue and Southwest offer several nonstop, point-to-point flights.

Many airlines that fly frequently to Jacksonville use a dynamic pricing model to determine the number of miles needed for a flight, with amounts varying according to date and time. American, Delta and United regularly offer award sales to different cities.

  • Delta and United have completely eliminated award charts. Travelers need to have a specific date in mind to figure out how many miles are needed to fly to Jacksonville.

  • American still provides guidance on the number of miles needed to book a flight. Its award chart indicates that a one-way flight to Jacksonville from within the continental U.S. starts at 12,500 miles.

  • Southwest Airlines' low fare calendar can help you optimize your trip dates for lower points spend.

American Airlines

American regularly offers web specials for award flights to a variety of cities around the country. Sometimes, a one-way flight to Jacksonville can be as low as 5,000 miles. An easy way to search for these award flights is by entering a chosen destination into its online award map. If available, you will also find web specials when searching cities and dates on aa.com or the American Airlines app.

Another option for discounted award travel on American is available to certain credit card holders. These Reduced Mileage Awards are discounts for one-way flight redemptions to dozens of destinations that change monthly. A complete list is available online with details on which credit cards are eligible. The list includes Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® and AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard®.

United Airlines

United offers expanded award availability (no blackout dates on awards) for holders of its co-branded credit cards like the United℠ Explorer Card. Everyone else can take advantage of regular award sales with one-way flights for as little as 5,000 miles in the main cabin.

Other tips for flying to Jacksonville

Expect a few nice amenities at the airport. For starters, there's a notable arts program featuring work from regional talent on display throughout the terminal. More than 700 artists have had their creations displayed in the airport over the years. Further, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., live entertainment welcomes visitors in the pre-security area.

Here's what else you need to know:

  • Lounges at JAX: There's a Delta Sky Club in Concourse A, as well as a Priority Pass lounge, The Club at JAX. The latter sells day passes if you're looking for a bite to eat with some drinks, plus a quieter place to work.

  • Navigating the airport: All concourses are connected, and it's an easy walk from one end to the other.

Hotels on points in Jacksonville

Jacksonville is divided into distinct neighborhoods, including Downtown, San Marco, Brooklyn, Southside, and the Beaches and Mayport area. The St. Johns River runs through the city. In addition to driving or using rideshare services, there is also a monorail system that stretches for 2.5 miles and takes visitors from downtown to the Southbank.

Business travelers will most likely stay downtown, but leisure visitors will appreciate the museums, shops and restaurants in the many neighborhoods running along the riverfront (as well as downtown). Ponte Vedra Beach and Amelia Island are two popular vacation destinations near Jacksonville.

TIAA Bank Field is where the city’s National Football League team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, play. It's not far from the city center and the riverfront, which means on game days, hotels can get really busy.

Here are some of the top hotels to book with points in Jacksonville.

Marriott

Marriott Bonvoy members looking to redeem their points can choose from a number of properties around Jacksonville.

Aloft Jacksonville Airport

Photo courtesy of Marriott

If you have an early flight and want to take advantage of a free shuttle to the airport, the Aloft Jacksonville Airport is a solid option just minutes from the terminal.

Cost to book in points: As a Category 3 Marriott Bonvoy property, a redemption night costs between 12,000 and 20,000 points.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points: The right credit card can boost your Marriott Bonvoy points earnings quickly. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card comes with a Free Night Award valued up to 35,000 points, which gets you a night in a Category 1 through 5 hotel. Or, consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, which comes with a complimentary anniversary night valued up to 50,000 points redeemable at Category 1 through 6 hotels. With either option, you get bonus Bonvoy points when you use your card to pay for Marriott stays, helping the points pile up faster. Terms apply.

NerdWallet values Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 cent each.

If you want status in the Marriott Bonvoy program without committing to a Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit card, consider The Platinum Card® from American Express, which also comes with automatic Marriott Gold Status. Plus, the card is currently offering a welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Those points can typically be transferred to the Bonvoy program at a 2:3 ratio.

Hilton

Fans of Hilton Honors have plenty of choices in neighborhoods all around Jacksonville.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront

Photo courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton

Close to the Southbank riverfront area, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront offers an alternative to staying in downtown. Guests won’t sacrifice river views when they stay here, even from the swimming pool.

Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond members are eligible for a space-available upgrade and either bonus points or free breakfast when they stay here.

Cost to book in points: Hilton doesn’t have a set award chart, but standard rooms tend to cost between 31,000 and 58,000 points per night. NerdWallet values Hilton points at 0.5 cent each.

How to earn Hilton Honors points: A Hilton credit card can help you earn Honors points on everyday spending. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with Hilton Honors Gold status and a chance to earn a free weekend night by charging $15,000 in qualifying purchases in a year. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with an automatic free weekend night every year, a chance to earn a second weekend night by charging $60,000 to the card in a year and top-level Hilton Honors Diamond status. Terms apply.

If you want status or the ability to book on points but don’t want to commit to a Hilton Honors-branded credit card, consider The Platinum Card® from American Express, which also comes with automatic Hilton Honors Gold Status. Plus, the card is currently offering a welcome bonus. Those points can typically be transferred to the Hilton Honors program at a 1:2 ratio, which means 1 American Express point can be turned into 2 Hilton points. Terms apply.

World of Hyatt

One of Downtown’s most prominent hotels participates in World of Hyatt. It’s one of three Hyatt options in the city.

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Photo courtesy of Hyatt

As the largest hotel in the city, the downtown Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is popular for its waterfront location and proximity to city-center amenities. Business travelers and groups appreciate that the property has the largest function space in northeast Florida.

Cost to book in points: As a Category 2 hotel in World of Hyatt, this Hyatt Regency offers standard rooms starting at 8,000 points per night. NerdWallet values Hyatt points at 1.9 cents each.

How to earn Hyatt points: World of Hyatt Credit Card is a great way to get more Hyatt points since it earns 9 points per dollar spent at Hyatt properties and 2 points per dollar spent on transit services, airfare purchased directly from the airlines, dining out and gym memberships. Anyone with Chase Ultimate Rewards® can also transfer points to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.

Best Western Rewards

Budget-conscious travelers can find good values with Best Western Rewards, which has several hotels conveniently located throughout the Jacksonville area.

Best Western Oceanfront

Photo courtesy of Best Western

If you’re looking for value on the beach, the Best Western Oceanfront is an ideal bet. With complimentary breakfast and contemporary guest rooms, many with balconies facing the beach, this hotel is a great way to experience the city’s oceanfront.

Cost to book in points: The number of Best Western Rewards points you’ll need varies. A search of random dates in September showed rooms starting at 24,000 points per night.

NerdWallet values Best Western rewards at 0.7 cent per point.

How to earn Best Western Rewards points: You can earn Best Western Rewards by staying at Best Western hotels and resorts, or by spending on the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®. The card is currently offering new cardmembers this sign-up bonus: Earn up to 60,000 Bonus Points: 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 billing cycles after the account is opened and another 20,000 points when you spend $5,000 every 12 billing cycles.

Redeeming points from non-hotel programs

Margaritaville Beach Hotel

Photo courtesy of Margaritaville Beach Hotel

Right on the beach, the Margaritaville Beach Hotel is one of the newest properties in the city and offers resort-style accommodations in Jacksonville — a nice alternative to heading to Amelia Island or Ponte Vedra Beach for some family fun in the sun.

Average nightly rate: Rates for a standard room range between $199 and $449, depending on the season. While the resort doesn't participate in a loyalty program, it’s a great option if you are looking to redeem credit card points for a stay. For example, you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards® points by booking through the Chase travel portal for a free night.

How to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points: Credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® offer plenty of flexibility in booking travel. For example, cardmembers with a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® can use their points to book airfare, hotels, gift cards and other travel-related activities.

If you visit Jacksonville with points and miles

Using miles and points to book a cheap Jacksonville trip doesn’t have to be confusing or complex. With riverfront and oceanfront areas, plus a vibrant downtown, there's a lot to see and do, and booking your trip with travel rewards can help keep your adventure more affordable.

To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, see this page.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.

To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, see this page.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, 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:

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