How to Travel to Minneapolis on Points and Miles

Minneapolis is a hub for Delta Air Lines, so travelers redeeming SkyMiles have many award flight options.
Rand Shoaf
By Rand Shoaf 
Edited by June Casagrande

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As an emerging U.S. travel destination, Minneapolis is on the radar for many travelers. Whether you want to explore the City of Lakes by foot via its famous Skyway or catch a show at one of the city’s many theaters, putting your hard-earned travel rewards to work will help you save money in the process.

Here’s a full guide on how to travel to Minneapolis on points and miles.

Getting to Minneapolis

Nearest airports

Minneapolis is served by Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, which is about 12 miles from downtown.

Depending on your travel style, you have several options for reaching downtown Minneapolis from the airport. One of the quickest and most budget-friendly ways to reach downtown from the airport is Metro Transit's Blue Line. This light rail train runs every 15 minutes directly to the city center and costs only $2 ($2.50 during rush hour).

If convenience is key, hailing a cab is easy and will set you back $40 to $50 one way. Alternatively, you can save a few bucks if you book rideshares such as Uber or Lyft — fares range from $25 to $40 one way.

Major airlines flying to Minneapolis

Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is a major hub for Delta Air Lines, so flying on Delta or one of its regional affiliates might offer you the best selection of flight schedules.

You can also fly to MSP on:

Flying to Minneapolis on points and miles

Whatever airline you choose, award fares are often very reasonable.

Delta Air Lines

Booking a flight using Delta SkyMiles may help you minimize connections while saving cash. This is why SkyMiles are among the best miles for cheap flights to Minneapolis.

As an example, it’s possible to book a one-way flight from Los Angeles to Minneapolis-St. Paul for well under 10,000 miles through several airline programs.

You can fly on Delta for only 5,500 miles one way.

Southwest Airlines

If you have Southwest Rapid Rewards points, you can find an LA to Minneapolis flight starting at 6,624 points.

American Airlines

American Airlines AAdvantage members can fly from LA to Minneapolis starting at 6,000 miles each way.

Hotels on points in Minneapolis

Your points and miles guide to Minneapolis wouldn’t be complete without looking at accommodations. Minneapolis has a handful of excellent choices for points collectors spread throughout the city, where prices — both in cash and points — are very reasonable.

Below are some good picks for hotel award bookings in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Marriott hotels

With more than 15 properties in Minneapolis, Marriott offers plenty of options for redeeming your Marriott Bonvoy points.

Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Minneapolis

If you're looking to splurge while traveling in Minneapolis, Hotel Ivy is an excellent option. Located in an iconic Minneapolis landmark, this newly renovated hotel mixes modern luxuries with its historical architecture. You can set out to explore sights on the city’s Skyway system directly from the hotel.

Cost to book in points: Rooms start around 43,000 points per night at this Marriott Bonvoy property, but will vary based on demand. NerdWallet values Bonvoy points at 0.8 cent each.

AC Hotel Minneapolis Downtown

Located in Minneapolis’ Hennepin Theatre District, the AC Hotel Minneapolis Downtown is the ideal place to crash if you’re in town to catch a show. It’s also just minutes away from Target Field, Target Center, U.S. Bank Stadium and other major attractions. With its sleek design, the hotel offers stylish travel while keeping your budget intact.

Cost to book in points: Rooms start at around 23,500 Bonvoy points per night.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points: The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is an excellent option for racking up points. Plus, the card gets you an annual free night award valued up to 35,000 points, which is enough to book one night at the AC Hotel Minneapolis Downtown. Alternatively, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card gives cardholders a complimentary free night award every year after your card renewal month valued up to 85,000 points. Terms apply.

If you want status in the Marriott Bonvoy program but don’t want to commit to a Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit card, consider The Platinum Card® from American Express, which comes with automatic Marriott Gold status (enrollment required). Plus, the card is currently offering a welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Those points can typically be transferred to the Bonvoy program at a 1:1 ratio.

Minneapolis Hilton hotels

The Marquette Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

Photo courtesy of Hilton

Right in the middle of the most famous shopping and dining district of the city, the Marquette Hotel offers ideal access to the Nicollet Mall. Rooms feature modern furnishings along with ceiling-high windows that let you take in the city from bed. Hilton Honors Diamond members can enjoy an evening happy hour in the executive lounge with complimentary refreshments. For luxury-minded travelers, this hotel offers excellent value when you can find off-peak point rates.

Cost to book in points: Hilton doesn’t have a set award chart, but rooms tend to cost between 26,000 and 50,000 points per night. NerdWallet values Hilton points at 0.5 cent per point.

Canopy by Hilton Minneapolis Mill District

Located within Minneapolis’ historical Mill District, this Canopy by Hilton is set in the Advance Thresher/Emerson-Newton Implement Company building that dates back to the 1900s. You’ll find unique flair throughout the hotel that echoes the building’s past. The property offers free bike rentals to explore the city or you can hop onto the Skyway just one block away.

Cost to book in points: Hilton doesn’t have a set award chart, but rooms at this Canopy tend to start between 25,000 and 50,000 points per night.

How to earn Hilton Honors points: A co-branded Hilton credit card will help you rack up points quicker and also get you extra perks during your stay through elite status. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with automatic Hilton Honors™ Gold Status, which gives you free continental breakfast and complimentary space-available room upgrades. For even more benefits, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card gets you automatic Hilton Honors™ Diamond Status, which opens up the possibility of space-available suite upgrades and lounge access. Terms apply.

If you want status or the ability to book on points, but don’t want to commit to a Hilton-branded credit card and desire Gold status, consider The Platinum Card® from American Express, which also comes with automatic Hilton Gold status (enrollment required). Terms apply.

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.

Minneapolis Hyatt hotels

Hyatt Centric Downtown Minneapolis

Photo courtesy of Hyatt

Located in the heart of Minneapolis, Hyatt Centric Downtown Minneapolis is just minutes away from some of the city’s main attractions, like the U.S. Bank Stadium, First Avenue and Target Center. Housed in the city’s historic Minneapolis Athletic Club building, the hotel's design is trendy. For those interested in staying active during their stay, the hotel has a 7,000-square-foot fitness center that even has an indoor running track.

Cost to book in points: Rooms start at 9,000 points per night for an off-peak stay at this World of Hyatt Category 3 property. NerdWallet values Hyatt points at 2.3 cents per point.

How to earn Hyatt points: The World of Hyatt Credit Card is currently offering a welcome bonus: 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’ll earn points for everyday spending, plus bonuses that get you a total of 9 points per dollar when you use the card at Hyatt hotels. If you need extra Hyatt points, another option is to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.

The bottom line

There you have it: That’s how to get to Minneapolis with points and miles in 2021. With a thriving art, music and food scene, Minneapolis has solidly placed itself on the list of emerging U.S. travel destinations. Whether you want to soak up culture or explore the outdoors in one of the city’s numerous parks, this destination has something to offer everyone.

A perk for budget-mindful travelers is that you can use miles and points to book an affordable Minneapolis trip.

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.

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