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While many people may not know where Petra is located on a map, if you show them a picture of the iconic treasury, they will recognize its charm, mystery and intrigue.
Made famous to many in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” Petra has long been on the minds of travelers and Instagram influencers.
It’s possible to visit Petra, the resort area of Aqaba and the Dead Sea on points and miles. In fact, considering that rates for Petra (like all tourist locations) have a tendency to increase in the high season, using points represents a great value.
» Learn more: Review: Emirates first class from Dubai to Amman, Jordan
Petra is located about a 3 1/2-hour drive south of the capital of Amman. Dozens of flights a day to Queen Alia International Airport can get you to Amman.
The other airport that’s close to Petra is Aqaba’s King Hussein International Airport. Located in southern Jordan, it serves as a fantastic base to see the Martian-esque landscape of Wadi Rum and is only a 1 hour and 45 minute drive from Petra.
Flying to Petra on Points
Depending on where you are in the U.S., there might be a direct flight available on Jordan’s flag carrier, Royal Jordanian. The airline flies from Amman to four cities in North America: Chicago, Detroit, New York and Montreal.
Royal Jordanian is a member of the OneWorld alliance along with American Airlines. If you’re sitting on a cache of AAdvantage miles, you can use them for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A coach ticket from the U.S. will set you back 40,000 miles plus $5.60 one-way.
For business class, you’ll need 70,000 miles each way.
If you can’t find availability on Royal Jordanian with miles on the day you’re looking for, American Airlines has other partners for you to choose from:
British Airways from London.
Qatar Airways from Doha.
Etihad from Abu Dhabi (American Partner Airline).
If you have a lot of Delta miles, you can use their Skyteam partners to book these flights:
Air France from Paris.
Saudia from Jeddah.
Alitalia from Rome.
Is Star Alliance more your speed? United Airlines is a U.S. member of the Star Alliance, and you can redeem United miles with the following airlines:
Austrian Airlines from Vienna.
EgyptAir from Cairo.
Lufthansa from Frankfurt.
Turkish Airlines from Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines also offers service to Aqaba, making it the only other airline in the group besides Royal Jordanian to fly to southern Jordan.
If you’re sitting on Alaska Airlines miles, you have access via two partners to get to Jordan:
Emirates via Dubai.
British Airways via London.
The miles you’ll need will vary by airline and program, so make sure to check with your airline of choice about specific availability on your dates of travel.
Remember that if you don’t have enough miles in your account, you may be able to top up by transferring points from one of your credit cards.
Marriott Bonvoy offers a wide variety of transfer partners as well. When you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, you will receive 25,000 airline miles into over 40 partners.
» Learn more: The cheapest ways to fly to Dubai using points and miles
Petra hotel you can book with points
Jordan has hotels from almost every major hotel chain. If you’re looking to stay in Petra on points, however, there’s only one game in town: the Petra Marriott.
As a Category 4 hotel, one night will set you back 20,000-30,000 points. But the location, a 10-minute drive away, can’t be beat.
If you want to stay in Aqaba to the south, you’ve got a few more options.
Hilton has a Doubletree Hotel that can be booked for around 20,000 points a night.
And Hyatt has the full-service Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla. As a Category 3 property, it will cost you 12,000 Hyatt points per night.
Meanwhile, staying at the Intercontinental Aqaba will cost you 25,000 IHG points.
Marriott currently has the Category 5 Al Manara Saraya Aqa, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Rates at this hotel start at 30,000 points per night.
The bottom line
While it's not one of the most common vacation destinations, Jordan offers a bit of something for everyone and has a rich history that can be explored over the course of days or weeks. Using your hard-earned points to wipe away some of the costs of the trip only makes it that much sweeter.
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
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Which airline credit card is best for international award travel? How to get to Google’s 2020 trending cities on points and miles Find the best travel credit card for you