How to Travel to Philadelphia on Points and Miles

You can fly and stay with several different airline and hotel brands' points to the City of Brotherly Love.

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The largest city in Pennsylvania and the birthplace of the United States, Philadelphia, is a popular tourist destination. Whether you're hoping to see the Liberty Bell, sample the city's famous cheesesteaks or eat your way through Terminal Market, you may be wondering how to travel to Philadelphia on points and miles. There are many ways to use rewards to visit the City of Brotherly Love.

Keep reading to find out how to book an affordable Philadelphia trip with points and miles.

Getting to Philadelphia

Nearest airports

The nearest airport to Philadelphia is Philadelphia International Airport, but another nearby airport is located in New Jersey:

  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

  • Philadelphia Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN).

Philadelphia International Airport is seven miles from downtown. After landing at PHL, it’s easy to get into the city, as there are several transportation options. Many travelers use the SEPTA train service, which runs every 30 minutes between the airport and Center City. SEPTA buses and rideshare services are also accessible at the airport, as well as several car rental services.

Major airlines flying to Philadelphia

American Airlines uses Philadelphia International Airport as a hub, and many other airlines fly in and out of the city. When planning your Philadelphia trip with points and miles, consider flights with these airlines first:

Flying to Philadelphia on points and miles

Some airlines base their redemption rates on distance and date, while others lay out the cost on award charts. We've done the work to outline several options using miles and points to book your Philadelphia trip:

American Airlines

Since PHL is a hub for American Airlines, you’ll find lots of flight options using American Airlines AAdvantage miles. At the MileSAAver rate, flights from U.S. departure cities to Philadelphia start at 7,500 AAdvantage miles each way.

Nerdy tip: If you have Marriott Bonvoy points, either from hotel stays or from a Marriott credit card, you can transfer your points to the AAdvantage program. You can also use points earned from Citi AAdvantage credit cards.

British Airways

If you have British Airways Avios points, you can use them to book a flight on American Airlines as a partner award from a U.S. city to Philadelphia.

It’s a little harder to know how many Avios you’ll need since British Airways doesn't publish an official award chart. The only way to know the price is to log into your British Airways account and search for flights.

Here, for example, is a nonstop round-trip journey from Orlando, Florida, for 18,000 Avios.

Nerdy tip: If you have a credit card that pays Chase Ultimate Rewards® or American Express Membership Rewards points, you can convert them into British Airways Avios. You can also use points earned from British Airways credit cards.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Rapid Rewards points can be another excellent redemption option. The number of points you’ll need varies by departure city, date and demand, which means many redemptions offer a good value — especially for Wanna Get Away fares. Here’s an example nonstop round-trip journey from Denver to Philadelphia for just over 5,000 points.

Nerdy tip: If you have a Chase credit card that pays Ultimate Rewards® points, you can transfer your points to the Rapid Rewards program. You can also use points earned from Southwest Airlines credit cards.

United Airlines

Do you have United MileagePlus miles? Enter your trip details on the United Airlines website to get an idea of how many you’ll need to book a flight to Philadelphia. You can find some good redemptions, like this nonstop round-trip journey from Houston for 22,000 points:

Nerdy tip: If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards® points earned with a credit card, you can transfer them to the MileagePlus program. You can also use points earned from United Airlines MileagePlus credit cards.

To find the best redemption rates, always search for multiple dates and, if you have miles in different airline loyalty programs, check them all. You never know which airline will offer the best deals for getting to Philadelphia with points and miles until you check.

Hotels to book with points in Philadelphia

Center City, Old City, Logan Square and Rittenhouse Square are popular areas to stay. Here’s just a sampling of your lodging options to book with travel rewards.

Philadelphia Marriott hotels

Philadelphia Marriott Old City

Located in the historic district of Old City, the Philadelphia Marriott Old City features spacious guest rooms and plenty of amenities all within walking distance to notable attractions like the Liberty Bell, Constitution Center and Betsy Ross House.

Cost to book in points: Rooms at this Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy property start at 35,000 points per night for standard rates, 30,000 for off-peak nights and 40,000 for peak nights. NerdWallet values Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 cent each.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points: Travelers earn points by staying at participating properties or by signing up for a credit card like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card, which is offering a chance for new cardmembers to earn a 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, every cardmember anniversary, you get a free night award redeemable for rooms costing up to 35,000 points.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card also has a nice welcome bonus: Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and a bonus Free Night Award after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Resort fees may apply. Terms apply. Offer expires 11/3/2021. The free night award for this card is good for rooms costing up to 50,000 Bonvoy points. Terms apply.

Philadelphia Hilton hotels

Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City

Photo courtesy of Hilton

Located in a historic building in the Center City area, the Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia Center City offers amenities such as an on-site restaurant, fitness center and welcome gifts. Guests are within walking distance to Reading Terminal Market and Independence Hall, and complimentary loaner bikes are available to explore the area.

Cost to book in points: To know how many Hilton Honors points you’ll need for a night, search the hotel’s website for your dates. We found rooms in October 2021 starting at 64,000 points per night. NerdWallet values Hilton points at 0.5 cent apiece.

How to earn Hilton Honors points: If you want to accelerate your Hilton Honors points earning, get a Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. Both of these cards offer a chance to earn at least one free weekend night each year. These cards also grant you automatic status in the Hilton Honors program, which gets you extra perks. Terms apply.

Philadelphia Hyatt hotels

Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia

Photo courtesy of Hyatt

Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia is convenient to Logan Square and Rittenhouse Square. Amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, fitness center and room service. Guests can bring up to two dogs if they pay a pet fee.

Cost to book in points: Award nights at World of Hyatt properties are priced by category and room type. At this Category 5 hotel, rooms start at 20,000 points per night. NerdWallet values World of Hyatt points at 1.9 cents apiece.

How to earn Hyatt points: Travelers can get a World of Hyatt Credit Card, which is currently offering the following bonus for new members: 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.

Another option is to get a credit card that pays Ultimate Rewards® points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, because you can transfer those points to World of Hyatt.

The bottom line

And that’s your guide to the many cheap and simple ways to get to Philadelphia using points and miles. To further plan your trip, consider which credit cards you have in your wallet and which ones might be worth adding. Know what airline and hotel rewards programs you have points in to find the right redemption for you.

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:

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