The Emerald City is as well known for its grunge music, rain and coffee shops as it is for its proximity to nature and trails. Whether your idea of a getaway is inside or outside, there will be no shortage of activities to captivate your attention when visiting Seattle.
Let’s take a look at how to get to Seattle with points and miles in 2021.
Getting to Seattle
The main airport used to visit Seattle is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), or SeaTac. The airport is connected to the city of Seattle via a Link light rail train, which will get you downtown in under 40 minutes, and ranges in price between $2.25 and $3.25 depending on the distance traveled. There are also rideshare services available off designated parking decks, although on heavy travel days, wait times can be brutal.
If you’re flying either Alaska Airlines or Delta Air Lines through SEA, both have their own lounges for your enjoyment. If you’re flying any other airline, there are also Priority Pass options for lounges and restaurants as well as the American Express Centurion Lounge (for eligible cardholders).
Part of your points and miles guide to Seattle is knowing what other airports service the area. Paine Field is Seattle’s secondary airport and although only two airlines operate in and out of PAE, it can sometimes be a cheaper alternative when visiting. Unfortunately, it's 20 miles north of Seattle and offers no train options to come into town.
While there are no lounges at Paine Field, the whole terminal feels more like a fancy airport lounge; it's one of the most modern airports in the country.
Major airlines flying to Seattle
Plenty of domestic airlines fly in and out of Seattle, but only Alaska and Delta have hubs at SeaTac. You’ll likely find more options for free flights to Seattle with one of those two airlines. Other carriers operating at SEA are American Airlines, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit, Sun Country and United Airlines.
Chances are with all those individual airlines flying into the area, you’ll have no problem redeeming an award flight from whatever program you have your stash of points in.
Many international airlines operate in and out of Seattle, taking advantage of the fact that Seattle is roughly equidistant to both Tokyo and London. Here, it’s just as easy to get to and from Asia as it is Europe. You’ll see flights operated by international carriers like British Airways, ANA, Asiana, Condor, Emirates, Hainan, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Qatar, Singapore and Virgin Atlantic.
Flying to Seattle on points and miles
Alaska Airlines prices the number of miles you need to fly to Seattle from domestic locations differently depending on how far you are from Seattle. They use a “hop, skip, jump, leap” approach, with shorter flights (hops) costing fewer miles than longer flights (leaps).
If you’re curious how far you are from Seattle, you can use this handy mileage calculator to give you a rough idea.
Besides being a part of the Oneworld alliance, Alaska Airlines also offers a unique partnership with three non-alliance airlines: Emirates, Hainan and Condor.
Delta Air lines
Delta has no published award chart, so the number of miles you’ll need for a flight will depend on the going cash rate for that ticket. This is not particularly beneficial if you’d like to use Delta SkyMiles to fly into Seattle, so you’ll have to check its website for your potential travel dates to get an idea of costs.
American works off an award chart which starts at 7,500 miles for flights under 500 miles in distance within the U.S. Over that, rates start at just 12,500 miles. Plus, you might be able to snag a deal with one of their Web Special awards if your timing is flexible.
United Airlines is a transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and there are numerous airlines that are part of the Star Alliance where you can use your United miles.
If you have a Citi credit card that earns ThankYou points, you can use their transfer partner Turkish Airlines to find ways to save even more points flying these Star Alliance airlines, including United. One-way tickets in the U.S. start at only 7,500 points to get to Seattle, a great value for your Citi ThankYou points.
» Learn more: How to earn and use Citi ThankYou points
While British Airways offers their own London flight to and from Seattle, they also partner with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and other Oneworld carriers. If you don’t have any British Airways Avios or you’ve never set foot on one of their planes, both Chase Ultimate Rewards® and American Express Membership Rewards transfer to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio, meaning you can top off your balance with an easy and instant transfer.
Hotels on points in Seattle
We’ve covered some of the cheap and simple ways to get to Seattle using points and miles. Once you’re there, you’ll need a place to stay.
Seattle Hyatt hotels
Hyatt has over 10 properties in town with their own unique offerings and diverse locations. You’ll find a mix of Category 3-5 hotels, and you’ll be able to utilize the free night certificate from your World of Hyatt Credit Card at any of the Category 4 or lower ones.
The Hyatt House Downtown offers a central location with views of the Space Needle and the monorail, while the Thompson and the Motif are boutique hotels offering more personalized and unique attention through great style and design, even if they both charge an unfortunate destination fee.
Cost to book in points: Stays in Seattle start at 12,000 World of Hyatt points and go all the way up to 20,000 per day. A great way to do away with those pesky destination fees is using your points to book stays, as Hyatt waives those for point bookings for everyone, as well as any cash booking for Globalists.
» Learn more: Guide to the World of Hyatt award chart
Seattle Marriott hotels
If you're sitting on a good amount of Marriott Bonvoy points, rest assured you'll have the most choices from any of the major hotel chains, with over 50 options in the Seattle metro area. However, most of these choices are not particularly noteworthy, with maybe a couple of exceptions.
The Moxy hotel in downtown Seattle, nestled in the vibrant neighborhood of South Lake Union, offers a modern minimalist vibe. From the free cocktail at check-in to the large communal gathering areas with games, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more hip accommodation downtown.
The Waterfront Marriott is in a great location within the Seattle downtown, offering easy access to Pike Place Market and the cruise ship terminals and comes with majestic views of Puget Sound.
Cost to book in points: The Moxy has a rate of 27,500 to 40,000 points per night; being a Category 5 hotel, this is a fantastic opportunity to use your free night certificate from one of the various Marriott credit cards. The Waterfront Marriott, a Category 7 hotel, offers stays that range in cost between 45,000 to 70,000 points per night. If you have the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, you can get a solid value of your free night certificate at this hotel by finding a PointSavers rate at only 45,000 points per night. Terms apply.
» Learn more: Your guide to the Marriott Bonvoy award chart
Seattle Hilton hotels
There are nearly 30 Hilton properties in the Seattle metro area. One of the most unique options is the Arctic Club Seattle, within the DoubleTree brand. Founded as a social club for Yukon gold miners during the gold rush, the over 100-year-old building is storied with history. As with all Hilton hotels, the required points vary, so do make sure to check for your desired dates.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with Hilton Honors
Other Seattle hotel options
Kimpton, a boutique luxury brand within the IHG portfolio, maintains three hotels within Seattle: the Vintage, the Monaco and the Palladian. All three of them are highly recommendable given their uniqueness and focus on local design elements. Be aware that all of them charge an amenity fee per night and there is no way to avoid that charge. However, they do offer a credit to be used at the front desk bodega or their on-site restaurant.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with IHG Hotels
Booking your next Seattle trip with rewards
Planning your Seattle trip with points and miles shouldn’t be a chore. As one of the largest cities in the Pacific Northwest, you can definitely find a way for your airline miles to get you there, and now you know the best hotels to book with points in Seattle to help you save some money on your stay.
From budget options on the outskirts of town to luxury downtown boutique hotels, virtually every traveler can find a hotel to make your wallet happy, as well as plenty of activities awaiting you at the Emerald City.
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