How to Travel to Toronto on Points and Miles
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With its proximity to Niagara Falls and stunning skyline abutting Lake Ontario, Toronto has long attracted visitors. However, thrifty travelers can enjoy a trip to Canada’s most populous city for a reduced price with the help of credit card rewards. Here’s how to travel to Toronto with points and miles.
Getting to Toronto
Two airports serve the Toronto metro area. Depending on where you fly from, you’ll arrive in one of these options:
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ).
When arriving from outside of Canada, you’re likely to fly into Toronto Pearson International Airport, located about 16 miles from downtown Toronto. If you prefer public transport, you can ride a Union Pearson Express train to Union Station and be in the city center in just 25 minutes.
As the larger of the two airports, Toronto Pearson handles more air traffic into Toronto, but you can also fly into Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport from select cities in the U.S. and Canada. The airport is located on Toronto Island, about two miles from the city center. The airport operates one of the shortest ferry rides in the world, taking you to the mainland in just 90 seconds. And if you love a good deal, the ferry ride is free for pedestrians.
Major airlines that fly to Toronto
Air Canada, Canada’s largest international airline, has three major hubs: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Its Toronto hub operates through YYZ. More than 30 international carriers fly here, including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and U.S.-based carriers Delta, American and United.
Air Canada and regional air carrier Porter Airlines are the two airlines that service YTZ.
» Learn more: How to choose which airline to be loyal to
Flying to Toronto with points and miles
Choosing an airline for your Toronto flight will largely depend on which carriers service your departure city. Because Air Canada operates through Toronto, the site could be a good option for a nonstop flight — if the airline also flies to your city of departure. Air Canada Aeroplan is just one example of a loyalty program that will help you fly to Toronto with points and miles.
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air Canada’s rebranded loyalty program offers a hybrid award chart, and the airline’s redemption rates for Air Canada-operated flights vary based on distance and demand. In addition, dynamic pricing affects the cost in points, which means that redemption rates fluctuate along with cash prices. While Aeroplan’s award chart uses estimated ranges to account for this, some rates on sought-after flights may cost more points than expected.
Economy rewards flights traveling 500 miles or less within North America start at 6,000 Aeroplan points and go up to an estimated 22,500 points for flights longer than 2,750 miles.
It’s relatively easy to earn points with the program. Aeroplan is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Venture Miles and Chase Ultimate Rewards®, among others. This means that you can get access to Aeroplan points without ever flying Air Canada. Points convert at a 1:1 ratio with all of these transfer options.
Chase Ultimate Rewards®
If the dynamic pricing structure doesn’t work in your favor, you can also try the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal. By holding the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can expect to earn a value of 1.25 cents or 1.5 cents per point, respectively, for flights booked through the portal. Hence, a $300 round-trip fare would earn you 20,000 Ultimate Rewards® points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
There are even times when you’d be wise to transfer your Chase points to Aeroplan instead of United, like for short-haul trips within North America.
Booking a Toronto hotel on points
A quick Google search in your preferred program will highlight the best hotels on points in Toronto, but here are a few options to consider to get you started.
With dozens of Hilton properties available in the surrounding area, you can find a few options for using Hilton Honors points in downtown Toronto.
Hilton Toronto is in the Old Toronto district, within walking distance of Union Station, the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum and the CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Hilton redemption rates fluctuate, but you can usually book a standard room here for around 45,000 to 60,000 Hilton Honors points.
American Express issues several co-branded Hilton credit cards for consumers and small-business owners, such as the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. American Express Membership Rewards points transfer to Hilton Honors at a 1:2 ratio. Terms apply.
World of Hyatt
World of Hyatt members also have a few options for redeeming their points for an award stay in Toronto.
Hyatt Regency Toronto
Located in the Entertainment District and only a 10-minute walk from the CN Tower, Hyatt Regency Toronto is surrounded by dozens of restaurants, bars and clubs.
As a Category 3 hotel, a standard room at the Hyatt Regency Toronto will cost you 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night. Off-peak nightly rates drop to 9,000 points, and peak awards increase to 15,000 points per night. The hotel is also a great choice for using your free night awards that come annually with the co-branded World of Hyatt Credit Card.
Park Hyatt Toronto
For a more luxurious stay, consider the Park Hyatt Toronto in the city’s vibrant neighborhood of Yorkville, which was once home to the Toronto International Film Festival. In this area, you’ll find high-end boutiques, Victorian homes and fine dining restaurants.
A room at the Park Hyatt Toronto, a Category 6 property, goes for 21,000 points on off-peak dates, 25,000 points on standard dates and 29,000 points during peak season. With nightly cash rates that can be over $500, you’ll get outstanding value by booking with points.
Marriott Bonvoy members have access to 10 properties within five miles of downtown Toronto to choose from for their next trip.
The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto
Conveniently located next to the Toronto Island Ferry, The Westin Harbour Castle is an excellent option for those flying into Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Less than a mile from the CN Tower, it’s also near downtown’s most recognized attractions.
Pricing will vary based on demand due to Marriott's dynamic awards model. You can also use an anniversary free night award issued through certain co-branded Marriott credit cards at this property.
The St. Regis Toronto
If you’re looking for luxury travel, you will find it at the 65-story-tall hotel The St. Regis Toronto. Located in the heart of Old Toronto, this property is just steps from the Hockey Hall of Fame and Scotiabank Arena, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors.
You have plenty of options to earn Marriott Bonvoy points by applying for American Express and Chase co-branded Marriott cards, including the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Chase. Terms apply.
Marriott Bonvoy is also a transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards right now
Use points and miles to book a low-cost trip to Toronto
With multiple airlines offering award flights to Toronto and several points-friendly hotels, an affordable trip to Toronto is within reach. Both Toronto Pearson and Billy Bishop airports are well-connected to the city by public transport, making it easier to get around without a car — lowering the cost of your trip even more.
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 2023, 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