- Day 1: Getting There
- Day 2: Bryant Park
- Day 3: Head Downtown
- Day 4: Strolling & Culture
- Day 5: Central Park
How to have a free fantastic 5 days in Manhattan… All flights, hotels, attractions and entertainment 100% free (using points) with only food and ground transport not included. We will even point out great value but superb restaurants for an absolute minimum spend.
It is fitting for such a mammoth and diverse city that even it’s nickname the “Big Apple” has many and long explanations to it’s origin. Apparently a colorful 1920s horse-racing columnist named John Fitzgerald heard the term from stable hands in New Orleans who lovingly referred to New York City’s racetracks as “…the dream of every lad that ever threw a leg over a thoroughbred. There’s only one Big Apple. That’s New York.” In the 1930s, the term was adopted by jazz musicians, when Harlem was the site of all the choicest gigs.
It truly is a city where dreams are made and also crushed; a city not exclusive to skyscrapers but when you are there it feels like it owns the right to kiss the sky. I spent Christmas and New Years 18 months ago, and we had an awesome time. Maybe ’twas the season but we felt nothing but a welcoming spirit. New York has grown up and mellowed in her old age. How do we go about visiting her?
A sample flight from Chicago to New York’s La Guardia using British Airways Avios only 7,500 points each way, or from Austin or Dallas 10,000 each way. Paid for these flights could run up to $1,000 or more for a couple. (Sorry for the typo!)
A lucrative credit card offer is the United Mileage Plus for 50,000 bonus and with effectively two airlines in one now after the merger with Continental, what is great is that availability is strong with a major hub in Newark, JFK, and La Guardia also served. On checking for flights from Florida to NY for next month, there were multiple flights every single day available for 12,500 miles. Take your pick!
Remember folks to consider our trusty Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express which if we have 20,000 SPG points they can be transferred to either 25,000 BA Avios or US Airways miles which can also be used on United. Do not transfer them directly to United as the rate is terrible at 2:1 (10k Starpoints = 5k United miles)
So travel junkies we have our free flights booked and we are on our way. Stay tuned for Days one and two in the Big Apple with all activities planned are the princely sum of $0
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49