We needed a hotel room in New York City, preferably Manhattan, for two nights. Instead of looking for rooms in our normal Mid-town/Times Square/Theater District area, I had a much larger range to look at. This was the trip where we were visiting Peter Luger Steakhouse, so one of my requirements was to be able to get to Brooklyn easily. I looked for locations near subway lines but for future trips, I’ll also look at places near the NYC Ferry.
I was originally considering a room at The Chatwal. I booked it before the Marriott Bonvoy devaluation for 60,000 points (now it costs 80,000). Between the feeling that I didn’t want to drop 120,000 points on two nights, I would have needed to call Marriott to complete the booking since it was only on hold waiting for me to earn enough points for the stay. Between buyers remorse (before even paying for the room) and the fear of getting #Bonvoyed on the phone call to finalize the reservation, I kept looking for other options.
Then I received this offer on my American Express cards:
Since Sharon and I both received this offer on our accounts, we were both able to sign up. That means we could charge $200 to each of our cards and receive $80 back in AMEX Offer credits. I went to work looking a room at one of the Marriott brands in New York with a total cost as close to $400 as possible for two-nights. Eventually, I found one, The AC Hotel New York Downtown.
The room price at the hotel was sub-$200 and there were no destination fees charged by this property. After adding in the NYC Taxes and fees, our room ended up costing $448.49 per night. When checking out, we had the front desk split the bill between the AMEX cards we’d enrolled in the AMEX Offer.
Within a few days, the $40 credit showed up on our account statement.
We paid $185, all in, for a hotel in Manhattan and I consider anything less than $200 a win. In order to get a decent price, I have to use all of the tools at my disposal. For this trip, I was able to take advantage of an AMEX Offer but I have a bag of tricks which includes:
- the Citi Prestige Fourth Night Free
- Purchasing IHG points when they’re on sale
- taking advantage of Travelocity sales and Ebates (Ratuken) discounts
- redeeming points when cash prices are high (preferably when I can get a fifth-night free)
- using free nights earned from credit cards.
Are there any other tricks you know of to find a good price for hotels in a large city?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary