In addition to being the capital of the United States, Washington, DC is home to a variety of popular tourist attractions. DC offers rich cultural and historical sites, a booming restaurant scene and a diverse range of activities. So it makes sense that millions of travelers flock there every year.
Popular Washington, DC attractions include the Smithsonian Institution, the White House, Lincoln Memorial, and the National Mall, to name a few. If you’re planning a budget trip, here’s how to get to Washington, DC using points and miles.
How to get to Washington, DC
The District of Columbia has three centrally located airports that offer a wide variety of flight and airline options. Oddly enough, none of these airports are actually in the district.
Airports serving the DC area include:
Washington National (DCA).
Of the three airports, IAD is the largest international airport and has by far the most airline options, flights and lounges. But there are two major drawbacks to flying in and out of IAD: it’s the furthest from the city (over 25 miles) and there’s no public transportation other than car services and private airport shuttles. The lack of subway service to the IAD is a disappointment as Washington, DC generally has an extensive subway system.
DCA is a convenient airport as it is only 5 miles from the city center and easily accessible by metro and bus routes. The biggest downside is that it mainly offers shorter domestic flights. It doesn’t often offer long direct flights within the US
BWI is a little further from DC than DCA and serves many airlines and international routes. It’s accessible via the city’s metro via a short bus ride.
Major airlines flying to Washington, DC
BWI serves as the operating base for Southwest, which has non-stops in nearly 70 cities. IAD is a United Airlines hub, but is also served by over 30 airlines (including all major airlines).
Fly to Washington, DC with dots and miles
With three airport options and service from almost every airline with a rewards program, the possibilities of getting to Washington, DC with points and miles are seemingly endless. Still, some programs stand out for those looking to get the maximum value out of their miles.
American Airlines AAdvantage Web Special Awards
A benefit miles are among the best points and miles for cheap flights to Washington, DC for example the Web special awards start at just 6,000 miles for transcontinental flights from Baltimore-Washington to Los Angeles.
In the spring of 2021, we found web special awards available on multiple routes from Washington, DC for 7,000 miles in economy and 10,000 miles in business.
Southwest, JetBlue and Delta
southwest, JetBlue and delta offer several flight options, with the prices for award tickets roughly the same as the cash price of the ticket. We found economy flights on all three of these airlines from Washington, DC to airports across the country for less than $ 100 in August.
Baltimore-Washington to Charleston, South Carolina with Delta: The cash price is $ 80 and the award ticket price is 4,500 miles plus $ 6 in taxes.
Washington-National to Orlando, Florida on JetBlue: The cash price is $ 99 and the price in TrueBlue points is 8,400 points plus $ 5.60 in taxes.
Book hotels with points in Washington, DC
Now that you have your flights in view, let’s take a closer look at hotels that you can book with points in the capital.
Washington, DC, Marriott Hotels Marriott
St. Regis Washington, DC
A centuries-old and extremely luxurious property that St. Regis Washington, DC, is perfectly located near the city’s main tourist attractions, including the National Mall and the White House.
Booking costs in points: The St. Regis Washington, DC, is a Category 7 Marriott Hotel, depending on whether you book during peak or off-peak hours, the price can be 45,000, 60,000 or 70,000 points per night. While there are several cheaper Marriott properties in the area, the St. Regis is a great place to indulge yourself.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points: The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ™ American Express® card offers a free night award for one night worth up to 50,000 points on each anniversary of the cardholder. Conditions apply.
If you don’t want to commit Marriott Bonvoy credit card but would you like gold status in the Marriott Bonvoy program? The American Express Platinum Card®that comes with automatic Marriott Gold status. In addition, the card currently offers this welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $ 6,000 on card purchases in the first 6 months of your card membership. Conditions apply.
These points can usually be transferred to the Bonvoy program in a 1: 1 ratio.
Washington, DC, Hilton Hotels
Conrad Washington, DC
Conrad Washington, DC, is a pet-friendly luxury hotel close to all of the city’s popular attractions. As an added bonus, Michael Voltaggio’s Estuary restaurant is on the premises (you might recognize the name from “Top Chef”).
Booking costs in points: Hilton hasn’t set any award prices, but rooms typically start at around 80,000 points per night. NerdWallet appreciates Hilton points 0.5 cents per point. Cash prices are often as high as $ 450 a night. So 80,000 points is worth about $ 320 – which makes this redemption great value compared to cash.
When you want gold status in the Hilton Honors program, but not one Hilton Bonvoy credit card, Consider The American Express Platinum Card®, which also carries automatic Hilton Gold status.
These points can usually be transferred to the Hilton Honors program at a ratio of 1: 2, which means that 1 American Express point can be converted into 2 Hilton points.
Hotels in Washington, DC, Hyatt
Park Hyatt Washington, DC
The Park Hyatt Washington, DC, is popular with lovers of points and miles for its central location and, above all, for its Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern restaurant. World of Hyatt Members who Globalist status are entitled to a free breakfast at this fantastic restaurant – this alone could be the reason they come back.
Booking costs in points: Rooms start at 20,000 points per night at this Category 5 World of Hyatt hotel. NerdWallet appreciates Hyatt points 1.9 cents everyone.
How to Earn Hyatt Points: You can earn World of Hyatt points by spending money at participating hotels. Basic members receive 5 points per dollar on qualifying hotel fees, while Elite members receive bonus points of up to 30% on those stays.
However, the fastest way to collect points is with the World of Hyatt credit card, which earns you more points for every dollar spent plus a welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $ 3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening your account. Plus up to 30,000 additional bonus points by collecting a total of 2 bonus points for every $ 1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening for purchases that normally earn 1 bonus point for up to $ 15,000 spent. The card also includes an annual free night.
When visiting Washington, DC with points and miles
The US capital is practically a must-see, and using points and miles to book an affordable trip to Washington, DC can save you big bucks. The wide range of airlines and hotels offers more opportunities to find deals.
To get prices and fees from. to display The American Express Platinum Card®, see this page.
To get prices and fees of the. to display Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ™ American Express® card, see this page.
All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was collected independently from NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.
To get prices and fees of the. to display Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® card, see this page.
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