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TravelCelebrate Pride in cities across the US using points and miles

Celebrate Pride in cities across the US using points and miles


June is officially Pride month, and it’s not too late to make travel plans to celebrate Pride in major cities nationwide (or book an LGBTQIA+ cruise). Hotel rates and airfare may be higher this short in advance, but you can save money by using points and miles. We found an array of flight and hotel options that can still be booked with points at a good value. Pride is a wonderful celebration of equality, freedom and sacrifice, and any of these events would make for a fun weekend getaway.

Related: 12 underrated LGBTQIA+-friendly destinations to visit in 2024

New Orleans Pride (June 7-9)

VISIT NEW ORLEANS/FACEBOOK

What better place to show your pride than on the colorful streets of the Big Easy? This year’s New Orleans Pride includes drag brunches, comedy shows, an art market, a formal gala and a parade through the French Quarter. It’s not too late to plan a weekend getaway to join the festivities.

Airfare to New Orleans

When searching for flights, Google Flights is a good starting point (especially since it now includes Southwest Airlines fares). It will show you cash prices only, but since cash rates often correspond to award fares (since many major U.S. airlines use dynamic pricing), it can help point you toward the cheapest airlines for your desired route. Then you can click over to the airline’s website to search award flights in more detail.

For example, if you’re on the East Coast, JetBlue has award fares from Boston to New Orleans the weekend of June 7-9 starting at 13,700 TrueBlue points each way.

JETBLUE.COM

Southwest has flights from Denver for around 20,000 Rapid Rewards points round-trip.

SOUTHWEST.COM

Hotels in New Orleans

If you want to stay near all the action of the French Quarter, you could book the Hyatt Centric French Quarter New Orleans for only 15,000 World of Hyatt points or $239 per night. This comes out to 1.6 cents per point, close to TPG’s valuation of 1.7 cents for Hyatt points.

The New Orleans Marriott is also centrally located in the French Quarter. During Pride weekend, rates start at 32,800 Bonvoy points or $219 per night. This comes out to a value of 0.67 cents per point, which isn’t ideal considering TPG values Marriott points at 0.85 cents each. In this case, we’d recommend booking with cash or checking your credit card’s travel portal to see if you can get a better deal.

For instance, the New Orleans Marriott is available for the same dates on Capital One Travel for only $137 per night plus taxes and fees, for a total of $274 for the weekend. Not only is this considerably cheaper than on Marriott’s site, but you can pay with your Capital One miles at a fixed rate of 1 cent per mile. The two-night stay would cost you only 27,382 miles instead of the 65,600 Bonvoy points you would need if you booked through Marriott.

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CAPITALONE.COM

Booking through Capital One Travel at 1 cent per mile still gives you well below TPG’s valuation of 1.85 cents each for Capital One miles, but if you’re looking to celebrate Pride for free, this route will save you points and miles compared to booking directly with the hotel.

If you’re willing to pay cash, you may be better off booking through the portal and earning 5 points per dollar (if you hold the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card) or 10 points per dollar (if you hold the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card). Just remember that hotel stays booked through travel portals or other third-party sites won’t earn hotel points or qualify for any elite status benefits you may have.

Related: Traveling to New Orleans as a solo tourist

Capital Pride (June 7-9)

LINDA DAVIDSON/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES

In our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., Pride is one of the most colorful events in the U.S., dating back to 1972. This year’s parade will go up Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th Street, passing the White House and other landmarks. With nearly 1 out of 10 residents in Washington, D.C., identifying with the LGBTQIA+ community, it is sure to be an amazing event.

If you’re interested in joining D.C. Pride in person, there are many ways to book a last-minute trip while maximizing your points and miles.

Airfare to Washington, DC

If you’re looking to fly into D.C., Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is probably your best option. It’s connected to the city by Metro and a quick $2-$4 one-way ride to Union Station. D.C is a very walkable city, making this a great way to cut down on costs by not renting a car, especially for a weekend excursion.

Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) are also options in the vicinity, but these are farther away and require an Uber, taxi, train or rental car.

JetBlue has award seats from Seattle to DCA around Pride weekend, starting at 18,400 TrueBlue points each way.

JETBLUE.COM

For travelers on the East Coast, American Airlines has flights from Atlanta to BWI for just 12,000 AAdvantage miles and $11.20 round-trip.

AA.COM

Hotels in Washington, DC

Washington, D.C., has many hotel options you can book with points. Since it’s such a walkable city with a great Metro system, you can be minutes away from all the action even if you decide not to stay close to the city center.

Hilton has a wide assortment of properties within a few miles of the main festivities. The map view can help you get an idea of hotel locations and how many Hilton Honors points you’ll need per night.

HILTON.COM

Hyatt has several properties in the area from as low as 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

HYATT.COM

Related: Best Washington, DC, hotels to stay in when visiting the US capital

Denver Pride (June 22-23)

HELEN H. RICHARDSON/MEDIANEWS GROUP/THE DENVER POST/GETTY IMAGES

The Mile High City is celebrating 50 years of Pride with a litany of events across various iconic venues, from Capitol Hill and Civic Center Park to the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Western Art. The celebrations will be capped by Pridefest on June 22-23, a weekend of festivities in downtown Denver.

Airfare to Denver

To fly into Denver International Airport (DEN), Southwest has a good chunk of award flights from Phoenix ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 Rapid Rewards points each way.

SOUTHWEST.COM

From the East Coast, United Airlines and American are offering flights from Atlanta and Miami, respectively, for a little over 30,000 miles and $11.20 round-trip.

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Hotels in Denver

If you’re hoping to stay near the Pride festivities, Hyatt has five properties in downtown Denver. Four of them are award category 3 or 4, meaning they’ll set you back 12,000 or 15,000 points per night — or, if you have a World of Hyatt Credit Card, you could use your annual Category 1-4 free night certificate. There’s also the Thompson Denver, a boutique Category 5 hotel, where rooms go for 20,000 points or $353 per night.

HYATT.COM

Related: Best Denver hotels to experience when staying in the Mile High City

San Francisco Pride (June 29-30)

San Francisco is known for being one of the most LGBTQIA+-friendly destinations in the U.S. and for having one of the country’s best Pride parades. This year, it will take place on the last weekend of June, with thousands of participants going from Market and Beale streets to the Civic Center.

JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

Airfare to San Francisco

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and the nearby San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport (OAK) are great options for flying in for Pride, though flights to SFO tend to be cheaper. Thanks to Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, it’s easy to get from either airport to the heart of downtown. BART fares cost only $10.55 from SFO to the downtown Montgomery station or $12 from OAK to Montgomery.

Southwest has plenty of award availability from Dallas to SFO for around 12,000 Rapid Rewards points each way.

SOUTHWEST.COM

Alaska Airlines has flights from multiple East Coast cities, including Charlotte and Philadelphia, starting at 17,500 Mileage Plan miles and $19 each way.

ALASKAAIR.COM

Hotels in San Francisco

You’ll find a variety of points hotels in downtown San Francisco near the Pride festivities, but the award rates during Pride weekend aren’t ideal. The Hilton San Francisco Union Square, a partner of the Pride event, is bookable for 51,000 Hilton Honors points or $187 per night. This gives you a value of only 0.37 cents per point.

Marriott’s Courtyard San Francisco Downtown is offering a PointSavers rate of 30,400 Bonvoy points per night. Since cash rates start at $176 per night, this comes out to 0.58 cents per point.

At the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA, rooms are going for $171 or 17,000 points per night the weekend of Pride — a value of 1 cent per point.

Since cash rates are so low that weekend and you won’t get much value from your points, we recommend booking with cash or paying with points through a credit card travel portal. For example, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square is bookable through Chase Travel℠ for $172 per night plus taxes and fees, for a total of $392 for two nights. If you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can pay with Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1.25 cents per point, so this stay would cost around 31,000 points — far fewer than the 102,000 points required if you booked through Hilton. If you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, your Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents each on the Chase Travel portal, so you would only need around 26,000 points.

CHASE.COM

Related: Best hotels in San Francisco for a golden getaway

Chicago Pride (June 29-30)

CHICAGO PRIDE PARADE/FACEBOOK

Chicago’s Pride festival is one of the biggest in the country. This year, the 53rd annual Chicago Pride Parade will march from Northalsted, aka “Boystown”— the country’s first official gay neighborhood — to Lincoln Park. There will also be live music on three stages, dance exhibitions, drag performances and a pet parade. (The event’s music festival offshoot, Pride in the Park, is not returning in 2024.)

Airfare to Chicago

Chicago is home to two major airports: O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW). O’Hare is a big hub, with flights from nearly all major international and domestic airlines. Midway is Southwest’s gateway to Chicago (though it also serves O’Hare) and has limited service from other airlines, like Allegiant Air and Delta Air Lines.

Delta is offering low award fares to Chicago from some of its hubs during Pridefest weekend. For example, you can fly from Seattle to ORD for 26,500 SkyMiles and $12 round-trip or from Minneapolis-St. Paul to ORD for 9,000 SkyMiles and $12 round-trip.

DELTA.COM

American has some good options from the Southeast, like Atlanta to ORD for 23,000 AAdvantage miles and $11.20 round-trip or Miami to ORD for 21,500 miles and $11.20.

AA.COM

Hotels in Chicago

Most points hotel chains have a ton of options in downtown Chicago, also known as the Loop. But if you want to stay around Northalmsted, where most of the Pride events will be held, here are a few hotels worth considering.

Hyatt’s Hotel Lincoln, an award Category 3 property, is just south of Northalsted and steps away from the Lincoln Park Zoo. The weekend of June 22-23 is classified as “standard” per Hyatt’s award chart, so award stays cost 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night (or you could use a Category 1-4 free night award). With cash rates starting at $364 during Pride weekend, this gives you a value of 3 cents per point — an excellent use of Hyatt points or transferable credit card points.

HYATT.COM

There’s also the Best Western Plus Hawthorne Terrace Hotel in the heart of Northalsted. Rooms will set you back 60,000 Best Western Rewards points or $365 per night, which comes out to 0.6 cents per point — right on par with TPG’s valuations. Best Western Rewards doesn’t have any major credit card transfer partners, but this could be a good option if you have a stash of Best Western points.

New York City Pride (June 29-30)

TAYLOR HILL/GETTY IMAGES FOR GARNIER

New York City Pride is back this year with a host of events, from a parade and street fair to Bliss Days (celebrating LGBTQIA+ women) and Youth Pride. Here are some ways you can use points and miles to celebrate in the Big Apple.

Airfare to New York City

With three major airports — John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA) — New York City gives you plenty of options. From the airport, you can take advantage of New York City’s extensive network of trains, subways and buses to get to Manhattan without renting a car.

Delta is offering award flights from Boston to LGA from 10,000 SkyMiles and $12 round-trip the weekend of Pride.

DELTA.COM

American has fares from Miami to JFK starting at 19,500 AAdvantage miles and $11.20 round-trip.

AA.COM

If you live out west, United has some great award availability to EWR, from Seattle for 25,000 MileagePlus miles, Denver for 12,400 miles and Los Angeles for around 20,000 miles each way. You’ll pay a grand total of $11.20 in taxes and fees.

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Hotels in New York City

NYC Pride events are happening all month all over the city, but most of the action the weekend of June 28-30 will take place around Greenwich Village and Manhattan. Hilton has a plethora of hotels in that area; use the map view to see your options in points.

HILTON.COM

The Hyatt Place New York City/Times Square is also very central and reasonably priced, with rooms starting at 20,000 World of Hyatt points or $291 per night. You can get great value at the Park Hyatt New York, where you’ll find luxury amenities like a rainfall shower and marble soaking tub for 40,000 points or $1,009 per night — a value of 2.5 cents per point.

HYATT.COM

Related: The best hotels in New York City

Bottom line

Pride month is almost here, but it’s not too late to join the fun by booking a weekend trip — points and miles are a great way to save on last-minute travel plans. With so many cities having Pride events, you have countless options. Just remember to check cash prices and travel portals before you book to make sure you’re getting the most value possible from your points.

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