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After a year-long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mardi Gras celebrations are returning to New Orleans. Although there will be changes to some of the celebrations, the event is go forward in 2022.
This year, Fat Tuesday falls on March 1. While most celebrations ramp up the week before, if you’re considering a trip to New Orleans, you’ll probably want to be there the weekend before Fat Tuesday — plus, of course, the big day itself.
If you feel comfortable enough to head to the Big Easy for Mardi Gras, there are still travel deals available. We’ve rounded up some of the best flight and hotel deals you can get when traveling to New Orleans this year.
New Orleans hotels can dramatically increase their nightly rates in order to take advantage of the Mardi Gras crowds. And thanks to this, you can take advantage of some good deals by using your hotel loyalty points for a free stay. Here are some of the best deals we’ve found.
This boutique hotel, located two blocks from the French Quarter and three blocks from the Warehouse Arts District, offers a stylish place to stay. The hotel itself is built in nine warehouses that look distinct from the outside, but inside they were designed to be one uniform hotel. For a four-night stay during Mardi Gras, the hotel costs 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night, or 60,000 points for the entire stay. Alternatively, the hotel charges $1,716 for the same four-night stay. This gives you great value for your Hyatt points at 0.28 cents each, which is way more than the loyalty website says. The dot guy currently values them at.
It’s quite manageable to score a completely free stay on points from a single credit card sign-up bonus. In fact, you can earn up to 60,000 Hyatt points from The world of the Hyatt credit card. You’ll earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months of owning the card. Plus, you can earn up to 30,000 extra points by earning 2 bonus points per dollar spent in the first six months, up to $15,000 spent. If you are able to take full advantage of the sign-up bonus offer, you can get a free four-night stay at The Eliza Jane for Mardi Gras weekend.
the Troubadour Hotel New Orleans is a member of the Hilton Honors program. It is located a few blocks from the French Quarter in the central business district. A three-night stay over Mardi Gras weekend, including Mardi Gras night, costs 150,000 Hilton Honors points, or 50,000 points per night. The hotel charges $1,254.47 for the same three nights, giving you 0.83 cents worth per Hilton Honors point on this redemption. That’s more than Honors Points are usually worth, according to the Frequent Flyer website The dot guy.
While you probably won’t have time to request and meet the minimum spending requirements for Mardi Gras, the welcome bonus offer currently available with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card could almost get you a stay like this for free. The welcome bonus offer on the Pass card lets you earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Points after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card ownership. Plus, you’ll earn a Free Night Award Certificate, which you can use toward a free night at virtually any Hilton property.
If you want to splurge on a luxurious five-star hotel to rest up during a weekend of Mardi Gras celebrations, the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is a solid option. It is located in the French Quarter, within walking distance of many attractions, including Bourbon Street. During Mardi Gras weekend, the hotel charges 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. For a four-night stay, it will cost you 280,000 Bonvoy points, saving you from paying $1,968 for the same stay.
You can earn Marriott points quickly by considering one of the chain’s credit cards. the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card currently has a welcome bonus offer of 75,000 Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
This charming establishment located in Banks Arcade offers 84 rooms with a Creole-Caribbean influence characteristic of New Orleans. For a three-night stay during Mardi Gras weekend, including Shrove Tuesday, the hotel charges 46,000 IHG Rewards points per night. Alternatively, you can pay cash for the same three nights, which would cost you $1,012.79.
You can earn IHG Rewards points via the chain’s credit card. the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 125,000 points plus a free night after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. The bonus points are almost enough to fully cover the cost of this three-night hotel stay.
the Hyatt Regency New Orleans would make a comfortable stay over Mardi Gras weekend. In fact, it has seven on-site dining options, as well as an outdoor saltwater pool, in-room massage services, and more. During Mardi Gras weekend, the hotel charges 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night. If you were to opt for a three-night stay, it would cost you 36,000 points. Alternatively, over the same three nights, it would cost you $813 for the stay. Ultimately, by using points to cover the cost of stay, you can save that money to spend on the delicious food New Orleans has to offer.
The world of the Hyatt credit card is your best option for earning points to quickly cover the cost of a stay. Currently, it comes with a sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 bonus points. You’ll earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months of owning the card. Plus, you can earn up to 30,000 extra points by earning 2 bonus points per dollar spent in the first six months, up to $15,000 spent.
If you must travel by plane, you will want to book your flights quickly. The good news is that there are still offers. Here are some of the best deals we’ve found in hub cities across the country to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
This route with JetBlue is non-stop in both directions. For less than $100 round trip, you can travel from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans.
This round-trip fare for just over $200 from New York is a bargain. You will depart from LaGuardia but return to JFK airport in New York.
Fly with ultra-low-cost airline Spirit from Los Angeles to New Orleans. While the outward journey is non-stop, the return flight requires a layover.
You can fly American Airlines nonstop from Dallas to New Orleans for a quick Mardi Gras trip — Monday through Thursday — for just over $200 round-trip.
This round-trip deal from Baltimore for less than $100 is a bargain. You will fly with Spirit non-stop in both directions.
This route is operated by JetBlue outbound and American inbound. But for less than $200 round trip from Boston to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, it’s a bargain.
United is offering round-trip airfare from its Chicago base to New Orleans for just $187.20 for Mardi Gras. Fly non-stop in both directions.
If your mind is now set on heading to the Big Easy for a Mardi Gras celebration, be sure to book your flight the right way to maximize what you get for your purchase. For example, there are a number of credit cards that offer additional rewards or benefits when you book travel with them.
Widely regarded as the best card for booking flights, The Platinum Card® from American Express. You’ll earn 5 points for every $1 spent on flights booked directly with an airline or through Amex Travel when you use the Amex Platinum. So if you book the $205.20 round-trip flight from Dallas to New Orleans directly with American Airlines, you’ll earn 1,026 Amex points, plus miles in American’s AAdvantage program.
Alternatively, you can book these flights with a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®which earns 3 points per dollar on travel, including flights, and 5 points total on air travel if you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
And if you plan to book with an online travel agency like Price line, consider booking your flights with a credit card that earns points on all travel, not just travel booked directly with airlines or through an issuer’s booking portal. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card typically earns 2 points per dollar on travel purchases.
Editorial Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author alone, and not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Note: While the offers listed above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time and may have changed or may no longer be available.
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