The City of Lights is one of the most frequently requested destination we hear from readers. Getting one person to Paris isn’t all that difficult and requires a minimum credit score of 715, a willingness to take on a business card, and the ability to spend a minimum of $2,500 per month on credit cards (don’t forget that you can get $1,000 per month out of Amazon payments).
THE APS: Three cards – Citi Platinum Select /AAdvantage Visa Signature Card, Hyatt Credit Card, Chase Ink Bold Business Card
ITINERARY OVERVIEW: Leave home from anywhere in the continental USA to Paris
TOTAL TRIP VALUE: $4,562
HERE’S HOW YOU DO IT:
May 6, 2013 – Round-Trip: USA to Paris
Method: American AAdvantage Miles
- Citi Platinum Select /AAdvantage Visa Signature Card– 52,500 miles
- You receive 50,000 miles after spending $2,500 within the first four months, which you can accomplish in the third and fourth months of spend
- You receive 2,500 miles from your $2,500 spend at one AA mile per dollar spent
Explanation: In last week’s challenge we pointed out that there are unofficial Citi AA offers out there that give you a better deal than the official ones. We told you that these deals come without an offer page. There are a lot of folks who have applied through these links and benefited. There’s one that awards you 50,000 AA miles after spending $2,500 within the first four month. This is a better deal than the affiliate link offer that gives you 50,000 AA miles after a $7,000 spend within one year. If you’re uncomfortable signing up for an offer without an offer page, then go with the affiliate offer as it’s a limited time.
We’re basing this Travel Challenge on the unofficial link.
A one-way MileSAAver Off-peak ticket between the continental United States and Europe is 20,00 miles. Off-peak to Europe runs between October 15 and May 15, and Paris is beautiful in the Spring. For 40,000 miles, you’ve got a round-trip ticket.
Out of Pocket Cost: Taxes
May 7-9 – Park Hyatt Paris Vendome
Cost: $1,440 ($720 per night)
Method: Hyatt Free Nights
- Hyatt Credit Card– 2 Free Nights
- You receive 2 Free Nights after spending $1,000 within the first three months, which you’ll accomplish in the third month
Explanation: As many of you pointed out last week, one of the best redemptions for the two free Hyatt nights is at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. For a $1,000 spend and a fee of $75 you get a redemption value of $1,440.
Out of Pocket Cost: $75 (annual card fee)
May 9-11 – Park Hyatt Paris Vendome
Cost: $1,440 ($720 per night)
Method: Ultimate Rewards Points
- Chase Ink Bold Business Card– 55,000 Ultimate Rewards points
- You receive 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first three months, which you’ll accomplish in the first and second month
- You receive 5,000 Ultimate Rewards point from you $5,000 spend at a minimum of one dollar per point.
Explanation: In some challenges we recommend you hotel hop, but not this time. You should stay put at the Park Hyatt, a Category 6 hotel. A room here costs you 22,000 Hyatt points. Ultimate Rewards transfer to Hyatt at a rate of 1:1, so your 55,000 Ultimate Rewards points can snag you another two nights in Paris.
Out of Pocket Cost: $0
NOTE: If you don’t want to go to Paris alone, you can either have your spouse pick up the AAdvantage Visa, or you can use the two-browser trick to also pick up an AAdvantage American Express. There’s an offer on the FT thread for 40,000 AA miles after a $2,000 spend.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees, making this the go-to card for travelers.
This card accumulates Ultimate Rewards points, which are very valuable for transfer to United and Hyatt. Overall, this card is a great choice for maximizing earnings on dining, travel, and every day spend.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95