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.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49