Have you ever dreamed of seeing Paris in the spring? April or May could be the best months to visit the City of Lights. The weather is mild and perfect for sightseeing; the days are getting longer; magnolias are blooming; and the parks are a riot of color, covered with new spring flowers.

If you’re a small-business owner, we’ll show you how you can book an amazing trip to Paris by opening just two credit cards: the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card and the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card.

If you get the right card at the right time, the dream trip could become a reality.

The Card to Get You There

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card is a great card with an uncomplicated earning structure. Chase has bumped the welcome bonus on this card to 90,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in the first three months.

The card earns unlimited 1.5X Ultimate Rewards points on every purchase. There’s no annual fee, but there are foreign transaction fees, so when you travel to Paris, leave this card at home.

Note that you need one of Chase’s premium cards (one that charges an annual fee, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card) to transfer the points earned with the Ink Unlimited card to travel partners.

After you meet the minimum spending requirements, you’ll have 99,000 points that you can use toward flights. Chase has 11 airline transfer partners, but we’ll focus on a couple that offer the best redemption rates to Paris.

You don’t have to use the same program to book tickets in both directions. By booking one-way award tickets, you get more flexibility and can find the best deal. Just keep in mind that, depending on the program, if you need to change your ticket, there might be award change fees that you’ll need to pay to change your tickets in each direction.

Air France-KLM Flying Blue

Flying Blue, the combined frequent-flyer program of Air France and KLM, has no award chart, but it provides a handy miles price estimator.

miles price estimator

Technically, these are the lowest rates you can expect, but the program is so quirky that you can often find awards far below these rates. And thanks to the monthly Promo Rewards you can find incredible deals to Paris from a few U.S. cities. Flying Blue often puts various routes on sale than what it advertises under its Promo Rewards, so always check additional city pairs.

To use Flying Blue, you’ll need to create an account before you can search for award space to France. After you log in with your Air France or KLM account, click on the “Book with Miles” tab and plug in your dates and your airport information.

book flight new york to paris

The side could be buggy, especially when you try to change the dates or the airports. The app works much better, so the trick is to find award space in the app and then book the flights you’ve found through the website.

direct flight air france

As you can see, you can find economy flights starting at just 11,250 miles one way.

If you want to splurge on business class, it’ll set you back at least 55,000 miles per direction.

direct flight air france

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic could also have attractive rates from the U.S. to Paris, but it charges higher taxes. So why would you use this program? Sometimes Chase offers transfer bonuses to partners—we’ve seen as high as 30%—when you transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Virgin. If you’d rather stretch your points and are OK paying higher taxes, this might be an option.

You don’t need a Flying Club account to search for award tickets, so just plug in your dates and airport info on the home page and click on “Advanced search.” Make sure “Show Price in Points” is selected and click on the red arrow to continue.

book flight with virgin atlantic from nyc to paris

You’ll see the search results on the next page, including taxes.

book economy flight with virgin atlantic from nyc to france2

United Airlines Mileage Plus

United Mileage Plus won’t have the lowest award rates, but it’s a good program for someone who lives near a United hub. You don’t need an account to search, but United shows more award space to elite members and co-branded credit card holders.

book flight with united airlines form NYC to Paris

United has moved to dynamic pricing, but the lowest price you can expect to pay is 30,000 miles each way in economy class on its own flights and 33,000 miles per direction on partner flights. Business class rates would be 60,000 miles each way on United-operated flights and 70,000 miles and up on partners. United doesn’t pass on any surcharges, so you’ll just have to pay taxes.

You can easily switch between the seven-day calendar and the 30-day calendar on the results page and see the dates with the cheapest award tickets.

book flight with United Airlines MileagePlus from NYC to Paris

Air Canada Aeroplan

Aeroplan, Air Canada’s frequent-flyer program, has a hybrid distance- and zone-based award chart. Depending on where in the U.S. you’re located, a one-way flight in economy will set you back between 35,000 to 55,000 points, and a business-class flight goes for 60,000 to 85,000 miles.

You might be thinking, why would I pay so much when I can fly to Paris redeeming just about 11,000 Flying Blue miles. Air Canada, like United, is a member of the Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance in the world. So depending on where your home airport is, it might make more sense to use Aeroplan.

An account isn’t needed to search Aeroplan, but don’t forget to check “Book with Aeroplan” points.

book flight with Air Canada Aeroplan from NYC to Paris2

Air Canada-operated flights don’t follow the award chart, and you might be able to find a ticket that costs fewer points than what the award chart indicates, like this itinerary from Cleveland, Ohio (CLE), to Paris (CDG) with a connection in Newark (EWR).

book flight with Air Canada Aeroplan from NYC to Paris

Watch out for transfer bonus from Chase—you might be able to save at least 15% when you transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Aeroplan.

How to Pay for Your Stay in Paris

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card comes with a sizable welcome bonus.

You’ll earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months.

The annual fee is $95 (see rates & fees), and the card doesn’t have foreign transaction fees. Cardmembers enjoy free Hilton Honors Gold status with free breakfast being the most valuable perk.

To turbocharge your earning rates, take advantage of the card’s bonus categories:

  • 12X points at Hilton hotels and resorts
  • 6X points at U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases for shipping, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
  • 6X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel
  • 6X points on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
  • 6X points at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X on all other eligible purchases

You can also earn a free night reward after spending $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.

Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero

Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero

The free night rewards can be used almost anywhere, with a few exceptions, any day of the week, including the chain’s top properties. Even if you don’t take advantage of the bonus categories, you’ll earn at least 175,000 Hilton Honors points and two free nights after spending $15,000 in a calendar year.

Hilton has a few top-rated properties in Paris, and because there’s no award chart, the rates for these properties vary from 55,000 to 80,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Assuming you go during peak time, 175,000 points is enough for two nights, plus you’ll have the free night reward certificate.

If you prefer a more modern aesthetic, the Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero is a great choice. The property is brand new, and the location is great—right next to the Trocadero metro stop. You can see the Eiffel Tower from the rooftop and as soon as you exit through the hotel’s front door.

The Hilton Paris Opera is the grand dame of Paris hotels and has a more traditional feel. It’s located a short walk from the famous department store Galeries Lafayette and many major Paris attractions.

The Niepce Paris Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton is another great option located in the Montparnasse area. Curio Collection hotels have a local feel and reflect the style and the atmosphere of the city where they’re located.

Paris is a city of neighborhoods, each with a distinctive look and feel, so you can split your stay if you want to experience Paris’s various arrondissements.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, if you get the right card at the right time, the dream trip could become a reality. Thanks to both cards’ elevated welcome offers, a small-business owner can book an amazing trip to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The welcome bonus on the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card will cover your flights and, if you find a great deal, you’ll have points left over for another trip. By opening the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, you can earn up to four nights in Hilton’s top hotels in Paris.