There are several different ways to plan a trip to Paris with points and miles. One way is to go all out and spend a lot of points and miles on business-class flights and luxury hotels. But if you’d rather stretch your points or are booking for multiple people, read on.

A trip to Paris doesn’t have to break the bank, and you can achieve your goal by opening just two new cards. We’ll use the welcome bonus earned with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card to book our flights, and we’ll cover the hotels with the bonus earned with the Citi Premier® Card.

Until recently, there weren’t any good ways to redeem Citi ThankYou Points for hotel stays, but with the addition of Choice Hotels to its already-great roster of transfer partners, ThankYou Points have become even more valuable.

The Cards to Get You There

Earn Venture Miles for Your Flight to Paris

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Card is the latest addition to Capital One’s credit card portfolio. The card has a $395 annual fee that can be offset with several premium travel benefits that one can expect from a card with a high annual fee.

Some of the most valuable benefits include complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, unlimited free access to Capital One Lounges and trip delay insurance.

The card has generous earning rates:

  • 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2X miles on all other purchases

One of the card’s best perks is the annual $300 credit for purchases made through Capital One Travel.

Earn Citi ThankYou Points for Your Stay in Paris

The Citi Premier Card is an afterthought for many, but it’s one of the greatest travel cards on the market. ThankYou Points aren’t as popular as Ultimate Rewards or Membership Rewards. However, a savvy traveler can extract a lot of value from these points.

With this card, you’ll earn:

  • 3X at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, on air travel and hotel purchases
  • 1X on all other purchases

As a cardholder, you can get $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, through, once per calendar year. The credit is enough to offset the card’s annual fee of $95.

Citi has some excellent transfer partners, including some of the leading airlines. However, the Choice Hotels chain is Citi’s only hotel transfer partner.

How to Book Your Flights to Paris

One of Capital One’s transfer partners is Flying Blue, the joint frequent-flyer program of Air France and KLM. The points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, and the transfer is usually instant.

Flying Blue has great redemptions to France. There’s no award chart, so we have a handy Miles Price Estimator tool to figure out how many miles we’ll actually need for the flight to France.

This tool shows the lowest number of miles required for an award, but it doesn’t show what’s actually available. You’ll have to run some award searches to see what you can book.

miles price estimator

You can turn the already-good redemption rates into great ones if you book one of the Flying Blue Promo Rewards. The routes change every month, but you can often find flights from the U.S. to Europe at a 25% to 30% discount from their regular rates.

To sweeten the deal, Flying Blue often includes the unpublished routes in its Promo Rewards. So when you’re ready to book, keep checking all possible routes to see if you can find that hidden gem.

Credit card partners offer frequent transfer bonuses to Flying Blue. If you come across both the transfer bonus and the Promo Reward, then you’ve got yourself an affordable flight to Paris.

To search for award tickets, you first need to create a Flying Blue account. Flying Blue’s website could be quite glitchy, and you can often get the endless spinning circle after just one search. The only way to move forward is to open another incognito browser window.

Another way to get around the online bugs is to find the dates with available award space on the Air France app first, which usually works flawlessly.

You can also leave the dates blank, just enter your origin and destination.

Book with miles

If you don’t enter the dates, you’ll get a monthly calendar on the next screen, and you can scroll through a year’s worth of availability.

How to Book Your Flights to Paris

Then click on your desired date to see flight details.

How to Book Your Flights to Paris2

You’ll have to pay the surcharges when booking with Flying Blue miles, but they’re manageable on economy tickets.

How to Book Hotels in Paris with Citi Premier Card

Citi ThankYou Points transfer to Choice Hotels at a ratio of 1:2, so for every 1,000 Citi ThankYou Points transferred to Choice, you’ll get 2,000 Choice Privileges points.

choice privileges

When you find the Choice property you’d like to stay at, log in to your ThankYou Rewards account, hover over the Travel tab and click on Points Transfer.

citi thank you points

Keep in mind that the name of the Choice Privileges account holder must match the name on the Citi ThankYou account.

You can transfer Citi points to anyone with a ThankYou Rewards account. So if another member of your travel party also has ThankYou Points, you can combine them before transferring to Choice Privileges to book a longer stay.

The points transfer can take anywhere from 24 hours to five days, but you could experience an instant transfer if the name matches and there are no issues.

There’s one major limitation of the Choice Privileges program—you can reserve a hotel no more than three months in advance. For those of us who like to plan our trips months out, this could be a bit of a nail-biter. However, with a few Choice properties in Paris to pick from, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Choice Hotels aren’t the most luxurious properties that you can book with hotel points, and you should expect the rooms to be on the small size with bare-bones amenities. However, Choice Hotels represent a good value in an expensive city like Paris, and your stay will include free breakfast.

One welcome bonus earned with the Citi Premier® Card card should be enough to book a week-long hotel stay in Paris.

The Comfort Hotel Nation Père Lachaise Paris 11

The Comfort Hotel Nation Père Lachaise Paris 11 is located in Paris’s 11 arrondissement, just minutes away from a metro station. Generally speaking, you are never too far from a metro stop in Paris, so you’ll be able to reach all the major tourist attractions easily.

The double occupancy room at this hotel costs 16,000 points, or 8,000 ThankYou Points. That’s a good deal for a hotel that could cost well over 100 euros.

comfort hotel booking

Comfort Hotel Davout Nation Paris 20

This is another property that can be booked with 16,000 Choice Privileges points. The hotel is located close to a metro station with easy access to most key locations in Paris.

The 20th arrondissement is a non-touristy area of the city, so you’ll be eating and shopping with the locals. This is also where you can find the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, where some of the greatest artists, musicians and writers of the 19th and 20th centuries are buried.

Final Thoughts

You can plan a memorable trip to Paris with the help of just two credit cards by stretching the points for a more budget-minded traveler. Sure, staying at luxury properties is always fun, but if your goal is to experience the destination in depth or plan a longer stay, there are ways to do this with points and miles.