France Trip Travel Points Breakdown
Updated: Jan 26, 2020
We recently returned from a 10 day trip to France where we visited three cities within the country and took two day trips to London and Monaco. This post will give you an idea of the points we used and the cost of several aspects of our trip!
Getting There and Back
36k miles roundtrip (72k total)
Direct flights seem to dip that low 3-4 times a year, so it's all about keeping an eye out for good deals. Besides IND (Indianapolis), other locations that have similar deals are BOS (Boston), JFK (NYC), and DTW (Detroit)
How We Got the Points
To get these points we used the American Express Delta Gold Card. When we signed up
it was running a 70K sign-up bonus. The current bonus is back to only 30K. They have bumped the sign-up bonus to 70K two times and may do so again, but there's really no way to predict when that will happen. The card has a $0 annual fee the first year and $95 after that. You get a $50 delta credit and you get free checked bags and upgrade boarding position with having the card. In my opinion, this is a must-have card if you fly with Delta often.
If you're interested in getting the American Express Delta Gold Card, you can click here to access our referral link. If you apply through this link, you will get 40K points (an extra 10K from the current sign-up bonus)!
From Paris to Nice
$68 one way ($136 for both)
Used Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Travel Credit to cover the entire amount
How We Got the Credit
Chase has the Chase Sapphire Reserve and I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You cannot have both at the same time, but each provides unique benefits, so we each have one. The Reserve has a very high annual fee of $450, but $300 of that you get back in travel credits throughout the year. To get the credit, you simply pay for plain, train, bus tickets (or many other options) with the card and the $300 is credited to your statement balance.
Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile
We had two "Category 4 free night awards". These allow us to stay at any hotel, Category 4 or lower, for free. We used both of those for the first 2 nights. For the next 2 nights, we did Points+Cash. This means that we paid half the cost of the room and half the cost of the room with points. A Category 4 room paid completely in points would be 15K. Points+cash it is 7.5k + half the regular rate.
Hyatts in popular cities and resorts will normally have a resort fee, but that is waived for globalist members.
How We Got the Points
We got one of the two Category 4 Free Nights by staying 30 nights in a year and the other from my annual Hyatt card membership anniversary. Every year, Hyatt cardholders receive one Category 4 Free Night Award as a benefit of their membership. (Note: this is based on when you received the card, not based off of a calendar or fiscal year.)
If you are interested in signing up for the Hyatt Card, you can click here. However, in my opinion, the card is really not the strongest from a points standpoint at the moment. If you have questions feel free to reach out! We will also be doing a summary of the card soon, so keep a lookout for that!
The next 3 nights were at Chateau Le Cagnard
All 3 nights were paid for fully with points
It is a Category 5, so that means that it is 20K a night. 3 X 20K = 60K total points spent.
This hotel was not actually a Hyatt owned hotel, but it is part of the Small Luxury Collection, a group of small hotels that have partnered with Hyatt. (Therefore we could still use our Hyatt points and get our Hyatt perks like free breakfast and late checkout.)
How We Got the Points
We earned some of these Hyatt points by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards over to Hyatt points. (One of the biggest benefits of Chase points is that they can be transferred to many hotels and airlines) The rest were earned by using the Hyatt card on paid stays. It earns 4x the points per dollar spent at Hyatt locations, so we always pay for our hotel rooms with the Hyatt card. (This is one of the main benefits of having the Hyatt card.)
I want to note that on this particular trip, we spent the last two nights with friends, which is not something we typically get to do, but certainly made the trip cheaper for us. However, if we had wanted to stay in a hotel instead, there is a really nice one about 35 minutes from where we were staying. It would have been either 25K points or 12.5K and $150 a night. A little more expensive, but if you're looking at planning a similar trip and don't have the option of staying with friends, something to know!
While our flights were completely covered, we took a train to London one day, Monaco another, and took one from Dijon back to the airport in Paris on our last day. We paid for them all with Chase Travel Cards, so we got a lot of points through that, but just to give you an idea of the cost if you'd like to try any of these options someday:
London - 55 Euro a person for a round trip. About a 2.5-hour ride.
Monaco - 7 Euro a person for a round trip. About a 45-minute ride.
Dijon to Paris - 60 Euro a person for First Class ticket. About 2-hour ride.
While we try to walk or use scooters as much as possible, we still use Uber or taxis to get around when we're traveling a longer distance. We used Uber to get to Versailles and Grasse, and the Paris airport has a great taxis system that is much easier than calling an Uber. You can still earn points for all of this spending if you use your travel cards to pay because your purchases will be recognized as travel spending.
We also rented a car to drive from Nice to Dijon. We ended up waiting until the last minute and paying significantly more than we should have because of it. When we looked ahead of time, the cost to rent the car for the day was about $150. Unfortunately, since we waited, we ended up paying more than $400 for it, so while we still got a lot of points from the purchase, that is definitely not a mistake that we'll make again!
If you want to read more about our stay in France, you can do so by going to Part 1 and Part 2 of our trip to see where we went, what we did, and what we loved!!
Disclaimer: This article contains referral links from which chasingAnna may benefit. These links take you to secure applications, and chasingAnna does not store or receive any of your personal information from this process.