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In the latest installment of our “Points and Miles Destination Guide” series, TPG Contributor Whitney Magnuson explores the many different ways to maximize hotel redemptions in Paris using points and miles.
The City of Light is a destination near and dear to the hearts of travelers all over the world. But it’s no secret that a visit to the French capital can also cost a pretty penny. Here, we’ll look at how to plan a stay in Paris without the extravagant price tag, with recommended points redemptions for five different types of travelers.
If You Want a Great View of the Eiffel Tower: Hotel Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is the quintessential Parisian landmark, and if you’d like to enjoy views of this world-renowned attraction throughout your trip, staying in a nearby hotel can do just the trick. Hotel Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower, a member of the AccorHotels family, is close by and offers absolutely stunning views — a quick search on the hotel’s website shows rates in May start at about $395 night for a superior room with a view, pictured above.
Members of Accor’s “Le Club” loyalty program can redeem 2,000 points at a time for €40 vouchers, redeemable at any Accor hotel. That equates to a redemption value of 2.2 cents per point, given current exchange rates. However, earning points with Le Club can be a bit challenging, as there technically isn’t an AccorHotels credit card.
There is a workaround, though, and that’s to use a bank-affiliated travel portal like Chase Ultimate Rewards to book your stay. Even better, as of press time, the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal was offering better rates for Eiffel-view rooms than the Accor website — starting at 28,768 points or just $360 a night. Comparing the Chase points redemption rate to the Accor cash rate would give you a redemption value of 1.4 cents per point, which, while decent, is significantly below TPG’s valuation of Ultimate Rewards points. Still, given the current 50,000-point bonus available after spending $4,000 with the Chase Sapphire Preferred in the first three months, a free two-night stay is easily within reach.
If You Want to Experience Nightlife in the Latin Quarter: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel
Thanks in part to the abundance of university students in the area, the city’s Latin Quarter is a popular destination for those wishing to while away the hours at a traditional French café. Bars and restaurants line the central Boulevard Saint-Michel, making it an ideal location to reminisce on the former famous inhabitants of the quarter, like Balzac and Sartre.
Just a 10-minute walk from this vibrant neighborhood, you’ll find the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center, a Category 7 property. Rates this May start at 259 euros or about $293 per night, while an award night will cost you 35,000 Marriott Rewards points per night. This equates to a redemption value of around 0.8 cents per point — slightly more favorable than the most recent TPG valuations.
To help you get there, the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card is currently offering a bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening the card — enough to get you at least two free nights at this property. Plus, because Marriott always offers a fifth night free when you redeem four award nights, a five-night stay would bump you up even higher to a redemption value of more than 1 cent per point.
If You Have an Early Flight: Hôtel Best Western Paris CDG Airport
Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) is the second busiest airport in all of Europe, with only London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) surpassing it. Located roughly 16 miles northeast of central Paris, it’s understandable why many passengers with oddly-timed departures, delays or extended layovers often opt for a hotel near the airport.
This type of traveler should consider staying at the Hôtel Best Western Paris CDG Airport. While definitely not as flashy as some of the other hotels on this list, this property offers spacious rooms, an airport shuttle, an on-site restaurant and free in-room Wi-Fi for about $148 or 24,000 Best Western points per night in May. With an effective redemption rate of about 0.6 cents per point (decent for the Best Western brand), this is a better choice than the sub-optimal redemptions you’d receive at nearby Sheraton or Marriott properties.
Currently, the Best Western Rewards Premium MasterCard offers a bonus of up to 70,000 points, which breaks down into 25,000 bonus points for spending $2,500 in the first three months, another 25,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first six months and an additional 20,000 for spending $10,000 in the first 12 months. The best part: Even if you only completed the first level of spending on the card, you’d still have enough Best Western Rewards points to redeem a free night at this property.
If You Want to Visit Disneyland Paris: Radisson Blu Hotel at Disneyland Paris
For Disney fanatics, there’s no bigger bucket list item than visiting all the Disney parks around the globe. Disneyland Paris is actually about 27 miles from central Paris, so if several days in the Happiest Place
on Earth in Europe are on the agenda, you’ll want to stay at a hotel nearby instead of going back and forth from the city center each day.
While the most diehard Mouseketeers will opt to stay in a Disney-affiliated hotel, you won’t find many points-friendly options among that bunch. An alternate choice would be a stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel at Disneyland Paris, which is located on the Disneyland Golf Resort and offers complimentary shuttle service to the parks. Rates start around $228 per night in May or 44,000 Club Carlson points for a standard award redemption.
If you’re short on Club Carlson points, you might consider applying for the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa to pad your account. The card offers 50,000 points after your first purchase, and an additional 35,000 points for spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of account opening. After combining bonuses and spending, you’d be about 99% of the way to covering two free nights right in the heart of Parisian Mickey Mouse country.
If You Want to Pretend You’re Part of the Paris Elite: Park Hyatt Paris–Vendôme
Paris certainly has no shortage of ultra-luxe five-star hotels, but if your vacation just won’t be complete without gold-brushed decor, velvet pillows and marble bathrooms, look no further than the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme.
Everything at this property, from the mirrored brunch buffet full of French pastries to the spa featuring exclusive La Mer products, is practically dripping in opulence. As a Category 7 Hyatt property, free rooms will cost you 30,000 Hyatt points per night, however, given that the cost of an average room starts around $730 in May, you’d be receiving a very favorable redemption value of 2.4 cents per night.
Still, the high price tag for stays at this property makes it a prime candidate for using the two free nights available through the Hyatt Credit Card — you’ll earn them after spending $2,000 within the first three months of card issue, which you could then easily turn into more than $1,500 of free hotel stays at this location.
Need more advice on what to do during your Paris vacation? Check out these other TPG articles about planning your trip to the City of Light:
- 10 Photos: What’s New in Paris
- Hotel Review: Mandarin Oriental Paris
- Hotel Review: Le Meridien Etoile Paris
- 6 Tips for Using Points and Miles to visit London and Paris
- Layover Lowdown: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
What’s your favorite points hotel in Paris? Share with us in the comments, below.
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