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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi ThankYou Premier CardCiti Prestige Card

Following an epic layover in London, a quick ride on the Eurostar train from London to Paris and an okay-but-snug flight on Vietnam Airlines’ A350, I finally reached Hanoi, the first stop on my first trip to Vietnam. I managed to sleep for most of the 11-hour and 20-minute flight, so I was able to start exploring the city as soon as I got there. Watch the latest episode of TPGtv below to see my first impressions of this incredible city, the legendary hotel I stayed in and how Hanoi’s hottest DJ took us on a tour of the local nightlife scene.

Since this was my first trip to Vietnam, my friends recommended that I go to the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, the same hotel Jane Fonda had stayed in during her infamous trip to Northern Vietnam back in 1972. Rates start at about $312 per night in June for a room in the historic wing of the hotel, where I stayed.

Sofitel is part of the Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program, along with Novotel, Mercure, Ibis and Pullman Hotels and Resorts, among several other AccorHotels brands. As a Le Club AccorHotels member, I had access to Club Metropole, a lounge area that served breakfast, lunch and dinner, so it was easy to grab food on the go if I needed to.

My bathroom at the Hotel Metropole Hanoi.
My bathroom at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi.

The Le Club AccorHotels loyalty program lets you earn about a 5% return on spending at a value of 2.17 points per dollar — you can also redeem 2,000 points to get 40 euros (~$50) off the price of a future stay.

While this isn’t a bad deal, I did find a better one by booking my stay through Hotels.com, which offers about a 10% return on spending. I paid $566 per night for my three-night stay and used my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card so I’d get 2x points for booking travel, earning a total of 3,396 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for the purchase. Note that other cards like the Citi ThankYou Premier Card and Citi Prestige give you 3x points on hotel bookings, so those are good options to book with as well.

Meeting DJ Hùng at the Hotel Metropole Hanoi.
Meeting DJ Hùng Anh (pictured, left) and his friend, our guides to the city’s best nightlife.

After a day of sightseeing, it was time to check out the local nightlife. Our guides hooked us up with DJ Hùng Anh, one of Hanoi’s top DJs, and we headed out for the night. Our first stop was the Hangover Bar, which was pretty cool. When I asked what other places we’d visit that night, my new friends started chanting “Temple! Temple! Temple!” and I knew we had to go there next. As we kept going, our group got bigger and bigger — and the people we met all seemed friendly. We ended our big night out at Ultra, pictured below.

Exploring the nightlife in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The nightlife scene in Hanoi is amazing; here’s a DJ spinning at the club Ultra.

Stay tuned to for our next episode of TPGtv, where I discover a Vietnamese dish so delicious I learn how to cook it myself.

Can’t wait to see what I’m working on next? Follow along with all my travel adventures on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Snapchat for a behind-the-scenes look at what’s coming up on TPGtv, and don’t forget to subscribe to The Points Guy on YouTube — you’ll be notified as soon as each new episode appears.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Points Guy Assessment:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.