Mentioning about Paris almost always conjure images of a city charged full of romance and emotions. It is in Paris that Woody Allen’s 2011 film Midnight in Paris reminds us of a city that persistently echoes with the ghost of love stories as its protagonists struggle not only with their mutual attraction but also their nostalgia for a seemingly better period long gone.
Now, imagine, instead of spending hundreds of dollars taking your date out for dinner at a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day and then end up back at home watching romantic movies based in Paris on your couch, what if you could spend that same amount of money and end up actually living Marion Cortillard and Owen Wilson’s life in the famed City of Light?
Well, with 4 more days to go to the big day, I’m here to tell you that you still can! In fact, I’ve booked myself a ticket along with my girlfriend for the long President’s Day weekend (Monday, 2/15 is a U.S. bank holiday) and we’ll be walking down the streets of Montmarte where Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Gertrude Stein once strayed on to find their literary inspirations.
Here’s how we did it. A couple months back, I got introduced to this site called ThePointsGuy.com where essentially a couple writers, led by their founder Brian Kelly, preach about the multiple means and ways to travel the world almost free (check them out here, they’re really great!). One of the best ways that they suggested was a combination of bonus sign on points and miles from credit card companies that are trying to entice you with their latest and greatest product. Without going into too much detail about the thinking process – suffice to say, I signed up for one of those – and the payout since then has been huge and I need to share this with you.
Citi had this promotion (and still does) going on that says if you signed up for the Citi American Airlines card (officially called Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard), and spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening you would earn 50,000 American Airline award miles in your account. A one-way award ticket on American Airlines right now at this moment from New York John F. Kennedy Airport to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris requires 20,000 miles (with tax).
That means, a round-trip ticket will only cost you 40,000 award miles (and $82 in tax and airport charges) – well within the 50,000 bonus miles that you collected from signing up for the new card! Furthermore, the card membership is free for the first year, and $95 after – giving you ample time to decide whether to keep on using the card or cancel it before you get charged for membership fees.
Let’s say you haven’t signed up for the card and received its bonus miles yet, if you have flown American Airlines in the last couple years (last I checked, United require 30,000 award miles each way for this trip), there’s always a chance you might have collected enough miles to at least pay for one-leg of the trip. If you do, at the end of the page are some screenshots of how I redeemed it on American Airline’s website.
I’m pretty excited about my upcoming trip and so is my girlfriend, and we decided to start a blog to chronicle some of our upcoming trips that we will be paying with our points and miles collected from day to day credit card expenses and sign on bonus awards! We hope this was helpful, and if anyone has any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to comment in the feedback boxes below.