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Lately, much has been reported about the Yellow Vest protests in Paris, and having just left the city today, I thought I’d give my two cents on my experience seeing as though I google this exact phrase. A couple of days ago, I was looking for a way to get back stateside after an extraordinary trip through Rome, Budapest, Vienna, and London. I debated flying Singapore out of Manchester, or biting the bullet and paying the fees to fly out of London on a product I’d already reviewed, but as I perused options I couldn’t help but be tempted to fly out of Paris. Air France was pricing flights to NYC and D.C. for just 55k + $330 in fees. While the fees are high, they’re substantially cheaper than out of London.
Air France is known to have one of the best business class products in the sky, maybe even the best from America to Europe, and I haven’t reviewed it personally. I pitched the idea to my girlfriend and she thought it was absolutely outstanding – finish in Paris! We even lucked out and scored the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand for 70k a night.
The day before we were set to leave, news hit that protests had turned to some rioting in the central, more touristed parts of Paris. Oh no…We’d just dealt with security issues that derailed our trip to Cairo, but this time we steadied on.
This is just our experience, but it was probably the most perfect time to be there. The crowds were very manageable, the weather ( for the most part ) was sunny and crisply in the 40s and we faced little obstruction with lines and not a single protester.
On top of that, there was a security presence, but nothing overwhelming, and not once did we ever feel our trip or safety was jeopardized.
We spent just two nights in Paris and it was nothing short of blissful. The Intercontinental Le Grand is perfectly positioned across from the Opera House, 5 mins walk from Place Vendome, and 15mins to the Louvre.
The day we landed we walked the Champs Elysee to the Arc di Triomphe and secured tickets to the Moulin Rouge with dinner. The next day we managed to walked 13 miles, eat crepes next to Notre Dame, meander the Seine to the Orsay, get lost finding a café en route to the Eiffel Tower, and visit the Peninsula Paris ( on my bucket list ). We even managed to avoid a line at Angelina, drink the most amazing hot chocolate and marvel at the masterpieces at the Louvre.
The point isn’t look at all we did, but look at what we would have missed. Yes, we saw remnants of the protests, increased security, but also just Parisian life uninterrupted.
I’m certainly not advocating throwing caution to the wind, or disregarding risk and security, but if you’re thinking of visiting Paris and have been dissuaded by the protests…I would make sure you’ve considered all your options and whether or not the protests are scheduled. Below are remnants from the protests the day before we arrived…you could still smell the burned car – so it’s not as if the situation was a thing out of sight, out of mind, but I’m happy we visited despite our initial concern.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.