How I Booked My First Award Ticket To Paris

To be completely honest I had no intentions of going to Paris this February. I knew I wanted to go to Europe this year, but I didn't have the slightest clue where or when I would go. Just like any beginner who wants to start collecting miles and points, you kick start your account with credit card sign-up bonuses.

Citi had been offering an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou Points on their Citi Premier Card.

The minimum spending requirements for this promotion was only $3,000 in the first three months. For some of you this may seem like a lot of money, but you have to understand that you are literally buying EVERYTHING with your credit card. I don't care if you go buy a pack of gum from the gas station, USE YOUR CREDIT CARD! Using your debit card or cash to purchase anything is an absolute waste.

So fast forward this story three months and I'd met my minimum spending requirement. Citi had graciously deposited 50,000 ThankYou Points into my account, but I didn't have any intentions of redeeming them right away. I continued to read my usual blogs, One Mile At A Time & The Points Guy, at work when one day I stumbled upon a promotion from Flying Blue.

Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program associated with KLM and Air France. As a part of their 10th anniversary celebration they were offing 50% off select economy award tickets. Normally an economy award ticket on Air France, from New York (JFK) to Paris (CDG), would cost 25,000 Flying Blue Miles one way. With the 10th anniversary promotion I could get the same award for 12,5000 Flying Blue Miles.

Now I'm sure you're wondering how in the heck my 50,000 ThankYou Points have anything to do with me redeeming Flying Blue Miles. This is when transfer partners come into play. The majority of major credit card reward systems have a handful of transfer partners that you can distribute your points to.

In my case, Citi's ThankYou program is partnered with Flying Blue. My ThankYou Points are eligible to transfer to Flying Blue Point at a 1:1 ration.


Now the only thing left to do was get my girlfriend Elizabeth on board. Believe it or not, it took absolutely zero convincing. I don't think the word "Paris" had fully exited my mouth before she was saying yes.

Now for a little recap. I earned 50,000 Citi ThankYou points for completing the minimum spend requirements for my Citi Premier Card. Next, I transferred all of those points to Air France's Flying Blue program at a 1:1 ratio. Finally, I took advantage of Flying Blue's award sale and redeemed 50,000 Flying Blue Miles for two round trip tickets from New York (JFK) to Paris (CDG).

That one year of high school French is finally going to pay off! Au Revoir!

Deric "Passenger" Poldberg