2024 Paris Olympics: How I used factors and miles to economize

2023 is coming to an in depth, which suggests the 2024 Summer season Olympics in Paris are quick approaching. The opening ceremony is scheduled for July 26, with the Video games ending Aug. 11; the Paralympics will run from Aug. 28 by way of Sept. 8.

These on high of their sport have most likely already booked their flights and lodging, probably again in July and August, when award availability calendars opened.

Individuals like me, nonetheless, have been a bit late to the sport. I wasn’t planning on attending the Olympics till late November, however I used to be fortunate sufficient to snag tickets to a few Olympic occasions — seashore volleyball, volleyball and water polo — for 376 euros (about $404). That features an (admittedly costly) 200-euro ticket to see seashore volleyball performed beneath the Eiffel Tower at night time — iconic.


So, how would I get to and from Paris? And the place would I keep, on condition that award availability is sort of nonexistent and money costs are sky-high? Properly, I have been pleasantly shocked. This is how I’ve locked in my Paris Olympics plans and even saved cash by maximizing my factors and miles.

Associated: France: 2024 will likely be a 12 months of commemorations and competitions

Enterprise-class flight to Europe for 39,000 factors

For the previous few years, I’ve attended Chicago Pleasure in late June after which Madrid Pleasure the weekend after. (I taught English in Madrid for a 12 months and 5 summers, so I wish to return for an annual go to.)

In July 2023, when the award schedule opened up, I took benefit of a 30% American Categorical Membership Rewards switch bonus to Iberia Plus to e-book a one-way Iberia business-class flight from Chicago to Madrid. I transferred 39,000 Amex factors to Iberia to e-book this award for 50,000 Avios plus $129 in taxes.

It isn’t a cutting-edge product, however it’s nonetheless a lie-flat seat. BENJI STAWSKI/THE POINTS GUY

You may get nonstop Iberia business-class flights from the U.S. to Madrid for as little as 34,000 factors, which might have required solely 27,000 Amex factors with the switch bonus. Nevertheless, I am flying on a peak date, so the common worth was 50,000 Avios as a substitute of 34,000.

After spending two weeks in Madrid, I am planning a 10-day highway journey by way of the Baltic international locations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Then, I am contemplating attending the Tomorrowland digital dance music competition in Belgium earlier than heading to Munich to see Taylor Swift, the place I received ground tickets for 239 euros every — less expensive than within the U.S.

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Air France-KLM Enterprise-class flight for 50,000 factors

After Munich, I will keep in Stuttgart, Germany, for 3 nights. From there, I used to be capable of snag an extremely priceless redemption with Air France-KLM Flying Blue.

First, I used to be shocked to seek out Air France business-class award availability from Paris to Los Angeles for 50,000 Flying Blue miles plus $383 in taxes for the precise date I needed (the center weekend of the Olympics). Although I’m primarily based in Austin, I can simply add an inexpensive home economy-class flight to get again dwelling from Los Angeles.


Since Flying Blue gives complimentary stopovers for journey on Air France-KLM and accomplice airways, I looked for and located award availability from Stuttgart to France and phoned Flying Blue to make my redemption (sadly, you’ll be able to’t do it on-line).

I used to be on the telephone for 11 minutes with a really useful agent — I advised them the flights I needed, they usually confirmed the supply. Then, I requested them to carry whereas I transferred 50,000 Capital One miles to my Flying Blue account, which arrived instantaneously. I ended up paying an additional $87 in taxes and charges for the flight from Stuttgart to Paris, which was wonderful as that was what an economy-class money ticket would have price.

Although paying $470 in taxes for this redemption was a bit onerous for me to digest, the truth that I received two flights for the value of 1 and can fly greater than 11 hours in a lie-flat business-class seat to Los Angeles in the course of the Olympics makes it price it.

3 nights of lodging for 60,000 factors plus $800

The final piece of the puzzle? A resort or trip rental. This was the half I had the least hope for.

In looking for award availability throughout the 4 main resort factors applications (Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt), I discovered hardly any choices throughout the metropolis limits of Paris. And when paying money, most properties have been bought out or blocked by third-party reserving companies.

Nevertheless, one property — the Vacation Inn Categorical at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) — had rooms obtainable for 59,000 factors per night time. This resort is a free eight-minute tram journey from the primary practice station in Terminal 2, which will get you to most sights and venues within the metropolis’s heart in about an hour.


I lined my one-night stick with factors earned from a welcome bonus on the IHG One Rewards Premier Enterprise Credit score Card and used money to e-book two extra nights for 372 euros per night time, totaling 744 euros. Fortunately, I will be splitting this price with a buddy I am going with.

It is price noting that each the award night time and the 2 nights booked with money have strict cancellation insurance policies, with free cancellation solely permitted inside 24 hours of reserving, so there isn’t any turning again now.

Associated: Paris Olympics: This is the whole lot you should know to plan the right journey

Backside line

This six-week summer time journey to Europe is shaping as much as be a unbelievable one. In whole, I’ve used 148,000 factors plus $999 in taxes and money bookings for my business-class flights to and from Europe and three nights of lodging in Paris throughout the Olympics. If I have been to have paid money for my journey plans, these flights and the resort would’ve price me $9,749. In fact, I will spend way more on lodging and inner flights for the remainder of my journey, however I am glad I’ve considerably diminished my prices with these redemptions.

The 4 principal takeaways from my case examine are:

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