After realizing yesterday that I left a lot of Chase Ultimate Rewards points on the table when I booked flights for an upcoming trip, I woke up this morning determined not to make the same mistake again. Today’s travel task was to book an entry ticket to the Paris Catacombs.
Because yes, I’m going to Paris. In four days. More on that later.
I went to the Catacombs web site, selected the time I wanted to visit, and was about to hit purchase when I noticed that this attraction is kind of expensive — $29 a person. When you consider that most people only spend an hour going through the Catacombs, and that the Louvre — where you could get lost for days — only cots $18? It seemed steep.
So I took a moment to ask myself, is there another way I could buy these? Or at least get some points for the purchase?
Then I remembered the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal! Did they have tickets and tours on there? I’d never looked.
Well, they do. But I wouldn’t recommend booking any on there, at least from what I saw today.
I looked up all the Paris entrance tickets I’d bought — all direct from the attractions — on the Chase portal. Here’s what I found:
Direct from the Louvre: $18
The Chase Louvre ticket does say “guaranteed to skip the lines,” but I’m not convinced that this is different from the one you get when you buy online direct from the Louvre.
The Eiffel Tower
Direct from the Eiffel Tower: $12 adult, $6 young person
As for the Catacombs, the Chase tickets were more for that place too, but some of the tickets on offer included a human guide, while the $29 direct ticket only includes an audioguide. So not really apples to apples. Still, I opted to buy direct.
The only reason I can think of to buy attraction tickets through the Chase portal is if you really want to use Chase points instead of cash. But this isn’t a good deal either. The Eiffel tower ticket, for example, is 1,815 points. Since you can easily get 1-2 cents of value using a Chase point for airfare, hotels, etc., paying 1,815 points is like paying $18-$36 to get into the Eiffel Tower instead of the regular $12 price.
By the way, with the exception of the Catacombs, I was actually impressed by how affordable Paris attractions are. Part of that is because the dollar is still strong againt the Euro, of course. Seeing the Louvre for under twenty bucks feels like a steal to me. And most of these things are cheaper or free for kids. The Louvre is free for everyone under 18. And the Eiffel Tower is half price for those under age 24.