Raonic, seeded 14th thanks to his career-high ranking, kept his hopes alive for a late spot in the eight-man field at the World Tour Finals in London which starts Monday.
The 21-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., must reach the Sunday final in Paris and then hope for the right combination of results from other contenders for the last two spots in the event.
He has never been past the quarter-finals of an ATP Masters 1000 event.
Raonic took the first step at the final regular-season event, defeating Chardy in just over two hours with 26 aces and notching 57 winners in the first meeting between the two players.
Despite 28 unforced errors, Raonic broke Chardy for a 5-3 lead in the final set and then served out the victory on a first match point.
"It was a tough win, I had to fight," said Raonic. "I was not as comfortable as I could have been with my ground strokes, so I had to rely on my serve."
It was Raonic's first victory at the Bercy arena after losing in the first round last year against another Frenchman, Julien Benneteau.
Raonic now has less than 24 hours before he takes to the court against American Sam Querrey in what promises to be a battle of serves.
"I'm forward to to playing Querrey again after losing to him at Wimbledon," said Raonic.
The victory came after Raonic had lost his last two matches in Shanghai and last week in the first round at Valencia.