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Guest Post: Use This Free App to Save More of Your Your Hard-Earned Cash

Today, we have a guest post from 10xTravel reader, Anton Pronichenko, about a fun money-saving service he has been using to save money that he can put toward travel.

Hello 10xT readers,

Hopefully, you have already experienced or will soon experience some amazing travel thanks to miles and points. I believe the possibilities that are created out of earning lots of points can usually be categorized in two ways: saving money, and lifestyle inflation.

Let’s say you’ve been saving up for years to visit your parents and extended family abroad, planning for $1,000 round-trip tickets to a destination for you, your spouse, and your children. Points make it possible for you to save those thousands of dollars that you would have spent on flights and reunite your family for a much cheaper price.

The other alternative is lifestyle inflation. Arguably the next step of your development as a points expert; you may have never dreamed of flying first-class and would never have spent the money on the sky-high first-class ticket prices. Now, all your points make it possible for you to push your lifestyle to new heights and make the impossible possible: first class flights.

Though both are equally amazing and inspiring, in this post we will focus on a new way for you to save some hard-earned cash that you can put towards your travel.

Introducing Trim.

What is Trim?

Trim (no 10xT affiliation) is a free financial assistant in the form of a Facebook Messenger or text message chatbot that saves you money while you do pretty much nothing. It includes some pretty cool basic financial tracking features and it’s quickly become my favorite recent money-saving scheme for the following reasons:

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5 Things To Remember When Using Credit Cards During The Holidays

By: John Tunningley

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support.

For many, the holiday season is a time that includes a lot of spending. Well, if you’re going to be making lots of purchases anyway, you might as well get the most out of each one! This could mean signing up for a new card to earn a sign-up bonus or using a card that provides some protection for your purchases.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to open a new credit card this holiday season.

Price Protection

In addition to receiving bonus points from meeting minimum spend requirements, some credit cards also offer price protection benefits which can be incredibly useful in this season of sales.

Major cards from Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, and even USAA offer price protection of some sort. With claim maximums up to $500 and yearly maximums up to $2,500, these cards can easily cover their annual fees with a single claim.

It’s important to check the benefits and exact terms of a specific credit card but many of the cards on our list of best cards for December include price protection including the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Ink Business Preferred Card, and Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.

Some of our members even had the opportunity to buy some pre-Black Friday deals that were advertised at a lower price on Black Friday and successfully submitted claims for the difference in price.

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The Guide to Redeeming AAdvantage Miles

By: Travis Cormier

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support.

I love seeing the success stories of our 10xTravel readers. Every story provides some fun insights into the earning and redemption strategies our readers have used to take some amazing vacations. What often isn’t mentioned is what goes on behind the scenes.

Behind the scenes is where the real work happens. To connect your miles and points to travel, you have to know the rules and restrictions on award travel. You have to know how many points an award ticket is going to cost and you have to know how to find the award space you need.

This guide doesn’t have pictures that will inspire you to travel more. It isn’t about awesome planes or luxurious hotels and resorts. This guide is instead full of the essential information that you’ll need to use your American Airlines AAdvantage miles to book award flights.

This guide will give you the necessary information so that you don’t have to just look at pictures online—you can be the one taking them.

Maybe your pictures will be part of our next reader success story!

Understanding American Airlines’ Region-Based Award Chart

American Airlines uses a zone-based award chart. A zone-based award chart groups countries into different zones. When you book a ticket from one zone to another, you pay a set number of miles.

If you’re flying from the US to Europe, it doesn’t matter if you’re departing from New York or Los Angeles, you’ll need the same number of miles. Below is a table listing every country by zone.

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How to Get to Bora Bora on Points and Miles

By: Luke Sims

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support.

You know those times when you are freezing your buns off waiting for your car to warm up so you can drive to work on a dreaded Monday morning? You tell yourself to imagine your feet dangling in perfect blue water in a warm tropical paradise somewhere.

Yeah, that somewhere is Bora Bora.

World-famous for its crystal clear turquoise water, bleached-white sand beaches, and luxurious overwater bungalows, Bora Bora is near the top of many dream vacation bucket lists – and for good reason.

While it’s nearly a perfect vacation destination, getting there, on the other hand, can be expensive and tricky. So, let me share with you how you can use points and miles to get there so that beautiful place you imagine can become a reality!

four seasons bora bora

To get there, you’ll need to fly through Tahiti (PPT), the only international airport in French Polynesia, and then catch a flight or take a boat to Bora Bora. From the U.S. you have three options to Tahiti:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Tahiti (PPT) on Air Tahiti Nui
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Tahiti (PPT) on Air France
  • Honolulu (HNL) to Tahiti (PPT) on Hawaiian Airlines

From Tahiti, your best option is to then take a quick flight on Air Tahiti to Bora Bora. Air Tahiti does not have a frequent flyer program, so you will need to pay around $350 roundtrip in cash per ticket. This would be a great opportunity to use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus or Capital One Venture Card, which allow you to use your points to erase any travel-related charge made with the card in the previous 90 days.

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How Much Does a Credit Card Denial Hurt Your Credit?

By: John Tunningley

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support.

Readers often ask, “what happens if I’m denied after submitting a credit card application?”

Everyone is worried about what effect a denial will have on their credit report. The short answer is it has very little effect, but I know the devil is in the details and you want to know exactly what happens when you’re denied.

Your Credit Score

First, let’s looking into the details of what factors influence your credit and help to determine your credit score.

The first, and biggest, credit factor is your payment history. This factor is determined by things such as late or missed payments, bankruptcy, tax liens, collections, etc. These can have a very negative impact on your credit score. Unfortunately, too many people in the US rack up credit debt with no way to pay it back.

This can not only kill your credit score but also makes the points and miles hobby almost useless as the interest you will be paying on credit cards will outweigh the benefits you’re receiving from any given credit card. It is important to make sure you are always paying off your credit card balances in full each month to get the most bang for your buck in this hobby.

The second major factor of your credit score is how much you owe which is referred to as your credit utilization. This often holds people back at first before they understand how it works. Generally, banks report how much of your credit line you have used to all three credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—when your statement closes.

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Bank of America Application and Bonus Rules

By: Jeff Brownson

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support.

For many years, Bank of America didn’t have any set rules to restrict approvals and sign-up bonuses. As long as you had a reasonable application, you would be approved more often than not.

However, in 2017, Bank of America implemented some more defined restrictions that go beyond any of the standard reasons for denials—poor credit score, too much new credit, etc.

Does this mean that you won’t be able to get approved for a new card from Bank of America?

Absolutely not!

It just means that there are a few rules that you need to know so you don’t waste your time applying when you have no chance of an approval.

Like most banks, not all of these rules are written down and easy to find. Some of them are based on countless data points.

Once people report the same kind of answers enough times, it becomes sort of an unwritten rule. They don’t specifically state it in the terms, but it’s best for you to know when applying.

Now that you have an idea of what to expect, let’s take a look at the rules that you need to know, both written and unwritten, before applying for a new credit card from Bank of America.

The 2/3/4 Rule

Taking cues from other banks, Bank of America has instituted a few limitations on the approval of personal credit card application based on the number of new credit cards you have received within certain timeframes.

You are eligible to open:

  • 2 new cards within 2 months
  • 3 new cards within 12 months
  • 4 new cards within 24 months

At first glance, this looks like a very restrictive rule, but It’s not as bad as it looks.

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Best Credit Card Offers – December 2017

By: Bryce Conway – Founding Editor of 10xTravel.com

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support.

Every month I share a post with what I believe are the top credit card offers on the market according to the 10xT staff. Today we are going to take a look at the best offers for December 2017.

There are quite a few changes this month as many cards have upped their bonuses for the upcoming holiday season.

I rank these offers by looking at their signup bonus, cardholder perks, ongoing value, and any fees they may charge. And while the best offer for you will vary depending on a number of factors, I am going to rank the top offers based on the order in which I think they should be chosen by the average person.

If you’ve ever watched the NFL Draft before, consider this list my version of “Todd’s Big Board.” It’s simply the best overall cards available without regard to a specific points/miles need.

I also divide these top credit offers into two lists, one for those of you who are over 5/24 and one for those of you who are under.

(If you don’t know what the Chase 5/24 rule is you’re going to want to give this a read)

As always, feel free to email me with questions about your own situation and I would be happy to help you select the best card for you.

Here we go!

 

If you are under 5/24, here are the best cards available right now:

1) Chase Sapphire Preferred

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months
  • 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Trip delay and primary rental car insurance
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year 

Commentary:

Once again, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes in at #1 overall because of its incredible signup bonus, reasonable annual fee (that is also waived for the first year), and the amazing value of the points it earns.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are widely considered to be among the best points in the industry thanks to their ability to be transferred to multiple airline and hotel partners. This gives you a ton of options for redeeming your points no matter where you want to travel.

You can also redeem Ultimate Rewards to book travel via the Chase travel portal at a value of 1.25 cents per point, meaning the 50,000 bonus points offered by this card are worth a minimum of $625 when redeemed to book travel.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which One Is Right For You?

By: John Tunningley

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support.

Two of the most common questions we get at 10xTravel are: “What card should I get first?” and “With the new Chase Sapphire rules which Chase Sapphire card should I get?”

The answer to both of these questions is the same. To put it simply, the card that is better for you depends on your spending habits and travel habits (and goals).

If you spend a lot on travel and dining and you travel quite a bit, the answer is probably the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. If you just want to dip your toe in the water and start earning points or already have one of the other premium cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is probably your best bet.

Comparing the Benefits and Perks

Let’s take a quick look at what each card has to offer and what the current bonuses are.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • $95 annual fee (waived the first year)
  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you spend $4,000 within 3 months of opening the card
  • Authorized User (AU) bonus: 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you add an AU within 3 months of opening the card
  • 2x points per dollar spent on travel and dining
  • 1.25 cents per point redemption rate in the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
  • Trip delay insurance when flights are delayed by at least 12 hours or overnight
  • Authorized Users are free
  • No foreign transaction fees

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Chase Bonus and Application Rules

By: Jeff Brownson

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support.

When it comes to points-earning credit cards, Chase is one of the major players. They have some of the best cards to hold and some solid bonus offers but, unfortunately, some of the toughest restrictions as well.

Chase has many rules for credit card applications. Some of these are documented in the card offer terms and conditions while others are not made public by Chase. Fortunately, these unwritten rules are well documented.

Whether written or unwritten, all of these rules apply when you are looking to get a new credit card from Chase and the sign-up bonus that comes along with it.

Most people are well aware of the 5/24 rule. For those who aren’t, the Chase 5/24 rule stipulates that you won’t be approved for specific Chase credit cards unless you have opened less than 5 new credit cards in the past 24 months.

If you want to read more about this rule and which cards are affected, check out our guide to the Chase 5/24 rule.

Now, let’s take a look at the other rules that might catch you off guard if you’re not careful.

30-Day Limits

In addition to looking at your last 24 months of approvals to limit your cards, Chase also wants to make sure you don’t get too many new cards from them in a short period of time.

With personal credit cards, Chase will not approve you for more than 2 new Chase cards in a 30 day period. This is a rolling 30 days, so once one of your new cards falls outside that time frame, you are good to go for your next application – you aren’t guaranteed to be approved, but this restriction won’t stop you.

For business cards, Chase is a bit more strict. They will allow you to get just one new Chase business card within a 30-day time frame.

You’ll notice that we specified that Chase is looking at how many of their cards you have opened in this 30-day window. Unlike the Chase 5/24 rule, which takes into account cards you have opened from all banks, this rule is focused on Chase cards, specifically.

Overall, Chase has gotten pretty strict with their business card approvals, so even if this rule wasn’t in effect, you probably wouldn’t have much luck getting many more than this.

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Baggage delay claim process with Citi Prestige

 

By: Julie Szpira

Disclosure: This post may contain references to products from our advertisers. We may receive compensation from products we link to. We appreciate your support.

In September, I spent two weeks exploring Europe. I booked a flight on Aegean Airlines from Amsterdam (AMS) to Rhodes, Greece (RHO), with a connection in Athens (ATH).

The connection time was about 55 minutes, but since Aegean Airlines offered that connection time as acceptable, I wasn’t worried about missing my flight. Well, the flight from Amsterdam was delayed. I started to get a little antsy and thought, “What if I don’t make my flight to Rhodes?!”

Luckily, the pilot made up some time in the air, and I was able to quickly transit through the Athens airport to arrive at the gate for the next leg of my trip just as boarding started.

I landed in Rhodes and waited at baggage claim, watching bag after bag arrive and be happily reunited with their owners, until no bags remained. No sight of my bag. “This is not good,” I thought.

I approached an airport employee with my baggage claim ticket, and she replied “Oh, yes. I am so sorry, Miss Szpira, but your luggage did not get transferred correctly. We will put it on the first flight in the morning and have it delivered to your hotel.”

It turns out my bag was not as good at navigating the Athens airport as I was, and it didn’t make it onto the flight.

Fortunately, I booked my flight with the Citi Prestige Card, which provides baggage delay insurance.

Baggage Delay Insurance

There are many credit cards that offer trip delay insurance and those benefits are often used by flyers when weather or mechanical issues delay flights.

Due to enhanced technology being implemented by airports across the world for baggage handling and tracking, baggage delay insurance is a less commonly used benefit.

Airlines will reimburse a traveler if checked baggage is completely lost, however, a delayed bag usually comes with a “sorry” and maybe a toiletry kit. Airlines also have different definitions of what is considered a reasonable baggage delay.

For the major US carriers, Delta is the most generous. They provide $50 per day for up to five days if your baggage is delayed. United does not offer anything for a baggage delay, however if the bag is still missing after three days, they will consider the bag lost, and compensate you $1500. American rings in dead last, with compensation only being provided after the bag has been missing for five days.

If you and your checked luggage don’t make it to your destination at the same time, that can leave you without a change of clothes, shoes, or essential toiletries. While the airlines will work to locate your luggage, any replacement items you purchase in the interim would be out-of-pocket expenses.

Unless, of course, you booked your trip with a credit card that provides baggage delay insurance.

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