Monthly Archives

June 2016

Blog, Success Stories

Reader Success Story: 5 Star Hawaiian Honeymoon Using Points & Miles

Hi Travel Junkies,

Summer is finally here and with it comes more stores of 10xT readers taking amazing trips for next to nothing.

Today I bring you the story of Paul and Taryn, newlyweds who just got back from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Hawaii. Almost entirely booked with points and miles.

Take it away, Paul,

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Hawaii Success Story Paul - 1

I had got into the points/miles world one night while I was working in the ambulance. I stumbled across Bryce’s article on his big trip to Thailand randomly and was immediately intrigued.

I’m one that believes if it’s too good to be true then it probably is. But I decided to read anyways since I was bored. The more and more I read, the more and more I thought that it was actually plausible. And being a big traveler who has spent some real money on airplane tickets, I decided to email Bryce and read up on anything I could find.

Bryce talked me through a lot of the ins and outs of how points/miles work and helped me get started. I enjoyed reading his frequent emails and was immediately obsessed with this new hobby.

My wife and I at the time decided to do our honeymoon in Hawaii in April. I had some work to do. I had both myself and my wife Taryn apply for the Hawaiian credit card that was offering 50,000 bonus miles at the time. Easy. Those miles got us both a non-stop round trip to Oahu and back to Portland including two inter-island flights as well.

We flew into Maui and took a shuttle to Kaanapali, where we stayed for 5 nights at the Westin Maui Resort. We booked our room using Starpoints earned from the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card by American Express, which made our stay at this beautiful hotel almost entirely for free.

(Bryce note: You can find more information on these credit cards here)

While at the Westin we took all the spending at our hotel and charged it to our room, which had our Capital One Venture cards on file. This mean that things like poolside drinks and restaurant bills to become “travel” expenses, which allowed us to use our Capital One points to erase the charges.

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Plastiq: How to Pay Any Bill with a Credit Card

Luke Sims – 10xTravel Contributor

About twice a year I get into an argument with my mom about why she is not using a credit card for her purchases. “You do realize you could be earning miles to fly to Cancun next winter, right?”

(Being sassy with your mom is never a good idea…)

Traveling the world using points and miles can be chiseled down to two very basic ideas:

  1. Earn as many points and miles as possible
  2. Accomplish goal #1 with as little spending as possible

The absolute best way to earn points and miles is by taking advantage of points earning credit cards (so listen up, momma).

Introducing, Plastiq.

Plastiq is an online bill payment service that lets you pay just about any bill with a credit card, and that’s a big deal to those of us in the points/miles world.

If you’re going to pay a bill you might as well get rewarded for it, right?

Plastiq

 

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How Credit Card Trip Insurance Saved Me $200+ (And Why American Airlines is Awful)

“Flight 4568 has been cancelled due to weather”.

It’s one of the most frustrating sentences a weary traveler can hear, and last Sunday I had the misfortune of hearing it for the second time in as many months.

I was laying over in Philadelphia, on my way home from a quick weekend trip to Ireland when I received the dreaded news. We had been sitting on the runway for more than 45 minutes before the decision was made to cancel our flight due to incoming thunderstorms.

American Airlines didn’t even attempt to delay the flight and wait out the storm. It was flat-out cancelled, despite reports that the bad weather would be short-lived.

They later claimed it was due to the fact that we were flying on a small plane.

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And then proceeded to send two more flights on that same route, flying on the exact same plane. Continue Reading

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Card Intervention: Southwest Airlines Premier Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Luke Sims – 10xTravel Contributor

Intervention

Here at 10xT we have noticed a trend that’s hurting our readers and its time we say something about it. So we have decided that its time for an intervention.

You might want to sit down for this next part.

Many of you have fallen deeply in love with Southwest’s co-branded credit cards and your love affair is keeping you from your full travel potential.

Yes, we know that you think the Southwest card has been treating you well. After all, those easy redemptions, no blackout dates, and free changes/cancellations are great.

But, we think think that you should dump your Southwest credit card for someone better, the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Here’s why.

Southwest Cards, Good But Not Great

Let me start off by saying that I am not bashing any of the Southwest credit cards. In the grand scheme of things, you could do a lot worse credit card wise.

I personally have had both the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card in the last year alone (mainly to earn the coveted SW Companion Pass).  

Thanks to my shiny new Companion Pass, my wife will fly for free with me whenever I fly Southwest for the next 16+ months. We actually just used this perk to spend last weekend in Cancun.

Luke10xTravel

But, where the Southwest credit cards really fall short is their benefits after you earn the signup bonuses. They each only offer 1 Southwest point per $1 spent (2 points per $1 on Southwest purchases) and don’t have any ancillary perks such as priority boarding, airline status, free checked bags, etc. Continue Reading

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How I Did It: A Long Weekend in Ireland for (Almost) Next to Nothing

Hi Travel Junkies,

Greetings from Ireland!

I’m continuing my quest to show all of you that Western Europe is entirely doable in a long weekend. My wife and I will be visiting for just 3 days this time, returning home on Sunday afternoon.

This will be my third trip across the Atlantic in 2016 using points and miles. You can find my previous overviews here (Spain) and here (Prague/Vienna).

Truth be told, I really don’t have a reason to visit Ireland this weekend. It’s just somewhere I’ve always wanted to see and I had a few days to kill.

Having a couple million frequent flyer miles on hand also makes the decision a little bit easier.

Anyway, here is how I did it for (almost) next to nothing.

 

Columbus to Dublin – 30,000 United Miles and $215.60

10xTravel-Ireland1

One of the main reasons I chose Ireland over other destinations on my list is the fact that there were still flights available for just 30,000 United miles one week before departure. Continue Reading