Monthly Archives

February 2017

Blog

Highest Ever Offer on Starwood Credit Card is Back!

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Hi Travel Junkies,

Just a heads up, American Express just upped the offer on their Starwood Preferred Guest Credit card to 35,000 bonus points! This is the highest offer I have ever seen on the card, which usually offers only 25,000 bonus points.

NOTE: This bonus is no longer active as of April 5th, 2017.

Here are the details of the offer for the personal version of the card:

  • Earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 in the first three months with the card
  • Earn 10,000 Starpoints after spending an additional $2,000
  • $95 annual fee is waived for the first year
  • 5 nights and 2 stay credits toward elite status
  • Earn SPG Gold status when you spend $30,000 in a calendar year
  • Offer expires April 5, 2017

The business version is slightly different:

  • Earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 in the first three months with the card
  • Earn 10,000 Starpoints after spending an additional $3,000
  • $95 annual fee is waived for the first year
  • 5 nights and 2 stay credits toward elite status
  • Earn SPG Gold status when you spend $30,000 in a calendar year
  • Sheraton Club Lounge Access
  • Offer expires April 5, 2017

Starwood points are one of my favorite loyalty currencies because of their flexibility. You can use Starpoints to book free or discounted nights at many Starwood properties or transfer them to more than 30 different airline partners at a rate of 20,000 Starpoints > 25,000 frequent flyer miles.

Just this past year I used Starpoints to score some amazing hotels on long weekend trips to Central Europe and the Iberian Peninsula.

And don’t forget that Starpoints now transfer to Marriott at a rate of 3:1. Meaning the 35,000 Starpoints could potentially become 105,000 Marriott points. Opening up a TON of additional redemption options for you.
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Blog

Our Trip To Paris 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.

Bonjour Travel Junkies,

I studied French in high school, but I never imagined I would be strolling down the Champs-Élysées, with a full Movember mustache, in the City of Love – all for next to nothing!

Maximizing our PTO before Thanksgiving, my wife and I took a much-needed escape to Paris.

I wish I could say those two years of French came in handy, but really we were just a couple of Yankees lost in a beautiful city – and we loved every minute of it.

I want to share with you how we minimized our travel costs. Because with a little hard work and some help from the 10xTravel team, Paris is a whole lot closer than you think!

 

Flight: NYC to Paris

  • Points Used: 75,000 Delta SkyMiles
  • Cost Out of Pocket: $11.20
  • Cost Without Points: $5,323.80

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Blog

How To Maximize Your Travel Credit

By: Spencer Howard

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

As we approach the end of the year, we have been receiving tons of questions about how to maximize the annual travel credit attached to several credit cards.

American Express, Chase, and Citi all have products that provide a lucrative travel credit that can be used every year you hold the card. As avid travelers, these credits are a great way to reduce the effective annual fee for these cards.

Let’s discuss how each card’s travel credit works.

10xTravel Maximize Travel Credit

 

American Express Platinum and Premier Rewards Gold Airline Fee Credits

Several American Express cards provide airline fee credits. Most of these cards are variations of the American Express Platinum card, which include a $200 credit. Additionally, those who hold the Premier Rewards Gold card have a $100 credit.

One very important point about the Amex airline fee credit: You must select a qualifying airline prior to making your purchase if you want it to be reimbursed. You can choose one airline each calendar year. Once you have made your selection, you can only get airline fees reimbursed when purchases are made with that airline.

You’re probably wondering what counts as an “airline fee” so let’s get into that. American Express will reimburse you for several types of incidental fees, including:

  • Checked baggage
  • Seat assignments
  • Phone reservations
  • Itinerary changes
  • In-flight entertainment (this does NOT include in-flight wifi, as the airline is not the provider)
  • Airport lounge day passes and annual memberships
  • In-flight food and beverages
  • Pet fees

Note that this list does not include airfare or taxes and fees for award tickets. This does make the airline fee credit with American Express a bit more restrictive than some other travel credits, but they are still easily used by anyone who enjoys travel.

Finally, you receive this fee credit annually. Every January 1, it refreshes and can be used for the current year. If you are hoping to be reimbursed late in December, keep in mind that the purchase must post to your account prior to the end of year. If it does not post by December 31, the new year’s fee credit will be applied. For this reason, we don’t recommend waiting until the very last minute.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit

When the Chase Sapphire Reserve was launched, it not only came with a hefty sign-up bonus and great earning structure, but the best travel credit on the market. Continue Reading

Blog, Success Stories

Reader Success Story – A $2,412 Trip to Bali for Only $255

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

We’re back with another amazing readers success story. Today Shannon is going to tell us how she used miles and points to take a dream vacation in Bali, Indonesia. If you’ve been wondering how you can use make credit cards work for you, this is a must-read.

If you have your own dream vacation story that you’d like to share, send Bryce a quick email and you could see your story on the blog next time!

With that we’ll turn it over to Shannon!

 

Hey 10xTravel Friends!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably looked at your points balances and thought, “ugh, there’s no way I’m going to have enough for a round-trip!” Fortunately, that doesn’t have to derail your dream vacation.

I knew I didn’t have enough miles in any of my accounts to for a round-trip flight from Minneapolis to Bali, Indonesia, so I decided I would book one-way flights on two different airline programs. I did a little research and decided to use United miles for my flight to Bali and Delta SkyMiles for my return flight.

I booked my flight to Bali on United with thanks to the sign-up bonus I received from the Chase United card. At the time, the bonus was 50,000. A one-way flight from Minneapolis to Bali only cost 40,000 miles and $52 (taxes and fees), so my 50,000 United miles were more than enough to take care of this flight.

I used my CapitalOne Venture card to pay for the fees and was able to erase all $52 of these taxes and fees. A free flight to Bali? Yes, please!

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Blog

How to Take Your Credit Card Application from Pending or Denied to Approved

By: Spencer Howard

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 find a great credit card. You fill out the application with hopes of a new adventure. You know exactly what you’re going to do with those points.

You hit the submit button on your application and… Pending?!?! Denied?!?!

This is not what you planned. This was not supposed to happen.

Now, take a breath. It’s not over yet.

We are not at the end of this particular dance yet. It is only the beginning. Now is the time to prepare for a reconsideration call.

Let’s get into the details of how to handle this (annoying) situation.

 

When to call

Your best bet to turn an instant denial into approval is to call a bank’s reconsideration line. Since you’ve already been denied, there’s no need to hesitate on this one. Go ahead and call.

But what if you get a pending notification? This situation isn’t cut and dry. You will find some who prefer to call immediately and many others who prefer to wait.

Personally, I don’t see the need to call until you are denied. I prefer to let my application work its way through the system and wait for an approval or denial. It’s easy enough to check the status of applications online or via automated phone systems while you wait. Continue Reading