Monthly Archives

August 2017

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Citi Prestige Credit Card Benefits

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.

Hey Travel Junkies,

The Citi Prestige Card is Citi’s flagship premium credit card. The unique benefits you get from the Citi Prestige really set this card apart from other premium cards on the market. If you don’t have the Citi Prestige already, you might want to consider it. Let’s talk about why.

Citi Prestige Credit Card - 10xTravel.com

4th-Night Free on Hotel Stays

You‘ve probably heard us talk about using points for free nights at hotels, but sometimes paying for hotel nights instead of using points can make sense. Additionally, if you want to stay at a boutique hotel that isn’t part of a large loyalty program, you’ll need to find a way to pay for it. Finally, if you travel for work, this can be a great way to save money on hotels.

With the Citi Prestige Card’s 4th-Night Free, whenever you book at least 4 consecutive nights at a hotel, you will receive a free night on the 4th night. Continue Reading

Blog

Breaking: New Major Restrictions Being Applied to Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve

Hi Travel Junkies,

Big news in the points/miles world today courtesy of Doctor of Credit. This broke just minutes ago.

Before sharing it let me just say that this is not “official” just yet, but it certainly looks to be legitimate. I have not personally confirmed this with any of my own sources.

But here is what is rumored to be happening to the Chase Sapphire family of cards (Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Chase Sapphire):

As of August 27, Chase will no longer approve you for one of these cards if you have already had another one of them. Specifically, you cannot receive more than one bonus from any of these cards in a 24 month period.

Or said in plain English, you can no longer get multiple Sapphire card bonuses.

Here is the text from today’s memo:

Beginning August 27 our same-product eligibility requirements have been updated for all Sapphire Credit Card products, which include Chase Sapphire, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Here’s a look at what’s new: Continue Reading

Blog

United Routing Rules: The Excursionist Perk (Part 2)

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 The Excursionist Perk Part 1, you learned the basics of United’s routing rules.

The Excursionist Perk allows for a free one-way segment when booking multi-city awards, provided certain conditions are met. The conditions can be summarized as follows.

  • The Excursionist Perk is triggered when three or more segments are booked as part of a single award ticket.  
  • Travel must start and end in the same region. The Excursionist Perk (or free one-way segment) must be within a single region, but that region has to be different than the first region.
  • Only one free segment is allowed, no matter how many segments the multi-city award comprises.

In Part 1, simple examples of the Excursionist Perk were discussed.

The Excursionist Perk was designed to allow you to explore a second city in your destination region as part of a round-trip ticket.  

What United figured people would use the trip for was be a flight similar to the one illustrated below. The trip comprises three separate segments: Chicago (ORD) to Prague (PRG), Prague to Athens (ATH) and Athens to Chicago.  

The Excursionist Perk - 1

If booked in economy, as separate one-way tickets, the price would be as follows:

ORD-PRG: 30,000 miles

PRG-ATH: 15,000 miles

ATH-ORD: 30,000 miles

The itinerary would cost a total of 75,000 miles plus $142.66 in fees and taxes.

However, when booking as a multi-city trip, the Excursionist Perk is triggered for the PRG-ATH segment.

The Excursionist Perk - 2 Continue Reading

Blog, Success Stories

Reader Success Story: A Dream $5500+ Italian Vacation for Two for $224

Guest Post By: Alex B.

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

Editor’s Note: The sign-up bonuses mentioned in this Reader Success Story might not be current. Please see current offers for details.

Background

Since I was 10, I’ve dreamed of going to Italy. I loved reading about Roman history – the legions, Caesar, Roman gods and goddesses. The history of the country entranced me, and it has always held the #1 spot on my travel bucket list.

I never thought I’d have the money to go anytime soon – until I discovered 10x Travel.

I was raised to think that credit cards were bad, and only irresponsible people used them. My parents struggled with credit card debt in their 20’s, and didn’t want their children to go through the same thing.

10xTravel’s material showed me that, used responsibly and intelligently, credit cards can make your travel dreams a reality.

10xTravel - Reader Success Story Alex B

The Strategy

I told my girlfriend (now my fiance!) about my plan in April 2016, right when I discovered 10xTravel. She didn’t exactly understand right away, but loved the thought of an Italian vacation. She was on board and played a key role in planning the trip.

Here are the cards I used to take our dream Italian vacation:

I opened the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points + 5,000 points for authorized user.

I was approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred in June. My fiance paid her entire year of health insurance on the card, and we put all of our spending on the card. We hit the minimum spend within a month, which led to our next card. Continue Reading

Blog

Buying Miles: Is It Worth It?

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.

Hey Travel Junkies,

Airlines and hotels frequently offer massive sales to purchase points. I’ve certainly been tempted by some of these sales. But, before you jump to make a purchase you need decide if it’s worth it. In this article, I’ll share with you when it’s really worth it to buy miles.

10xTravel Buying Miles - Worth It?

Why Buying Miles Is Almost Always A Bad Idea

Assuming you are able to open credit cards, buying miles is rarely a good idea. Thanks to credit card sign-up bonuses and bonus categories, there are plenty of ways to earn the necessary miles for flights.

When you think about it, why spend beyond what is necessary just for some miles? If you’re spending money, you should be getting something for it. Considering the fact that nearly all of your purchases can be made with a credit card, you’re better off not buying miles in almost all cases.

 

Only Buy Miles for Immediate Use

If you decide that buying miles is worth it because it saves you time and energy, only buy them for immediate use. Sales can make it tempting to buy for future use but, remember, miles are not an investment that become more valuable.

Buying miles to use later is a risky proposition. Devaluations aren’t a regular thing but they can happen without notice – Delta actually does this somewhat regularly. If you buy miles to use later, the value of the miles may drop leaving you in need of even more miles.

This happened last year, when Alaska Airlines had a 40% off sale on miles. The day after the sale ended, Alaska Airlines devalued its redemption rates with Emirates, one of their partner airlines, which nearly doubling the cost for some flights!

For this reason, you should only buy points when you are ready to redeem them right away.

 

Topping Off Your Balance

Speaking of redeeming immediately, topping off your balance for an immediate redemption is where you can get the best value from buying points.

Award availability, specifically business and first class, can be sparse at times. If you know you need a flight on a day that award space is available but are short the required miles, it might make sense to buy some.

In this case, you aren’t spending a ton of money on miles and you’re using them immediately.

 

Pick the Right Credit Card to Buy Miles

If you do find yourself needing to buy miles, make sure you know who is selling the miles. Some airlines allow you to buy directly from the while others let points.com run handle the process.

If the airline handles it, the purchase will code as travel so you should use a card that will earn bonus points such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2 points per dollar), Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (3 points per dollar), Citi Prestige Card (3 points per dollar), The Platinum Card from American Express (5 points per dollar), The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (3 points per dollar), and more!

These airlines sell their miles directly to you:

  • American Airlines
  • Avianca
  • British Airways
  • Delta Air Lines

If points.com runs the sale, the Blue Business Plus from American Express (2 points per dollar) or the Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5 points per dollar) are great choices.

These airlines sell their miles through points.com:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines

 

Alternatives

If you need miles there are better alternatives to buying them. One of my favorite ways of topping off my account is using shopping portals. If you’re going to spend money on miles, why not get something in addition to miles!

Nearly every major airline program has a shopping portal, and many of the bank programs such as Chase Ultimate Rewards have them too. If you need to top off your account, you might even be able to ‘buy’ miles for cheaper through a shopping portal.

The only drawback is shopping portals don’t post immediately. So, if you have a specific flight that you want to book immediately, your only guaranteed way is through buying miles. If you can wait a few weeks for the points to post, portals are a great alternative!

Let’s be clear though, you should just spend money for the sake of it. Buy things you know you’re going to need if you must take this route.

 

Conclusion

Buying miles is rarely worth it. With credit card sign-up bonuses and plenty of other ways to earn miles, buying them is often a very pricey way to go.

If you don’t have time to earn the required miles, buying miles might be worth it though. In these rare situations, it’s much better to top off an account with a small purchase rather than spending a ton of money on a large purchase of miles.

If you don’t need the miles to book an award flight immediately, consider the many other options you have to earn the miles. It might not happen as quickly, but you’ll save a lot of money.

Safe Travels,

Travis

Blog

We Are Hiring a New Writer for 10xT – Here’s How to Apply

Hi Travel Junkies,

Good news, we are hiring again!

10xT is looking for one new team member to assist with content development for the blog and other media outlet as well as general customer support. Ideally this person can start right away.

Skills Required:

  • Intermediate to advanced knowledge of earning and redeeming points/miles for both award flights and hotel stays (12+ months of experience desired)
  • Understanding of previous 10xT published material and our general business practices
  • Advanced writing skills, particularly for online consumption
  • Ability to work independently and meet deadlines, no exceptions
  • Advanced research skills to find information about credit card offers, loyalty programs, and other related subjects

This is a paid part time opportunity with negotiable compensation. Hours are flexible and this is a remote position, you can work anytime from anywhere as long as your work is getting done.

You’ll also have an opportunity to learn from the best as you work with the entire 10xT team in growing the website.

Interested? Send an email to bryce@10xtravel.com with the subject “I Want to Work for 10xT” and tell me why we should select you. Continue Reading

Blog

Join Me in Vegas for Cocktails & Brunch (Open to ALL 10xT Readers)!

Hi Travel Junkies,

We are closing in on the first ever 10xT Reader Meetup in Las Vegas!  In fact, there are only 50 more days until the big weekend. But who’s counting?

*Crosses off big number “50” on white board above my desk*

If the Vegas meetup is half as much fun as the one I just threw in Columbus you will all be in for one hell of a weekend.

10xT Columbus Meeting

The first ever 10xT Reader Meetup featured ~40 readers from all over the country + a points loving dog

Today I wanted to share a couple of events with you that are open to ALL 10xT Readers (even if you weren’t fortunate enough to score tickets to the Saturday night Penthouse Meetup).

 

1) 10xT Happy Hour at the Dorsey – Friday, October 6th from 8pm – 11pm

The first is a reader happy hour at the Dorsey on Friday night, October 6th, from 8pm – 11pm. This is just a casual meet and greet for anyone who would like to join. 10xT will be covering a limited amount of drinks for any readers who attend.

The Dorsey is located on the casino floor of the Venetian Las Vegas. We will be congregating in the back “library” area and talking about points/miles over drinks before hitting the tables to do some short term, high-risk investing.

For more information and to register for this event click here and follow the prompts.

 

2) 10xT Vegas Brunch at the Grand Lux Café – Saturday, October 7th from 10am – 12pm.

The second event is a brunch on Saturday morning at the Grand Lux Café in the Venetian. This event is also open to ALL 10xT Readers who register in advance. We will meet at 10am sharp outside of the café and all walk in together.

(Please note that 10xT will not be paying for brunch)

Also note that there are 2 Grand Lux Café’s in Las Vegas. We will be going to the one in the Venetian, not the Palazzo.

For more information and to register for this event click here and follow the prompts.

Again, both of these events are open to ALL 10xT Readers. Not just those of you who were fortunate enough to score tickets to the Saturday night Penthouse Meetup. But please register in advance so that we can plan accordingly.

For those of you who do have tickets for the Saturday night event, keep an eye on your email. I will be sending out more details + your tickets to get in to the event in the coming days.

See you in Vegas!

 

Happy Travels,

Bryce

 

P.S. I have received a number of emails from people asking if they can still attend the Saturday night Meetup if they just show up at the door. On behalf of everyone at 10xT, please don’t do this. We have very strict guest limits and the event will be at capacity.

It is very likely that we will be doing more Meetups like this in the future if our friends at the Venetian allow us to. Filling the suite beyond capacity + having people try to sneak past security is a quick way to lose this privilege.

Thanks for your understanding.

Blog

Best Trip Delay Protection Credit Cards

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.

Hey Travel Junkies,

At 10xTravel, we like to be optimistic–often writing about awesome trips you can take from the miles and points you earn thanks to credit cards. However, travel doesn’t always go as planned. Delays happen and, at one point or another, they happen to all of us.

Thankfully, many credit cards offer trip delay protection.

If you purchase your flight with the right credit card, you can help yourself out of this travel nightmare. You may find yourself eating a nice dinner out and sleeping in a comfortable bed instead of eating chips from the vending machine and sleeping on the airport floor.

Bored in Airport

What is Trip Delay Protection?

Trip delay protection is a perk offered on many credit cards. If you find you get stuck with a severely delayed (or canceled) flight, trip delay protection will reimburse you for reasonable expenses incurred due to the delay.

To qualify, you must have to paid for the ticket-sometimes you only have to pay for part of the ticket-with the card. These do not stack on top of any vouchers offered by airlines, so don’t think you can double up (I know what many of you were thinking!). Continue Reading

Blog

Chase Hyatt Card: Is The 40k Bonus A Good Deal?

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.

Travelers of all types love the World of Hyatt loyalty program. Hyatt award nights start at 5,000 points per night for Category 1 hotels while Category 7 hotels cost 30,000 points per night. Whether you’re just looking for a nice bed for the night or a luxury experience, Hyatt has you covered.

Historically, the Chase Hyatt credit card had a bonus of 2 free nights. Recently, this bonus was changed to 40,000 Hyatt points. While the bonus of 2 free nights was famous for the ability to book hotels such as the Park Hyatt Sydney and Park Hyatt Paris – Vendome, for many people the 40,000 points is going to be a better option.

Scenic Landscape with Andes Mountains in Mendoza, Argentina

New Hyatt Bonus Practically The Same

Many people, myself included, consider the 2 free nights to be worth at most 50,000 Hyatt points. Of the 667 Hyatt properties, 13 are a Category 7. Since it is unlikely you’ll use free nights at one of these few properties, the most value you will typically get is 2 nights at a category 6 hotel, worth 50,000 points total.

You probably think I’m crazy saying 40,000 points is nearly the same value as 50,000, but it is true! Calling the bonus only 40,000 points is misleading. When you add in the 2,000 points you’ll get from meeting the spending requirement, you have 42,000 points. Continue Reading

Blog

United Routing Rules: The Excursionist Perk Part 1

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.

(Note: here is The Excursionist Perk Part 2 with detailed examples)

Over the past couple months, we’ve provided articles detailing the best credit card offers, as well as application bonus rules for Citibank and American Express.  

We’ve talked about how to maximize points by navigating Chase’s 5/24 rule, using United’s MileagePlus X app and opening cards when they are offering their peak bonuses.

Now that you have put in all the hard work accruing points, it’s time for the fun part… booking trips and traveling!!

Today, we’re going to detail how to get the most of United miles and help you understand their routing rules.

In Part 2, we’ll cover advanced routes and how to maximize your miles.

 

Earning United Miles

There are a few ways to earn United miles. The quickest way way to accumulate a lot of miles is through credit card sign-up bonuses.

The United MileagePlus Explorer card provides many benefits when flying on United, such as earning 2 miles for every dollar spent on United and 1 mile for every dollar on all other purchases. The card has a sign-up bonus that can help you accrue miles to use within the United MileagePlus program.   Continue Reading