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Bryce Conway

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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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Blog

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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Blog

Hotel Review: Hotel del Coronado – San Diego

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.

Hi Travel Junkies,

I just got back from a quick weekend trip to sunny San Diego, California that featured a 2-night stay at the historic Hotel del Coronado. Though I — and seemingly every other tourist in San Diego — have been to the Hotel del Coronado before, I’d never actually stayed there. I simply walked along the beach and took the obligatory touristy photo with the domed roof.

You haven’t visited San Diego until you have taken this picture.

This time, I decided to stay there thanks to the hotel’s recent addition to the Curio collection by Hilton. I was sitting on a nice stash of Hilton points thanks to a few paid stays and a large sign-up bonus from the Hilton Surpass Card from American Express I opened just a few months ago.

Hotel del Coronado is located right on the beach on Coronado Island, which is maybe a 10-minute Uber ride from downtown and some of the other more popular areas in San Diego. Not ideal if you are in town to experience the nightlife but I personally enjoyed the serenity of being away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Success Stories

Reader Success Story: European Honeymoon

By: Chris Centeno

After my trip to Thailand and an upcoming proposal and wedding, I was already planning to use miles and points to plan our honeymoon.

Knowing that money was going to be spent regardless, all I really had to do was plan ahead.

We both opened a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard which was offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 American AAdvantage miles at the time. I also opened a Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard which offered 50,000 points as a sign-up bonus and a Capital One Venture card also offered 50,000 points. We then spread the ring and wedding expenses across the four cards and immediately paid down the balance.

And just like that, we had knocked out the minimum spends and had earned the sign-up bonuses!

From there, we were off to the races. We knew we wanted to visit Paris, Barcelona, Santorini, and London. We also knew that Santorini was not the easiest place to visit with miles and points. But, it was our honeymoon and we wanted to make it work so we needed to cover the other three cities with points.

When earning the points for our Thailand trip, we actually overshot the amount of points we needed which left us with enough Chase Ultimate Rewards points for one business class flight on United Airlines for 57,500 United miles. Between travel for work and other spend on my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, we earned another 57,500 Ultimate Rewards points that we transferred to United. With that we had two business class tickets from Chicago (ORD) to Paris (CDG).

Off to Paris! A literal cherry on top the sundae to start us off right.

For the Paris hotel stay, we both opened the Chase Hyatt Card that was offering 2 free nights at any of their properties. We used those 4 nights to book a stay at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, which was a truly amazing hotel and would have cost us $2,428 for the 4 nights.

We needed one more night in Paris and chose to do it on the first night. We booked a room at the Wilson Opera hotel with a view of the Eiffel Tower and erased that charge with my Barclaycard Arrival Plus card. We had a great balcony view of the Eiffel tower and champagne to welcome us to the room.

Next up was Barcelona. I used my Capital One points to book a flight through their portal for 120 dollars’ worth of points.

We got a little lucky (or unlucky) as I had a very unfortunate stay at the W in New York (a Starwood property) for work. Due to that stay, they deposited 80,000 SPG Starpoints into my account as a courtesy. With 60,000 Starpoints, we booked the W Barcelona for 3 nights and woke up with an amazing view every morning!

Click image to play video.

Santorini was next on the list. I again used Capital One points to book a low-cost carrier, Vueling, through their portal for only $120 more points.

We weren’t happy with our points booking options in Santorini, so this was the part of the trip we knew was going to require some cash. We stayed at Astra Suites and it is one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen.

This is why I use miles and points. We saved money everywhere else so that we were able to splurge on our honeymoon! We woke up to a hotel employee knocking on our door each morning with breakfast. How awesome is that?! And the view was amazing.

Astra Suites Santorini

I used my Barclaycard Arrival Plus to book the flight from Santorini to London, where we spent our last 2 days in Europe. The tickets were $360 I erased the purchase with the points I’d earned with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus.

We stayed two nights at Le Meridien Piccadilly, another Starwood property, in the heart of London and again used Arrival Plus points to erase one night. To take care of the other night, we use the remaining points from my Capital One card.

For the return flights, we used the American AAdvantage miles to book business class tickets. Unfortunately, flying British Airways meant a hefty carrier-imposed surcharge of about $260.

To be clear, if we had decided not to visit Santorini, this trip would’ve cost us only $271 for 10 nights in hotels and round-trip business class flights for two.

Using points allowed us to splurge on things like Michelin Star restaurants, Santorini sunset boat tours, and more wine and food than you could imagine.

From seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, checking out some of the best restaurants and cocktail bars in Paris, Barcelona, and London, and waking up to the most beautiful view we’ve ever seen in Santorini… it was the trip of a lifetime and there’s no way we could have done it without using miles and points.

Santorini Honeymoon

All in all, here’s what the trip looked like:

  • Chicago (ORD) to Paris (CDG in business class on United Airlines
  • Paris for 5 nights
  • Barcelona for 3 nights
  • Santorini for 7 Nights
  • London for 2 Nights
  • London (LHR) to Chicago (ORD) in business class on British Airways

After all was said and done, we booked a $41,829, 17-day trip through Europe for $4,448 — and most of that was for Santorini. Needless to say, we’ll never forget our honeymoon.

Blog

Best Credit Card Offers – November 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 November 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 in to 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.

Transferring them to Chase’s many transfer partners can provide the highest redemption values if you know where to look.

One of the best examples of this is round trip to Hawaii for just 25,000 Korean SKYPASS miles. Meaning that the 50,000 point signup bonus from this card could score you two round-trip flights to Hawaii.

Note that Chase has imposed new restrictions on the Chase Sapphire cards that limit your ability to get multiple versions of them. [More details on that here].

 

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Blog

Introducing our Newest Team Member, John Tunningley!

Today I am proud to introduce you to the newest 10xT Staff Member, John Tunningley!

John will be assisting us in creating content for 10xTravel as well as helping answer reader questions via email and in the 10xTravel Insider’s Facebook group.

Take it away, John.

 

Hi everyone!

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a late 20’s architect working out of Cincinnati, OH. I fell in love with travel while studying abroad and interning in international cities while in college. Like most, I thought my travel goals would have to be put on hold until I paid off my loans and was close to retirement, but that was before I learned about the wonderful world of points/miles.

Like many of you, I found 10xTravel online and was amazed at what everyone was able to do using points and miles. It still seemed like a distant reality until I began planning for a one year long trip around the world with a friend.

All of a sudden I was diving in head first trying to see how much money I could save on this trip of a lifetime.

Plans have since changed, and although that trip has not yet happened I haven’t looked back. With numerous trips to various locations around the world planned for next year I can’t wait to see where 10xTravel will take me and I look forward to helping each and every one of you with your travel goals as well!

Feel free to reach out to me any time with questions.

Keep Traveling,

John

 

You can reach John by email at John@10xtravel.com. Please join us in welcoming him to the 10xT Team!

Happy Travels,

Bryce

Blog, Success Stories

Reader Success Story: A $3,800 Caribbean Anniversary for $310

Guest Post By: Robert

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

My wife and I were married last September and spent 12 beautiful days in the Greek Islands on our honeymoon. We used 120,000 American AAdvantage miles for the flight, but I was still just a beginning to understand what miles and points could do for me.

So, we went with a travel agency and got taken to the cleaners, spending over $3,000. Luckily, we had the American miles to cover the flights!! I have since learned a ton about how to earn and redeem credit card rewards and frequent flyer miles for travel.

Due to work scheduling conflicts, we had to take our first anniversary trip a few months early this year during the Fourth of July holiday—one of the most expensive times to travel.

We originally planned to visit Thailand but, given that we had less than 2 weeks, we elected to do a Caribbean cruise to Curacao and Aruba instead to cut down on transit time. This also gave us more time to relax on the beach with drinks.

Here’s how we booked this amazing trip on points:

Flying from Dallas to Puerto Rico

With the Chase Ritz-Carlton Card’s annual $300 airline fee credit and 12,500 American miles we covered my wife’s flights from Dallas to San Juan—my flights were covered by some by some work travel. Continue Reading

Blog

We Threw a Party for 10xT Readers in Vegas and It Was Awesome (Video Inside)

Hi Travel Junkies,

After months of buildup and hype, the first ever 10xT Las Vegas Reader Meetup finally took place last weekend at the Venetian Las Vegas.

We rented a Penthouse Suite, filled it with snacks and booze, and invited 60+ readers to join us for an entire weekend of socializing and fun.

Truth be told, we weren’t sure what to expect when we first announced the event in May. I had already written a chain of emails to convince readers to attend, hoping that the event would be at capacity when the big day finally rolled around.

When tickets sold out < 3 minutes after launch I knew this was going to be special. And trust me, it was. We even have the video to prove it.

Special thanks to 10xT Reader Kennedy Carey for putting that video together. You can find Kennedy on Instagram or check out his company website here.

Also a special thanks to King of Clubs Las Vegas, who helped us score the Penthouse Suite and block of rooms for readers staying at the Venetian. If you find yourself headed to Sin City you’ll want to talk to Johnny with KOCLV and tell him Bryce sent you.

And lastly, thanks to all the 10xT Readers who attended the weekend’s events. I had a blast meeting all of you and hearing your amazing travel stories.

We also got our entire security deposit back, which is always a good thing when you are popping bottles of champagne right next to a $40,000 piano.

So what do you think? Should we do this again next year?

Happy Travels,

Bryce

Blog

Aloha, Southwest! Hawaii Service Announced for 2018

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.

After weeks of speculation and rumors, Southwest has finally announced their intention to add flights to Hawaii beginning in 2018.

Southwest Twitter Hawaii

Southwest Airlines will be flying to Hawaii beginning in 2018

This is particularly great news for anyone who is in the process of earning their coveted Southwest Companion Pass, which Southwest has confirmed will be able to be used on flights to Hawaii. The Companion Pass effectively creates a “buy one get one free” scenario for flights to Hawaii, including those booked with points.

And with the ability to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest, many points/miles enthusiasts (myself included) will now have a number of ways to earn and use points to get to the Hawaiian islands.

Bryce

Companion Pass + Routes to Hawaii = 2 trips for the price of 1!

Southwest still has not released details on routes, aircraft, etc. though I would imagine we will see those in the coming weeks. Here’s to hoping they launch direct routes from the West Coast to multiple islands as well as intra-island flights.

Southwest’s entry in to the Hawaii market should also put added pressure on other carriers to slash fares, which is a win for everyone with plans to travel to the Aloha State.

I think I might have a Mai Tai to celebrate.

 

Happy Travels,

Bryce

Blog

Use One of These 2 Credit Cards to Buy Your New iPhone (Free Insurance + Save $200)

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.

Like many of you, I am eagerly awaiting the launch of the new iPhone X at 12:01am Pacific Time on October 27. I am long overdue for a phone upgrade and am a sucker for being an early adopter of new tech products.

Also like many of you, I am a bit concerned about carrying a $999+ device in my pocket day in and day out. Particularly when I am on the go or traveling to locations that would cause even the most seasoned tourists to consider wearing one of those absurd money belts.

10xTravel Money belt

Money belts = perfect for holding anything except a conversation

Which is why I plan on carrying a backup solution in my pocket. Literally.

I’m talking about automatic cell phone protection, a free perk offered by select credit cards that can help you save a ton of money should your phone decide to stop working, break, or walk off with a new friend.

More importantly, this perk will prevent you from wearing a money belt and help put your mind at ease.

Let’s take a look at some of the best options:

 

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