All Posts By

Bryce Conway

Blog

Best Credit Card Offers – February 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.

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 February 2018.

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.

Continue Reading

Blog

Spirit Airlines Giving Away Free $200 Flight Vouchers Tomorrow in Columbus, OH

By: Bryce Conway – Founding Editor, 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 (Columbus Area) Travel Junkies,

Spirit Airlines is giving away free $200 flight vouchers tomorrow, February 1, at Buckeye Donuts to celebrate the launch of their new service to Columbus’ John Glenn International Airport.

image1Photo credit: www.spirit.com 

The promotion starts at 7 a.m. and will be at the 1998 N. High Street location of Buckeye donuts — just off the campus of The Ohio State University.

According to Spirit, 91 vouchers will be given out to patrons who purchase a “plane” donut (yes, that is a pun) to represent a baker’s dozen for each of the 7 destinations that Spirit will be flying to.

Those 7 new destinations are Las Vegas, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, Myrtle Beach, Tampa, and Fort Myers. Service begins on February 15.

Hope to see you there!

Happy Travels,

Bryce

 

Blog

Today Is My Birthday. Can I Ask a Quick Favor?

By: Bryce Conway – Founding Editor, 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,

Today I turned 29 years old.

My older friends tell me this is the last birthday I will not dread “celebrating” (clearly they do not share my aspiration for one day ordering off the senior menu).

My younger friends ask me what life was like before the invention of the smartphone.

image2 329 is a strange mixture of this…

image1 1And a little bit of this (from last weekend. I think I’m still shaking the hangover)

Anyway, I have a small favor to ask of you today. It’s a bit of a tradition here at 10xT on my birthday.

Can you tell me how 10xT has changed your life in the past year?

It can be anything. From a simple “I learned more about how credit cards work” to “I took 12 trips all over the world.”

You can share these by emailing me here or in my Insider’s Facebook Group. I read every single one.

Thanks in advance! And here’s to making the most of the last year before I turn 30.

Happy Travels,

Bryce

P.S. I am putting the finishing touches on an exciting new partnership here at 10xT. Details coming soon.

Blog

Flight Review: Lufthansa Business Class from Washington, D.C. to Rome (And Back)

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 recently had the pleasure of flying Lufthansa Business Class from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International (FCO) for a quick trip to Italy with my wife.

This was both my first time flying Lufthansa and my first time flying business class on the 747 so I was pretty excited to give both a try.

The flights between D.C. and Frankfurt on the 747-8 were the highlights of this itinerary so I will be focusing most of my attention on that today. The half-empty flights between Frankfurt and Rome had all the pizazz of a domestic economy adventure.

With that, let’s get to it!

Booking With Lufthansa Miles & More Miles

If you read my recent post about this trip to Italy, you may recall that I booked this flight solely because I had a small stash of Lufthansa Miles & More miles that were about to expire.

Truth be told I had completely forgotten that I had them until a recent reader booking triggered my memory. Apparently, my wife and I had each opened the Barclaycard Miles & More World Elite MasterCard in late 2014, earned the 50,000-point sign-up bonus (plus about 5,000 miles from spending on the card), and I completely forgot to add the card and miles to my spreadsheet. Not ideal, but I have made worse mistakes in the world of points and miles.

Our Lufthansa Miles & More miles were set to expire in January 2018 so it was use them or lose them. I could think of worse things to do than spend a week in Europe while the rest of the US was experiencing the “Bomb Cyclone”—whatever that means.

I took advantage of one of Lufthansa’s Mileage Bargains, which feature off-season routes to most major European cities for as little as 55,000 points round-trip in business class. Most cites had availability for our January travel dates but we settled on Rome for the warmer weather and variety of things to do in the off-season.

Continue Reading

Blog

The Biggest Points/Miles Mistake I’ve Ever Made – Hear from Each Member of the 10xT Staff

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,

It’s easy to view the 10xTravel staff as points/miles professionals who never make mistakes. If we are being honest, we do our best to perpetuate this belief. Nobody wants to take advice from amateurs.

But, the truth is that all of us were beginners at one point. We forgot to sign up for frequent flyer accounts, we used terrible credit cards, and we made some pretty big booking mistakes.

So, today I asked the staff to share some of their biggest points and miles mistakes to show you that we are indeed human.

Let’s start with me.

Bryce Conway – Founder of 10xTravel.com

I made my biggest mistake in 2012, my first year in this hobby. I had just heard of this amazing thing called the Southwest Companion Pass and was determined to earn one to be able to fly around the country with my then girlfriend (now wife).

My head was swimming with possibilities. Weekends in Vegas, winter trips to Florida, visiting friends in New York City, I was going to do it all and not pay a dime for any of it.

I quickly skimmed a couple of articles about how the Companion Pass worked (there were significantly less points and miles resources available in 2012) but thought I understood the basics.

Accrue 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points in a single calendar year = get a Southwest Companion Pass. Seemed simple enough.

Continue Reading

Blog

How I Did It: A Week in Italy on Points and Miles

By: Bryce Conway – Founding Editor if 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 an amazing week-long trip to Italy with my wife.

We flew business class, stayed at a fantastic hotel, ate more pasta than I thought humanly possible, and drank enough wine to make 10xT Contributor Julie Szpira proud.

image28As always, I booked this trip with points and miles.

Today, I am going to show you exactly how I booked this week-long trip, complete with booking screenshots and overviews of how I earned the points. Hopefully, this post can act as a blueprint for your own trip to the land of wine and ruins.

Here we go!

Lufthansa Business Class For 55,000 Lufthansa miles and $1,123.92 Round Trip

image7

I know, there is a lot to unpack here. Did Bryce move to D.C.? Was it really just 55,000 miles for round-trip business class to Europe? Why the hell were there $1,100+ in taxes and fees?

To understand all of that let’s talk about how this trip came to be.

It was a warm August day and I was doing my travel blogger thing, helping a reader book a flight using miles from the rarely discussed Miles & More program. This is the frequent flyer program shared by Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss Air, and a handful of other European based airlines.

We don’t talk about Miles & More a whole lot on 10xTravel because the vast majority of our readers don’t have these particular miles. Myself included, or so I thought.

After helping said reader put together their booking, I vaguely remembered having earned Lufthansa miles a couple years back. So, I ran a quick search in my email and sure enough I had opened a the Barclaycard Miles and More credit card in late 2014 and earned 55,000 miles (50,000 bonus + 5,000 from spending). Turns out my wife had done the exact same thing.

I had totally forgotten about these miles. Amateur move, I know.

After logging in to my Lufthansa account I was notified that my miles were going to expire in January 2018. And unlike most other airline programs, there really was no easy (or worthwhile way) for me to extend them.

So, it was use them or lose them and I fully intended to use them.

Continue Reading

Blog

Reader Success Story: Darren Goes to Amsterdam and Budapest on $600

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

This past fall, I set off on a Euro Trip adventure funded almost entirely by miles and points that I earned through the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Ink Plus Card. In total, my flights and hotels only cost $520.

I’m going to discuss each flight and hotel I booked, but I’m also going to share some of the alternate options I considered so I can explain how I landed on each decision.

In the end, the choices I made were the ones that fit my wants and needs. While yours might be different, I hope seeing how I booked my Euro Trip can help you consider what is important to you.

Editor’s Note: The Chase Ink Plus card is no longer available for application, but you can get the Chase Ink Cash or Chase Ink Business Preferred Card if you’re looking for a business card.

Let’s dive in!

Miami to Budapest on Air France With Flying Blue Miles

anastasia zhenina 39177

Let’s start with my flight from Miami (MIA) to Budapest (BUD). I transferred 42,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to my Air France/KLM Flying Blue account. For 42,500 miles plus $105.51, I flew economy class on Air France which included a 3-hour layover in Paris. If I had paid cash for this flight, would have cost me $758.

While there were cheaper options (in both points and taxes/fees), I wanted to experience Air France’s in-flight service. 

Continue Reading

Blog

Best Credit Card Offers – January 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.

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 January 2018.

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.

Continue Reading

Blog

Reader Success Story: A $5,000 Costa Rican Getaway for $800

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

Today’s Reader Success story is from long-time reader and 10xTravel Insiders facebook group member, Lisa.

Our journey started in Pittsburgh where we were visiting for a work event. We booked a last minute flight to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to visit some friends before starting our journey to Costa Rica.

We used 6,814 points plus $11.20 for two tickets on Southwest Airlines thanks to the Companion Pass. To get around Fort Lauderdale for a couple days we booked a rental car with 5,570 Chase Ultimate Rewards points… and $23 for returning it late.

From Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to San Jose (SJO) we booked award flights on JetBlue for 13,300 True Blue points plus $44.16 as it was cheaper than flying Southwest, even with the Companion Pass.

Once in San Jose, we again rented a car with Ultimate Rewards points. It cost 6,679 points but no late fee this time! Costa Rica has a weird rule about getting their insurance, of which there are a few options, but we only took the minimal 3rd party liability which was an extra $12 a day, so it cost $53 out of pocket. We used our Chase Sapphire Reserve Card so the collision coverage would have covered us if we had gotten into any issues.

Our first stop was Baldi Hot Springs, which is a beautiful 5-star hot spring resort. Unfortunately, made the rookie mistake of not booking early enough, so the 3 nights we wanted were very expensive. However, we checked the night by night price and figured out that it was only the last night we wanted that tripled in price, so we booked two nights at Baldi for 42,181 Ultimate Rewards points.

We booked our third night at a 5-star backpackers resort, just to save points. We used 7,000 points from our Barclaycard Arrival Plus to erase the $70 purchase.

image2Lake Arenal

Continue Reading

Blog

A Long Weekend In Montreal Booked With Miles And Points

Guest Post By: Rachael Olson

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

Montreal Weekend with Points and Miles

Today, 10xTravel reader Rachael Olson is going to guide you through booking a fun Canadian getaway.

Ah, Montreal: A city that feels decidedly European, with amazing culture and food, minus the long transatlantic flight. I know we’re approaching winter, but Montreal isn’t as cold as you think – and a big part of the city is entirely underground!

Plus, the U.S. dollar is very strong right now relative to the Canadian dollar (CAD $1 = ~$0.8 USD), which means you’ll be able to enjoy fabulous food and culture at a huge discount compared to most major American cities.

That’s why I’m going to talk about how you can spend a three-day weekend in Montreal for (almost) free without even using up a big stash of your points. With just a few points, you’ll feel like you’re in Paris listening to French, visiting top-notch museums, and enjoying some of the most incredible restaurants in the world – including the not-to-be missed Au Pied de Cochon.

 

What Points Do You Need For A Weekend Getaway To Montreal?

To start, we’re going to use British Airways Avios for the flight. Don’t worry if you don’t have any in your account because you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or SPG Starpoints to British Airways at a 1:1 ratio. Continue Reading