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Why You Should Stop Using Your Southwest Credit Cards For Daily Spend

By Travis Cormier

Hey Travel Junkies,

Many of you have opened one or two of the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards offered to secure the Southwest Companion Pass for 2018 and 2019.

The Companion Pass is one of the best values in travel because it gives you a buy one get one free Southwest ticket for up to nearly two years! Once you get the sign-up bonus, though, does it makes sense to keep putting spend on these cards?

The simple answer is “no”.

There’s plenty of reasons why putting your daily spend on these cards is not the best idea but let’s take a look at some of the most compelling reasons why you should move onto greener, more lucrative pastures.

Missing Out On Other Sign-Up Bonuses

The biggest reason you need to stop spending on your Southwest credit cards is because you’re missing out on other bonuses. With the Southwest credit cards you only receive 1X point per dollar spent on your typical daily spending.

If you’re using using your spending to hit minimum spends and earn other sign-up bonuses, you could be getting much more than 1X point per dollar. Bonuses on cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are typically 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you reach the required minimum spend. By using your spend to earn sign-up bonuses, you’re going to be reaping the rewards much faster.

Limited Bonus Categories For Daily Spend

Many credit cards offer bonus categories for daily spend. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card earns 3X points per dollar spent at restaurants and travel while the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2X points per dollar in the same categories. The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards only offer 2X points per dollar on Southwest flights and a few hotel and rental car partners.

It simply doesn’t makes sense to purchase even Southwest tickets using your Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards. You can earn a flexible currency like Chase Ultimate Rewards points at the same rate when using a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. This gives you the option to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account or to another partner such as Hyatt or United Airlines that might be more useful to you for a particular trip.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Lack Flexibility

Southwest Rapid Rewards points lack the flexibility that other award programs have. Southwest Airlines isn’t part of a global airline alliance and it doesn’t have any airline partners. If Southwest doesn’t travel to your destination, you are out of luck.

Additionally, Southwest has a revenue-based award program which means that more expensive cash ticket will require more Rapid Rewards points. If you use a program such as United MileagePlus, which has a region-based award chart, the total miles required to book an award ticket will not be attached to the cash cost of the ticket. Instead, it will be determined by your origin and destination—this includes any positioning flights that might be required.

While you can use Rapid Rewards for a few other uses, such as rental cars, the redemption rate is only 1 cent per point. Rapid Rewards have a fixed value of approximately 1.5 cents per point when redeemed for flights, so using them for rental cars minimizes their potential value.

If you instead use a card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for your daily spend, you get a tremendous amount of flexibility. Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to every major airline alliance plus a few hotels (though, Hyatt is generally the only one worth it). With this flexibility you can travel to every corner of the globe.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards vs Other Airline Credit Cards

If you’re going to be putting spend on an airline credit card you should compare the benefits of airline credit cards to see if you are getting any extra value from your daily spend. Let’s compare various benefits you receive from airline credit cards.

Elite Status Progress Priority Boarding
United Yes Yes
American Yes Yes
Delta Yes Yes
Southwest No No

Rapid Rewards Credit Cards Offer Fewer Benefits Than Other Airline Credit Cards

Through daily spend on other airline credit cards you can earn progress towards elite status. Elite status helps you earn free upgrades, more miles on paid flights, and other perks from the airlines. Beyond the Companion Pass, Southwest doesn’t have anything similar to status that can be earned from daily spend on credit cards.

Priority boarding is a big deal on Southwest since it allows you better seat choices. This is another benefit offered among the other major airline credit cards that isn’t offered by any of the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards, and it is definitely a much bigger deal on Southwest.

Other major airline credit cards also offer access on select versions of their co-branded credit cards. Since Southwest doesn’t have any lounges, it can’t offer this highly valuable benefit. In fairness, lounge access is only available on airline credit cards with higher annual fees.

What Credit Card Should You Be Using for Daily Spend?

Now that we’ve discussed why you shouldn’t use your Southwest credit card for daily spending, you are probably asking yourself what credit card you should be using.

I have not so subtly hinted to this answer a few times so far, so it should be no surprise that those who fly with Southwest Airlines should consider using the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card instead. When comparing it with the Chase Southwest credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has most that is missing and more, while having the same low $95 annual fee.

By opening the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card your spend will be contributing to a new sign-up bonus. Beyond the bonus, though, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card works better as a daily spend card because it earns two points per dollar on dining.

Plus there are some additional benefits that come with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card that you don’t get with your Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card such as trip delay insurance and trip interruption insurance.

Let’s be honest, travel doesn’t always go as planned. Flights get delayed because of weather and mechanical issues. If you have trip delay insurance you can be covered for expenses you have that arise from the delay. This includes food, lodging, and other reasonable expenses.

Trip interruption insurance covers you when things go wrong that stop your trip from continuing, or even starting. Illness, bad weather, jury duty, and yes even if the plane you were waiting on was hijacked, you are covered.

These two benefits are often sold when booking travel for over $100 for more expensive trips. When you book with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, these are included at no additional charge. If you are still using a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card, you won’t have these protections.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you’ll also have return protection. If you attempt to return an item and the store won’t accept the return, you may be eligible for up to $500 reimbursement per item.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards can help you get one of the best deals in travel—the Southwest Companion Pass. However, once you have earned the Companion Pass, you should move on to another credit card or two.

Rather than earn 1X Rapid Rewards point per dollar, you could be earning more Ultimate Rewards points that can still be transferred to your Rapid Rewards account if you need a Southwest flight. On top of that, there are more sign-up bonuses to earn and more benefits—think, airport lounge access—to be had from other credit cards.

With these other options out there, the Southwest Credit Cards just don’t make sense as your go-to credit card. There is very little flexibility in how you use your points, there are no bonus categories for daily spend, and there are fewer consumer protections compared to credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

A Chase Southwest credit card might be your first love and for good reason, but it isn’t the best card for you long-term. If you’re looking to take the next step on your miles and points journey, take a look at our monthly top cards list to see what card might be right for you.

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Why Aren’t You Getting Away This Weekend? Tell Us for a Chance to Win 2 Free Flights Courtesy of Spirit Airlines!

By: Bryce Conway – Founding Editor of 10xTravel.com

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated by Spirit Airlines for producing it. The opinions here are completely my own and are based on my own experience.

Hi Travel Junkies,

Today I am thrilled to announce that 10xTravel has partnered with Spirit Airlines to help spread the word about their new service out of my hometown airport, Columbus’ John Glenn International, beginning on February 15, 2018.

image4

Spirit Airlines is launching service out of Columbus beginning February 15, 2018

Truth be told I’ve never actually flown on Spirit Airlines (for reasons just mentioned). So I was pretty stoked to hear that they will now be flying daily non-stop flights from Columbus to Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando as well as seasonal routes to Ft. Myers, Tampa, Myrtle Beach, and New Orleans.

For anyone else in the “I’ve never flown Spirit Airlines before” camp, Spirit is the ultra-low-cost carrier that offers a-la-carte pricing to keep their fares as low as possible. Allowing you to receive More Go in your vacation.  Which is something we can all get excited about.

I was even more excited when Spirit approached me and offered to partner with 10xT, giving us the freedom to promote their announcement in our very own way.

image3 1

Spirit Airlines Delivers More Go for Less Money

So I did what I normally do in situations like this. I wrote down a list of things that I love doing and looked for any overlap with Spirit Airlines.

Things that I love doing:

  • Getting away for the weekend (usually to Vegas)
  • Flying for free
  • Helping 10xT Readers to do all of the above

Things that partnering with Spirit Airlines would allow me to do:

  • Get away for the weekend  ✓
  • Fly for free   ✓
  • Helping 10xT Readers to do all of the above  ✓

And this is what I came up with….

Introducing the “Why Are You Staying Home This Weekend Instead of Getting Away? Giveaway”, brought to you by Spirit Airlines and 10xTravel.com.

image1 1

image2

Wow, that’s a lot of words. And the question mark feels a bit awkward in there.

Oh and are we supposed to do #WAYSHTWIoGA on social media? That takes up like half of my 240 characters on Twitter.

Oh well. As my good friend Bill O’Reilly once said, “…We’ll do it live!”

Let’s talk about the loot. There will be one winner who will receive….

Here’s what the winner will receive:

  • Two free flights on Spirit Airlines, up to a $500 value per ticket (so you can bring a friend)*
  • Two free checked bags on said flight
  • Seat assignment privileges on said flight

*Note that the free Spirit flight must depart from Columbus, no exceptions. Non Columbus residents are permitted to enter if they like, but again your flight must depart from Columbus, OH.

(Hit me up if you are flying to Columbus for the trip, maybe we can grab a drink)

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Click here to go to the contest form
  2. Tell us why you are staying home this weekend instead of getting away
  3. Fill out the other required information
  4. That’s it!

Winners will be chosen at random on February 26, 2018 and announced on Friday, March 2nd.

Sprit Airlines also gave 10xT a few free flights to give their airline a try.  I’ll be using them in the near future to take a trip to Vegas with some friends and will definitely tell all of you about my experience flying Spirit.

That’s all for today. Good luck to all those who enter!

Happy Travels,

Bryce

P.S. Another thank you to Spirit Airlines for sponsoring this giveaway!

P.P.S. You can read the full contest rules here.

Blog

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Why It Should Be Your First Rewards Card

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.

For those who are new to the points and miles game, “Where do I start?” is probably the common question we hear. Once you’ve read our free e-book for beginners, you may still be left wondering how everything works.

As you might expect, there’s a bit of a learning curve to understanding the process of applying for credit cards, meeting minimum spends, earning sign-up bonuses and redeeming points for some fun travel experiences. Like anything else, this all becomes much easier as you learn more.

Unfortunately, “you’ll learn more as you go” doesn’t answer your question about where to start. So, to help you start off on the right foot, I’ll tell you the best place to start.

Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Valuable Sign-Up Bonus, Waived Annual Fee

Each month, the 10xTravel staff discusses the current best credit card offers, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has had a stronghold at our top spot for a number of months.

The current offer terms are:

  • 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
  • 2X points per $1 spent on dining and travel, 1X point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Primary rental car insurance
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for 1.25 cents per point, or transferred 1:1 to travel partners such as United Airlines or Hyatt.

The current sign-up bonus offer is 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after meeting the minimum spend. Additionally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also provides 5,000 bonus points for adding an authorized user, bringing your total bonus points to 55,000 points just for hitting the minimum spend and adding an authorized user. To top it off, the annual fee is waived for your first year with the card.

Using the 1.25 cent per point valuation through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, this bonus is the equivalent of $687.50 to spend on travel. If you’re strategic in your use of the points, you can get even more value out of those 55,000 points by transferring the points to one of the airline or hotel transfer partners.

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Drop Offer: Rebate on Plastiq Payments (Plus An Advanced Method To Maximize The Offer)

By: Spencer Howard – Editor in Chief

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

Drop Image

Last summer, a new cash back app called Drop hit the market with much fanfare. While there were some bumps in the road as they entered the U.S. market—they’re a Canadian company—they seem to have found their footing.

At 10xTravel, we’re always on the lookout for new and better ways to maximize our spending to earn tons of points and miles so we can travel. One of our favorite ways to do so has been to use Plastiq to pay billers that otherwise don’t take credit cards. Well, Drop has launched a new partnership with Plastiq that can make this an even better deal for you!

Plastiq Drop Offer

Pro Tip: You can read our complete guide to Plastiq to learn everything you need to know about paying rent, utilities, car payments, student loans and more with a credit card so you can hit minimum spend requirements and earn sign-up bonuses.

While Drop originally focused on ongoing offers, but they have since regularly rolled out limited-time offer. However, this partnership with Plastiq does not have an end date. So, get as much out of it as you can!

Details Of Drop’s Plastiq Offer

Here’s what you need to know about the Plastiq offer. It’s quite simple, really. For everyone $100 you spend through Plastiq, you will earn 200 Drop points. These points are worth 1 cent per point and can be redeemed for a variety of gift cards such as Amazon, American Airlines, Best Buy, Starbucks, and more.

The terms and conditions are pretty basic:

Points are earned on each dollar billed through Plastiq, you must use a card that is linked to Drop, your rebate points are awarded within 5 days after the transaction is processed, etc.

Plastiq Drop Offer Terms

If you are new to Drop, keep reading. We’ll cover the basics of what you need to know to use Drop below.

How The Plastiq Offer Works

So, you’ve linked the offer and are ready to go. Let’s start by considering some important variables.

Plastiq charges a 2.5% processing fee to pay bills with a credit card. This means that using Plastiq to earn points and miles is generally best for hitting minimum spends to earn big sign-up bonuses. Occasionally, it is worth using to continue earning points, but those cases are rare.

With this Drop offer, though, you can trim a little off the processing fee.

Let’s say you have to make a $2,500 rent payment and your landlord or apartment complex doesn’t accept credit cards. If you’ve linked the Plastiq offer to your Drop account, you will earn 5,000 Drop points as every $100 spent provides 200 Drop points.

Pro-Tip: If you’re using Plastiq for rent, you might also consider using RoomiPay which has a 2% processing fee and the first 75 new users each month can pay rent fee-free.

For every 1,000 Drop points, you earn $1 toward a gift card redemption. With the 5,000 Drop points earned in the example, you could redeem them for a $5 Starbucks gift card. For many people, Starbucks is a daily part of life so this is nearly as good as cash.

This deal effectively lowers Plastiq’s fee from 2.5% to 2.3% which isn’t that much. However, for those using Plastiq to hit minimum spends, why would you want to leave anything on the table when it’s so easy?

Maximize The Plastiq Offer

We wouldn’t recommend using your Chase Sapphire Preferred on this deal if you’ve already earned the sign-up bonus, but it can save you a few bucks if you need hit the $4,000 minimum spend requirement to earn the sign-up bonus.

Other cards have an even higher minimum spend requirement. Take the Business Platinum Card from American Express, for example. It often has a very steep minimum spend requirement (up to $20,000).

Many small businesses have plenty to spend but, sometimes, vendors don’t take credit cards. This offer can help shave off a bit of the fee so you can earn a big sign-up bonus—which can help you book some amazing travel.

New To Drop? Here’s What You Need To Know

Drop Offers

Drop works a little differently than many of the airline shopping portals probably know well. Rather than going through Drop each time to earn your rebate, you just attach a credit card to your account and you will automatically receive credit when you take advantage of a Drop offer.

Here are the easy steps to sign-up:

  1. Search “Drop Loyalty” in the app store on your Andriod or iPhone
  2. Download the Drop app
  3. Enter an invite code when you sign up and you’ll receive 1,000 Drop points (my code is spencerformiles)
  4. Link a credit card (or cards)
  5. Choose your ongoing offers—at this time, they can’t be changed once selected
  6. Add limited-time offers as they pop up

If you’d like a more in-depth look, check out our piece explaining the ins and outs of Drop.

Editors Note: Since we published our guide to Drop, they have since limited the points you can earn with ongoing offers per week to 5,000 points and reduced the earn rates of ongoing offers.

Bottom Line

Is the new Plastiq partnership with Drop a game-changer? No. However, many of us have big expenses that don’t typically accept credit cards for payment. Plastiq provides a great way to easily earn sign-up bonuses with these payments.

This new Drop offer is an easy way to reduce the cost of Plastiq’s processing fee and I’m all about easy wins. I will happily take any reduction in fees I can get. Maybe, it’s me but I doubt it.

Hopefully, you can take advantage of this offer to reduce the cost of earning a great sign-up bonus or two… or three.

 

See you in the sky,

Spencer

 

Bonus: Advanced Method to Maximize The Plastiq Offer

If you aren’t working on a minimum spend but still want to take advantage of this Drop offer to pay some bills with Plastiq, here’s a scenario you might consider.

If you have both the Blue Business Plus Card and the Business Platinum Card from American Express, you might find some easy value out of this Drop offer even when not trying to earn a sign-up bonus.

With the Blue Business Plus Card, you earn 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on all purchases up to $50,000 in spend per calendar year. With the Business Platinum Card, you will receive a 35% rebate if you use points to book flights via Amex Travel in first or business class or economy on your selected carrier.

This rebate makes your Membership Rewards points worth roughly 1.54 cents per point. Now, pair this with the 2X you are earning with the Blue Business Plus and you are effectively getting 3.08X per dollar spent if you’re booking flights through Amex Travel.

If you use your Blue Business Plus to make a $1,000 payment on Plastiq and have linked your card to the Drop offer, you will pay $25 in fees, earn 2,000 Drop points (worth $2), and 2,000 Membership Rewards. These 2,000 Membership Rewards can easily be turned into 3,080 points via Amex Travel.

With the Drop rebate of $2, you are effectively paying $23 for 3,080 points. If you break it down, that’s 2,300 cents for 3,080 points which means you are paying just under $0.75 per point. Not a bad way to go if you ask me.

This doesn’t even take into account the impact of transferring Membership Rewards to an airline partner which could yield a value of 4 or 5 cents per point when booking business or first class award flights.

The fact remains, the best way to maximize Plastiq and the Drop offer is to earn a sign-up bonus, but this is a great backup plan if you a do a little planning ahead of time.

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Why You Should Get Two Southwest Credit Cards

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.

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most valuable credit card perks out there.

With two credit card sign-ups and a little extra spending, you can accrue the 110,000 Rapid Rewards points required to earn the Companion Pass, which allows you to designate a companion to fly with you for free (except for taxes and fees) for the duration of your Companion Pass validity.

Due to the value provided by the Companion Pass, the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards (Plus, Premier and Business versions) are often ranked high in our “Top Cards” list. If you qualify for the Southwest cards based on the Chase 5/24 rule, these cards and the Companion Pass should be on your radar.

However, when we have readers asking advice on what card to get next, we have many that completely nix the idea of getting Southwest cards.

There are a few reasons why some people think the getting the Companion Pass now wouldn’t be good for them:

  • They are planning an international trip and Southwest doesn’t fly to their destination
  • They don’t travel that often
  • They usually travel alone
  • They don’t like that they can’t choose a seat in advance
  • They want to wait until the end of the year so they can get the Companion Pass for 24 months

With that said, Southwest Rapid Rewards points and the associated Companion Pass are most valuable for those traveling with their designated companion to a final destination that Southwest Airlines serves.

However, your Southwest Rapid Rewards points can be used in other ways to reduce the cost of travel.

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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.

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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