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What I’ve Been Up To: John Tunningley

By: John Tunningley – Staff Writer, 10xTravel.com

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Every couple of weeks we have a 10xT Team Member share a few words on “what they’ve been up to” (points & miles wise) to help our readers get the inside scoop on how we do what we do. Today, Staff Writer John Tunningley has the honors of sharing his recent activity. Take it away John!

What John Has Been Up To –

It’s been a while since we had a 10xTravel team member share his/her latest adventures in earning and burning points and miles. While some of our team has taking a break from applying for new cards—yes, even we take breaks from time to time, I just recently finished applying for a few new cards.

In addition to this, I’ve booked a few minor domestic trips and have been looking at some future trips while watching with a bit of jealousy as our Editor in Chief Spencer Howard spends all his time flying first class around the world.

Now, on the the important stuff.

What Points John Has Been Earning

While some of you may not know this, it wasn’t until the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card launched that I truly dove into the hobby. Before that, I would go months or even a year between card applications.

I’d sign up for a credit card, earn the bonus, spend the points or miles on a trip then wait until my next planned trip to apply for another card. This worked for a few years but in 2016, I decided to step up my game.

I stuck with increased sign-up bonuses on Chase cards combined with business cards for the first year and a half which managed to keep me under the Chase 5/24 rule until now.

I finally pulled the trigger on the Chase Southwest Premier Card and the Chase Southwest Plus Card to help me earn the Southwest Companion Pass for the next two years. I was instantly approved for both—each had a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Rapid Rewards points at the time. After meeting the minimum spending requirements for each, I will only need 6,000 Rapid Rewards points to earn the companion pass.

I already took care of 1,750 of these points by buying flowers through the Southwest shopping portal using one of their Valentine’s Day promotions. As an added bonus I scored even more points by using Chase Pay with my Chase Freedom as spending via virtual wallet is one of the card’s 5x category bonus categories this quarter..

Now that I was finally over 5/24, I decided to take apply for the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard with a bonus of 60,000 American miles and the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard with a bonus of 60,000 American miles.

I then applied for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. While this app went pending, I received an email notification of approval about a week later. This card came with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points which is worth $400 in travel. I will use this travel credit on an upcoming trip to Disney for the Dark Side Half Marathon where it is traditionally very difficult to get tickets using points.

I also applied for the Capital One Venture card and the Bank of America Alaska Airlines card. I will be calling both banks to see if they will reconsider my applications. Capital One is not known for being receptive to reconsideration calls, but I’ll still give it a shot.

How I’m Burning Some Points and Miles

I will be traveling to Iceland in May but with some low cost options available, I chose to purchase a cash ticket on Icelandair. I also booked an award stay at the Hyatt Place Orlando Airport for 5,000 Hyatt points before it was bumped up from a Category 1 property to a Category 2 which requires 8,000 points per night.

Other than that, I am using Hyatt hotels across the country and my soon to be earned Southwest Companion Pass for various wedding weekends this summer and fall. I’m starting to working on a big trip this fall but and a trip to the Final Four—if one of my teams makes it that far!

Final Thoughts

So in summary, here is what I have been up to:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card: Approved

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card: Approved

Barclays Aviator AAdvantage Card: Approved

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Card: Approved

Capital One Venture Card: Pending 

Barclays Arrival Plus Card: Approved

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Card: Approved

I was able to maximize my points earning and get to where I am by developing a sound strategy from the beginning. Now I have a ton of points ready to be used for a huge redemption this fall. To top it off, I’ll have the Southwest Companion Pass through 2019.

Keep Traveling,

John

Want to learn more about how you can take your travel to the next level like John? Of course you do. Get started today by joining the 12,000+ other readers in the 10xT Insider’s Facebook Group.

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