How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass [Updated for 2019]
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How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass [Updated for 2019]

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

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

Hi Travel Junkies,

The leaves are changing colors, football is back, and companies are putting pumpkin spice in every product imaginable.

Which can only mean one thing; Southwest Companion Pass season is here!

How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass [Updated for 2019]

The Southwest Companion Pass (often abbreviated as “CP” or “SWCP”) is a perk offered by Southwest Airlines that allows you to bring a companion on any Southwest flight you fly for just the taxes and fees.

So let’s get right to it.

Today we are going to cover all things Southwest Companion Pass. This year’s strategy is going to be a bit different than past years so read closely and pay close attention to the changes to the Southwest credit cards.

Table of Contents

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass?
How to earn 110,000 Qualifying Southwest Rapid Reward Points in a calendar year?
How to earn 110,000 Southwest miles in a calendar year?
Maximizing the Value of Your Companion Pass
How to Use the Southwest Companion Pass
Changing the Name of Your Companion
Frequently Asked Questions
Final Thoughts

Here we go.

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass (often abbreviated as “CP” or “SWCP”) is a perk offered by Southwest Airlines that allows you to bring a companion on any Southwest flight you fly for just the taxes and fees.

Think of it like a plus-one invite that you can use with any of your Southwest flight reservations. As long as you are physically on the plane, you can bring your plus-one Companion with you.

Unlike many of the other “companion passes” offered by competitor airlines (Delta, Alaska, British Airways, etc.), the Southwest Companion Pass has very few restrictions on when or how often you use it.

How to earn the southwest companion pass

Unlike many of the other “companion passes” offered by competitor airlines (Delta, Alaska, British Airways, etc.), the Southwest Companion Pass has very few restrictions on when or how often you use it

It works on both paid and award tickets, even if you weren’t the one purchasing the flight (work travel, generous family/friends, etc.).

It has no limit on how often you use it.

There are no blackout dates.

And there are no restrictions on which Southwest flights it can be used with. Continue Reading

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Reader Success Story: A First-Class Trip to the Maldives Using Points/Miles

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 is a guest post by 10xT Reader Jeff Koss. For more examples of readers using points/miles to take amazing trips to check out our 10xT Insiders Facebook Group.

I just finished my first class trip to the Maldives including a long flight in Etihad’s Apartments from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York (JFK) — only 4 of the 9 Apartments were occupied.

I selected seat 1H directly across from the Residence. Someone with a ton of cash to burn had booked it but canceled so the butler gave me a tour — you’re not allowed to take pictures so all I have are the memories.

10xTravel Reader Success Story

10xT Reader Jeff used miles to fly the Apartments en route to the Maldives

10xT Success Story

Seat 1H on the Etihad Apartments

It took me roughly 3 years to finally find a seat on dates I could travel and book this trip of a lifetime. Needless to say, I had high expectations and Etihad delivered! The Bordeaux wine and the food were ridiculously good.

10xTravel Reader Success Story

Needless to say, I had high expectations and Etihad delivered! The Bordeaux wine and the food were ridiculously good.

Etihad Apartments

The total cost of these flights would have been $22,831. I paid $117.41 and 221,500 AA miles.

Here’s how I did it!

Maldives using points and miles

All in, I spent a little over $2,200 on flights and hotels for a round-trip first-class trip across the world. Compared to the $25,000+ that it would have cost without points, I couldn’t be happier.

Earning American AAdvantage Miles

I earned 180,000 American miles thanks to welcome bonuses from 3 cards: Barclays Red Aviator, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select, and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select. After putting some spend on each of them I ended up with 190K American miles.

Searching tips: Forget trying to search an outbound flight on Etihad from the U.S. I spent WAAAAY too much time. Thanks to Spencer & Travis, I was told to search from AUH or MLE – JFK.

(Check out some of the other best ways to fly to the Maldives using points and miles here)

Continue Reading

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Review
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Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Review

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

By: Matt Brown, 10xTravel Contributor

The Ink Business Cash Credit Card is a popular card for business owners that comes with a great welcome bonus. It provides great opportunities to earn tons of Chase Ultimate Rewards points thanks to some very useful bonus categories.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about the Chase Ink Business Cash.

Ink Business Cash $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 spend in the first 3 monthsLearn More

 

Welcome Bonus

The Ink Business Cash Card currently offers a  welcome signup bonus of $500 cash back after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

The great thing about this bonus is that the $500 actually comes in the form of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or  Chase Ink Business Preferred, you can combine your points.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months(Learn more)
Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 bonus points after $4,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)
Ink Business Preferred 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after $5,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More

 

Once combined under one of these cards, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners. Your points will also be worth more in the Chase travel portal: 1.5 cents each with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and 1.25 cents with either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred.

Bonus Categories

With the Ink Business Cash, you can take advantage of some great 5X and 2X bonus categories.

  • 5X at office supply stores
  • 5X on internet, cable and phone services
  • 2X at gas stations
  • 2X at restaurants

Both the 5X and 2X bonus categories each have a cap of $25,000 per cardmember year but that should be more than enough to earn some serious points.

Continue Reading

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What to Know About Flying Southwest Airlines [2018]

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

By: Bryce Conway – Founder of 10xTravel.com

Over the past couple of decades, Southwest Airlines has managed to do what many other airlines could never dream of doing. They’ve somehow become one of the most popular airlines in America, while also being one of the most misunderstood.

Southwest Airlines is one of the most popular, yet misunderstood airlines in the US

Everyone has heard of Southwest, many have flown them before, yet most people I talk to are not even vaguely familiar with many of Southwest’s policies and procedures.

So, today we are going to take a look at 10 things that you need to know to help you make the most out of flying Southwest, including how to use them to watch one particular NFL team win the 2019 Super Bowl.

Here we go!

1. Southwest doesn’t fly everywhere

Southwest Airlines currently flies to 100+ destinations in the US, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Caribbean. They also have announced a number of new routes to Hawaii, which will go on sale sometime in late 2018.

100+ destinations might sound like a lot, but if you look at their interactive route map you will notice that they generally only fly to major cities often served by multiple other airlines.

What to know about flying Southwest airlines

Southwest flies to most major cities in the US and Caribbean, but has limited offerings to regional airports

Southwest also flies to many “secondary airports” in the cities they serve — Houston Hobby (HOU) instead of Houston International (IAH), Dallas Love (DAL) instead of Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), etc. — so make sure to double check before using them for a positioning flight.

Personally, I live in Columbus, Ohio and use Southwest for just about all of my domestic travel. I can drive 20 minutes to the airport and hop a direct or one-stop Southwest flight to just about any major city in the US.

The same could not be said for someone living in Montana, West Virginia, or any other area of the country that is not close to one of the red dots on the map above.

One other downside of Southwest is that they operate out of non-traditional hubs, with Dallas Love Field and Chicago Midway being the biggest ones. So you will likely spend your layovers without access to airport lounges and other major airport amenities.

2. Southwest Has No Partner Airlines

Somewhat related to #1, Southwest is not involved with any airline alliance and has no other partner airlines of any kind so when exploring options to fly Southwest, what you see on the map above is what you get.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority 40,000 Southwest points after $1,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More

If you want to fly elsewhere you will need to purchase a ticket on a different airline.

This also means that any status earned on other airlines will not be honored when flying Southwest. Which is somewhat of a moot point because…

3. Southwest doesn’t have a conventional “first” or “business” class

Southwest only flies one type of plane, a Boeing 737, and has no first class, business, or economy plus seats anywhere on the plane. Seats are in a 3 x 3 configuration and every one of them is virtually the same. Continue Reading

If you’re wanting to travel to the Maldives, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the best ways to get there.
Best Ways, Blog

Best Ways to Fly to the Maldives Using Points and Miles

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

By: Travis Cormier

The Maldives is considered one of the most luxurious island destinations you can visit on earth. Seclusion, luxury and the gorgeous Instagram-worthy scenes attract people from around the world to this island nation.

Getting to the Maldives is no small feat, though. From my hometown of Houston, the Maldives islands are nearly 10,000 miles away. With that in mind, you should anticipate the trip taking at least 24 hours (trust me, it is worth it).

You won’t find any non-stop routes from the U.S. to the Maldives but there are a number of options that connect in Asia and the Middle East

Let’s explore some of the best ways to use miles and points to use to fly to the Maldives.

If you’re wanting to travel to the Maldives, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the best ways to get there.

If you’re wanting to travel to the Maldives, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the best ways to get there.

  1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  2. American Airlines AAdvantage
  3. Air Canada Aeroplan
  4. All Nippon Airways Mileage Club
  5. Japan Airlines 

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

If you’re wanting to travel to the Maldives, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the best ways to get there. Alaska has different award charts for different partners, so what airline you fly on will impact the amount of points you pay.

Keep in mind, with an Alaska Airlines award ticket you can only fly on Alaska Airlines flights and the one partner airline you have chosen. You cannot mix and match partners. Because of this, you may have to use a positioning flight in addition to your award ticket.

Economy Flights on Emirates

For flyers in an economy, you’ll want to use Alaska Mileage Plan to fly on Emirates. This will cost 42,500 miles each way, or 85,000 miles round-trip per person. Taxes and fees are quite low as well, starting at $25 one-way from the U.S. to the Maldives, and $92 on the return flight.

pasted image 0 7

Emirates flies from a number of US cities. If you can’t find availability from your hometown, try searching from these cities to the Maldives (MLE).

Boston (BOS) New York (JFK)
Chicago (ORD) Newark (EWR)
Dallas (DFW) Orlando (MCO
Ft Lauderdale (FLL) San Francisco (SFO
Houston (IAH) Seattle (SEA)
Los Angeles (LAX) Washington DC (IAD)

Emirates usually has pretty good award availability for economy class, so you shouldn’t have too big of an issue finding flights.

Continue Reading

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How to Beat Delta Basic Economy

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

By: Travis Cormier

Hey Travel Junkies,

If you’re looking to save money when paying cash for a flight, you might find yourself booking a basic economy ticket. Generally, a basic economy ticket comes with a seat on the plane and little else.

If you’re considering a flight in Basic Economy on Delta, you may be wondering how to get the most out of the low fare. Amongst its competitors, Delta probably has some of the most reasonable restrictions on basic economy tickets.

Despite its policies, it’s important to know how to get the most out of the basic economy experience.

If you’ve been keeping up with our series on beating basic economy, you know by now that the best way to beat any basic economy flight is by using (or even just having) an airline co-branded credit card.

Make sure you check out how you can beat American Airlines Basic Economy and do the same with United — this one isn’t quite as simple.

Let’s start by going over the relevant benefits you get from American Express’ co-branded Delta cards. After that, we’ll take a look at Delta’s Basic Economy restrictions and how these card benefits can help you beat Delta Basic Economy.

delta basic economy

Large families may find significant value when booking Delta Basic Economy using Delta co-branded credit cards from American Express.

The Best Credit Cards to Beat Delta Basic Economy

American Express offers six Delta credit cards — three personal, three business — that can help you beat Delta Basic Economy.

  • Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
  • Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)
Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card 50,000 bonus miles after $3,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)
Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card 70,000 bonus miles after $5,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)

 

With each of these Delta co-branded credit cards, your first checked bag will be free. Even better, up to 8 family members or friends traveling on the same reservation as you can also receive a free checked bag. Large families may find significant value from this benefit when booking Delta Basic Economy.

Continue Reading

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The Dreaded Chase Shutdown: How it Happened to Me and How to Avoid It

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

By: John Tunningley

So, let me start by saying this: It’s not as bad as it seems.

For any of you who might get that awful shutdown letter from Chase, take a deep breath and remember that it’s possible to get the decision reversed.

Chase review

Easily one of the scariest piece of mail I’ve ever received

Before we get into how you can prevent this heartburn, I want to talk about how I ended up being shut down and some of the mistakes I made along the way.

The Backstory

A little over a year ago, I decided to take the leap and really dive into the points and miles world. I had been passively earning points for a while and taking maybe one trip per year on points. Until this point, I probably applied for one card per year.

All that changed when I started to pay a little more attention to the 10xTravel Insider’s Facebook group I had found a few years earlier. I signed up for, and received the 100,000-point bonus for the Chase Sapphire Reserve when the card was launched (that bonus is no longer available) and the rest is history.

I was applying for a card or two every 45-90 days and played the 5/24 game perfectly. After the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred a little over a month later — this is no longer possible.

I then decided to open my first business cards and, less than two weeks after getting the Sapphire Preferred, I applied for the Chase Ink Preferred and the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business card simultaneously, and then the Starwood Preferred Guest business card a week later.

Chase Business cards that denied me

I wasn’t shut down because I had a single suspicious activity. I was shut down because in the span of a year Chase had extended me well over 6 figures in credit– I was told this repeatedly when I called to fight my case.

Continue Reading

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Best Credit Cards: October 2018

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

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

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 credit card offers for October 2018.

I rank these offers by looking at their signup bonuses, 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.

Best credit cards september 2018

Not quite as many changes this month as we had in September, but a few key ones that you will want to be aware of.

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) 

And finally, I added a list of the cards to the beginning of the post for easier reading. You can simply click on “the list” or “the details” below to read more about each card.

As always, feel free to email me with questions (Bryce@10xTravel.com) about your own situation and I would be happy to help you select the best card for you.

Under 5/24:

The List

The Details

Over 5/24:

The List

The Details

Best Credit Cards Under 5/24

 

 

Best Credit Cards Over 5/24

The Details: Best CardsUnder 5/24

 

1) Chase Sapphire Preferred (50,000 – Learn More)

Image result for chase sapphire preferred

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases 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

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

Continue Reading

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Get The Most Out of Your Chase Sapphire Preferred With These Travel Benefits

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

By: Caroline Lupini

If you’re looking to explore the world, and maximize your credit card benefits in order to do so, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great way to get into points thanks to a number of travel benefits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 bonus points after $4,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)

For starters, the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining and 1X point on all other purchases.

It also allows you to redeem points on tons airlines via their travel portal and has airline and hotel transfer partners that can help you get even more out of your points.

Chase Sapphire Prefered

Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining and 1X point on all other purchases

The Chase Sapphire Preferred also has a few lesser known travel benefits too.

For example, you can rest assured that if your flight is delayed more than 12 hours or overnight, you will be reimbursed up to $500.

These helpful benefits, among others, are a few of the reasons it’s one of the most popular travel credit cards on the market.

With that, let’s take a closer look into how you can take full advantage of the travel benefits that come with the Chase Sapphire Preferred: Continue Reading

Best Ways, Blog

Best Ways to Get to Japan With Miles

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

By: Caroline Lupini

Going to Japan is a dream trip for many. The big cities, great food, natural beauty, and the koi ponds are enough to mesmerize even the most well-traveled of people.

But getting there isn’t cheap—especially if you want to fly up front. Economy tickets are often over $1,000, and business class starts at somewhere around $2,500 at any given time. Don’t even get us started on first class tickets.

Fear not! It’s actually very easy to get to Japan with points and miles. A ton of different airlines fly from major U.S. cities to Tokyo (and beyond), and you can use a number of different airline programs to book award flights.

Today we will look at 6 ways to get to Japan using points/miles

Here are six of the best ways to fly to Japan using points and miles.

  1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  2. Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank
  3. All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club
  4. Air Canada Aeroplan
  5. United Airlines MileagePlus
  6. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

One of my favorite ways to book flights to Japan is with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles thanks to a few partners.

Alaska Airlines has a different award chart for each airline, and you can’t mix flights on different partners for the same award redemption. However, one-way award flights are allowed and you can include a stopover.

Here’s the one way award prices for both airlines:

AirlineEconomyBusiness ClassFirst Class
Japan Airlines42,500 Alaska miles55,000 Alaska miles70,000 Alaska miles
American Airlines40,000 Alaska miles80,000 Alaska miles110,000 Alaska miles
Alaska Air Mileage Plan

You may find yourself connecting on an Alaska Airlines flight to get to your Japan Airlines departure city or connecting on Alaska or American to pick up your American Airlines long-haul flight.

Connecting flights on Alaska Airlines can be tagged onto an award ticket, but that’s it. You may find yourself connecting on an Alaska Airlines flight to get to your Japan Airlines departure city or connecting on Alaska or American to pick up your American Airlines long-haul flight.

Remember, you can only include one partner on award bookings so you can’t include a domestic connection on American Airlines if you have a flight on Japan Airlines.

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