Monthly Archives

October 2017


The Basics of Partner Award Bookings

By: Travis Cormier

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

Hey Travel Junkies,

You’ve earned your points, picked your destination, and now you just need to figure out how to get there.

If you’ve gotten stuck on this step, you’re not alone. Understanding airline partners is a tricky part of the award booking process, but can be one of the best ways to get the most out of your miles and points.

Let’s dig into the airline alliance and partnerships, how they work, and go over some of the biggest alliances and partnerships.

Passenger Airplane

What are Airline Alliances?

Airline alliances are agreements between airlines to cooperate in transporting passengers which can make international travel much easier.

There are three major airline alliances including Oneworld, Star Alliance, and SkyTeam. Each is comprised of airlines from around the world. A couple airlines – Alaska Airlines and Etihad Airways – also have large networks of individual airline partnerships. Continue Reading


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,



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

Happy Travels,



How To Maximize Your British Airways Avios

By: Travis Cormier

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

You’re probably more familiar with the loyalty programs of the major U.S. airlines, but looking beyond the U.S. will open up even more award flight possibilities. With this in mind, the British Airways Executive Club is a loyalty program that you’ll want to learn—you’ll notice they refer to miles as Avios.

There are some fantastic redemption options within British Airways’ award charts. With that said, long-haul premium cabin award tickets often incur high carrier-imposed surcharges on top of the usual taxes and fees.

For this reason, it’s important to do a little research before booking an award flight with Avios. Fortunately, there are a ton of easy to ways to earn Avios through their credit card partners so you’ll always have a path to more!

Now, let’s check out how you can earn a bunch of Avios and redeem them for maximum value!

Earn Avios with Credit Cards

British Airways has partnered with Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) so you have plenty of options to transfer points when you need Avios. Ultimate Rewards points and Membership Rewards points generally transfer almost instantly while SPG Starpoints can take up to 7 days for a transfer to process.

As is the case whenever you transfer points to an airline partner, you need to make sure you’re ready to book as they cannot be returned to the transferable points program from which you transferred.

Chase also provides a co-branded British Airways Visa Card that earns Avios directly on all your purchases.

You can get the British Airways Visa Card from Chase after you have run into Chase’s 5/24 rule so it won’t be a first-tier priority. Continue Reading

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


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,



How Are Award Tickets Actually Priced?

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.

Every traveler is trying to maximize the value of the miles and points they have earned. Understanding how award tickets are priced is essential when trying to maximize the value of your hard earned points and miles.

Award ticket pricing is not standard across all airlines, so you need to learn the different award pricing schemes to find the best use of your miles and points.

There are three basic types of award programs: revenue-based, region-based, or distance-based. Which program is best for a particular trip will depend on a few variables including the cash cost of the ticket and particular region definitions.


Revenue-Based Award Programs

In revenue-based award programs, the award ticket cost is directly related to the cash price of the ticket. As the cash price of the ticket increases, the number of points or miles needed to book the ticket will increase as well.

The U.S. carriers that use revenue programs are Southwest and JetBlue. It is most advantageous to book flights when prices are low, as low cash prices mean the amount of points needed to book the award will be low as well.

Unfortunately, this type of award system does not allow for spectacular redemption values, as far as cents per point calculations go. Within these revenue based award programs, the maximum value is generally between 1.3 and 1.7 cents per point.

However, these systems are generally free from “blackout dates”. If there is a seat available for purchase, you would be able to use your points or miles to purchase the seat.

For example, when booking a one way flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Boston (BOS), the cash price on Southwest is between $137 and $359.

Award Tickets Continue Reading


What To Do With Chase Sapphire Reserve (One Year Later)

By: Luke Sims

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

Around this time last year, one of the most lucrative offers in travel credit card history hit the market – the Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you were one of the lucky people who got in on the original 100,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus offer than the $450 annual fee was easy to swallow, but now, one year later, that gut-punch annual fee is due again and it’s time to decide if the Chase Sapphire Reserve will retain a spot in your wallet.

As is true with all decisions to keep a credit card beyond year one, there is no right answer for all. Lucky for you, we have an extremely accessible team at 10xTravel and we are more than happy to help each of you personally figure out what the best decision is for you.

That said, I have put together a list of things to consider that will help you decide what to do with your Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you don’t reach perfect clarity about your decision by the end of this, then please reach out and we would love to help!

Koh Phi Phi Thailand

$300 Annual Travel Credit

The first place we have to start is with the $300 annual travel credit that is automatically applied toward any eligible purchase you make with your Sapphire Reserve.

That means, the first $300 you spend on your Sapphire Reserve on airfare, airline fees, hotels, Airbnb, car rentals, parking, Uber/Lyft/taxis, cruises, tolls, and more (see Chase’s website) will be given back to you in the form of statement credit.

If you spend at least $300 in those eligible purchases in one year, that travel credit is like subtracting $300 from the $450 annual fee, making your net effective annual fee $150. Continue Reading


Aloha, Southwest! Hawaii Service Announced for 2018

By: Bryce Conway – Founding Editor of

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.


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,



Using Miles to Upgrade Your Cash Flights

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 many travelers, flying in economy is the most accessible way to travel. With rock-bottom cash fares available to locations around the world, a cash booking is often a decent way to fly economy.

After people book these cheap economy tickets, we get one question over and over again.

“How can I upgrade my economy ticket?”

This is usually for those who discovered the points and miles game after booking a long flight in economy. For many of us, once we try the luxury of business or first class, the idea of flying in economy is horrifying!

While using miles to upgrade economy tickets to business class is usually a poor use of miles, it’s a good idea to understand your options.


General Upgrade Rules

Upgrade rules vary between the airline programs, however, there are couple pretty standard guidelines.

  • You can only upgrade one class of service. So you can only upgrade from economy to business, or from business to first. You can not use miles to upgrade from economy to first.
  • Upgrades are dependent on availability. There may be premium cabin seats available for purchase, but that does not mean that they will be available for upgrades.
  • The miles earned for the flight are based on the original fare class you booked, not the upgraded fare class that you actually fly.

Modern Airport -

Upgrade Rules By Airline

United Airlines (MileagePlus)

You can use MileagePlus miles to upgrade paid tickets booked in any fare class.  

However, tickets that are booked as discount fares will require miles as well as a cash co-pay.

The miles and cash co-pay vary depending on the fare class you originally booked in and your origin and destination regions.  All upgrades awards are for one-way travel, but apply to all the segments of the one-way trip.

The upgrade price can vary from 7500 miles and no-copay to upgrade a full fare economy ticket to business class for a US domestic flight, up to 35,000 plus a $600 co-pay to upgrade from a discount economy ticket to business class for a flight to the Middle East region.

10xTravel MileagePlus AwardChart Continue Reading


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

By: Bryce Conway – Founding Editor of

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:


Continue Reading