Monthly Archives

January 2018

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Blog

Getting A Skeptic Partner Into Points and Miles

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.

I’ll admit it. Some of the stuff we do here at 10xTravel can seem crazy. If you’re not familiar with points and miles, you might be surprised by the lengths we’ll go to earn some extra points.

From opening credit cards to using shopping portals, the quest to accrue points and miles can incite fanaticism in travel enthusiasts.  So, what happens when points/miles people, like our own Bryce Conway or Luke Sims, fall in love with non-points and miles people?

Well, I spoke with Bryce’s wife, Alexandra, and Luke’s wife, Libby, to ask them about their experience in getting to know their husbands’ hobby.

It turns out that their experiences are very similar, and they helped me understand the hesitation some people might have about jumping into this hobby.  

Skeptic Problem #1: I Don’t Even Know What Points and Miles Are!

Even if you have read the free e-book for beginners, read every article we’ve published and have been talking about all the great credit card bonuses that are being offered, your skeptical partner might be hesitant to jump into the hobby because they just don’t “get it.”

For Alexandra, her knowledge of points and miles was very limited.   

“I had zero knowledge prior to Bryce introducing me to the hobby! I went to college out of state, and my first time in an airport alone was coming home for Christmas. That first time changing planes alone felt like such a win! My parents booked all my flights so I’m not sure if points were involved.”

Libby was similarly unfamiliar with the game.

I did not have much knowledge of points and miles before Luke started his obsession. My dad always flew Delta for work, so he had accrued miles through that. However, he didn’t really understand their value, so I had no idea the depth and breadth of possibilities.”

Now that they have each enjoyed multiple trips both domestically and internationally, I was curious to know if they had expanded their knowledge of points and miles.

Well, despite being married to points and miles gurus, Alexandra and Libby both remain fairly removed from the points and miles hobby.  

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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

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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. 

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5 Great Ways to Fly to Thailand with Miles

By: Jeff Brownson

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From the luxury resorts and beautiful beaches of Koh Samui to the street markets and elephant adventures in Chiang Mai to the amazing food and bustling atmosphere of Bangkok, Thailand is a country that has something for everyone.

16345629343 b64796c5c0 kKhao Lak Beach Resort

Once on the ground, things are generally inexpensive but, for those of us in the United States, it’s quite far away. Getting there can get pricey, especially if you want to fly in business or first class. Staying at that luxury hotel overlooking the beach isn’t cheap either.

Luckily, we have a better way to travel for less.

Miles and points can get us to Thailand in comfort and make sure we are ready for fun when we arrive. Points can even pay for your hotels if you need that special luxury stay. With miles and points, taking a trip to Thailand can be cheaper than you think.

Here are 5 great ideas for using miles and points to get to Thailand that will help jump-start your planning.

1)  Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles

Using your Alaska Mileage Plan miles to fly on Cathay Pacific takes the least amount of miles to get to Thailand in every class of service. You will need 60,000 miles to fly round-trip in economy class, 100,000 miles for business class, and 140,000 miles for first class.

6991572028 3ed6f802ff z

In comparison, United will charge you 140,000 miles to fly just one way in first class with one of their Star Alliance partners.

Using Alaska miles on Cathay Pacific is a great deal to fly an amazing airline!

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3 Types of Points: Which One Should You Prioritize?

By: John Tunningley

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

One of the most important things to learn when you get started in the points and miles game is that there are three types of points: transferable, fixed-value, and hotel points/airline miles.

Now, as many of you know, we publish a list of the best card offers every month. We split this list in two: one for those under 5/24 and the other for those over 5/24. Something you might notice is that the cards that earn transferable points such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are almost always towards the top of our list. The value in these cards really comes from the transferability of the points, and often the ability to earn valuable points quickly.

There are also cards with fixed-value points such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus that make our list or are listed as honorable mentions. However, they aren’t usually ranked as highly as those with transferable points. It’s important to note there are two types of fixed-value points.

Separately, there are also cards that earn airline miles and hotel points with specific programs such as Delta SkyMiles or Marriott Rewards. Airline miles and hotels points, like fixed-value points, play an important role in travel but aren’t as valuable as transferable points.

We’ll give each a look so it’s clear what each has to offer.

Transferable Points

There are four major transferable points currencies:

  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Citi ThankYou Points
  • Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)

You might be wondering why we included a hotel loyalty program. Well, SPG Starpoints can be used to book hotel award stays but they can also be transferred to over 30 airlines partners.

For those of you collecting miles and points for future trips to unknown destinations, transferable points are incredibly valuable because of the flexibility they offer. For example, if you want to go to Hawaii, you could book an award ticket on Delta from Los Angeles using the  Korean Air SkyPass program—a partner of both Chase Ultimate Rewards and SPG.

Since your points aren’t attached to a particular airline, you might change your mind and decide to go somewhere else before transferring your points—once you transfer, there is no reversing it. Let’s say you decide you want to visit Tokyo instead. You could transfer to Virgin Atlantic to book an awesome first class award ticket on All Nippon Airways (ANA).

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5 First Class Awards For An Awesome Luxury Experience

By: Spencer Howard

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

1) Cathay Pacific First Class with Alaska Mileage Plan Miles

Cathay Pacific First Class Seat

Cathay Pacific first class should be near the top of your list of amazing flights to try if you like great service and champagne. Courtesy of Spencer Howard

Cathay Pacific really is a luxury experience from the moment you set foot on the plane and are presented with an amenity kit and some extremely comfortable pajamas. And don’t forget the champagne. Who doesn’t like starting off a flight with a refreshing glass of champagne?

It has a well-earned reputation as one of the premier airlines in the world due in large part to their amazing first class product. Not only will you be able to enjoy a massive lie-flat seat, but the service provided by the Cathay Pacific crew is fantastic.

If you’re departing or connecting, you can visit one of Cathay Pacific’s two first class lounges: The Pier and The Wing. If those lounges aren’t convenient for your connecting flight, you can visit one of the business class lounges: The Bridge or The Cabin. Regardless of which lounge you choose, these lounges are a great place to relax before a flight.

You can book a first class flight on Cathay Pacific from one of five US airports:

  • Boston (BOS)
  • Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • New York City (JFK)
  • San Francisco (SFO)

Regardless of which US airport you are flying out of or into, you can use 70,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles to book your first class award to Hong Kong (HKG). In fact, you can even connect another city in Asia for no extra miles (some of these connections will be in business class). You can also use 110,000 American AAdvantage miles if you have a stockpile ready to burn.

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