Monthly Archives

February 2018

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How to Use Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

By: Luke Sims – Staff Writer, 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.

You finally took the leap and got Global Entry or TSA PreCheck—if not, you really should. You applied, you aced the interview, and now you are ready to join the ranks of savvy travelers who don’t let security lines with screaming babies ruin their trip to Hawaii. Now, it’s time to put your shiny new toy to use, and I’m here to show you the ropes.

How to Use Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

When you get approved for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you receive a Known Traveler Number. This number is your golden ticket. When booking flights you will have the opportunity to add your Known Traveler Number.

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Then, if the airport you are using participates in expedited screening programs, your boarding pass will have the TSA Pre✓ logo to let you know you’re all set to use the TSA PreCheck lane.

TSA Precheck 3

When you arrive at the airport, simply locate the TSA Pre✓ sign that will direct you to the expedited security lane. Now strut down the unobstructed lane like the pro-traveler you were born to be.

TSA Precheck 2

How to Use Global Entry for International Travel

When returning from international travel, all you need to utilize Global Entry is your passport. When you arrive at customs, look for signs pointing you to the Global Entry kiosks.

GlobalImmigration

Go up to one, scan your passport and follow the instructions. After that, all you have to do is take your receipt to the customs agent to finish the process. If the airport does not have Global Entry kiosks (or they are not working), you have the right to skip the lines to speak with a border patrol agent.

You can check which international airports have Global Entry kiosks here.

Which Airlines Participate in TSA PreCheck?

Not all airlines participate in TSA PreCheck. To participate, airlines are required to meet TSA Security requirements and upgrade their reservation system to sync with the Secure Flight prescreening system.

Here is a full list of airlines that currently accept TSA PreCheck:

AeromexicoDominican WingsSilver Airways
Air CanadaEmiratesSingapore Airlines
Alaska AirlinesEtihad AirwaysSouthern Airways Express
All Nippon AirwaysFinnairSouthwest Airlines
Allegiant AirFrontier AirlinesSpirit Airlines
American AirlinesHawaiian AirlinesSun Country Airlines
Aruba AirlinesInterCaribbean AirwaysSunwing Airlines
AviancaJetBlue AirwaysSwift Air
Boutique AirlinesKey Lime AirTurkish Airlines
Cape AirKorean AirUnited Airlines
Cathay Pacific AirwaysLufthansaVirgin America
Contour AviationMiami Air InternationalVirgin Atlantic
Copa AirlinesOneJetWestJet
Delta AirlinesSeaborne AirlinesExtra Airways

Add Your Known Traveler Number to Your Frequent Flyer Profiles

To make life easier, most frequent flyer programs allow you to save your Known Traveler Number to your profile so that you do not need to plug it in each time you book a new flight.

Each frequent flier program is different but, for most, you simply need to log in, navigate to the place to edit your profile and look for the option to add your Known Traveler Number.

For example, here is where to add your Known Traveler Number in your Delta SkyMiles profile:

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Do My Kids Need Global Entry or TSA PreCheck?

For domestic travel, children that are twelve years old or younger can use the TSA PreCheck lane when traveling with a parent or guardian who has the indicator on their boarding pass. Travelers thirteen and older who do not have a TSA PreCheck on their boarding pass must go through standard security lanes, even if the parent or guardian they are traveling with has TSA PreCheck.

For Global Entry, on the other hand, each person must apply separately in order to use it when entering the US. Children under the age of 18 need a guardian’s permission to apply. Again, your kids will not be able to tag along with you as you enter the US using Global Entry as each traveler must have Global Entry separately.

What to Do if You Get SSSS on Your Boarding Pass?

SSSS is an acronym for Secondary Security Screening Selection, and if you see it on your boarding pass you should expect the security screening process to take an additional 10 to 20 minutes even if you have TSA PreCheck.

It’s not fun, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s much easier to deal with when you know what to expect, so let me walk you through the details.

TSA does not tell us exactly why people are selected for secondary screening, and the vast majority of travelers will never see SSSS on their boarding pass.

However, if you are one of the unlucky passengers selected for secondary screening, here’s what to know: You won’t be able to print your boarding pass or access it on your mobile device (print it at a check-in kiosk). You can expect to go through the metal detector, the full body scanner, a thorough pat down from a TSA agent, and a few other tedious steps before finally being released to your plane.

So, if the dreaded SSSS happens to you, the best and quickest way through this extended security check is to stay calm and friendly. Listen carefully to instructions and make sure a TSA agent stamps your boarding pass at the end to give you the all-clear for boarding, it will be over before you know it.

Most importantly, if you check in online before your flight and you are not able to print or receive your boarding pass, you know there is a chance you will receive SSSS and you should allot for a bit more time to clear TSA security screening.

Bottom Line

Using Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is one of the best ways to dramatically improve your travel experience, and both are easy to use! Add your Known Traveler Number to your frequent flyer profiles, know if your international airport has Global Entry kiosks and pay attention to TSA PreCheck signage. You’ll be well on your way to breezing through security screening like a pro.

Wheels Up,

Luke

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What I’ve Been Up To: John Tunningley

By: John Tunningley – Staff Writer, 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 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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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 ProgressPriority Boarding
UnitedYesYes
AmericanYesYes
DeltaYesYes
SouthwestNoNo

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.

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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.

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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. (Learn more)

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

(Full card details here: Learn More)

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.

Continue Reading

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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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Blog

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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