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May 2018

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Come Hang Out with 10xT! Summer Meetup Schedule

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

Hi Travel Junkies,

Today I am thrilled to announce 3 Reader Meetups scheduled for this summer!

Come join 10xT Editor-in-Chief Spencer Howard and myself at any (or multiple) of the following events. 10xT will be providing drinks, giveaways, and all the points/miles conversation you could ever want.

Here are the details:

June 30 – Columbus, OH

1-5pm at Endeavor Brewery

Details and registration here.

July 28 – Washington, DC.

1-5pm at Denizens Brewing

Details and registration here.

August 25 – New York, NY

3-7pm at Solas (East Village)

Details and registration here.

And of course these are all leading up to the big 10xT Vegas Reader Party! Details coming soon.

Happy Travels,

Bryce

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Making The Most Of The Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus: What The 10xTravel Team Would Do

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: 10xT Staff

We all love earning points and miles but, if you don’t know what to do with them, there isn’t much point in getting them! Since the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the most popular choices for folks just starting their points journey, we wanted to share how 10xTravel team members would utilize the sign-up bonus.

Before we get to that, let’s review the sign-up bonus and some of the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred:

  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you spend $4,000 within 3 months
  • 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you add an authorized user (AU) within 3 months
  • 2X points per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)

Chase Sapphire Preferred (learn more)

For the purposes of the following examples, we’re going to make a couple assumptions. First, you will hit the minimum spend requirement to earn the sign-up bonus. Second, that $1,000 of the $4,000 minimum spend will be met with dining and travel purchases. Third, you will add an authorized user within 3 months.

The math on this works out as 50,000 points for the sign-up bonus, 5,000 points for the authorized user bonus, 3,000 points for the unbonused spend and 2,000 points for the spend on travel and dining. This brings us to a total of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

Now, let’s check out how the team would use these 60,000 points!

Bryce Conway, Founder

One word, three syllables as to how would spend 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.

Hawaii.

I haven’t been to Hawaii since honeymooning there in 2014 and I have been itching to go back. Particularly when I see so many success stories of 10xT Readers traveling to these beautiful islands for next to nothing.

Hanging in Maui on my honeymoon

There are a number of ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to fly to Hawaii, but none are better than transferring them to Korean Air SkyPass to book round-trip economy flights on Delta for just 25,000 miles per ticket.

Yes, you read that right. 25,000 miles per ticket round-trip. This is one of the best “sweet spots” in the entire world of points and miles.

Booking these tickets through Korean Air is slightly more complicated than your average award booking, which is why we put together a complete guide to booking. Finding availability can be tricky but not impossible. Particularly if you are flexible with your dates and can avoid peak season.

(Note: Don’t plan on being able to do this over spring break or the holidays)

At 25,000 miles per ticket, I could use my 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book two tickets and still have 10,000 points left over.

With those 10,000 points I would likely do a cash + points booking at the Hyatt Place Waikiki, which can be booked for 6,000 Hyatt points + $75 per night. Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer 1:1 to Hyatt so I would just have to come up with the $75.

You can book the Hyatt Place Waikiki for 6,000 Hyatt Points + $75 per night. Image courtesy of Hyatt

Or, I could book any other type of travel (other hotels, ground transportation, etc.) via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a value of 1.25 cents per point. Meaning my 10,000 leftover points would save me $125 on whatever I ended up booking without requiring me to come out of pocket.

I would happily say Aloha to 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points if they allowed me and another person to say Aloha to Hawaii!

See what I did there? Aloha can be used to say hello or goodbye….. anddddd I’ll see myself out now. Who’s next?

Julie Szpira, Contributor

After experiencing my first Mardi Gras in 2017, I fell in love with the festival. I would use the points to book a round trip flight and three nights at a hotel for Mardi Gras 2019.

For my flight, I would transfer 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways to book a round-trip economy flight, operated by American Airlines.

British Airways utilizes a distance-based award chart and a one-way, non-stop flight from Chicago (ORD) to New Orleans (MSY) is 836 miles. That distance falls into “Zone 2”, and would require 7,500 Avios, plus $5.60 in taxes and fees.

An American Airlines flight departing Saturday, March 2nd and returning Tuesday, March 5th is currently $458 round-trip. Spending 15,000 Avios and $11.20 in taxes and fees would provide a 2.9 cent per point valuation.

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I have NO interest in paying $450+ for a domestic economy flight!

Just by booking the flight, things are already sounding pretty good, but I still have 45,000 points to work with! Since I’ll be spending my days at the parades and my nights in the French Quarter, I’ll need a place to rest my weary bones.

As you might imagine, hotel rates in New Orleans during Mardi Gras are insanely high. It’s not uncommon to see rates around $500 per night, and that’s for a simple hotel room! Therefore, I would transfer the remaining points to Hyatt and book the Hyatt Centric French Quarter New Orleans.

Booking the Member Rate for three nights, a room with two queen beds would cost $1,713.  pasted image 0 1

That’s A LOT of money. If you used your Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly through the portal at the standard 1.25 cent per point redemption, the stay would require 137,085 points.

However, by transferring Ultimate Rewards points to you World of Hyatt account, the stay can be booked at a rate of 15,000 Hyatt points per night—a total of 45,000Hyatt points for the three night stay. Using 45,000 points for a $1,713-stay would give you a 3.8 cent per point redemption for the hotel reservation.

Furthermore, since occupancy at the Hyatt Centric French Quarter New Orleans accommodates up to four adults, you can invite three of your friends to join you. Usually if you provide a free hotel room, your friends will offer to pay for your drinks and food for the weekend, which would make your trip totally free!

Hyatt Centric French Quarter, image courtesy of Hyatt

In total, you would redeem 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for over $2,000 worth of flights and hotels, and get to experience one of my favorite events of the year.

Caroline Lupini, Contributor

The Chase Sapphire Preferred was my first credit card after I got into points and miles, so it holds a special place in my heart – and the current 50,000 point sign-up bonus makes it a great starting point for just about anyone!

One of my favorite airline programs is Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer because they are transfer partners of all major transferable points currencies: Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou points and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)—until Marriott finishes combining loyalty programs on August 1. Even when I don’t have enough points in one currency, I can still transfer to Singapore Airlines as a way to combine miles.

I’m a digital nomad and I’m planning to spend the end of 2018 in Australia. While I’m there, I might try to visit some South Pacific islands that are usually very difficult to get to. With Singapore KrisFlyer, you can book one-way economy flights within the South Pacific for only 12,500 miles or 17,500 miles in business class—these are normally very expensive flights! Availability can be tough to find, so I don’t have my heart totally set on this just yet.

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Krisflyer to book flights from Australia to the South Pacific for 12,500 miles each way

I doubt that I would be able to justify spending the extra miles to fly in business class. If I stick to economy, I’d be able to fly two round-trip flights with miles left over. Or maybe I’ll take my boyfriend with me instead!

John Tunningley, Contributor

Not only is the Chase Sapphire Preferred (learn more) a great card for anyone starting out, but it also offers a great sign-up bonus with some of the most valuable points currently on the market. While I love traveling abroad and getting a taste of different cultures, the United States also has so much to offer.

With fantastic cities, beaches, and geological features alike sometimes the best trips are reached by getting in the car and driving someplace new. This is particularly true if you’re traveling as a family as the costs for air travel can add up fast— even with the help of points and miles.

That’s why I’m going to show you how to really stretch those Ultimate Rewards points and suggest you drive to a new destination and use the 60,000 points to cover the hotel(s) for an entire week.

Now, I know you might be thinking 7 days and 6 nights at a hotel is quite the vacation for 60,000 points and what’s even more surprising is that you will have anywhere between 12,000 and 30,000 left if you’re only staying for 6 nights at a Hyatt category 1 or category 2 property. This deal gets even sweeter if you stay at a Hyatt House or most Hyatt Place properties as they will also include breakfast.

The best part about this is if you transfer the points to Hyatt and manage to spend the entire week at a category 1 property you can get a second room for the kids or go on a second week-long vacation with the leftover points.

It can be a little more difficult to find these category 1 properties in some of the more desirable locations so to help get your brain turning and thinking about the possibilities, I’ve listed some of the locations below and also keep in mind all of the Hyatt House locations offer free breakfast and so do many of the Hyatt Place locations:

  • Phoenix, Arizona – 5 Hyatt Place locations
  • Tucson, Arizona – Hyatt Place
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado – Hyatt House
  • Fort Myers, Florida – Hyatt Place
  • St Petersburg, Florida – Hyatt Place
  • Atlanta, Georgia – 9 Hyatt Place locations
  • Chicago, Illinois – 3 Hyatt House locations, 5 Hyatt Place locations, and a Hyatt Regency
  • St. Louis, Missouri – Hyatt Place
  • Memphis, Tennessee – 3 Hyatt Place locations
  • Salt Lake City, Utah – Hyatt Place

You could use your Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus to book a week at Hyatt house Colorado Springs. Image courtesy of Hyatt

In addition to these locations, there are too many Hyatt category 1 locations to list in Texas as every major city seems to have a handful and, if you want to visit the nation’s capitol, there are 3 category 1 Hyatt Place properties near Washington Dulles (IAD).

For category 2 properties, there is an even more extensive list you can find here. These hotels might not be in the center of downtown but being able to visit a beach in Florida or visit Washington D.C. for an entire week for 30,000 to 48,000 Ultimate Rewards points is a great deal.

Travis Cormier, Contributor

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of best reward cards for new points enthusiasts. One of the easiest ways for people new to the points and miles game to see the value is to have a plan for an entire vacation. Sometimes this can take multiple cards, but not with the Sapphire Preferred. You can use the 60,000 points for an entire vacation in Cabo—flights and accommodations included for 2 people!

I’m based in Texas, so my wife and I start our trips from Dallas. We would transfer 30,000 Ultimate Rewards to British Airways Executive Club. We would then use 30,000 Avios to book two round-trip tickets to Cabo for 15,000 point each.

pasted image 0 2

These flights can cost $435 per person round trip. That’s almost $900 in flights for only 30,000 points. I’ll happily take that deal!

After booking flights, that leaves 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points for accomodations. My favorite hotel program is World of Hyatt. For this trip, I would target the Hyatt Place Los Cabos. It isn’t the most luxurious hotel in Cabo, but the price and location make it a really good option to stretch your points as far as possible.

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Image courtesy of Hyatt

The Hyatt Place Los Cabos is a Hyatt Category 1—5,000 Hyatt points per night. So, I would transfer 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points to my World of Hyatt account to book 6 nights. An extra benefit is the Hyatt Place comes with free breakfast, which will help save you money to enjoy the nightlife and other activities available in Cabo.

I’m sure there are some other great ideas here, but as a beach bum at heart, I can’t imagine a better way to use the sign-up bonus (and AU bonus) from the Chase Sapphire Preferred than to get an entire vacation for 2 to Mexico. I love it so much, I’m planning to make this trip myself later this year!

Spencer Howard, Editor in Chief

With 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points in hand, I’d look to book a one-way business class award between Chicago (ORD) and Dublin (DUB) on Aer Lingus. That’s right, with just one sign-up bonus, you have enough points to take a trip to Europe in business class.

For 50,000 Avios, you can book an off-peak business class award (peak level is 60,000 Avios). Aer Lingus business class provides fully lie-flat seats so you can get some rest on the overnight flight to Dublin. Additionally, the vast majority of seats have direct aisle access so you don’t have to stumble over a neighbor to stretch your legs.

You can use your Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus to fly Business Class to Europe

To book, you can either transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Aer Lingus AerClub and book through Avios.com or to British Airways Executive Club. Both programs use Avios, but have some small differences.

If you book with AerClub Avios, you can book online through Avios.com but, if you book with British Airways Avios, you’ll need to call British Airways to book after finding award space on United’s site or on ExpertFlyer.

To top it all off, unlike many other award flights to Europe, you won’t have to pay any fuel surcharges on this one. Not a bad way to use a sign-up bonus if you ask me!

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are tons of ways to use Ultimate Rewards points. Whether you’re looking for economy flights to the Caribbean, within Australia or within the U.S., Chase has you covered. With so many Hyatt properties around the world, hotel stays won’t be too tough to book either. Finally, those who are hoping to try a business class flight can even use 60,000 points to give it a go.

Of course, there are tons of options we haven’t even discussed but these should give you a great idea of what is possible when you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You can learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred here (learn more).

Blog, Success Stories

Reader Success Story: Dream Trip to Hawaii on 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.

By: 10xT Reader – Chris Sheehy

My fiancé and I took our second trip to Hawaii earlier this year. We choose the island of Kauai this time and had an incredible 9 days trading out the cold Virginia winter for 80-degree beach days.

Hawaii is one of those places that most people think is unobtainable due to the cost of flights and hotels but, fortunately, they’re wrong! Overall, this trip would have cost close to $6,500 but we only paid 99 bucks!

image20

There is no way we could have come close to affording this without points and miles.

Our Trip to Kauai

  • Richmond, VA to Kauai, HI
  • Kauai Shores Hotel – 1 night
  • Aston Islander on the Beach – 1 night
  • Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa – 4 nights
  • Courtyard Marriott at Coconut Beach – 2 nights
  • Kauai, HI to Richmond, VA

Credit Cards We Used For Points

One of the major ways it was easy for us to do this is that every time I would decide to get a credit card that had a good offer, my fiancé would do the same. This allowed us to double down on points which made saving points for this trip so much easier.

These are the cards we used for our trip, however not all of these cards currently have the same sign-up bonuses as when we got them:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: 100,000-point sign-up bonus each
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: 50,000-point sign-up bonus each
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred: 80,000-point sign-up bonus
  • Chase United Mileageplus Explorer: 70,000-mile sign-up bonus
  • Chase Hyatt Card: 2 free nights at any Hyatt property
  • Barclay Arrival Plus: 50,000-mile sign-up bonus

Continue Reading

Blog

Flying In Style: Do You Want Business Or First Class?

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: Spencer Howard

Every week in the 10xTravel Insider’s Facebook group, I post a thread for people to ask questions about award flights they are trying to book. Unsurprisingly, there are a number of common requests—I mean, who doesn’t want to go to Hawaii?

However, I want to talk about something even more basic than booking award flights. Today, we’re going to talk about class of service. Specifically, how to determine what you want. While the answer might seem obvious at first, airlines—especially American carriers— have done a nice job making this a little tricky.

The biggest point of confusion is often about what “first class” actually means depending on the flight. I’m going to touch on what you can expect with each class of service and touch on why you might choose business class over first class.

Before we dive into each, here’s how I would rank each class of service from luxury to merely the essentials:

  1. International first class
  2. International business class
  3. Premium economy
  4. Domestic first class
  5. Comfort+, Main Cabin Extra etc.
  6. Economy/Main Cabin
  7. Basic economy

International first class

The crème de la crème of air travel. When flying international first class, one of the biggest distinguishing factors is space. You generally just have a ton of space. This alone provides much more privacy but many airlines take it a step further by providing doors to your suite.

When it comes to food and drink, airlines aren’t screwing around. From Krug to Dom Perignon to high-end scotch, cognac and wine, your drink choices won’t disappoint. When it comes to food, the common refrain of how bad airline food tastes won’t really apply to you.

 

Singapore Airlines First Class, image courtesy of Singapore Air

You can also expect very nice amenity kits and comfy pajamas. Of course, first class flight crews also prepare your bed when you’re ready to sleep with a mattress and blanket to ensure maximum comfort.

Depending on the airline, you might even get to enjoy a shower in the sky or a ride in a Porsche from the first class lounge to your flight. Who doesn’t love door-to-door service?

Speaking of service, with so few passengers in the first class cabin, the experience is much more personal. Flight attendants sometimes even have time for a conversation.

Last but not least, the first class lounges. They are next level. If you happen to fly Lufthansa first class out of Frankfurt (FRA), not only will you enjoy an amazing first class lounge, but you’ll get to visit the First Class Terminal—yes, a terminal just for first class and top-level elites. Don’t worry, your Porsche will deliver you to your flight. Continue Reading

Blog

New Card Alert: Chase Ink Business Unlimited

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,

New credit card launches are perhaps the best news that can come out of the points/miles world because they (usually) represent an opportunity for avid travelers to earn another signup bonus and add a new points-earning card to their credit card arsenal.

Which is why today I am excited to share that Chase has launched a new credit card, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited! Here are the details:

Chase Ink Business Unlimited:

  • Earn $500 (50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points) after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 1.5x points per $1 spent on everything
  • 0% APR for the first 12 months
  • $0 Annual Fee

(Ink Business Unlimited: Learn More)

Many points/miles enthusiasts will quickly recognize the Chase Ink Business Unlimited is basically the business version of the Chase Freedom Unlimited, featuring the same 1.5x earning rate and $0 annual fee. Though the 50,000 point bonus on the Ink Business Unlimited is a substantial upgrade over the 15,000 bonus points being offered by Chase Freedom Unlimited (Learn More)

Note that this offer mentions a bonus of “$500 cash back”, however that bonus comes in the form of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Meaning that anyone who has a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Preferred can simply combine these points with their other Chase Ultimate Rewards points to be used for travel at a higher value.

The 50,000 point bonus is worth $750+ of travel for anyone who has Sapphire Reserve

For example, anyone holding a Chase Sapphire Reserve could use these 50,000 bonus points to book $750 of travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. And also have the option to transfer the points to Southwest, United, Hyatt, and any of the other Chase travel partners.

These are some of our favorite cards for earning a ton of Ultimate Rewards Points:

At 1.5x points per $1 spent this card is an excellent choice for business owners who do a substantial amount of non-category spend, particularly if those business owners also have one of the aforementioned Chase Ultimate Rewards cards.

Now the bad news; this card will almost certainly be subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. Meaning that anyone who has opened more than 5 credit cards in the past 24 months will not be eligible to be approved for the card.

Bottom Line

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited is a great grab for anyone who can qualify for it, mainly because of the unlimited 1.5x earning, $0 annual fee, and generous 50,000 point signup bonus. Remember that you don’t have to “officially” own a business to qualify for business credit cards.

As always, feel free to email me (Bryce@10xTravel.com) with any particular questions.

 

Happy Travels,

Bryce

 

P.S. We are putting the finishing touches on a few 10xT Reader Meetups this summer. Details coming soon.

 

Blog

How Work Travel Can Help You Reach Your Personal Travel Dreams

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

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking after reading the title of this article.

“This isn’t for me. I never travel for work.”

Maybe you’re thinking, “my business provides a credit card and I can’t use my own.”

While one of these statements may be true at the present time, they likely might not always be true for you. Personally, I think if you get the opportunity to travel for work, you should go for it.

Today, I want to tell my own story about how work travel has helped to change my life and how it can help you earn points and miles for your next vacation.

Finding the Right Job

First and foremost you have to find a job that you enjoy doing and that may have some opportunities for travel. One of my go-to interview questions is always how much travel will be involved.

Often, employers will worry you don’t want to travel which is completely understandable in many circumstances. I have been fortunate over the years to have incredibly supportive family and friends.

When considering a new job, always be sure to ask about travel requirements

I have a dog that my parents or girlfriend watch while I travel for work but don’t have any children to worry about which has made my work travel easier on me. I travel almost every other week in my current position and when I asked how much travel would be involved in my interview, I was pretty much told however much I wanted.

I don’t think they expected me to want to travel every week. Continue Reading

Blog

New Credit Cards on the Market in 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: John Tunningley

This year has already been filled with lots of activity in the points and miles world. From the new Chase rules on the Southwest Rapid Rewards personal cards to the SPG/Marriott merger news and, of course, a slew of new cards.

So, let’s get into the cards, the bonuses and figure out which cards are worthwhile.

New Avios Cards

Avios is the airline currency for British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus. All three programs have distance-based award charts—though there are rumors of a switch to revenue-based redemptions in the near future.

Right now, all three Avios earning cards have a 100,000 point sign-up bonus tiered as 50,000 Avios for making $3,000 in purchases within three months of card opening, an additional 25,000 Avios for an additional $7,000 in the first year (for a total of $10,000), and the last 25,000 Avios for making an additional $10,000 in purchases in the first year (for a total of $20,000).

This is very similar to the British Airway bonus that was around last year. With none of these cards being restricted by the Chase 5/24 rule they are very tempting cards to pick up for anyone over 5/24

You can learn more about the British Airways card here.

New Marriott Cards

With the details of the Marriott and SPG loyalty program merger finally being announced, there is a ton to take in but also some new cards coming out. Chase will continue to issue the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card but has also released a new Marriott card, the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus.

(Learn more about the Marriott Rewards card here)

The new card has a $95 annual fee but comes with a 100,000-point sign-up bonus after $5,000 in spend in the first 3 months. Like the existing Marriott card, we expect it to be restricted by the Chase 5/24 rule but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

Meanwhile, the new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card will come with a $450 annual fee but an extensive list of perks including complimentary Gold Elite Status, a $300 statement credit for purchases at Marriott properties and a Priority Pass Select membership.

While the bonus for this card hasn’t yet been released expect it to be sizeable to try to entice new customers. Continue Reading

Blog

How to Get to South Africa with 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: Caroline Lupini

South Africa is a great country to visit with something to fit every travel style. You have amazing hiking, world-class vineyards, safaris and more! Unfortunately, travel times to South Africa are generally quite long with many routings going through countries in the Middle East or Europe.

When you’re flying that far, upgrading to business class is the best way to make your journey more comfortable and when cash tickets for economy class are high, it can be a pretty good deal.

Below, I’ll show you some of the best ways to get to South Africa with miles and points in economy, business, and even first class!

Economy

32,500 ANA Mileage Club Miles (Round-Trip Booking Required)

ANA Mileage Club offers the cheapest award flights between the U.S. and South Africa, but only if you book round-trip flights. This means you’ll need to have plans for round-trip travel and be able to find award availability in both directions.

However, you will also pay fuel surcharges of $500-600 round-trip depending on which airline partner you fly. It may not be worth paying extra cash to save 5,000 miles, but it depends on how many and what type of miles you have as well as what airlines have award space when you want to travel.

You can transfer SPG Starpoints or American Express Membership Rewards points to ANA Mileage Club at a 1:1 ratio. Don’t forget, if you transfer 20,000 Starpoints, you will receive a 5,000-mile bonus with any of its airline partners.

(Also note that Starwood is being fully merged with Marriott on August 1, though this will not fundamentally change this strategy)

 You can fly round trip to South Africa for just 32,500 ANA miles. Just watch out for those fees!

37,500 American AAdvantage Miles

American Airlines partners with two airlines that can get you to South Africa with your miles: Qatar Airways and British Airways. Either way, you’ll pay 37,500 American AAdvantage miles to fly one-way between the U.S. and South Africa. However, British Airways does pass on steep fuel surcharges so you’ll pay a lot more cash if you fly on British Airways than Qatar Airways.

You can transfer SPG Starpoints to your American AAdvantage account at a 1:1 ratio. You can also earn American miles directly through one of their co-branded cards provided by either Citi or Barclays. Both banks provide business and personal versions of these co-branded cards Continue Reading

Blog

Stopovers and Openjaws

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

Stopovers and open jaws are a great way to stretch your miles even further, but what are they exactly? And how can you make the most of them? This article will help you understand the basics of stopovers and open jaws, what airlines allow them, and how you can best use them for your next mileage redemption.

What is a Stopover?

A stopover is an extended stop enroute to your destination. Extended has a different definition depending on whether your trip is domestic or international. On domestic trips, a stopover is any stop greater than four hours but on international trips, a stopover is any stop greater than 24 hours.

A stopover is an extended stop enroute to your destination

Let’s say that you are flying from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Milan (MXP). On that trip, you stop in London for 4 hours. This would not be a stopover because it is less than 24 hours. If, however, you stopped in London for 72 hours, this would be considered a stopover.

Note that not all airlines allow stopovers on award tickets, but we’ll look at what some popular airlines allow below.

What is an Open Jaw?

An open jaw is a little bit simpler to understand, and it doesn’t depend on whether your flight is domestic or international. When you fly to a destination and then fly back from a different airport, you have an open jaw. For example, if you fly from ORD to MXP and then you fly from Paris (CDG) back to ORD, you have an open jaw between MXP and CDG.

An open jaw is when you fly to one destination and home from another

An open jaw doesn’t necessarily have to be between two cities that are close together, but what is allowed depends on the miles that you are using to book your tickets.

What Do Airlines Allow?

As mentioned above, different airlines allow different things when it comes to stopovers and open jaws, and these rules aren’t always straightforward or easy to find. Below, I’ve collected information for the airlines you are most likely to use for award tickets. Continue Reading

Blog

Best Credit Card Offers – May 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 offers for May 2018.

Apologies for being a few days late this month. A number of cards have shuffled their offers so I wanted to wait for everything to shake out before publishing the monthly list.

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.

This month features a few changes as a number of cards have raised and lowered their offers in the last month. To be honest it was hard to rank some of them because I had to weigh “this is the best offer we have seen on this card in a while” against “which has the higher overall value”. So there will be some variability based on your individual circumstances.

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)

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.

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 

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

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