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Anya Kartashova

galapagos islands united excursionist
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How I Booked a Trip to the Galápagos Islands with the United Excursionist Perk

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 can read our advertising disclosure here.

By:  Anya Kartashova

If you’ve played the points and miles game for longer than a couple of years, you might remember United Airlines MileagePlus program’s generous stopover and open-jaw rules. I don’t mean to sound like my grandmother but, back in the day, we had it good.

Long gone are the loose stopover definitions and the opportunities to circle the globe on the same award. The stopover rules have changed, and we now have what United dubbed the Excursionist Perk, which still provides some fun opportunities.

What Is the United Excursionist Perk?

The Excursionist Perk is a free one-way segment you can add to select award bookings. It can be used on a multi-city itinerary of at least three one-way awards within a single reservation.

As with all award bookings, the Excursionist Perk comes with rules and limitations. As per the United website, the following must be true.

  • Travel must end in the same MileagePlus defined region where travel originates.
  • The origin and destination of the Excursionist Perk are within a single MileagePlus defined region.
  • The cabin of service and award type of the free one-way award is the same or lower than the one-way award preceding it.
  • If two or more one-way awards qualify for this benefit, only the first occurrence will be free.

Make sure you check out our two-part series on the Excursionist Perk to learn all the ins and outs of maximizing your United award bookings.

How much you’ll save with your free intra-region one-way will depend on your route, of course. However, when flying to the Galápagos Islands, it can provide big savings!

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credit cards free checked bag
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Which Credit Cards Require You to Pay with Them for Free Checked Bags?

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 can read our advertising disclosure here.

By: Anya Kartashova

With the introduction of bare-bones basic economy fares, panic has settled in among the traveling masses. Most budget fares do not offer a seat selection and make you board the aircraft last, which oftentimes leaves you with no room for luggage in the overhead bin. Your options are to place the bag underneath the seat in front of you or, if it’s too big, you’re forced to check it, which doesn’t come cheap.

Luckily, there are ways to avoid paying for a checked bag. Being an elite flyer is one of them. Flying in a premium cabin is another.

An alternative option?

Holding a co-branded credit card from an airline of your choice.

Typical perks include boarding a plane in an early group to get access to the oh-so-limited overhead space, yes, but also being able to check a bag at no extra cost. The benefit often even covers your travel companions.

So, which credit cards allow you to check a bag for free? And, more importantly, which credit cards require you to pay for the ticket with them to receive the benefit?


Alaska Airlines

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card

With the Bank of America Alaska card, you and up to six travel companions are able to save on baggage fees. Most domestic airlines have increased their bag fees from $25 to $30 for the first checked bag, but Alaska still charges $25. Your group can save up to $350 per round-trip reservation provided that everyone in the party checks a bag each way.

 Alaska Airlines - book ticket using credit card to get free baggage fee

When you book, simply make sure you attach your Mileage Plan number at the time of booking.

You’re not required to pay for the reservation with the Alaska co-branded credit card for the benefit to apply — this is key since cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred provide trip delay coverage.

When you book, simply make sure you attach your Mileage Plan number at the time of booking. It takes about two to three weeks for the perk to activate once you open the card.

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card from Bank of America

Same benefit as on the personal Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card Earn 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days

American Airlines

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard

Holding the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard will allow you and up to four travel companions booked on the same reservation to check the first bag for free on domestic flights operated by American Airlines and its regional subsidiaries, such as American Eagle, Compass Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines, etc.

credit card to get free checked bag

Keep in mind that flights to the Caribbean don’t count as domestic, and you’ll be on the hook for a bag fee even if you’re a credit cardholder. Been there, done that.

American Airlines charges $30 for the first checked bag (for tickets issued after Sept. 21, 2018), so you’re looking at potentially saving $60 per person on a round-trip flight. If all four of your travel companions check a bag, you’ll save the group $300 on your entire trip.

The benefit applies to award travel as well. Not bad for a card that costs $99 annually (waived for the first year).

You don’t have to pay for the flights with your Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select credit card, but the account must be open at least seven days before travel date.

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard

The Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard has a similar baggage perk, except now you and eight of your companions are covered on the same trip as long as all of you were booked together. In this scenario, your Brady Bunch can save up to $540 on each round-trip.

Keep in mind that this premium credit card has a high annual fee of $450, but it more than makes up for it in other benefits, such as Admirals Club access and Global Entry / TSA Precheck enrollment fee. Continue Reading

http://10xtravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Cathay-Asia-Miles-How-to-Fly-Around-the-World-Using-Cathay-Pacific-Asia-Miles-Oneworld-Multi-Carrier-Award-Rules-How-To-Book-RTW-Trip
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How to Fly Around the World Using Cathay Pacific Asia 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. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

By: Anya Kartashova

Round-the-world (RTW) award flights are a bit of a unicorn of the points and miles world because most loyalty programs don’t allow redeeming miles for such grandiose trips without separate bookings.

However, such ambitious awards are still possible, thanks to a handful of programs, such as Singapore KrisFlyer, which we discussed in great detail last month.

Another loyalty program that allows booking RTW awards is Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. The process and the rules are a bit different from KrisFlyer, so let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.

How Many Asia Miles Do I Need For A RTW Trip?

American Express Membership Rewards points - Airline Transfer Partner - Cathay Pacific

Flying at least two Oneworld carriers is a must, and it’s not possible to build a RTW trip that includes three or more airlines without flying on Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon at least once.

Asia Miles’ RTW redemptions are called Oneworld Multi-Carrier Awards and they’re applicable in two cases:

  1. When redeeming flights on two airlines, neither of which is either Cathay Dragon or Cathay Pacific.
  2. When redeeming flights on three or more airlines, one of which is either Cathay Dragon or Cathay Pacific.

The Oneworld Multi-Carrier award chart is distance-based, which means that the more miles you fly, the more miles you need to redeem.

The Platinum Card from American Express Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.(Learn more)

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Why You Shouldn't use your credit card at the ATM | Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Your Credit Card At An ATM | Credit Card at an ATM
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Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Credit Card at the ATM

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 can read our advertising disclosure here.

By Anya Kartashova

In the movie “The Wedding Date” — I’m probably the only one who watched it — the main character (Kat) hires an escort (Nick) to pose as her boyfriend at her younger sister’s wedding in London. She pays him $6,000 — which she took from her 401K — to travel with her to England for the weekend.

Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Your Credit Card At An ATM

Kat makes poor financial decisions.

The movie itself is nothing to write home about, and I’ll spare you the details, but there is a scene in it that will make any savvy credit card holder angry.

We already know that Kat makes poor financial decisions. To make matter worse, she maxes out her many credit cards’ cash advance limits and withdraws a bunch of cash from several ATMs to pay Nick for extra services. She’s seen going from one machine to another collecting hundreds of British pounds without a care in the world.

Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Your Credit Card At An ATM

Kat maxes out her many credit cards’ cash advance limits and withdraws a bunch of cash from several ATMs to pay Nick for extra services.

For many, the fact that Kat takes out multiple cash advances at foreign ATMs so willy-nilly is flat out infuriating.

Maybe, if she’d hung out with us in the 10xTravel Insider’s Facebook group, she’d know better!

However, if you’re new to international travel, this faux pas might not be obvious to you. So, let’s talk about why you shouldn’t use your credit card at an ATM to take out a cash advance.

What Is A Cash Advance?

A cash advance is a service that your financial institution of choice likely provides. It lets you withdraw cash at an ATM or a bank counter from your credit card. Just like a standard credit line, a cash advance has a limit, and it is typically much lower than your credit line allows you to spend on the card.

For example, the total credit limit on my Chase Freedom Credit Card is $7,000, but only $1,400 is available for a cash advance.

Chase Freedom $150 cash bonus after $500 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Chase Freedom Unlimited $150 cash bonus after $500 spend in 3 monthsLearn More

 

As with many things in life, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t use your credit card for a cash advance. Continue Reading

How to Fly Around the World Using Singapore KrisFlyer Miles
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How to Fly Around the World Using Singapore KrisFlyer 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. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

By: Anya Kartashova

Have you ever wanted to book a round-the-world (RTW) trip but didn’t know where to begin?

Did you know that it’s possible to book such an extravagant journey with just one award ticket? Although many frequent-flyer programs have done away with RTW awards, it’s still possible.

One of the few programs that still allow you to book these fun awards is Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

Let’s take a look at how you can book a RTW award with Singapore KrisFlyer miles!

HOW TO FLY AROUND THE WORLD USING SINGAPORE KRISFLYER MILES

You can transfer points to Singapore KrisFlyer from all major transferable points programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points. Each of these programs transfers points at a 1:1 ratio.

Why Singapore KrisFlyer Miles?

There are two reasons you might want to book with KrisFlyer miles:

  1. Reasonable redemption rates for round-the-world tickets
  2. Ease of accumulation

If you’re thinking, “But wait! I don’t have any Singapore miles,” do not fret. They’re much simpler to obtain than you think, especially if you prefer collecting transferrable points.

You can transfer points to Singapore KrisFlyer from all major transferable points programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points. Each of these programs transfers points at a 1:1 ratio.

Marriott Rewards points can also be transferred to Singapore KrisFlyer as well at a 3:1 ratio Additionally, every 60,000 points you transfer at once will provide a bonus of 5,000 miles. In other words, 60,000 Marriott points will net you 25,000 KrisFlyer miles.

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 monthsLearn More

It’s even possible to redeem miles for another traveler, which means you can book both tickets from the same account and share this unforgettable experience.

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