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Caroline Lupini

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Get The Most Out of Your Chase Sapphire Preferred With These Travel Benefits

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

If you’re looking to explore the world, and maximize your credit card benefits in order to do so, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great way to get into points thanks to a number of travel benefits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 bonus points after $4,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)

For starters, the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining and 1X point on all other purchases.

It also allows you to redeem points on tons airlines via their travel portal and has airline and hotel transfer partners that can help you get even more out of your points.

Chase Sapphire Prefered

Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining and 1X point on all other purchases

The Chase Sapphire Preferred also has a few lesser known travel benefits too.

For example, you can rest assured that if your flight is delayed more than 12 hours or overnight, you will be reimbursed up to $500.

These helpful benefits, among others, are a few of the reasons it’s one of the most popular travel credit cards on the market.

With that, let’s take a closer look into how you can take full advantage of the travel benefits that come with the Chase Sapphire Preferred: Continue Reading

Best Ways, Blog

Best Ways to Get to Japan With 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

Going to Japan is a dream trip for many. The big cities, great food, natural beauty, and the koi ponds are enough to mesmerize even the most well-traveled of people.

But getting there isn’t cheap—especially if you want to fly up front. Economy tickets are often over $1,000, and business class starts at somewhere around $2,500 at any given time. Don’t even get us started on first class tickets.

Fear not! It’s actually very easy to get to Japan with points and miles. A ton of different airlines fly from major U.S. cities to Tokyo (and beyond), and you can use a number of different airline programs to book award flights.

Today we will look at 6 ways to get to Japan using points/miles

Here are six of the best ways to fly to Japan using points and miles.

  1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  2. Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank
  3. All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club
  4. Air Canada Aeroplan
  5. United Airlines MileagePlus
  6. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

One of my favorite ways to book flights to Japan is with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles thanks to a few partners.

Alaska Airlines has a different award chart for each airline, and you can’t mix flights on different partners for the same award redemption. However, one-way award flights are allowed and you can include a stopover.

Here’s the one way award prices for both airlines:

AirlineEconomyBusiness ClassFirst Class
Japan Airlines42,500 Alaska miles55,000 Alaska miles70,000 Alaska miles
American Airlines40,000 Alaska miles80,000 Alaska miles110,000 Alaska miles
Alaska Air Mileage Plan

You may find yourself connecting on an Alaska Airlines flight to get to your Japan Airlines departure city or connecting on Alaska or American to pick up your American Airlines long-haul flight.

Connecting flights on Alaska Airlines can be tagged onto an award ticket, but that’s it. You may find yourself connecting on an Alaska Airlines flight to get to your Japan Airlines departure city or connecting on Alaska or American to pick up your American Airlines long-haul flight.

Remember, you can only include one partner on award bookings so you can’t include a domestic connection on American Airlines if you have a flight on Japan Airlines.

Continue Reading

Best Ways, Blog

Best Ways To Fly To Australia and New Zealand Using 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: Caroline Lupini

Getting to Australia or New Zealand can be one of the more difficult redemptions to put together. Not only do you need to amass a huge number of miles to get to the region, but you also need to find award space which can be tough.

Best Ways To Fly To Australia and New Zealand Using Points/Miles

In this article, we’ll show you seven different programs that can help you get to Australia and New Zealand with points and miles

But, fear not. In this article, we’ll show you seven different programs that can help you get to Australia and New Zealand with points and miles. Armed with this information, you’ll have a better chance of finding the award availability you need.

  1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  2. ANA Mileage Club
  3. Japan Airlines Mileage Bank
  4. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  5. Air Canada Aeroplan
  6. United Airlines MileagePlus
  7. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Let’s get started!

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

One of the best ways to fly to Australia with points is using Alaska Mileage Plan miles. Though Alaska doesn’t actually fly to Australia or New Zealand, many of its partners do. From the U.S., its partners  Qantas and American Airlines will provide the most direct path but you’ll have a couple other options as well.

Alaska Mileage Plan has different award charts for each partner so you’ll want to keep an eye out for sweet spots in each chart. Qantas is the better deal for first and business class, but American Airlines is the best choice for economy seats. Here are the one-way award rates when booking with Alaska miles:

Class of ServiceAmerican AirlinesCathay PacificFiji AirwaysQantas
Economy40,000 miles40,000 miles40,000 miles42,500 miles
Premium EconomyN/A47,500 milesN/A47,500 miles
Business80,000 miles60,000 miles55,000 miles55,000 miles
First110,000 miles80,000 milesN/A70,000 miles

Not only are awards on Qantas cheaper, but it also has a very nice first class and solid business class product. Though the hard product leaves a bit to be desired in business class on the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747, the soft product is incredible for a round-trip price of only 110,000 miles. If you find yourself on one of Qantas’ Boeing 787 Dreamliners, you’ll get to experience one of the better business class options in the sky.

Qantas Dreamliner Business Class

Photo courtesy of Qantas

While you can add a connection on Alaska Airlines, you are only allowed to include one partner on award bookings. This means you cannot fly both American Airlines and Qantas on the same award.

Since Qantas flies out of Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK) via LAX, and San Francisco (SFO), you may find yourself positioning on an Alaska flight before your flight abroad.

Continue Reading

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How to Use Your Cell Phone Abroad: A Breakdown of Each Major Carrier

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

A common concern of travelers is how to communicate with friends and family holding down the fort at home and traveling partners when you’re doing different activities.

Deciding on a telecom carrier based on their international plan is a smart tactic if you know you’ll be traveling beyond the United States and needing to stay connected the entire time.

Keep in mind that connecting a smartphone to wifi will give you many services you need, but you may not be able to text and call over wifi. It’s also useful to know the cost of data wherever you’re traveling.

Here’s a breakdown of the international phone plans offered by all of the major U.S. telecom carriers.

International Phone Plans

Connecting a smartphone to wifi will give you many services you need, but you may not be able to text and call over wifi.

AT&T

AT&T has a variety of phone and data plans ranging from prepaid minutes, texts and data to unlimited plans. Its international plans vary almost as much as their domestic counterparts, which gives customers plenty of flexibility depending on how much they plan to use their device while abroad.

The best deal for talk and text is the $10 International Day Pass, which gives you unlimited calls within the countries that qualify for using the pass, as well as back to the U.S. The pass also gives you unlimited texts worldwide.

Your data use will count toward your monthly allowance based on your cell plan. You can use the International Day Pass in many countries but there are somewhere it won’t be an option.

In this case, your best option is probably AT&T Passport which starts at $60 and gives you 1 GB to use for talk, text, and data. This can be used one time, or monthly.

The Pay Per Use option charges $2.05 per MB of international data for talk, text, and data.

International Phone Plans with At&T

AT&T has a variety of phone and data plans ranging from prepaid minutes, texts and data to unlimited plans. Its international plans vary almost as much as their domestic counterparts, which gives customers plenty of flexibility depending on how much they plan to use their device while abroad.

Continue Reading

Blog

Amex Platinum Review: Is It Worth the Fee?

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

The The Platinum Card from American Express has long been regarded as the travel card to have. After all, it comes with a ton of benefits such as lounge access, flexible points and even Uber credits.

But, is the card worth a place in your wallet? In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of the American Express Platinum Card and discuss whether it’s worth the hefty annual fee.

Is the Amex Platinum worth the fee?

This is not the Amex Platinum card (aren’t stock photos fun?)

The American Express Platinum Card has a long list of benefits. Here are some of the most important for travelers like you.

Is the Amex Plat worth the fee

American Express Platinum: Learn More

Let’s dive in!

Lounge Access

The American Express Platinum might be most well known for providing access to tons of airport lounges. With this card, you’ll have access to the following lounges:

  • American Express Centurion Lounges
  • Delta SkyClub  (when flying Delta)
  • Airspace Lounges
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Lufthansa Business Lounges when flying SWISS, Austrian, or Lufthansa through Munich and Frankfurt in any class of service. Lufthansa Senator Lounges when flying these airlines in Business Class.

Amex Centurion Lounge SEA – Image Courtesy of TheCenturionLounge.com

The highlight of the list is the American Express Centurion lounges. These lounges offer high-quality food and beverage options and are a step above many U.S. domestic lounges. You can find a Centurion Lounge at several major airports in the United States including:

  • Dallas (DFW)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • New York (LGA)
  • Philadelphia (PHL)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Seattle (SEA)

If you find yourself flying out of Hong Kong (HKG), you’ll even find a great Centurion Lounge there. American Express continues to expand the number of airports with Centurion Lounges and currently has plans to open

Amex Centurion Lounge Hong Kong – Image Courtesy of TheCenturionLounge.com

$200 Airline Incidental Fee Credit

  Continue Reading

Blog

How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Airline and Hotel Partners

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

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are a go-to choice for many miles and points fans. In large part, this is because they have a ton of different uses and can be transferred to valuable airline and hotel programs including United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards and World of Hyatt.

How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Airline and Hotel Partners

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points can be transferred to many airline and hotel partners, including Southwest Airlines

In this article, I’ll show you how to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to any of its transfer partners. We’ll also give you a look at the most valuable partners and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about transferring Chase points.

Let’s dive in!

How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points To Airline and Hotel Partners

First thing’s first: let’s learn how to transfer points.

To transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to airline or hotel partners, you must have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred Card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Learn More

The Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Ink Business Cash Card and Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card each earn Ultimate Rewards points, but do not let you transfer to airline partners.

Chase Freedom: Learn More

However, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points from a card that doesn’t have an annual fee to one that does. More on that in a bit!

Additionally, you can only transfer points to your own loyalty program accounts or the account of one person in your household. Some have reported being able to transfer points to another person’s account, but this often leads to account shutdowns by Chase. We do not recommend that you do this.

Now, let’s talk about the transfer process.

Start by navigating to the Chase website and logging into your Chase account.

Scroll to the bottom of your dashboard and click the blue Chase Ultimate Rewards button. This button will display the number of points in your account. You’ll be taken to your Ultimate Rewards account page.

UR Button

Now, look towards the top of the screen and click the Transfer to Travel Partners button or select this option from the dropdown menu in the top left hand corner of the page. You’ll be redirected to a page that lists all of Chase’s transfer partners.

SelectPartner

Next, click on the Transfer Points button to the right of the partner you want to use to start the process. For this example, we’ll transfer points to United MileagePlus. Continue Reading

Blog

Why Venture Cardholders Should Consider Chase Sapphire Preferred

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

The Capital One Venture Card is probably one you’re familiar with, even if you don’t have it in your wallet. It’s a card you’ll often see advertised on TV by Jennifer Garner. You know, the “what’s in your wallet?” commercial.

You have probably seen commercials for the Capital One Venture Card before

Well, I’m here to tell you today that the Capital One Venture card shouldn’t be in your wallet – or at least not the only card there. You might not believe me yet, but there’s another card out there that will be better for most people, instead of, or in addition to the Venture card.

Enter the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Learn More

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar at restaurants and on travel purchases while all other purchases earn 1X point per dollar.

Right off the bat, this might not sound as good as the Venture card, but that’s because Venture uses very clever marketing that doesn’t provide the full picture.

Let’s address why the “double miles is better than 1” marketing slogan from Venture is incomplete. Yes, all else equal, double miles is better than one but it’s not a one to one comparison when examining Venture miles and Ultimate Rewards points.

With the Capital One Venture Card, you do earn 2X points per dollar on all purchases, but these points are worth one cent each when the points are redeemed for travel. They’ll never be worth more, and they’ll never be worth less. Really, what this means is that the Venture card is a flat 2% back credit card when redeeming points for travel. Unlike other cash back cards, it has an annual fee.

The Venture Card’s “double miles” pitch is the grown up equivalent of the classic “I’ll trade you 2 pennies for 1 dollar because 2 > 1”

Continue Reading

Blog

Easy Ways To Earn Extra Miles And Points

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

When you think about the number of miles you need for an award flight, it’s easy to get intimidated. You need ~12,500 miles just for a flight within the U.S. with most airlines and often times you’ll read that the best value is to redeem your miles for international business and first class tickets that cost 50,000 miles or more one-way. It’s no wonder that many people feel like they can’t earn enough miles for these types of trips.

Redeeming credit card points can be intimidating

We talk a lot about how you can earn miles through credit card sign-up bonuses on 10xTravel, but there are also some other great ways to easily earn points and miles that are easy to work into your regular routine to help you top up one of your accounts.

Here are 6 great ways you can earn a few more miles and points!

Shopping Portals

Many airlines and hotel loyalty programs have shopping portals that allow you to earn additional miles and points for online shopping you are already doing. Other portals will give you the option to earn additional cash back for these purchases.

Of course, you don’t want to have to take the time to compare rates between all of these different portals before you make your purchase. Luckily, you can quickly and easily compare rates between most shopping portals at CashbackMonitor so you don’t have to individually look on each site.

Now, you don’t always want to choose the program that’s offering the most points or miles back because you always need to consider how you value that type of point or mile (and also compare to the cashback rate!). For example, I looked up what you can currently get back for shopping at Apple.

Screen Shot 2018 05 20 at 7.27.26 PM

I have a lot of British Airways Avios right now, so I would rather earn 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent than 3X British Airways Avios. When you consider the flexibility of Ultimate Rewards points, the small difference might not matter very much. Continue Reading

Blog

Chase Cards You Can Get After You Hit 5/24

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

Chase’s 5/24 rule isn’t new to the points and miles world anymore, but it’s a rule that always has to be kept in mind. If you’ve opened 5 or more personal cards (or business cards from Capital One) in the last 24 months, Chase won’t approve you for many of its credit cards.

At least for now. There are rumors that in the not-too-distant future, Chase will apply the 5/24 rule to all of its credit cards. That means that it could be time to take advantage of some cards that currently don’t fall under the 5/24 rule if you are already over 5/24.

Chase is rumored to be considering applying the 5/24 rule to all of their cards

Here are some Chase cards you might want to consider that aren’t subject to the 5/24 rule.

British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus Visa Signature Credit Cards

These three airlines are all part of International Airlines Group (IAG) and participate in the Avios loyalty program. Each airline has slightly different award charts and partner airlines, but points are freely transferable between the three airlines.

Each airline’s co-branded credit card currently has a maximum sign-up bonus of 100,000 Avios if you spend $20,000 in the first year. This is broken up into three parts: 50,000 Avios when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, another 25,000 Avios if you spend $10,000 total in the first year, and another 25,000 Avios if you spend $20,000 in the first year. All three cards earn 3X Avios per dollar spent on Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, LEVEL and OpenSkies, and 1X Avios (Avio?) per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Chase British Airways Card: Learn More

Continue Reading

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Mystery Shop Your Way to Discounted Travel with SQM

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

Note: Before signing up for this service, make sure to read the full article. I have had great experiences with this company in the past, but my most recent experience was not great. I still think this can be a great way to save on flights, but make sure you know what you’re getting yourself in to head of time.

With points and miles, it’s possible to travel a lot more for a lot less. But even with points and miles, chances are good that you’ll still have to pay cash for a flight or hotel at some point in time.

When that time comes, you still shouldn’t settle for paying full price for your travel because you can mystery shop and save up to 50%! Evaluate It by SQM is a Toronto-based mystery shopping company, but they partner with a lot of U.S. companies!

Overview

If mystery shopping for discounted travel sounds intriguing to you, it’s really easy to get started. First, you’ll have to apply to be a mystery shopper with SQM. After you’ve been accepted, you can request assignments. If you’re approved for an assignment, you will need to complete an evaluation after finishing the assignment. Finally, you’ll be reimbursed up to 50% for your travel.

Types of Assignments

Evaluate It by SQM partners with a wide range of companies including hotels, resorts, airlines, travel companies, restaurants and attractions. Unfortunately, it’s against the terms to tell you exactly what companies they work with (plus it changes) but you probably won’t be disappointed with the options.

In all likelihood, the plane tickets and hotels will offer the largest savings and will be of the most interest of readers of 10xTravel. Let’s take a deeper look into how an evaluation works for flights and hotels!

How It Works

Once you’ve been approved to be a secret shopper with SQM, you’ll be able to see the available assignments. It’s possible to search both by type of assignment and by location. From there, you’ll be able to apply for assignments that interest you! Continue Reading