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Travis Cormier

andaz papagayo costa rica chase ink preferred world hyatt credit card
Blog, Two Card Trip

Two Card Trip: Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica with the Chase Ink Preferred and World of Hyatt Credit Card

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: Travis Cormier

Editors Note: Two Card Trips is a series of articles that show how you could book a trip using points/miles earned from just two credit card bonuses. Today’s two card trip takes us to Costa Rica with bonuses from the Chase Ink Preferred and World of Hyatt Credit Cards.

Hey Travel Junkies,

Costa Rica is one of the most popular countries to visit in Central America for a good reason: your options for adventure are almost limitless in Costa Rica. Whether you’re looking to explore the rainforest, surf the waves, or watch the colorful wildlife, you will easily fill your time in this amazing country.

Thanks to some great sign-up bonuses, you can stay at a luxurious resort as your home-base for all your adventures. Let’s take a look at how you can visit Costa Rica with just two credit card sign up bonuses.

The Two Cards

With just two credit cards, you can make your Costa Rica dreams a reality.

The first card is the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card . The Chase Ink Preferred comes with 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards when you spend $5,000 in the first three months. You’ll also earn 3 points for every dollar spent on travel, shipping, internet cable and phone services, and online advertising. You’ll earn 1 point for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after $5,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More

The second card is The World of Hyatt Credit Card by Chase which has a tiered bonus offer. You’ll earn 25,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of opening the card. You’ll earn an additional 25,000 points when you spend $6,000 total in the first 6 months.

While that is a lot of minimum spend to hit, with the right strategies, it is very doable. One great way is by paying your bills with Plastiq. When paired with your daily spend, you can quickly hit the bonuses on these two cards.

Both cards have some amazing benefits that make them compelling to keep in your wallet year after year.

The Chase Ink Preferred offers cell-phone insurance when you pay your bill with the card. I love this benefit because if my phone gets accidentally damaged, I know it will have coverage.

The World of Hyatt credit card earns a free night every year you own the card, starting with your first card-member anniversary. These free nights are great to use if you need to stay overnight in a city before your next flight.

Now that you know which two cards you need to book your Costa Rica adventure, let’s look at the fun details of the trip.

Where to Stay

You’ll be looking to stay at the Andaz Papagayo Resort. The resort is a category 4 Hyatt property which costs only 15,000 points per night.

You can check out 10xT Contributor Weston Conway’s review of the property here.

Using points to stay at the Andaz Papagayo Resort is a great deal because it’s an expensive resort if you wanted to pay cash, but by using points, you’re going to save money and get a great experience for free. For example, A quick search shows some nights in February costing $650 per night! With points, you’ll pay nothing!

andaz papagayo costa rica chase ink preferred world hyatt credit card

15,000 points, or $652 per night… tough choice!

Another great way using point saves you money comes from the fact that Hyatt doesn’t charge resort fees on award nights, so you won’t have any extra charges to pop-up and surprise you when you check out. Continue Reading

points shopping online
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How to Maximize Points When Shopping Online

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.

Hey Travel Junkies,

The holidays are my favorite time of the year to be involved in the 10xTravel points and miles community. I get to see people use points to see friends and family across the country or celebrating the holidays with a vacation.

Right now, many people are buying last minute gifts for loved ones, creating a great opportunity to meet minimum spends to get new bonuses. I just signed myself up for a few cards that will get me almost 500,000 points this holiday season from welcome bonuses. But, just because you’re getting bonuses doesn’t mean you should leave points on the table.

Unfortunately, there are very few cards that offer bonus points simply for “shopping online.” That means most of your spend will only be earning 1 or 2 points for every dollar spent. If you leave it at that, you’re missing out on a ton of points.

Let’s look at your online shopping strategy and how you can formulate it to get the most points when shopping online this holiday season and beyond.

points shopping online

This holiday season, many people are buying last minute gifts for loved ones, creating a great opportunity to meet minimum spends to get new bonuses.

Use the Right Card

The first thing to do to get the most points when shopping online is to use the right card. There’s a lot of award programs available, but let’s focus on the major transferable programs: Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, American Express Membership Rewards, and Capital One Miles.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after $5,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More

To get the most points when shopping online, some cards are better than others. If you’re not working on a sign-up bonus, here are the best cards for each program:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Ink Unlimited
  • Citi AT&T Access Card
  • American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card
  • Capital One Spark Miles Credit Card
  • Capital One Venture Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited $150 cash bonus after $500 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after $5,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More

If you want to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Ink Unlimited earn 1.5X points on every purchase.

The American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card earns 2X Membership Rewards on the first $50,000 you spend every year, making it a great card for earning Membership Rewards points.

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express Earn 2x points on eligible purchases up to $50,000 annually, 1x on all else. Terms apply.(Learn more)

With either of the Capital One cards, you’ll earn 2X points per dollar on every purchase. The great thing about them is that there’s no cap – you’ll earn 2X points on all purchases you make throughout the year. You can transfer Venture or Spark Miles to various airline partners at a 2:1.5 ratio — this means you’re essentially earning 1.5X airline miles per dollar.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business $500 cash back after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, an additional $1,500 cash back when you spend $50,000 in 6 monthsLearn More

The card on this list you’re probably the least familiar with is the Citi AT&T Access Card. If you’re looking to earn Citi ThankYou points, this should be a go-to card if you shop online.

The Citi AT&T Access Card is one of the only cards with a bonus category for online shopping. You’ll earn 2X ThankYou points for every dollar you spend online. While Citi doesn’t provide an official list of online merchants that will earn 2X, experience shows that popular sites such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart are included. Just remember this is for online purchases only, not in-store purchases.

With these cards, you can be sure to earn more than 1X on all online purchases. All you have to do is decide what points you need to help you book your next trip.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 50,000 bonus miles (worth $500) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 monthsLearn More

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IHG all-inclusive resorts for families
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IHG ALL-Inclusive Resorts – A Great Option For Families

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 Travis Cormier

Hey Travel Junkies,

Understandably, families traveling with kids often find travel costs can be a bit steep. You’ll be paying for your kids’ food and activities in addition to your own. Many parents are drawn to all-inclusive resorts to help minimize these extra costs.

IHG all-inclusive resort | Holiday Inn Resort

IHG all-inclusive resorts are great options for families because Holiday Inn Resorts don’t charge extra for kids. You’ll find some great options – two on the Pacific side of Mexico and one on the beaches of Jamaica.

If you’re looking to travel to an all-inclusive resort on points, a great option for families is one of IHG’s Holiday Inn Resorts – IHG all-inclusive resorts.  Holiday Inn Resorts have one of the best benefits for families: kids stay free! This can really help keep costs down because you’re paying with points and not having to pay extra cash for the kids.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card 80,000 points after $2,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More

Let’s first take a look at resort fees and what you should expect. Then, let’s explore the Holiday Inn Resort all-inclusive options that you can book with points.

Resort Fees

Some hotel brands have started charging resort fees to cover the costs of amenities like gyms and pools but resort fees often aren’t mentioned upfront. Instead, you’ll only discover them upon check-in when it is too late to change plans and IHG is no exception.

Award nights through the IHG program do not cover resort fees. Fees are set by the property and vary, typically costing $20-$40 per night. Thankfully, there are no resort fees with IHG all-inclusive resorts which means you won’t be out any cash for booking any of these family-friendly resorts.

Now that we know there won’t be any surprise charges, let’s take a look at the three IHG all-inclusive properties that you can book with points. 

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Guide To Hyatt All-Inclusive Properties
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The Complete Guide To Hyatt All-Inclusive Properties

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:  Travis Cormier

Hey Travel Junkies,

Points and miles are a great way to save a lot of money when you travel, but airfare and accommodations aren’t the only costs you’ll face. You still have to pay for food, drinks, and activities.

These costs can really add up, especially if you’re traveling to a resort destination where breakfast may cost $40 for some pancakes and eggs. For families, it’s even worse! You might find yourself spending a few hundred dollars per day just to eat breakfast.

These extra costs are why so many people are attracted to all-inclusive properties where food, drinks, and activities are included in the total cost.

Guide To Hyatt All-Inclusive Properties

These extra costs are why so many people are attracted to all-inclusive properties where food, drinks, and activities are included in the total cost.  Photo Credit:  Hyatt All-Inclusive

While there aren’t many all-inclusive properties that we can book with points, Hyatt does have a few that might interest you.

Resort Fees

Some hotels sneakily charge resort fees for you to use all of the amenities such as the gym or pools. Many travelers don’t notice as resort fees aren’t mentioned up front.

Guide To Hyatt All-Inclusive Properties | Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta | Oceanfront Fitness Center

The World of Hyatt Credit Card also has some unique bonus spend categories that you won’t find on any other card including 2X on fitness club memberships.  Photo Credit:  Hyatt All-Inclusive

However, when you use Hyatt points, you’ll certainly notice when your “free” hotel stay costs an extra $45+ per night thanks to resort fees.

If that sounds upsetting, then I’ve got good news. Hyatt does NOT impose resort fees on award stays. Instead, your Hyatt points will cover the entire cost of the stay.  At Hyatt, a free award night is truly a free award night.

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If you’re wanting to travel to the Maldives, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the best ways to get there.
Best Ways, Blog

Best Ways to Fly to the Maldives Using 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: Travis Cormier

The Maldives is considered one of the most luxurious island destinations you can visit on earth. Seclusion, luxury and the gorgeous Instagram-worthy scenes attract people from around the world to this island nation.

Getting to the Maldives is no small feat, though. From my hometown of Houston, the Maldives islands are nearly 10,000 miles away. With that in mind, you should anticipate the trip taking at least 24 hours (trust me, it is worth it).

You won’t find any non-stop routes from the U.S. to the Maldives but there are a number of options that connect in Asia and the Middle East

Let’s explore some of the best ways to use miles and points to use to fly to the Maldives.

If you’re wanting to travel to the Maldives, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the best ways to get there.

If you’re wanting to travel to the Maldives, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the best ways to get there.

  1. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  2. American Airlines AAdvantage
  3. Air Canada Aeroplan
  4. All Nippon Airways Mileage Club
  5. Japan Airlines 

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

If you’re wanting to travel to the Maldives, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is one of the best ways to get there. Alaska has different award charts for different partners, so what airline you fly on will impact the amount of points you pay.

Keep in mind, with an Alaska Airlines award ticket you can only fly on Alaska Airlines flights and the one partner airline you have chosen. You cannot mix and match partners. Because of this, you may have to use a positioning flight in addition to your award ticket.

Economy Flights on Emirates

For flyers in an economy, you’ll want to use Alaska Mileage Plan to fly on Emirates. This will cost 42,500 miles each way, or 85,000 miles round-trip per person. Taxes and fees are quite low as well, starting at $25 one-way from the U.S. to the Maldives, and $92 on the return flight.

travel maldives with points and miles

Emirates flies from a number of US cities. If you can’t find availability from your hometown, try searching from these cities to the Maldives (MLE).

Boston (BOS) New York (JFK)
Chicago (ORD) Newark (EWR)
Dallas (DFW) Orlando (MCO
Ft Lauderdale (FLL) San Francisco (SFO
Houston (IAH) Seattle (SEA)
Los Angeles (LAX) Washington DC (IAD)

Emirates usually has pretty good award availability for economy class, so you shouldn’t have too big of an issue finding flights.

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delta basic economy
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How to Beat Delta Basic Economy

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: Travis Cormier

Hey Travel Junkies,

If you’re looking to save money when paying cash for a flight, you might find yourself booking a basic economy ticket. Generally, a basic economy ticket comes with a seat on the plane and little else.

If you’re considering a flight in Basic Economy on Delta, you may be wondering how to get the most out of the low fare. Amongst its competitors, Delta probably has some of the most reasonable restrictions on basic economy tickets.

Despite its policies, it’s important to know how to get the most out of the basic economy experience.

If you’ve been keeping up with our series on beating basic economy, you know by now that the best way to beat any basic economy flight is by using (or even just having) an airline co-branded credit card.

Make sure you check out how you can beat American Airlines Basic Economy and do the same with United — this one isn’t quite as simple.

Let’s start by going over the relevant benefits you get from American Express’ co-branded Delta cards. After that, we’ll take a look at Delta’s Basic Economy restrictions and how these card benefits can help you beat Delta Basic Economy.

delta basic economy

Large families may find significant value when booking Delta Basic Economy using Delta co-branded credit cards from American Express.

The Best Credit Cards to Beat Delta Basic Economy

American Express offers six Delta credit cards — three personal, three business — that can help you beat Delta Basic Economy.

  • Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
  • Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)
Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card 35,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spend in 3 months. $100 statement credit after first purchase(Learn more)
Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card 70,000 bonus miles after $5,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)

 

With each of these Delta co-branded credit cards, your first checked bag will be free. Even better, up to 8 family members or friends traveling on the same reservation as you can also receive a free checked bag. Large families may find significant value from this benefit when booking Delta Basic Economy.

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How To Beat United Basic Economy
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How to Beat United Basic Economy

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: Travis Cormier

Hey Travel Junkies,

As a Houston native, I fly United quite a bit.

I don’t mind flying United Basic Economy to get to my destination when I am flying alone. Sometimes all I need is a flight from point A to point B.

When flying Basic Economy on United, I want to be sure I’m getting everything I need. If I’m taking a bag with me, I want to be sure I can check it or bring it as a carry-on. I may even want to select my seat.

Many unsuspecting travelers have been caught off-guard by Basic Economy and there are some restrictions that might surprise you.

Let’s take a look at the United’s Basic Economy rules and how you can avoid some of the pitfalls.

How To Beat United Basic Economy

United’s Basic Economy rules and how you can avoid some of the pitfalls.

The Best Credit Cards to Beat United Basic Economy

Before we get into United’s Basic Economy rules, let’s look at the available co-branded credit cards that can help you beat United Basic Economy. There are four United credit cards that can help you avoid some nasty fees:

  • United Explorer Card
  • Chase United MileagePlus Club Card
  • Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card
  • Chase United MileagePlus Club Business Card
United Explorer Card 40,000 bonus miles after $2,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)

 

Most travelers will find the benefits offered by the Chase United Explorer personal or business cards to be enough to beat United Basic Economy. There are additional benefits to the Club cards — United Club access — but these benefits come with a much higher annual fee.

With any of these credit cards, you’ll receive at least one free checked bags for you and one companion when you purchase your ticket using your United co-branded credit card. If you hold either the MileagePlus Club Card or MileagePlus Club Business Card, you’ll receive your first and second bag for free.

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Blog

How To Beat American Airlines Basic Economy

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: Travis Cormier

Hey Travel Junkies,

I love to travel as much as possible. Despite what it may seem, I do fly economy from time to time.

Just last year, I even made the journey to Hawaii in economy and survived just fine. You can even catch me on Spirit Airlines for domestic flights — albeit, usually in the Big Front Seat.

Even avid points/miles geeks travel in economy from time to time

To compete with low cost carriers like Spirit, legacy airlines have introduced a new fare class called Basic Economy. I’ll go into more detail about basic economy later, but 10xTravel Editor in Chief Spencer Howard summed it up well:

“Basic economy comes with little more than a spot on the plane.”

Unfortunately, many unsuspecting travelers see the lower costs of a basic economy ticket without knowing what they’re really getting. This can lead to extra fees that add up quickly.

Today, I’m going to show you how to beat American Airlines basic economy.

Major carries have launched basic economy fares to compete with budget carriers

First, we will look at the benefits you can get from a Co-Branded American Airlines Card. Second, we will look at American Airlines Basic Economy limitations and how your credit card benefits can help you beat them.

Beat Basic Economy with a Co-Branded American Card

With a co-branded credit card you can save a lot of money on your American Airlines basic economy ticket. The following cards have benefits that will help you beat basic economy:

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World EliteTM Mastercard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World EliteTM Mastercard®
  • CitiBusiness / AAdvantage® Platinum Select World EliteTM Mastercard®
  • AAdvantage® AviatorTM Red Mastercard®
  • AAdvantage® AviatorTM Business Mastercard®

You can learn about these cards and more by visiting our credit cards page.

american airlines basic economy

Airline credit cards are a great way to “beat” basic economy

With one of these co-branded credit cards, your first checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines flights. This benefit even extends to 4 travel companions on your reservation. If you have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World EliteTM Mastercard® this benefit extends to 8 travel companions on your reservation. Continue Reading

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How to Save Money on Last Minute Flights

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: Travis Cormier

Many people think airlines will have great discounts for last minute flights as they try to fill their empty cabins. This is one of the big travel myths out there, and in fact the opposite is true. Airlines know that people who have to travel last minute have little flexibility, and prices often increase dramatically.

This can be extremely frustrating when you need a last minute flight and don’t have the flexibility to wait. Thankfully, you can use miles and points to help save some cash.

Let’s explore a few of the ways you can save by booking award tickets with miles and points.

The idea that “airlines will discount empty seats to fill them” is mostly a myth

Avoid Close-In Booking Fees

One of the easiest ways to save money is to use an airline program that doesn’t charge you a close-in booking fee. Fortunately, you can access all three major airline alliances without paying close-in booking fees if you know which programs to use.

Use British Airways Avios For Oneworld Flights

Using British Airways Avios to book a last minute flight is my go to method. You can use Avios to book a flight on Oneworld partners. For domestic flights, this means you can avoid paying close-in booking fees on an American Airlines flight which can run you $75 — yikes! Think about how annoying that would be if traveling with a family.

pasted image 0 4

Avoid Close In Booking Fees – Here Called “AAdvantage Award Fees”

Take the above image as an example, American AAdvantage would cost 7,500 miles and $80,60. Instead, why not book the same ticket for  7,500 miles and $5.60 from Houston (IAH) to Dallas (DFW) with Avios. Continue Reading

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How I Did It: A Luxury Maldives Honeymoon

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: Travis Cormier

Hi Travel Junkies,

Like many of you, I got started in the points and miles world when planning my honeymoon. And boy am I glad I did! Without points and miles, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy such an amazing honeymoon.

IMG 1537

We flew first class, stayed at the wonderful Park Hyatt Maldives, and amazingly didn’t even get a serious sunburn.

There’s many great ways to travel to the Maldives, but I’m going to walk you through how I did it – including some of the speed bumps we ran into along the way.

Etihad Apartments and American Airlines First Class

pasted image 0 14

This was a crazy itinerary but travelling across three different continents only cost us 230,000 American AAdvantage miles and $174.32 per person.

We flew a pretty busy route for this trip. Our outbound itinerary included:

  • Austin (AUS) to Dallas (DFW) on American Airlines First Class
  • Dallas (DFW) to London (LHR) on American Airlines Flagship First Class
  • London (LHR) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) on Etihad First Class
  • Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE) on Etihad First Class

For our return flights we flew:

  • Male (MLE) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) on Etihad First Class
  • Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York (JFK) on Etihad First Class
  • New York (JFK) to Miami (MIA) on American Airlines First Class
  • Miami (MIA) to Austin (AUS) on American Airlines First Class

If you’ve read our guide to redeeming AAdvantage miles, you may have noticed that this violates one of American Airlines’ routing rules as it transits Europe on way to the Indian Subcontinent.

The reason I was able to book this route was because I was originally booked on Etihad’s flight from DFW to AUH, but Etihad discontinued that route 5 days before my honeymoon! I called American Airlines with the alternative routing in hand and they were happy to accomodate because of the flight cancellation.

Now, let’s look at how much this trip would have cost if we had booked with cash. Spoiler! They would have been really expensive.

It’s a little tricky to put the exact price together, because these exact routings won’t show up on either Etihad or American’s websites so I did my best to piece it together accurately.

Our flight from Austin to London prices out as $9,308 per person one way. Continue Reading