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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

Last Chance to Win a Free Trip to Vegas! Contest Ends Thursday at 11:59pm EST

Hi Travel Junkies,

One last reminder to enter to win one of two FREE trips to Las Vegas to attend the 2018 10xTravel Las Vegas Reader Meetup! Contest ends at 11:59pm on Thursday, August 16.

Last year’s winners, Kelsey and Stephanie!

It takes ~30 seconds to enter and the prize packages are awesome

Here’s what each prize package includes:

  • A round trip flight to Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Free limo ride from the airport to your hotel
  • Two free nights in a Bella Suite the Venetian
  • Two tickets to our 10xT Vegas Reader Meetup (so you can bring a friend)
  • $100 in cash to spend however you like

Use the widget below to enter. There are a number of ways to increase your number of entries, and therefore your odds of winning.

10xTravel 2018 Las Vegas Giveaway

Winners will be announced on Friday, August 17, 2018 and are subject to the terms & conditions here: https://10xtravel.com/10xt-giveaway-rules/

Good luck!

Happy Travels,

Bryce

Blog

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.

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.

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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

Blog

The Most Common Credit Mistake I See (And Most People Have No Idea They’re Doing It)

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, Founder of 10xTravel

Hi Travel Junkies,

Today, we’re going to set travel aside and talk about the often overlooked, but vitally important subject of your credit.

Sexy topic, I know. But, hear me out.

Over the past 5 years, you’ve seen me write a lot about credit cards, travel and a little bit about credit. The first two subjects certainly make for more exciting articles than the last one.

I’m guessing you don’t follow a lot of “credit influencers” on Instagram

What you haven’t seen publicly is my one-on-one work with thousands of people to help eliminate credit card debt, repair credit scores and optimize credit prior to applying for a mortgage, student loan, etc. I’m convinced that I’m one of the less than 10 people on earth who actually enjoys talking about these things.

Anyway, like anyone who has been working in a field for a long time, this has allowed me to spot common trends in the way people approach their credit.

So, today I want to cover one of the most common mistakes I see in the world of credit and credit scores.

We’ll use a recent client of mine who we will call “Jeff”, as an example.

Meet “Jeff”

Jeff is your typical upper 20-something year-old guy who is in the market to buy his first home. He has been putting money aside for years to save for a down payment and finally has enough to make his move.

This is a stock photo. I have no idea what “Jeff” actually looks like

Like most people, Jeff has never actively paid attention to his credit score. He checks it on occasion, often using websites that don’t provide a “real” FICO score, but only has a general idea of how his score is calculated.

Jeff opened one credit card after graduating from college (with a $5,000 limit), pays his bill in full each month and hasn’t made any other major credit mistakes (missed payments, collections accounts, etc.).

But, he was confused as to why his credit score was only 705, which is what led him to me.

His initial email to me read like the dozens of others I see on a monthly basis, “I don’t get why my score isn’t higher. I’ve done everything right so far. Is it just because I am young and don’t have much credit history?”

Nope. 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

Blog

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

Blog, Top Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards: August 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 August 2018.

I rank these offers by looking at their signup bonus, cardholder perks, ongoing value, and any fees they may charge. And while the best offer for you will vary depending on a number of factors, I am going to rank the top offers based on the order in which I think they should be chosen by the average person.

Not a lot of changes this month, which is a good thing in my opinion because there are a ton of great offers out there right now.

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

Image result for 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

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

Continue Reading

Blog

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.

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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

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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

Blog

Reader Success Story: A First Class Honeymoon In Switzerland

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 Matthew F

After getting into the points and miles game almost two years ago we decided to take the plunge and go all out for our honeymoon.

We started planning almost a year out. At first, we couldn’t decide where we wanted to go, but knew we wanted to go to see snow since we were getting married on December 16 and the mountains are very special to us.

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W Hotel in Verbier

We finally decided to go to Switzerland, as it was at the top of our bucket list.

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Ski Slopes Verbier

How we earned the points and booked the trip

We had enough American AAdvantage miles thanks to the sign-up bonus we each earned with the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select credit card. At the time, the sign-up bonus was 60,000 American miles. We also opened a Citi gold checking account which offered 50,000 American miles for doing so.

For a round-trip first class award ticket, we each needed 170,000 American miles. However, one of the perks of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card is that you get a 10% rebate on the miles you redeem up to 100,000 miles (10,000-mile rebate). Since we both have the card, we each maxed out the rebate and now have American miles left for another trip.

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British Airways 787-9 First Class, London to Atlanta

British Airways, London to Atlanta

We still had to figure how to get our hands on the rest of the miles, so we ended up doing a few things such as transferring some SPG Starpoints (and other obscure hotel points) and buying some American miles during a sale.

Editor’s note: Make sure you understand the pros and cons of buying miles as the times when it makes sense to buy are few and far between.

To make the experience really special, we decided to see if we could experience a true international first class flight. We found first class award space on American’s partner British Airways from Atlanta (ATL) to Geneva (GVA) with a connection at London Heathrow (LHR). Our return started in Zurich (ZRH) and again connected at LHR on our way to ATL.

The cash rate for this would have been over $5,700 round-trip per person. While we did have to pay taxes and fees including the high surcharges required by British Airways, we felt it was more than worth it for our honeymoon. Continue Reading