Blog, Success Stories

Reader Success Story: A Trip to Bucharest for Next to Nothing

Hi Travel Junkies,

Today I want to introduce you to longtime 10xT reader Jarrod, who is a Captain in the United States Marine Corps based out of greater Washington, DC. Jarrod has really taken well to the points/miles game and just got back from Bucharest, where his wife was able to visit him on deployment using points and miles.

So I invited him to come on to the blog and tell you how he did it. Take it away, Jarrod.


While I was deployed to Romania for 9 months, my wife and I knew that she would come to visit. The only problem? How to pay for it all without fronting the money.

The solution? Bryce Conway and his 10xTravel tips! How I did it:


I started by opening the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which Bryce mentioned is one of the best cards out there. He walked me through how the points could be transferred to a number of airlines or used to book travel directly through Chase.

(Bryce Note: Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best cards for anyone to start with. You can read more about it here)

After switching all of my normal spending to Sapphire I was able to earn the bonus offered by the card as well as some additional points beyond that. I then used the points to book my wife a flight on Delta from Washington DC to Bucharest.

The flight would have been $872.10 but our points brought the price down to just $116.95. I booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel site.


(Bryce Note: Good move! Delta is not a transfer partner of Chase so this was the best option here)

Next I decided to open Barclays Arrival Plus MasterCard to help cover our hotels and other travel expenses. Bryce recommended the Arrival Plus because it can be used to cover any travel expense (including hotels) and there were few major chain hotels in Bucharest to choose from. We could use it to book any hotel we liked.

Once again, my wife and I moved all our day to day spending to the new card and was able to earn the 40,000 point bonus. Which is worth $400 in travel credits. My wife and I continued to use the card for a few months beyond that to earn even more points to help cover some other travel expenses as well.


Once my wife arrived in Bucharest we already had the hotel and rental car reserved and paid for with our Barclay Arrival Plus. Though we already had quite a few points stockpiled, we had up to 90 days to redeem our points to erase the purchase. Here are a couple of the big ones.

Barclaycard Hotel Purchase (5* Epoque Hotel in Downtown Bucharest)



And our rental car ended up being $190.89, which we were able to completely cover with points from the Barclays Arrival Plus.

Here is a screenshot of our redemption.


All told we saved a little under $1,500 on our trip thanks to points and miles.

With the limited time and funds that I have from my military paycheck this has offered my family and me a great way to travel the world for little to no cost. Thanks Bryce!


Happy Travels,

P.S. Have your own success story that you would like to share with the community? Email it to to get started!

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