Browsing Tag

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE

galapagos islands united excursionist
Blog

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!

Continue Reading

Blog

Best Credit Cards: January 2019

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: Bryce Conway – Founder 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 credit card offers for January 2019.

I rank these offers by looking at their signup bonuses, 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 ton of changes this month as most cards have retained their bonuses from late 2018.

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)

And finally, I added a list of the cards to the beginning of the post for easier reading. You can simply click on “the list” or “the details” below to read more about each card.

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.

Under 5/24:

The List

The Details

Over 5/24:

The List

The Details

 

Best Credit Cards Under 5/24

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 50,000 bonus points after $4,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after $5,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Chase Sapphire Reserve Earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months(Learn more)
Ink Business Cash Credit Card $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 spend in the first 3 monthsLearn More
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card $500 cash back after $3,000 spend in the first 3 monthsLearn More
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card 60,000 points after $3k spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Earn Companion Pass and 30,000 points after $4k spend in 3 months. Companion Pass expires 12/31/19Learn More
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Earn Companion Pass and 30,000 points after $4k spend in 3 months. Companion Pass expires 12/31/19Learn More
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card Earn Companion Pass and 30,000 points after $4k spend in 3 months. Companion Pass expires 12/31/19Learn More
United Explorer Card 40,000 bonus miles after $2,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)
Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 monthsLearn More
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card 80,000 points after $2,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
British Airways Visa Signature Card 50,000 Avios after $3k of purchases in the first 3 months, 25,000 Avios after $10k of purchases in the first year, additional 25,000 Avios after $20k spend in the first yearLearn More
Chase Freedom $150 cash bonus after $500 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Chase Freedom Unlimited $150 bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months(Learn more)

 

 

 

Best Credit Cards Over 5/24

The Business Platinum Card from American Express Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000, an extra 25,000 points after an additional $10,000 all in the first 3 months. Terms apply.Learn More
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 50,000 bonus miles (worth $500) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 monthsLearn More
American Express Business Gold Card Earn 4x points on 2 select business categories. Terms Apply.Learn More
Capital One Spark Miles for Business 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, an additional 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 in 6 monthsLearn More
Capital One Spark Cash for Business $500 cash back after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, plus earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 monthsLearn More
The Platinum Card from American Express Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.(Learn more)
Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express Earn 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.(Learn more)
Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card 125,000 Hilton Honors points after $2,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 125,000 Hilton Points after $3,000 spend in the first 3 monthsLearn More
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card $500 cash back after $3,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More

 

The Details: Best CardsUnder 5/24

 

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.
  • 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

Best Credit Cards: December 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. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

By: Bryce Conway – Founder 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 credit card offers for December 2018.

I rank these offers by looking at their signup bonuses, 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.

Quite a few changes this month as Chase has expanded the 5/24 rule to more cards and a couple of cards have gone through dramatic transformations.

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) 

And finally, I added a list of the cards to the beginning of the post for easier reading. You can simply click on “the list” or “the details” below to read more about each card.

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.

Under 5/24:

The List

The Details

Over 5/24:

The List

The Details

 

Best Credit Cards Under 5/24

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 50,000 bonus points after $4,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after $5,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Chase Sapphire Reserve Earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months(Learn more)
Ink Business Cash Credit Card $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 spend in the first 3 monthsLearn More
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card $500 cash back after $3,000 spend in the first 3 monthsLearn More
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card 60,000 points after $3k spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Earn Companion Pass and 30,000 points after $4k spend in 3 months. Companion Pass expires 12/31/19Learn More
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Earn Companion Pass and 30,000 points after $4k spend in 3 months. Companion Pass expires 12/31/19Learn More
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card Earn Companion Pass and 30,000 points after $4k spend in 3 months. Companion Pass expires 12/31/19Learn More
United Explorer Card 40,000 bonus miles after $2,000 spend in 3 months(Learn more)
Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 monthsLearn More
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card 80,000 points after $2,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
British Airways Visa Signature Card 50,000 Avios after $3k of purchases in the first 3 months, 25,000 Avios after $10k of purchases in the first year, additional 25,000 Avios after $20k spend in the first yearLearn More
Chase Freedom $150 cash bonus after $500 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Chase Freedom Unlimited $150 bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months(Learn more)

 

 

 

Best Credit Cards Over 5/24

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 50,000 bonus miles (worth $500) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 monthsLearn More
The Business Platinum Card from American Express Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000, an extra 25,000 points after an additional $10,000 all in the first 3 months. Terms apply.Learn More
American Express Business Gold Card Earn 4x points on 2 select business categories. Terms Apply.Learn More
Capital One Spark Miles for Business 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, an additional 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 in 6 monthsLearn More
Capital One Spark Cash for Business $500 cash back after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, plus earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 monthsLearn More
The Platinum Card from American Express Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.(Learn more)
Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express Earn 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Terms apply.(Learn more)
Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card 125,000 Hilton Honors points after $2,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 125,000 Hilton Points after $3,000 spend in the first 3 monthsLearn More
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card $500 cash back after $3,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More

 

The Details: Best CardsUnder 5/24

 

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.
  • 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

Best Credit Cards 2018 | Top Credit Card Offers November 2018
Blog

Best Credit Cards: November 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. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

By: Bryce Conway – Founder 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 credit card offers for November 2018.

I rank these offers by looking at their signup bonuses, 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.best credit cards 2018 | Top Credit Card Offers November 2018

Really only a couple of changes this month and plenty of cards to choose from.

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) 

And finally, I added a list of the cards to the beginning of the post for easier reading. You can simply click on “the list” or “the details” below to read more about each card.

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.

Under 5/24:

The List

The Details

Over 5/24:

The List

The Details

Best Credit Cards Under 5/24

 

 

Best Credit Cards Over 5/24

The Details: Best CardsUnder 5/24

 

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.
  • 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

chase credit card close
Blog

The Dreaded Chase Shutdown: How it Happened to Me and How to Avoid 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. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

By: John Tunningley

So, let me start by saying this: It’s not as bad as it seems.

For any of you who might get that awful shutdown letter from Chase, take a deep breath and remember that it’s possible to get the decision reversed.

chase credit card close | chase shutdown | chase credit card shutdown | Chase review

Easily one of the scariest piece of mail I’ve ever received

Before we get into how you can prevent this heartburn, I want to talk about how I ended up being shut down and some of the mistakes I made along the way.

The Backstory

A little over a year ago, I decided to take the leap and really dive into the points and miles world. I had been passively earning points for a while and taking maybe one trip per year on points. Until this point, I probably applied for one card per year.

All that changed when I started to pay a little more attention to the 10xTravel Insider’s Facebook group I had found a few years earlier. I signed up for, and received the 100,000-point bonus for the Chase Sapphire Reserve when the card was launched (that bonus is no longer available) and the rest is history.

I was applying for a card or two every 45-90 days and played the 5/24 game perfectly. After the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred a little over a month later — this is no longer possible.

I then decided to open my first business cards and, less than two weeks after getting the Sapphire Preferred, I applied for the Chase Ink Preferred and the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business card simultaneously, and then the Starwood Preferred Guest business card a week later.

chase shutdown

I wasn’t shut down because I had a single suspicious activity. I was shut down because in the span of a year Chase had extended me well over 6 figures in credit– I was told this repeatedly when I called to fight my case.

Continue Reading

How To Beat United Basic Economy
Blog

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.

Continue Reading

roundtrip south Korea Taiwan points miles - business class
Blog, Success Stories

Reader Success Story: Roundtrip to South Korea and Taiwan

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.

This is a guest post by 10xT Reader Nilesh. For more examples of readers using points/miles to take amazing trips to check out our 10xT Insiders Facebook Group.

By: Bryce Conway, Founder of 10xTravel

roundtrip south Korea Taiwan points miles-Gwangandaegyo Bridge in Busan, South Korea

Gwangandaegyo Bridge in Busan, South Korea (the bridge from Black Panther)

When I first started researching the credit card points and miles world, I was definitely a skeptic. I still remember my mom, an accountant, having me sign up for my first credit card before college and to only use for emergencies.

She also stressed the importance of paying off the statement balance in full every month. I figured having one card is what responsible people did. After 7 years with that card (a non-rewards card), I decided to be bold and get a second card, the Capital One Quicksilver Card.

I wanted to kick myself for waiting so long to get a card that had the benefits of 1.5% cash back (I was still naïve to the points and miles world). As I started to travel more in my mid-20s (for fun), I began to wonder how much I’d actually have to travel to get upgrades on flights and hotels. I do not travel for work so I quickly realized that it would be nearly impossible to achieve any airline or hotel status.

In 2016, as I was dreaming of my next trip, I began reading about points and miles and I haven’t stopped collecting points since then.

Today, I want to share my biggest points redemption.

My girlfriend and I had our sights set on visiting South Korea in April 2018 for cherry blossom season and the amazing food. Since this was going to be a graduation gift, I wanted to make it extra special.

Using Miles To Fly To Asia

Bryce (10xTravel’s Founder) recommended starting with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 50,000 bonus points after $4,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More

I started slowly and, after hitting the minimum spend, I moved onto the Chase Sapphire Reserve (at the time you could have both). At this point, I was hooked!

Continue Reading

south africa points and miles | family travel
Blog, Success Stories

Reader Success Story: How a 100-year-old Farmhouse Helped a Family of 4 to South Africa

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: 10xT Reader Jessica

Intro

I’m not new to the points and miles world. I’ve traveled to Italy, France, Australia, United Arab Emirates and Seychelles (to name a few) on points and miles over the years. That being said, the 10X Team took it up to the next level. Once our family of 3 became a family of 4, this game became a little more challenging. I’m here to tell you that you can still play the points and miles game as a family and explore the world.

Earning the points and miles to travel South Africa

A little over a year ago, our family purchased a 100-year-old farmhouse on 3 acres in Northern California. At this point, I wasn’t seriously into the points and miles game (this is a good thing as it’s recommended to not apply for cards within 9 months of applying for a mortgage). The house we bought was livable, but definitely, a “fixer-upper” that we planned to change from a 2 bedroom / 1 bathroom to a 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom.

Months later, we had a designer and a contractor on board. With all of the spending we had ahead of us, it was time to maximize the credit card points. I was not new to the Chase Family at this point. I already had a Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) and Chase Freedom from many years prior with some Ultimate Rewards (UR) racked up.

Following the monthly 10X post on the best credit cards to apply for, I went for the Chase Ink Preferred for 80,000 UR. I also referred my husband to his own CSP for an additional 10,000 UR (for referring him) plus his 50,000 UR sign up bonus plus 5,000 additional UR for adding our son as an authorized user (there are pros and cons to adding a minor as an authorized user, decide for yourself if this is a good move in your particular case).

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 50,000 bonus points after $4,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after $5,000 spend in 3 monthsLearn More
Chase Sapphire Reserve Earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months(Learn more)

We were in the middle of hitting minimum spends for these cards when Bryce posted about “last chance” to apply for the Amex SPG business card for 35,000 SPG points (most business cards do not add to your 5/24). My husband and I decided to apply for it at the same time since we could hit the $7000 minimum spend (X2) easily with our remodel expenses. After hitting minimum spend and then some, we had 90,000 SPG points.

My (then) 9-year-old son (who’s been to 20 countries and counting) reminded us that he’d be experiencing a “milestone” 10th birthday in September 2018 and that he wanted to visit his cousins in South Africa. Why not? At this point, I knew we were getting close to deciding on our fall trip, so I thought it was a good time to product change my CSP to a Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU) and apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) for 50,000 Ultimate Reward points.

Flights

I wish I could say we flew first class to South Africa… (that will be a later post once my children are in college!), but I can say that our family of 4 flew to South Africa and back for a net cost of $135.64. Yes, you heard me right, that’s $33.91 per person.

How did we do this? I started by transferring my husband’s SPG points to my SPG account (at no cost). Next, I transferred my 90,000 SPG points to my Marriott account (again, at no cost). This gave me 270,000 Marriott points (before the merger, SPG points transferred to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio). At the time, 270,000 Marriott points translated to a “Hotel & Air Package” of 7 nights at a Marriott Category 1-5 plus 120,000 miles with many airline programs. If you chose United, you received 10% more United miles. So, by using 270,000 Marriott points, I received a certificate for a 7-night stay at a Category 1-5 hotel PLUS 132,000 United miles deposited into my account (almost immediately).

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

United Airlines is a Chase transfer partner. From the new Chase cards, my husband and I applied for, we had over 200,000 UR between the two of us. (Plus, I already had another 100,000 UR or so before we applied for the new cards.) To fly economy class to South Africa using United miles, I knew I needed 40,000 award miles for one-way saver awards. So, for a family of 4, this would equal 320,000 award miles needed. I already had 132,000 United miles in my United account thanks to the Marriott Hotel & Air Package, so I all I needed to do was transfer an additional 188,000 UR from my CSR to United.

The transfers to United all happened in late July / early August and we wanted to fly to South Africa in late September / early October. During this time period, I was logging into my United account frequently and seeing a lot of available for our time frame. (Note that you should not transfer points to an airline partner until you’re ready to book and know that there is availability.)

On August 3rd, I pulled the trigger and booked our flights. I booked one-way tickets in an “open jaw” format (SFO → CPT and JNB → SFO) through the award travel tab on the United website. I booked the first part of our trip on Lufthansa with a layover in Frankfurt for a total of 160,000 United miles plus $163.20 in taxes and fees.

Capetown | south africa points and miles

For the flight home, I booked Swiss Airlines with a layover in Zurich for 160,000 United miles plus $272.44 in taxes and fees. The total for the 4 of us came to $435.64. But wait, you said the total was only $135.64, where did the $300 difference go? It was erased thanks to my $300 travel credit from my CSR! (For fun, I looked up the cash price of these tickets, and although I know it’s super inflated, it was over $12,000 for the 4 of us!)

south africa points and miles

So, we now had our flights booked, but no real itinerary for our trip. We just knew we had 2 weeks in South Africa, starting in Cape Town and ending in Johannesburg. We also knew that we wanted to spend time in Cape Town, drive the Garden Route and fly from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg and then back home. I had heard about the United Excursionist Perk (where you basically get a free one-way segment within your trip), but there was no award availability from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg for our specific dates. This is where the Chase travel portal came in handy. I was able to book flights on Mango Air for just under 40,000 UR for the 4 of us.

Johannesburg south africa points and miles

south africa points and miles

Onboard our Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt

Continue Reading