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HOW TO EARN

galapagos islands united excursionist
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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!

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starwood preferred guest spg credit card review
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Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Credit Card Review

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: Caroline Lupini

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express has long been a favorite amongst travelers. But with the Starwood and Marriott merger, is it still worth your time?

The Marriott rewards program brought over much of the good of the classic SPG program, like its broad range of transfer partners and transfer bonus. And thankfully, the SPG credit card was also updated with new features and benefits after the merger as well. Though, it’s definitely not all rainbows and unicorns.

In this article, we’ll run through the new SPG credit card’s features, enhancements, and discuss whether or not the card deserves a place in your wallet.

Let’s get started!

Welcome Bonus

The Starwood Preferred Guest Amex credit card currently has a 75,000 Marriott point welcome bonus after spending at least $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership.

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Ways to fly to Hong Kong with miles - Cathay Pacific First Class
Best Ways, Blog

Best Ways to Fly to Hong Kong 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

Hong Kong is a super accessible city to visit since English is one of its official languages.  Even better, you can often find award space from the U.S.

If a trip to Hong Kong is on your to-do list, check out the best ways to get there with points and miles!

Content

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

United Airlines Mileage Plus

Delta SkyMiles

American AAdvantage

ANA (All Nippon Airways) Mileage Club

Final Thoughts


Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

One of the best ways to fly to Hong Kong is with Alaska Mileage Plan thanks to is partnership with Cathay Pacific, which has nonstop flights to Hong Kong from Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), New York–JFK (JFK), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington–Dulles (IAD). It also partners with American Airlines, which has nonstop flights from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX).

You can also use Alaska Mileage Plan miles to book connecting flights to Hong Kong on Korean Air, Emirates (super pricey though), Finnair, Hainan and Japan Airlines.

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How to Fly Around the World Using Singapore KrisFlyer Miles
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How to Fly Around the World Using Singapore KrisFlyer 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. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

By: Anya Kartashova

Have you ever wanted to book a round-the-world (RTW) trip but didn’t know where to begin?

Did you know that it’s possible to book such an extravagant journey with just one award ticket? Although many frequent-flyer programs have done away with RTW awards, it’s still possible.

One of the few programs that still allow you to book these fun awards is Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

Let’s take a look at how you can book a RTW award with Singapore KrisFlyer miles!

HOW TO FLY AROUND THE WORLD USING SINGAPORE KRISFLYER MILES

You can transfer points to Singapore KrisFlyer from all major transferable points programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points. Each of these programs transfers points at a 1:1 ratio.

Why Singapore KrisFlyer Miles?

There are two reasons you might want to book with KrisFlyer miles:

  1. Reasonable redemption rates for round-the-world tickets
  2. Ease of accumulation

If you’re thinking, “But wait! I don’t have any Singapore miles,” do not fret. They’re much simpler to obtain than you think, especially if you prefer collecting transferrable points.

You can transfer points to Singapore KrisFlyer from all major transferable points programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points. Each of these programs transfers points at a 1:1 ratio.

Marriott Rewards points can also be transferred to Singapore KrisFlyer as well at a 3:1 ratio Additionally, every 60,000 points you transfer at once will provide a bonus of 5,000 miles. In other words, 60,000 Marriott points will net you 25,000 KrisFlyer miles.

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

It’s even possible to redeem miles for another traveler, which means you can book both tickets from the same account and share this unforgettable experience.

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How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass [Updated for 2019]
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How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass [Updated for 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, Founding Editor of 10xTravel.com

Hi Travel Junkies,

The leaves are changing colors, football is back, and companies are putting pumpkin spice in every product imaginable.

Which can only mean one thing; Southwest Companion Pass season is here!

Southwest Companion Pass 2019

The Southwest Companion Pass (often abbreviated as “CP” or “SWCP”) is a perk offered by Southwest Airlines that allows you to bring a companion on any Southwest flight you fly for just the taxes and fees.

So let’s get right to it.

Today we are going to cover all things Southwest Companion Pass. This year’s strategy is going to be a bit different than past years so read closely and pay close attention to the changes to the Southwest credit cards.

Table of Contents

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass?
How to earn 110,000 Qualifying Southwest Rapid Reward Points in a calendar year?
How to earn 110,000 Southwest miles in a calendar year?
Maximizing the Value of Your Companion Pass
How to Use the Southwest Companion Pass
Changing the Name of Your Companion
Frequently Asked Questions
Final Thoughts

Here we go.

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass (often abbreviated as “CP” or “SWCP”) is a perk offered by Southwest Airlines that allows you to bring a companion on any Southwest flight you fly for just the taxes and fees.

Think of it like a plus-one invite that you can use with any of your Southwest flight reservations. As long as you are physically on the plane, you can bring your plus-one Companion with you.

Unlike many of the other “companion passes” offered by competitor airlines (Delta, Alaska, British Airways, etc.), the Southwest Companion Pass has very few restrictions on when or how often you use it.

southwest companion pass 2019

Unlike many of the other “companion passes” offered by competitor airlines (Delta, Alaska, British Airways, etc.), the Southwest Companion Pass has very few restrictions on when or how often you use it

It works on both paid and award tickets, even if you weren’t the one purchasing the flight (work travel, generous family/friends, etc.).

It has no limit on how often you use it.

There are no blackout dates.

And there are no restrictions on which Southwest flights it can be used with. Continue Reading

Trip to Maldives using points and miles
Blog, Success Stories

Reader Success Story: A First-Class Trip to the Maldives 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. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

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

I just finished my first class trip to the Maldives including a long flight in Etihad’s Apartments from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York (JFK) — only 4 of the 9 Apartments were occupied.

I selected seat 1H directly across from the Residence. Someone with a ton of cash to burn had booked it but canceled so the butler gave me a tour — you’re not allowed to take pictures so all I have are the memories.

trip to Maldives using points and miles

10xT Reader Jeff used miles to fly the Apartments en route to the Maldives

Trip to Maldives using points and miles

Seat 1H on the Etihad Apartments

It took me roughly 3 years to finally find a seat on dates I could travel and book this trip of a lifetime. Needless to say, I had high expectations and Etihad delivered! The Bordeaux wine and the food were ridiculously good.

Trip to Maldives using points and miles

Needless to say, I had high expectations and Etihad delivered! The Bordeaux wine and the food were ridiculously good.

Etihad Apartments | Trip to Maldives using points and miles

The total cost of these flights would have been $22,831. I paid $117.41 and 221,500 AA miles.

Here’s how I did it!

Trip to Maldives using points and miles

All in, I spent a little over $2,200 on flights and hotels for a round-trip first-class trip across the world. Compared to the $25,000+ that it would have cost without points, I couldn’t be happier.

Earning American AAdvantage Miles

I earned 180,000 American miles thanks to welcome bonuses from 3 cards: Barclays Red Aviator, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select, and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select. After putting some spend on each of them I ended up with 190K American miles.

Searching tips: Forget trying to search an outbound flight on Etihad from the U.S. I spent WAAAAY too much time. Thanks to Spencer & Travis, I was told to search from AUH or MLE – JFK.

(Check out some of the other best ways to fly to the Maldives using points and miles here)

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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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best ways to get to japan with miles
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. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

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.

Best Ways to Get to Japan with Points and Miles

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 | Best Ways to Get to Japan with Points and Miles

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.

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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!

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australia new zealand points miles
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. You can read our advertising disclosure here.

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.

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.

australia new zealand points miles-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.

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