Travel Agent Conference 2016

Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase United Explorer
  • JetBlue Mastercard
  • Capital One Venture X

Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!

Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?

After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:

Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.

 

United

Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.

Repay the loan

If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.

Ask family for help

Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.

Give presents

If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.

There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:

Book travel expenses with your credit card

If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.

Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses

Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.

Travel Agent Conference 2016

Benefit from bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.

Consider a balance transfer

If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.

Make use of your miles or points prudently

Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.

Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.

In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.

If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.

Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.