Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
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! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.