Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to 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 sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and 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 know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.