Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are 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 receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.