Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack 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. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! 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:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you 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 understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.