Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.