Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you 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 flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying 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 space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re 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 using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide 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 someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method. Through 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.