Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, 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 rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through 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 your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.