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 way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
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 pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book 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 are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more 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 for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. 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 a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could 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 someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.