Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel 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. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase 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 and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn 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 or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.